DIY Diaper Wipes and Solution

diaper wipesUsing cloth diapers was a choice Chrissy and I both made to cut back some of the expenses in our houses. We bought our diapers here. Up front it cost a pretty penny, but the amount we saved in the long run was well worth it. We stock piled different sizes of diapers while we were pregnant with our oldest boys. And the best part was…we were both able to reuse the diapers we bought for our next child.

While we were stockpiling diapers, Chrissy devised a great way to save even more money…by making our own diaper wipes! It was cheap, easy, and effective.

All you need is 1 yard of flannel fabric and a sewing machine. Oh…scissors and coordinating thread might help too! ;) We chose to use flannel because it’s really soft and is very absorbent.

Spread the fabric out, keeping it folded in half. You’ll keep the front and back pieces together when you go to sew. Cut out the desired size you would like. We did 3” x 4” because they fit pretty well in an old diaper wipe dispensers. Cut out as many sets as the yard will allow, keeping the two pieces together.

Head to the sewing machine and stitch around the outside of each pair with a zig-zag stich. I didn’t even need to pin mine. They don’t have to be super pretty, your baby won’t mind. ;) Pile them into a container. AND you’re done!!

At this point you have to decide: do you want to leave them dry and moisten them only as you need them or do you want to make a solution to pour over them? I’ve done both and find that my babies were less likely to get a diaper rash if I make some kind of wipe solution to kill any bacteria that might try and hang out after I’ve cleaned up all the poopy. Here’s the recipe I came up with for my favorite wipe solution:

Chamomile Diaper Wipe Solution:

2 cups hot water
1/3 cup dried chamomile flowers or a couple of chamomile tea bags
6 drops Melaleuca essential oil
¾ cup raw uncut apple cider vinegar
a pinch of Epsom salt

Steep the flowers/tea bags in the hot water for about 5 minutes (then filter out the flowers)

Mix the remaining ingredients in to the chamomile water (Epsom salt will help to keep the oil and water from separating)

Pour the solution over your wipes.

At this point you’ll need to check to make sure all of the wipes got saturated… I kinda squish my wipes down to squeeze a bit of the solution down farther into the stack of wipes. If there are still a few wipes that didn’t get much of the moisture, add a little bit more water to spread the solution throughout all the wipes.

Another diaper wipe solution I’ve tried and found to be pretty effective is to use ½ cup of witch hazel mixed with 3 cups of hot water. Poor over homemade diaper wipes.

AND their ready to use…As you finish changing a diaper, just keep the wipe inside the dirty diaper and wash them together. Easy peasy!!

Don’t use cloth diapers or cloth wipes??? NO PROBLEM!!

Cut a paper towel roll to fill and empty wipes dispenser and pour the wipe solution over that. Pull out the card board center and draw the paper towels up through the center and push into the lid of the wipes dispenser. I use this method when we travel. We buy a small pack of disposable diapers to use for convenience and take our homemade wipes with us. My daughter has a very sensitive bum and I couldn’t use the store bought wipes on her or she would breaks out in a rash..

Making your own wipes is a safe, natural, not to mention SUPER cheap way to clean your baby’s sweet lil tooshie! We hardly ever had a problem with diaper rash when using the chamomile wipes solution. Of course I also make a rash ointment to use on the rare occasion that my little Bug did get a rash. I’ll post the recipe for that next week. :)

esign

Posted in Being Self Sufficient, Craftiness, Herbs not food, Little Bodies, Natural Mommy, Sewing Projects, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Idahoan Shepherds Pie

sheppieYou know what aggravates me to no end? Finding a recipe that boasts to be one of the most amazing things that you will ever put in your mouth? Then it tastes hoe-hum? Ya know? This recipe will either do it for you or it wont. Personally, I like it enough to eat it… my husband? LOVES IT!! I don’t know why because usually recipes that are this easy will get a complimentary nod from him. He literally gets crazy excited when I make this though. One of my favorite things about this recipe is that other than the flour and dairy, I can grow it in my garden (or in most cases steal it from my grandmas) and the meat comes from my husbands Fall hunting haul.

Idahoan Shepherds Pie

1 pound Elk Burger (any kind of ground meat will work here)bulion

1 onion

1 jar of canned green beans (store bought canned works great)

2 cups frozen corn (1 can works great too)

homemade cream of chicken, mushroom or beef soup (1 can of store bought is fine) –2tbs butter, 2tbs flour sauteed with 2 cups milk and 2-3 tsp bullion.

