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Tuesday, October 28

DIY Thieves Toothpaste

When I first got started with essential oils, I knew that one of the first products I wanted to make myself was toothpaste. I have never found a natural toothpaste that I really love (glycerin, fluoride, preservatives, bleh), and with Elliot popping out teeth like it's his job, I knew I wanted to try making my own as soon as possible. And while it sounds like a difficult, overwrought process, it was so so simple.

I really wanted to make a toothpaste using one of my favorite oils, thieves oil. This oil is a blend of clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus and rosemary. It is based on a legend of 15th century thieves who robbed bodies of plague victims without contracting the disease themselves. When apprehended, they were forced to reveal their secret concoction! This blend supports the immune system and has great antibacterial and antiseptic properties, perfect for toothpaste-making!

Here is a simple, easy recipe for the whole family:

+ 6 T baking soda
+ 25 drops thieves essential oil

Mix all three ingredients together until a smooth consistency is achieved. Scoop into your storage tubes or jar and brush away!

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You can also make a re-mineralizing version by adding benonite clay and salt if cavities are an issue for older children:

+ 3 T solid coconut oil
+ 3 T boiling water (may need more for thinning)
+ 3/4 t real salt
+ 1 t baking soda
+ 1/4 t thieves oil
+ 1/4 t peppermint oil

Mix the coconut oil and water together and let it cool just a bit. Add in salt, baking soda and essential oils. Then mix in the clay, adding more water slowly as needed to thin to desired consistency. Continue to mix until the paste is smooth, then transfer to a 3 ounce squeeze tube. Use as you would standard toothpaste!

We keep ours in a glass jar in our bathroom with the other oils I use in my daily beauty and nighttime routine. We dip into the jar with a small, clean spreading knife to keep the toothpaste free from germs. I just didn't have any plastic tubes on hand because I gave all of my away from making thieves hand sanitizer

Friday, October 24

Evening Routines

I am a creature of habit. I love routines, the comfort of the familiar. And I've found that it helps exponentially with my stress and anxiety levels. So it's no surprise to me that my sweet little boy is just the same way. He, like many babies, is so much more at ease in his own environment, and it makes my life that much easier as well. Here is a peek inside our evening routine as we settle toward bedtime, where he usually sleeps for a good 12 hours. Although honestly, sometimes he likes to have a midnight snack ;)

Bath time:
We stay in the bath for a while. E loves the water, loves splashing and singing and blowing bubbles. He particularly likes for me to sing Judah & the Lion.

Baby massage + foot rub:
I don't always put oil or lotion on Elliot, but I do apply coconut oil (sometimes with a drop of lavender oil) to his bottom to help prevent any diaper rash issues. Then I mix a drop of Thieves oil with about 1/4 tsp of coconut oil (I don't measure, just a smidge on my fingers) and rub it all over the bottoms of his little feet. (Thieves is one of my favorite oils because it supports the immune system -- a must have for cold/flu season. I use it daily on E as well as myself to keep our immune systems up!) Then we put on pjs, so whatever oil is left on my hands gets transferred to his clothes so he can inhale the sweet scent of Thieves and boost that little immunity all night long. 

While I massage and rub his feet I sing old hymns. His current favorites are 'How Great Thou Art' and 'Come Thou Fount.'

And in case you are interested, my nightly routine with the oils is similar, albeit without the singing ;) I wash my face (kind of) and then apply a drop of Sacred Frankincense diluted with coconut oil to my face and neck. Frank is great for skin health and wrinkles. Then I apply one or two drops of Peace & Calming to my wrists to promote healthy sleep. I do this anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour before bedtime. Also, since I been having some issues sleeping (hello adrenal fatigue and anxiety), I dilute a drop or two of Valor with cocoa butter and rub on the bottoms of my feet, then cover with socks. I do this just a few minutes before bed to help promote good sleep, and y'all, it's helping! Praise!

Since I'm using Valor for sleep, I apply Thieves and coconut oil to my feet in the mornings when I wake, then cover with socks. Gotta get that immune boost. I also diffuse Thieves + Lemon in our living room and keep a cotton ball with Thieves in the vents of my car. For my face, I apply a drop of Joy with coconut oil every morning. Geranium (one of the ingredients of Joy) is great for skin health and regeneration, and my tired mama eyes can use some help! I rub it liberally on my face, neck and chest. Joy is also great for anxiety. Win win. 

You guys these oils have literally changed our lives, and I am so grateful to have found them when I did. It makes me want to shout from the rooftops until everyone knows!

So here's to healing with essential oils and to being creatures of habit.

