• WELLNESS

    My Favorite Essential Oils & Ways I Like to Use Them

    It’s been over a month now since I’ve received the bulk of my essential oils and I thought I’d share a few of my favorite ways I’ve been using them.

    Since I got a little overwhelmed at the number of oils I have I decided to just start using a few of them for now and once I know the uses for those ones I’ll look into using some of the other ones.

    Essential oils are usually diluted with a carrier oil because they are so potent on their own. For the most part I dilute the oils in coconut oil (I just melt the coconut oil and then add the essential oils in and it hardens again), except when it comes to Raeca, she reacts to coconut oil (gets a bit of a rash) so when I use essential oils on her I dilute them with almond oil.

    Another thing I want to note: I’ve read that some essential oils with work for some people and not for others, kind of like how Tylenol works for some (not me) and Advil works for others (me!), so just because an essential oil doesn’t work for you when everyone else claims it’s amazing doesn’t mean that essential oils don’t work, but maybe you need to try a different one to find one that will work for you.

    Uses for Essential Oils

    Some of the oils I’m sharing about today are single oils and some are blends, for the blends I’ve also shared which store I’ve purchased the blend from just as an FYI, most brands will have similar blends. For instance, a few companies carry “thieves oil” while other companies have the same oil but call it something different, often a name with the word “immune” in it.

    Also, I’m not a doctor or anything, this is just how I use essential oils for myself and my family.

    SINGLE OILS

    tea tree
    * I use this undiluted on my face for acne, I just put one or two drops into my palm and then use my fingertip to put it on any breakouts, it does seem to help, I have a friend who says lemon works the same way for her but I haven’t found it to work for me (thought it does smell a lot better, so I wish it did!)
    * this is also one of the oils I use in my diy deodorant

    lemon
    * any one out there use Goo Gone? lemon essential oil has completely replaced it for me, I add a bit of lemon essential oil to a cloth or paper towel and rub the sticky glue off of my old glass jars so I can reuse them
    * lemon is a great oil for cleaning and I use this in my basic cleaning solution (I’ll share that recipe soon!)

    peppermint
    * I use this one in my diy deodorant as well

    orange
    * I add a few drops in to my kitchen garbage when I put a fresh bag in, it helps remove any nasty smells and makes it smell citrusy

    lavender
    * I’m not a huge fan of the smell of lavender but I’ve added one drop to my tube of mascara because I’ve heard it strengthens eyelashes, I don’t wear mascara very often so I can’t say I’ve noticed a difference yet but I figured it couldn’t hurt to try it

    oregano
    * when I feel a cold coming on I add 2-3 drops into about a quarter cup of water and drink it quickly with a straw (without the straw all your food for the rest of the day will taste Italian). I made sure the oregano oil I use says its for internal use (I have this one that I got from a local store) and it seems to stop a cold in it’s tracks

    BLENDS

    thieves (Eden’s Garden)
    * I love putting this one in the diffuser, when diffused it is supposed to kill airborne germs so I often have this running when we have people over or shortly after they leave. friends, we love you, we just don’t want your germs 🙂
    * it is also supposed to be good for building up immunity so I mix this with a carrier oil and put it on the my feet in the mornings (and I do the same for the kids’ feet)
    * one of the oils used in my diy deodorant
    * and of course there is my favorite thieves oil foaming hand soap

    calming the child (Plant Therapy)
    * I dilute this one in carrier oil and put it on Raeca’s neck before bed. Since I started doing this she’s had no night terrors, I’m not sure if that’s just a coincidence or not but it does seem to help calm her down in general too

    purification (Eden’s Garden)
    * this one I run in the diffuser when we’ve made something that doesn’t smell so great, like fish, or after breakfast since Jared usually boils a few eggs and I can’t stand the smell

    muscle relief (Eden’s Garden)
    * this one seems to work great on sore muscles, just mix it with a carrier oil and rub it on wherever you feel soreness

    This is just a start into the oils I’ve been trying, I definitely think there will be a part two to this post in the next few months.