4 or 5 potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed. Honestly, here your on your own. I hate following recipe directions pertaining to potatoes. There’s never enough or there’s too much… living in Idaho means your potatoes are huge so usually the latter happens.

shepperpieBrown the burger with the onion. If you use beef you will have to drain it after its cooked. Toss your cooked meat and onion into a 9X13″ pan. From here you can go two ways. Layer your veggies OR mix it all up. Me? I mix it all up, its gonna taste the same anyway and when I get too formal with stuff it stops being an easy meal to cook and more of a chore. From there I stir in the cream of whatever in… or have your butler layer it on if you so choose.  Finally, load those taters on the top. Do not mix this in or your casserole will not be a casserole and more like a cow pie in appearance and texture. Gently spread the mashed potatoes over the contents of the pan. Bake at 350 for half and hour to 45 minutes. BOOM… dinner. We eat this in bowls since it contains all of your essential food groups to have it be considered a nutritious meal.

Ready to hit the oven1

Ready to hit the oven

Chrissy*

Posted in Being Self Sufficient, Home Recipes, Idaho Grown, Real Food, Sisters Grown or Hunted, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Confessions of an Emotional Eater

Emotional EaterI’m opening up and being very vulnerable about something a bit embarrassing for me this week. I have a problem and my hope/prayer is that if I write about it, it won’t be so hard to control. We have to admit we have a problem and be willing to change before it can be resolved…Right? I only ask that you please don’t judge me…This is pretty hard for me to talk about.

Here goes…

Hi. My name is Ginny and I have an emotional eating problem. Whenever anything is upsetting for me, hard to handle, or even when I’m just plain bored, I stuff my face like a bear storing up for winter. Obviously this makes it hard for me to achieve my weight loss goals or keep wight off once I’ve lost it.

I ‘m constantly bouncing back and forth from an “ok” weight for my short frame to a weight that makes me feel super self conscious. During the later, I don’t want to be dressed in anything but sweat pants. I’m just uncomfortable and feel gross; partially because of how I see myself, but also because of all the garbage I’m shoveling into my body. Then…to top it all off during this self conscious time, I also start getting worried and stressed about my weight. Guess what this leads to….More eating!! It’s a viscous cycle. :(

Having just celebrated my 32nd birthday, my metabolism isn’t what it used to be. So…it’s becoming much easier to put on weight and much harder to take it off once it’s on there. The problem is that I’ve been eating to mask my emotions ever since I can remember. I’ve gone through phases of eating tons and then cutting back and getting control, only to fall back into my hole and eat tons again. Prrrobably not the best thing for my body!!

From large portion sizes to closet eating , this has got to stop!

As I’m becoming more and more aware of my emotional triggers, I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, but I still catch myself burying my emotions in a bag of Doritoes sometimes. Being honest with myself about how I’m feeling is the best way to stop what I’m doing; which requires me to put down the chip bag and stop to think about what the underlying issue is so that I can deal with it. Kind of hard to do sometimes; especially if I don’t want to deal with it in the first place.

One other thing that was helpful and put a hurtin on my emotional eating was when my husband and I decided to start eating healthier a couple of years ago. We do our best not to buy any “junk food” when grocery shopping. We always have fresh fruits and veggies around the house to snack on. We try our best to buy organic so that we’re not putting unwanted toxins into our bodies. The chips we buy are plain, old, boring, dip in salsa corn chips. Still not a great choice…but better then Doritoes. We only have candy in the house after holidays such as Halloween, Christmas, or Easter. And only then because other people have given it to us.

I’m very proud of the choices we’ve made in what we will/should eat. However, I’m still struggling with self control  when I’m out and about. Junk is WAY to easy for me to get my hands on. I’m more prone to grab junk food when I’m alone. I’ve been known to hide/stash bags of chips or gummy worms in the car at times….I’m getting better, but I slip up from time-to-time. It’s pretty embarrassing when your husband finds your bag of “car chips” under the seat by accident. :-/

One of my biggest fears is that I will pass this emotional eating problem on to one or both of my children. I know I’m not setting a very good example for them right now…even if I think I’m pretty good at hiding it. I pray that I can get it under control soon.

Thank you so much for reading my confessions. If you have any tips or tricks that have worked for you, please share. I’m open to any and all suggestions. Or even if you have a confession of your own about emotional eating, you’re welcome to get it off your chest in our comments section. :)

Any prayers or thoughts you can send my way would be greatly appreciated.

God bless!

esign

Posted in Earthy Beauty, Health and Wellness, Natural Body, Stuff we do, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bee feed booster

beefeeIts official. I lost our bees this winter. I think a late summer and one highly aggressive cold snap was what got them. Since the weather was unseasonably warm I had workers out until late October gathering plenty of pollen but no nectar to feed them selves to speak of. So while my queen was slowing down her laying, the active workers worked themselves to death, leaving a hive (that was huge in the summer) too small to make it through the winter. With the cluster too small to keep them warm they froze before moving into their top super full of the honey they had squirelled away…SUPER bummed. Most of the reason I am bummed is because I probably could have avoided the loss of this hive by feeding through the warm days as apposed to assuming that there was plenty of honey for the bees to make it to spring.