If you are interested in more information on essential oils or want to purchase some of your own, click here

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Disclaimer:  Any suggestions made on this blog are very specific to Young Living essential oils and should not be used with oils from another source. Statements made on this website about Young Living Essential Oils have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician. Keep out of reach from children. Please consult your physician about your medical needs, and if you are currently taking medication, please DO NOT STOP.

Wednesday, October 22

Motherhood // Thoughts of a New Mom 03

Grace was enough and grace is enough and grace always will be more than enough to change an old man young and an ankle deep stream to a sea. Grace can't be bought and grace can't be sold, not for the wages of a thousand days. Grace is the gift of a King who longs for His children to see they're not slaves.

I would have never considered myself as someone who struggles with anxiety. During high school and even college, school and studying were my focus but were like second nature to me. I dealt with the typical last minute project stress or worried over a big final, but that was the extent of my anxious thoughts. Studying comes somewhat naturally to me, and I honestly enjoy it. Pharmacy school was a bit different since the stakes are higher, but even then I was able to leave my worries at the door after completing and exam or even a difficult or stressful week.

Looking back, I think my anxiety actually began in the final months of my pregnancy. I was so ready for the 'new normal' and was actively preparing myself mentally and emotionally for the process of labor and delivery. What I didn't anticipate was the amount of tender healing that my own body would require. There was the learning curve of nursing, the sleepless nights and the fact that this perfect, tiny being was completely dependent upon me for survival. It can be so overwhelming.

Then I started back to work at only six weeks postpartum, which came with its own set of stressors. Juggling all the hats was, and still is, pretty exhausting sometimes. Work full-time, commute, make dinner, workout, spend time with my husband, oh yeah and take care of that babe. Not to mention sleep, shower and try to find a sliver of downtime to keep the anxiety at bay. The struggle is so real. There is a constant stream of thoughts in my head that I just can't shake. I worry about Elliot, how much he's eating, whether I'm pumping enough. I worry about vaccines and infections and his exposure to germs. I worry about my own health, lack of sleep, headaches and almost nonexistent workout schedule. I worry about my husband, and I miss him. I worry about money and jobs and health and all of the other things.

So apparently, mine is a story about anxiety... but it's also one about grace. And I share this to encourage all of you who may be dealing with the same thing. It's ok to be joyful about your new family and your role, but also be tired and overwhelmed and frustrated. It's ok to not be on the top of the mountain all the time. My son is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened in my life, second only to the day when I married his papa. But that doesn't mean that some days with my precious child aren't incredibly hard, or that I don't stay up way later than I should trying to put tomorrow's dinner in the crockpot or that I don't have sleepless nights that have nothing to do with a  babe. Because I have all of those things. But I also have grace.

And sometimes grace takes clearing stones with a weary heart and aching bones to prove to you child that it was worth it all.

This season is most certainly a difficult one, but I have no doubt that it will be one of the most rewarding times of my life. My sole purpose during these days is to be an encouraging and faithful wife and an uplifting and caring mama. This will be a story of struggle but also one of great love.

Grace gets deeper the more you trust that the King is good and the King is just. And that forgiveness is stronger than the grave. Sometimes grace takes clearing stones with a weary heart and aching bones to prove to you child that it was worth it all.

Roll away the stones, roll away the stones.
Roll away the stones and come alive.

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Tuesday, October 21

Natural Baby Care 101

Protecting my little babe's pure and perfect and oh-so-new-and-cuddly body is hands down my biggest priority, from what he eats to what products we use to how we protect him from illnesses. Since I have spent quite some time researching and am really particular about little bit's care, I want to share my experience with you! It can be so overwhelming when you start looking at cloth diapering, homeopathic medicine and homemade baby anything, so next Monday I will be hosting an online class about natural baby care. I'll touch on include cloth diapering, using essential oils in babes, and  share some simple and easy recipes for baby care in general and specifically for cold and flu season.

Check out the event details here. I'll post the link to the class on Monday evening at 8:00pm EST.
Also, join the Facebook group here.


copyright Hiking in Stilettos

Monday, October 20

Creamy Roasted Winter Squash + Kale Soup

I really love simple, one dish meals. The ease, the simplicity of flavors, and the ability to prepare a large pot of something delicious over the weekend then enjoy it all week. This soup was inspired by one that my mother makes which contains milk and great northern beans. Substitute a little coconut cream and roasted winter squash, and you have a paleo and vegan-friendly fall soup that is equally as good for breakfast as it is for dinner. The healthy fat from the coconut and the good carbohydrates from the squash and sweet potato make this soup incredibly filling. 