    You can view the rest of my posts on essential oils here.

    What are your favorite oils and ways to use them?

  • WELLNESS

    Thieves Oil Foaming Hand Soap

    Lately I’ve been experimenting with all sorts of essential oil recipes, some having been working (like this soap recipe and an awesome tub scrub -recipe coming soon!) and others not so much (like diy shampoo, can we say greasy much?).

    I’m excited to share this thieves oil foaming soap recipe because it’s one I’ve been loving lately.

    Thieves oil is said to kill germs so that’s why it’s the oil of choice for soap.

    Thieves Oil Foaming Hand Soap

    Items Needed:

    • empty foam soap dispenser (I just used one from Bath & Body Works that I had finished up)
    • 1 cup water
    • 2 tbsp Castile soap
    • 1/4 tsp carrier oil (I used almond oil because it’s moisturizing and it’s what I had on hand)
    • 7 drops thieves essential oil (I use the Eden’s Garden brand)

    Add the ingredients to the dispenser in the order listed, close the lid and give it a little shake and then it’s ready to use!

    I love it and it makes my hands feel smooth and smells so clean!

    I’m currently working on a post of my current favorite oils and some uses for them, hopefully that will be up next week. 🙂

    Do you have any DIY cleaning recipes that you love?

    You can view all my posts on essential oils here.

  • WELLNESS

    Natural Homemade Deodorant (that actually works!)

    I’ve been wanting to make deodorant for quite awhile. Like many people I’ve heard of the harmful ingredients that are put into regular deodorant and I didn’t like the idea of that going on (and eventually into) my body, and especially not on my daughter’s when she gets old enough to need it.

    I know there are a lot of natural deodorants that you can buy but honestly, they are more expensive and I didn’t want to have to buy 30 different kinds just to find one that works.

    So awhile ago I asked my Facebook friends if anyone had a recommendation and one friend shared a recipe that I’ve been using for the past few weeks and loving so I thought I would share it.

    Natural Homemade Deodorant that actually works!

    I am definitely a bit of a sweaty person (TMI?), one of my friends said she doesn’t wear deodorant, I know if I did that I would be smelling bad before 10am, so that route was definitely not for me (but power to those that can do it!).

    The recipe that I am going to share does have a few essential oils, another one of my friends says she uses the same recipe but without the EO’s, I tried that at first (because I didn’t have the oils) and I found that by 2pm I needed to reapply it. But once I added the essential oils in I could go all day.

     

    A super simple homemade natural deodorant recipe that actually works!

     

    Natural Homemade Deodorant

    1/3 cup coconut oil
    1/4 cup baking soda
    1/4 cup corn starch
    couple drops of each tea tree, peppermint and thieves essential oils

    I melted the coconut oil in a pot over medium-low heat and then added the baking soda and corn starch so they could dissolve a little and the deodorant wouldn’t feel gritty. Then I removed it from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes before mixing in a few drops of each tea tree, peppermint and thieves essential oils. I then poured it into my mold. I didn’t have a deodorant stick so I just used a container that I had, though I will definitely look into getting a deodorant stick to use in the future. Because it can begin to melt when warm I prefer to store mine in the fridge (in a special area so no one mistakes it for something edible).

    And just like that you have a natural homemade deodorant!

    Side note, this deodorant has been fun to talk to with a few people, there are some who believe they would stink too bad to attempt this recipe, and let me tell you, I was one of those people! I had used antiperspirants for years and years and in hot days in the summer would often have to put it on twice. That being said, switching to a natural deodorant like mine will probably give you a transition period where you don’t smell that great, it’s just your body getting rid of all the nastiness antiperspirant has been keeping in for all those years. It was about a week of transition for me and then afterwards I noticed I sweat a lot less and didn’t smell. There are still some hot days in summer where I’ll put it on twice but at least I know I’m not putting cancer-causing chemicals into my body any more!

    This post was actually written back in the fall, now I’ve been using this deodorant for months and still love it! And bonus: this recipe lasts for quite a long time!