My Bad :( I’m a bee killer now.

One thing about beekeeping people should know is that you will continue to learn even when you have been at it for some time. I am going in to my third year and I think its nice that I am making catastrophic mistakes early like this. I lost one hive instead of ten. So by the time I have worked my way up to a large amount of hives I will hopefully have this all worked out. Hopefully…

Check out our other beekeeping posts here, please. There is too much to say if your wanting a backstory here.

As many of you know, we are natural beekeepers. We don’t treat our bees with chemicals. EVER. Its pretty early in the beekeeping game for us to claim that we are a good resource to go to but we do know what has worked for us in the past. Up to this point, if our bees have perished it could be chalked up to the fault of the beekeeper (a blundering doofus. aka ME) and not any type of feed or treatment that we administer. Keep in mind that natural beekeeping is very controversial so please do your research before you begin keeping bees.

Anyway, since we live in high elevations ours springs start really late here. We always have to feed sugar syrup for spring build up. We make our own feeding stimulant that works like a charm and we can refill our feeders as much as every 2 days. Which just means that our bees are built up with plenty of time to bank every ounce of pure honey from the honey flow. Striking it rich in gold… golden honey that is:

Here’s the recipe

15 drops Lemongrass essential oil
15 drops Spearmint essential oil
1/8 teaspoon letchetin (powder or liquid)
6 cups sugar
6 cups water
Have a good sized bucket to keep it all in. I keep ours in an old honey bucket (VERY WELL CLEANED if it wasn’t honey from your bees) and its perfect.

Start off by making your simple syrup. Combine water and sugar over low heat. When all of your sugar has dissolved set the pot on the counter to cool. Adding the essential oils while its hot will denature them and get rid of all the good stuff. I wait until its warm enough to keep my finger in it. Add your lechetin powder and your essential oils. Whisk it up until its all blended and all your chunks of lechetin powder are dissolved.

You should know that if you make this during the summer and if your windows are open you will quickly have a house full of bees. Which if your like me and you diligently catch them to be released back to the apiary, you will be at it for a while. SO…keep your windows closed.

Put the lid on your bucket and stash it away, to be ready for your spring build up.

I add a tablespoon to every quart of sugar syrup.

I also like to intersperse this feeding stimulant with a melaluca oil mix. Which is; standard 1:1 sugar syrup and 6 drops of Melaluca essential oils. Bees also love this syrup. Many natural beekeepers who use essential oils claim that by using the oils they can maintain healthier bees and also low mite populations. As a third year beekeeper I will not claim this however…I don’t need old beekeeping salts to laugh at me.

You should know that this is not a recipe that I made up myself. It is one that I found and tinkered with from the internet. It was claimed to be “homemade Honey Bee Healthy”. So if you were looking for a something like that, this could be it. However, I didn’t title this post thus because I would not like to be sued by the company. I do not suggest replacing actual Honey Bee Healthy with this mix. Always make an informed decision that works with your ideals and standards.

Chrissysignature

Posted in Bees, Being Self Sufficient, Essential Oil, Growing Dinner, Herb and EO Journal | Leave a comment

Gluten Free Chicken Stips

GF Chicken Strips 2*Not gluten free? Check out the recipe at the bottom that I used to use…the kids loved it.

I’ve been doing my best to be gluten free for about 8 or 9 months now. I’ve done a TON of experimenting and had a great deal of failures with a couple of sporadic successes. Thus the reason why this is the first gluten free recipe I’ve shared so far.

I’m actually really excited about this because it took a long time to get these chicken strips to a point where everyone in the family would enjoy them.

The great thing is that these can either be fried or baked…whatever your preference is. We usually bake ours, but we tried them fried the other night and they were super yummy that way too…What am I talking about? They were even better that way…everything is better when it’s fried. ;)

The recipe is big enough to freeze about half of it, depending on your family size. I usually take the extra time to make a big batch, so we’ll have an easy to grab lunch for the next few days. I have even made a double batch over a weekend to have a little stock pile of chicken strips in the freezer for when I know we’re going to have a busy week ahead of us.