The first  time I made it I left out the meat, and we ate it for breakfast  for a change from our usual egg + vegetable scrambles. I made it again yesterday and added some shredded chicken for us to have for dinner, and it was just as delicious and filling.

You will need:
bacon grease (or olive or coconut oil if veg/vegan)
one medium yellow onion
one tsp minced garlic
one small delica squash
one small carnival squash
one or two small organic sweet potatoes
--- note: the roasted vegetables added up to about 3-4 cups total ---
one large bunch of organic kale or about 3/4 a bag of kale, washed & chopped
32 ounces (1 box) of organic vegetable broth
4 cups of water
salt + pepper to taste
one can full fat coconut milk or coconut cream

Preheat oven to 375. Saute your onion and garlic in the bacon grease or olive/coconut oil until fragrant and translucent. While onions are cooking, dice squash and sweet potatoes, toss with olive oil and roast for about 35 minutes on 375. Add in chopped kale and saute until slightly wilted. Add in vegetable broth and simmer on low. When squash and potatoes are finished, add into the pot with enough water to cover, as desired. I added the water one cup at a time until it was a thick soup consistency. You may want more or less. Let the soup simmer on low for about 10 minutes, then add in shredded chicken, if using, and one can of full fat coconut milk or coconut cream. Simmer for 10 minutes until flavors are combined. Serve with a dollop of coconut cream.

copyright Hiking in Stilettos

Saturday, October 18

Weekends + Wishlists

Lately I've been compiling a small list of items that I would love to own. Husband and I didn't do anything for each other for our birthdays this year or for our anniversary, so I am thinking a few select gifts may be in order for the Christmas season. Also, considering the fact that last year every single gift I received (not exaggerating!) was for Elliot, a couple indulgences would be nice. Here is a carefully curated list of lovely things that would make excellent gifts, in my opinion:

This Pendelton blanket is at the top of my list. I have been wanting one for years now, and since we are finally at a somewhat finished place with our master bedroom renovations, it may be time to invest. The one I originally wanted is no longer available in the size we need, but I really like the pattern of this one as well. 

These grey and white striped napkins would be nice. We don't use paper towels too much in our house, but I'd like to limit our use even more by having some lovely but practical cloth napkins on hand.

A few new linen kitchen towels would be nice as well (perhaps this one, this one and this one). Because I typically buy white ones, but they become discolored too quickly, and honestly it's time to do some replacing. (But don't worry. Those old, discolored towels will be disinfected and transformed into dust rags and baby wipes.)

And maybe one of these lovely trays... to corral the random items on our coffee table and because I have a soft spot for trays

This stain remover bar. I am a recovering Tide pen-aholic, but since removing chemicals, etc from our home, I haven't looked back. Nonetheless, this is a great thing to have on hand, especially when the tiny being in your house has a penchant for spilling your coffee on the beige sofa.

A pair of short, colorful rain boots. Because they are practical.. and cute.

A pretty pair of kitchen scissors and a magnetic knife block

And if we are dreaming big.... this beautiful essential oil organizer

Happy weekend.

copyright Hiking in Stilettos

Friday, October 17

Birthdays + Marraige

Today is my husband's birthday.

I just have to tell you that I simply couldn't live without this guy. He is so strong and supportive of me and our little family, even when I have the worst attitude and feel completely overwhelmed with life. Motherhood is a difficult transition, but this man of mine has stood next to me, supported me and encouraged me even on my darkest days. He takes care of me in ways that are expected of a leader, but also in ways that are quiet and small and often unseen. It is these that I am most grateful for.

I would not want to share this life or this amazing journey of marriage and parenting with anyone else.

Happy birthday K.

Thursday, October 16

Thieves 'Christmas Blend Coffee' + Immune Boosters

As much as I hate to admit it, I've been feeling a cold creeping in these past few days, and seriously, nobody got time for that. Since I just can't be down for the count, I've been doing a few things to support my immune system and combat those germs.

1 - Thieves 'Christmas Blend Coffee'
When I was in college I was obsessed with a holiday blend of cinnamon vanilla coffee. In retrospect, I am certain it contained all kinds of terrible artificial flavors! Now, the majority of the time I drink my coffee black, but on laid back mornings when I am hanging around the house I add a bit of grass fed heavy cream or half and half to my coffee. This weekend I also added a drop of thieves oil to support my immune system and was so pleased with the spicy sweet taste of my college days!

1 cup organic fair trade coffee
Organic heavy cream or half and half to taste
1 drop thieves oil
Best enjoyed on a front porch wrapped in a blanket with a snugly babe.