    Edit to add: I used these oils specifically because of some of their benefits. Peppermint is antibacterial, tea tree is antibacterial and antifungal and thieves is great for eliminating odors and good for boosting the immune system.

    Do you have a recipe for deodorant that you like to use?

  • WELLNESS

    My Favorite Places to Buy Essential Oils

    Welcome to the second installment of skeptical Chantel’s journey with essential oils! (Check out the first post here.)

    In order to get the full experience with essential oils I’ve ordered a variety of different oils from a few different suppliers especially since some had better prices for some oils and others for other oils, or some had certain blends that others just didn’t have.

    Just to give a little spoiler alert for a future post: I haven’t tried all my oils yet but I’m definitely seeing a difference thanks to a few of them, more of that to come.

    So when I was on the search to figure out where to buy oils there were three major things I was looking at, all revolving around price. I wanted to know the size of the bottles (because sometimes you think you find an amazing deal and then you realize it’s only a 5ml bottle), obviously I wanted to know the price of the bottle and potentially the biggest one: I wanted to know the shipping costs to Canada.

    The Three Best Places to Purchase Essential Oils - great oils and great prices

    I have ordered oils from three different companies so far and wanted to share my initial thoughts on each. I’ve found that there isn’t one company that comes out majorly on top so I’m just going to share them in the order I tried them in.

    Well.ca – I originally bought 5 or 6 bottles from Well in the fall (all the NOW brand). The majority of their bottles come in sizes up to 30ml, much bigger than most other companies. Their pricing is also pretty amazing compared to most companies (and as of right now they are having a sale on their essential oils). I also love that they are a Canadian company and shipping on orders over $25 is free! To be honest their oils are so cheap they leave me wondering if they actually work, also you need to watch a little bit because some of the more expensive oils, like Frankincense, is actually only 20% Frankincense and the rest is grapeseed oil, it is clearly stated in the description but if you don’t know what you are looking for you might miss that. If you haven’t ordered from Well before use the code: chantelklassen to get $10 off your first order of $40 or more! (disclosure: if you use the code and get $10 off your purchase I’ll also get $10 off my next one, win-win for both of us!)

    Eden’s Garden – I shared a little about this one on Instagram since I got one of their oils for Christmas. They sell mostly 10ml bottles for very good prices. Plus if you are interested in ordering 6 or 14 you can buy the “Create Your Own” set, if you get the 14 it comes out to $3.50 per bottle, way cheaper than most places. I bought 2 sets of 14 as well as 28 5ml bottles so my mom and I could split them. The only real downside to Eden’s Garden is the shipping to Canada, I guess at Christmas it was cheap and after that they increased their shipping prices by a LOT, even more from when I ordered, now the base cost is $16, even if you just order one $5 oil. Fortunately for my American friends, they have free shipping on orders over $50 for you.

    Plant Therapy – their oils come in a variety of sizes and and I like that they often have the option of buying them in a roller already pre-diluted. Plant Therapy’s prices are decent, and their shipping to Canada is amazing. I paid $2 for 5 bottles ($50 worth). Plant Therapy also has a list of child safe blends, the Sniffle Stopper will be my next purchase, or maybe Sweet Dreams and see if they help with Raeca’s night terrors (which thankfully seem to be gone for the time being). Oh, and if you sign up for their newsletter you get a $5 off coupon on orders $10 or more (just know that you need to use it within 24 hours).

    If you buy oils, where do you get yours from?
    And which oils/blends are your favorite?

  • WELLNESS

    Official Hippy Status Achieved?

    Essential oils. They are all the rage right now. The rage made me interested and skeptical.

    I shared the above photo and some of my skepticism on Instagram (and Facebook) the other day and judging from all the comments, I’m not alone!

    There were two main reasons I was skeptical:

    #1 no other “natural” recipe ever works for me, thinking of using baking soda in my hair, oil pulling for teeth whitening . . . etc.