2 - Diffuse thieves at home and in the car
I've mentioned over here that I'm completely obsessed with the diffuser that came with the starter kit, and it's been pumping out thieves all weekend. Immune support and the smell of Christmas. Yes, please. My favorite combination for the diffuser is 4 drops thieves + 4 drops lemon. Lemon has a purifying citrus scent and great antioxidant properties. I also added a couple drops of thieves to a cotton ball and place it in the vents of my car to 'diffuse' while I drive. 

3 - Eat your veggies & clean your plate
Vitamins and minerals are key when you feel like you're getting sick, so I made sure to get in some extra green vegetables, plenty of good protein, some good fat (hello guacamole!) and tried to limit my sugar intake. As much as I wanted to, I didn't make the paleo brownies that I considered, but I did allow myself a few small indulgences. It was my birthday weekend, after all!

4 - Drink lemon water
I enjoy a mug of warm water first thing in the morning, but cold will work just as well. Simply add  3-4 drops of lemon essential oil to your water and sip away. Lemon works to alkalize the body and is a great antioxidant. You can also add a drop of thieves oil to the water as well.

5 - Drink 'Wellness Tea'
I've been drinking tea twice a day, morning and evening, and adding a few ingredients to boost the health qualities. It tastes like apple cider.

2 bags of chamomile & lavender tea (at night I use my mama tea)
a splash of raw apple cider vinegar
3 drops lemon essential oil
1-2 drops thieves essential oil
raw local honey to taste

Do you have any natural remedies for fighting off lurking colds?

To learn more about Young Living Essential Oils and/or to get a starter kit of your own (and a 24% discount on all oils!) click here.

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Any suggestions made on this blog are very specific to Young Living essential oils and should not be used with oils from another source. Statements made on this website about Young Living Essential Oils have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician. Keep out of reach from children. If you are currently on medication, please DO NOT STOP

Tuesday, October 14

A Weekend in Pictures 03

I just never want our weekends to end. The moments we spend as a family, the lower stress level my husband and I feel, not constantly rushing here and there and worrying about messing up Elliot's sleep patterns in the process. Weekends provide so much more room to breathe. So I have officially decided that weekends should last five days and the workweek should only last two. I'd even compromise to a four day weekend and three day workweek. Any suggestions on how to go about getting that changed? ;)

This weekend was especially fun since we took E camping for the first time. I have to say though, that things definitely did not go as planned. Between the rain, wet ground, unseasonably warm daytime weather and a babe who wouldn't nap, it was a little rough. We will probably wait until the spring for our next trip when E will hopefully be walking. Nonetheless, it was a good weekend and one that I am sad to leave behind.

Here's to never ending weekends, or at least dreaming of them!

copyright Hiking in Stilettos

Monday, October 13

Homemade Baby Wipes & Wipe Solution

Whether you cloth diaper or use traditional disposables, this homemade wipe solution is so great. It it cost-effective, safe and gentle on little bums, helps with diaper rash, and smells so sweetly of herbs. We prefer to make the solution and use it as a spray, but you can also make homemade wipes using this same recipe. We use these flannel wipes instead of disposables and most often just wash our little man's bum with plain old warm water. Sometimes, though you need reinforcements, and the essential oils I use are great for this!

Simple Wipe Solution:
1 cup filtered water
1 tablespoon liquid castille soap (I like Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild)
1 tablespoon organic oil (olive, coconut or a mixture like this one)
2 drops melaleuca (tea tree) essential oil
*two 4 ounce glass spray bottles
*This makes 8 ounces, so I divide it between two 4 ounces bottles and keep one on the changing table and one in our diaper bag. Alternatively, you can store in an 8 ounce glass spray bottle.

To make the solution:
Place ingredients in a small glass bowl in the order listed and mix well. Pour into your glass bottle and keep at room temperature. I like to divide it between two small bottles and keep one in Elliot's room and one in the diaper bag.

To make wipes:
 Simply place cloth wipes or washcloths in a container of your choice and pour the solution over them. Alternatively, you can cut a roll of paper towels in half and place in a container and cover with the solution, if that suits your preference. 

Melaleuca oil has natural anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, and also helps with inflammation of the skin. Lavender has antiseptic, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties and helps with tissue healing and regeneration. Plus it smells heavenly and has relaxant properties! Win, win, win. I actually keep an extra bottle of lavender in Elliot's room to use on diaper rash, diffuse or rub on his feet at night, and use in the diaper pail. Lavender is definitely the Swiss Army Knife of the oils! I also chose to add unscented castille soap since we use this spray with messy diapers or at the end of the day when we just don't have time for a bath, but adding the soap is optional. As always, you want to store your essential oils and blends in a glass container.

Happy diapering.