    #2 and probably the biggest one: everyone who is singing the praise of essential oils also just happens to sell them and claims that their brand is the only brand you should use, it honestly just feels too gimmicky to me.

    So for a long time I just stayed away from essential oils. Curious but not knowing where to begin and not willing to spend a lot of money to see if they actually work.

    But a few months ago I broke down and bought a few oils off of Well.ca, pretty much all I did with the oils I purchased was make a deodorant and then we went to South Africa for a month and a half.

    Then comes Christmas and my mom bought me a diffuser and a few oils. Plus she told me about an oil company that sells cheap oils! (cheap because they don’t use a middleman so they don’t have to mark them up like most other companies do.)

    The one oil I’d been the most curious about was thieves oil, I’ve heard so many people rave about it over the last year or so and I wanted to know if it was really all it has been made out to be. It was one of the oils I got from Christmas, the one I got is produced by Eden’s Garden and is $8 (USD) for 10ml as opposed to other companies that have it priced at about four times (or more!) the cost.

    Since I’m a skeptic to begin with and am not selling the oils (so I’ve got no ulterior motives) I thought it may be beneficial to others if I document some of my experiences and thoughts on essential oils over the next few weeks.

    Anyway, back to the thieves oil, the day we celebrated Christmas with my family Jared had a bit of a head cold and I knew I was going to get it. I know I’ve shared a bit here in the past about me being sick but I don’t know if I’ve shared how often it really happens; over the last four years or so I’ve gotten sick every few months with a chest infection and in addition have had pneumonia two or three times in the last few years.

    When I get a cold I don’t just get a cold I instantly get a chest infection. So I knew it was coming.

    The day I got the diffuser I put in thieves oil right away at my parents house and over the next few days I ran thieves a few times. On Monday Jared was hit by the worst part of his cold/flu and I started to feel like I was getting it. I started putting thieves oil and oregano oil with coconut oil on my feet in the morning and evening and on Tuesday I drank a couple of drops of oregano oil* and let me tell you what happened: I got a runny nose and that’s it.

    It didn’t even feel like a head cold, no chills, no achy body. just. a runny. nose. This is huge for me people. I do not know the last time I had such a minor little cold.

    Maybe it’s just a coincidence, I feel like it’s too early to sing the praises of essential oils but seriously, it’s been years since I’ve had such a little cold, I can’t help but think the oils had something to do with it.

    So that’s the beginning to my journey into essential oils. I have some more ordered that are on there way so I know there will definitely be more posts about oils in the future. I feel like now that I have one foot on the essential oil band wagon I have possibly achieved official hippy status, to go along with the vinegar I use for conditioner and how much I enjoy reusing and recycling.

    *For essential oils, I know there are some you are not supposed to ingest, for my oregano oil I have this one that Jared got for free a long time ago when he made a purchase at a local health food store and I hadn’t used it until this year. This one says right on the bottle to take 2-4 drops daily in juice or water.
    If you do ingest oregano oil let me warn you: it’s potent stuff. If you don’t do it right you will be tasting Italian food/pizza all day (or so Jared tells me). The best way to do it is put a bit of water in a glass, add your drops of oregano oil and drink it using a straw you put as far back in your mouth as you can. And make sure you have some juice handy that you can drink after to help remove the taste.

    Do you use essential oils or are you a skeptic?
    If you use them, which are your favorites?
    If you don’t, are there any particular questions you have?

  • One Month Without Shampoo
    WELLNESS

    One Month Without Shampoo

    Okay, I’ve been promising an update and here it finally is!

    As of right now I have officially gone 5.5 weeks without using shampoo or conditioner.

    Going no shampoo (or no-poo as it’s called) was something I stumbled on a few weeks prior to starting, and got most of my information from this blog.

    I’ve read all sorts of reasons for people taking the leap to going no-poo and honestly, the one that got me was that I read it can make your hair grow faster -count me in! Another huge benefit is the fact that you don’t have wash your hair nearly as often, a huge time saver for me.

    Instead of using shampoo I now use baking soda and water and my replacement for conditioner is a vinegar and water mix.