To learn more about Young Living Essential Oils and/or to get a starter kit of your own (and a 24% discount on all oils!) click here.

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Any suggestions made on this blog are very specific to Young Living essential oils and should not be used with oils from another source. Statements made on this website about Young Living Essential Oils have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician. Keep out of reach from children. If you are currently on medication, please DO NOT STOP

copyright Hiking in Stilettos

Friday, October 10

Hello Weekend 02

{Side note: this is my new favorite outfit, one that I bought for myself for my birthday (from Target if you're interested). It's been so long since I actually bought clothes for myself! Maternity wear, then a babe will do that ;) I'm so in love with these pants though!}

We are signing off for the long weekend to celebrate birthdays and focus on spending some much needed time disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with nature and each other. Picture day hikes, mountain tops, evergreens, mountain side sunrises, campfires, warm snuggly blankets, roadside produce stands and spiced apple cider. 

And finally finding some room to breathe.

Other things...
obsessed with oregano oil for cold/flu season
excited about this class

Also, I'm working on a natural baby care + cloth diapering class so stay tuned over on my Facebook essential oils page for details!

Be back early next week with more fun things.

Thursday, October 9

Cleaning with Lavender

Oh, lavender. It's probably my all time favorite scent. If an item comes lavender-scented, I would purchase it. Dish soap, laundry detergent, candles, you name it. However, for about the last year or so I have been on a mission to get rid of all the harsh synthetic chemicals in our daily lives and replace them with natural counterparts. Goodbye bleach, hello lemon! One of my favorite ways to control our exposure to chemicals is to make things myself. Also, I save a lot of money! Baking soda and white vinegar are much less expensive than some of my old go-to cleaners. Add in some lavender or lemon essential oil, and voila! Homemade cleaners. Here are some of my favorite uses for lavender for cleaning your home:


-- All purpose cleaner --
3/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice OR 3-4 drops lemon essential oil
3 T natural liquid soap  -- I use Dr. Bronner's Baby
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
10 drops lavender essential oil
Mix together in a ceramic bowl to make a paste and scrub surfaces, rinsing with a damp cloth or water. Use to clean counter tops, stove tops, bathroom counters and floors, tubs & sinks and kitchens! Store in a large glass spray bottle.

Simply add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a damp cloth and wipe across any surface.

-- Glass & mirror cleaner --
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup distilled water
 10 drops lavender essential oil
Combine in a glass spray bottle  and use as you would any glass cleaner! You can also use the all purpose cleaner for windows and mirrors
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-- Floor cleaner --
1/4 cup white vinegar
a bucket of water
a few drops of liquid soap (optional)
10 drops of lavender essential oil
Mix together in your mop bucket and clean away! If your floors are really grimy, add a couple drops of liquid soap. Safe for hardwood or linoleum. Other great oils for cleaning floors include lemon, spruce (think Pine-Sol), purification and melaleuca (tea tree). 

-- Carpet freshener --
1 cup baking soda 
18 drops of lavender essential oil
Mix well and place in a covered container (I like mason jars) and let sit overnight to make sure the baking soda absorbs all the wonderful lavender oil. Sprinkle on carpets just before vacuuming. This is also great with lemon or peace & calming!
Simply add a few drops to a cotton ball or tissue and place in the bag of your vacuum cleaner. I alternate doing lemon and lavender!

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-- Simple linen spray --
Fill a  4oz glass spray bottle about halfway with distilled water and add about 10 drops of lavender essential oil. I spray this on our sheets, blankets, upholstered chairs, couch, Elliot's bedding, our pillows, the dog bed (purification is a good oil for this!), camping linens, etc. Use pretty much everywhere!

-- Add to basic laundry detergent --
Add 3-4 drops of lavender essential oil directly to the detergent in the detergent compartment of your washer. I like to use free & clear detergent, and I have an HE washer, so it's safe! Disinfect naturally and make your clothes smell divine.

-- Homemade fabric softener --
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
10 drops lavender essential oil
Use the same way you would store-bought fabric softener to soften your laundry and make it smell wonderful at the same time! Store in a small glass jar.

-- Wool dryer balls --
I switched over to using wool dryer balls  when I was pregnant with E and researching homemade cloth diaper detergent. Absolutely love them! Natural, inexpensive and the lavender makes our clothes smell divine. Place 3-4 drops of lavender onto each wool dryer ball and place into the dryer with your clothes.

To learn more about essential oils or to purchase your own, click here.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Any suggestions made on this blog are very specific to Young Living essential oils and should not be used with oils from another source. Statements made on this website about Young Living Essential Oils have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician. Keep out of reach from children. If you are currently on medication, please DO NOT STOP.