    I’ve messed around a bit with the ratios I’ve been using with the baking soda and vinegar but what seems to be working for me is mixing two tablespoons of baking soda with one cup of water and pouring that into a spray bottle. In the shower I spray this all over my scalp (not on the length or ends of my hair) and leave it in for a few minutes, then I wash it out really well (it takes a bit longer than regular shampoo).

    For conditioner I mix two tablespoons of vinegar with one cup of water into a separate spray bottle. This I spray into the length and ends of my hair (not onto my scalp) I leave it in for a few minutes and then rinse it out.

    If you are concerned about the smell of the vinegar -it does smell a bit when you apply it to your hair but once it’s dried you can’t smell it at all. I’ve read about some people using apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar but I’ve found that it smells stronger when I am spraying it and doesn’t work as well in my hair.

    So far I have not noticed my hair growing any faster -boo. But that might change, I’m totally willing to stick it out longer and hope that it does!

    As for the frequency that I wash my hair . . . before going no-poo I washed my hair every other day pretty consistently. When starting the no-poo routine I slowly started increase the amount of time that I go between washes. The first time I went three days, then stretched it to four and did that for a few times, and at this point I can wash my hair every five days.

    There is a transition period where your hair will feel a little weird and if you are increasing the amount of time between washing your hair you will probably have some oily days but it is definitely worth it to stick to it. Prior to going no-poo when I would wash my hair every other day on days when I didn’t wash it I definitely needed to use my diy dry shampoo but now I can go till day three or four without even needing it, my hair produces so much less oil.

    Another benefit has been the fact that my hair is getting much less damaged. I usually only curl my hair the day that I wash it which means I’ve gone from curling it 3-4 times a week down to 1-2 times.

    At this point the pros to going no-poo far outweigh the cons and I definitely plan on sticking with it, at least for a few more months.

    I would love to hear from you!
    Are you no-poo? How does it work for you?
    If not, is it something you plan on trying in the future?

    dress // forever 21
    leggings // target
    boots // walmart
    belt // from a shirt I’ve had forever

    P.S. today is the last day to get the learning your DSLR in manual mode workshop for the introductory price of $20 – tomorrow it will go back up to $30

  • DIY Dry Shampoo for Brunettes
    WELLNESS

    DIY Dry Shampoo – For Brunettes

    I started using dry shampoo (from a can) about two years ago. I found it to be exactly what my hair needed on days I didn’t wash it, the dry shampoo soaks up the oil so well and seems to breathe the life back into my hair. Since I’ve been going no-(sham)poo for the last month dry shampoo has been a life saver (I’m planning a full update on the no-poo next week, I promise!).

    I loved what the dry shampoo did for my hair but definitely was not a fan of the nice white streaks I was often left with, the skunk look wasn’t one that I was going for. Plus, you’ve really got to watch some of the chemicals in some of those dry shampoos, I’m not into everything being organic or anything, but putting butane in my hair? That definitely crosses a line with me.

    I’ve been seeing diy’s for dry shampoo all over the internet over the last year or so and a few months ago I finally took the plunge and made my own, it’s so easy I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner!

    I had read about blondes that used straight corn starch or baby powder in their hair and found this super easy “recipe” for brunettes:

    • 1 part corn starch
    • 2 parts cocoa

    I used 1/3 cup of corn starch and 2/3 of a cup of cocoa and then use an old makeup brush to brush it in to the roots of my hair where it’s the oiliest. The nice thing is, if you have darker hair you can use more cocoa to match your hair. I’ve also read that those with red hair can use cinnamon, my hair turns more red in the summer so I might add some of it to my mixture.

    I’ve been using it for about two months now and have to say that I’ve been loving it, I no longer have to ask Jared if I have white streaks in my hair (it happened people), and my hair smells like cocoa, not all the time or in an overpowering way, but just sometimes I’ll get a little whiff, that’s a lot better in my books than putting butane in my hair!

    Do you use dry shampoo?
    Do you use it from a can or diy your own?

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