To save myself some time and a few dishes, I like to mix each “concoction” in a gallon ziploc bag. This way I can throw everything in the bag and shake it around a little…instead of doing small batches of dipping; which can take forever.GF chicken strips

Gluten Free Chicken Strips

5-6 chicken breasts (cut into strips)
5-6 eggs (one per breast)
¼ cup water
2 cups almond flour
2 cups masa (corn) flour
1 cup gluten free flour blend
½ Tbs. garlic powder
1 tsp. seasoning salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
2 Tbs. dried parsley flakes
2 Tbs. chicken bouillon powder

1. Mix the eggs and water and scramble well.

2. Combine the flours, garlic powder, salt, pepper, parsley, and bouillon powder in a bag and combine.

3. Thrown the strips of raw chicken in the eggs. Coat well. Transfer to the flour bag (this can be pretty messy…oh well~if you’re not making a mess, it won’t taste as good right!?!). Shake and coat well. Place the coated strips on a cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper (or just a greased cookie sheet).

4. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes on each side. Or fry them up in your frier.

Gluten Full Version (with a few variations) :)

5-6 chicken breasts (cut into strips)
5-6 eggs (one per breast)
¼ cup water
1 ½ cups flour
½ Tbs. garlic powder
1 tsp. seasoning salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
3 cups bread crumbs (click here for our DIY bread crumb tutorial)
2 Tbs. dried parsley flakes
2 Tbs. chicken bouillon powder

1. Mix the eggs and water and scramble well.

2. Combine the flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

3. In a separate bag, mix the bread crumbs, parsley flakes, and bouillon together.

4. Thrown the strips of raw chicken in the flour mixture, then the eggs, and lastly the bread crumbs. I like to pat the bread crumbs into the meat to make them stick better. Place the breaded strips on a cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper (or just a greased  cookie sheet).

5. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes on each side. Or fry them up in your frier.

Bonus Recipe: Best Fry Sauce in the WHOLE World
(I apologize for the vague measurements…I never measure, but it always turns out AmAzInG)

1 huge scoop of mayonnaise
Equally large amount of ketchup
About 2 tsp of mustard
Couple of shakes of Worcestershire
A dash of pickle juice

Stir to combine. :)

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these recipes. Or if you have a GF recipe you’d like to share, please comment below or send us an email.
esign

Posted in Home Recipes, Kids Food, Real Food, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A jounrney with K9 hypothyroidism

thyroid1We adopted our Dollie as a sweet little pup. She grew up fast and was soon off enjoying the world. As a young dog she was very active and began making jogging trips with me as soon as she was finished growing (please visit this post for tips on jogging with your dog). She was a very physically fit and athletic dog that was always on the move.

About the time that Doll turned 3 she started to become a little less energetic. At the time we thought she was just growing out of her puppy stage. Less energetic turned into lethargic and she started to sleep all the time.

She would still become excited when we started to prepare for a jog. She started to lag on the last mile into town. This turned into us having to stop and rest halfway out and soon I was calling my husband to come and get her because she couldn’t make it home at all.

babydollieShe was overweight almost over night. Our vet told us to put her on some healthy weight formula, though after two months she was still gaining. I stopped taking her on runs. She was miserable. You could tell just by looking at her that life really wasn’t worth living. She started loosing fur on her tail, nose, and elbows.

After four or five months of trying to loose weight and being miserable, Dollie took a turn for the worst. One afternoon she started to puke and projectile diarrhea blood everywhere. We rushed her to the vet and he prescribed her some antibiotics and some meds to level out her cholesterol. When got her home we had to keep her in the house 24/7 because she would try to run away from home. Our loving lab, who had been no further than the door step for 6 months, was gone. We found her laying in a drainage ditch, in the freezing cold, trying to die. We thought we were going to loose her for 2 days after it began, and even considered putting her down. She finally pulled through.

dollbeardShe was good for 2 weeks after completing her round of medication and had another relapse of her symptoms, though thankfully less severe than the first time. Upon taking her back to the vet, he decided to take a blood to check for hypothyroidism. When the tests came back her thyroid levels where so low that they couldn’t be detected.

She has been on thyroid medicine ever since. Two weeks after taking her pills she started to play again. The tired “sick of life” look was gone from her eyes. A month into treatment she was running with me again and after two trips could keep pace. Her weight started to drop.

doll2

This was the day we found out she had hypothyroidism. Notice how dull her coat is.

She is still overweight by lab standards. Despite her strict diet and a good amount of exercise. We still have some work to do and more discoveries to make. We have our dog back though and that means the world to me. I wished that I had caught this before it got so bad. In writing this I hope to reach out to others who have seen such a dramatic swing in their dogs behavior to really consider thyroid problems. I read a lot about it and asked the vet but both of us thought that Dollie was too young for this disease being only 3 when she started showing symptoms.

If I could say anything…don’t give up on your dog. Even if they seem to be on deaths door step. It could be something as easy as leveling out the thyroid levels.
Chrissysignature

Now...pretty much the Ronda Rousey of the dog world.

Now…pretty much the Ronda Rousey of the dog world.

Disgruntled that there are no posts about her.

Disgruntled that there are no posts about her.

Posted in Furry Family, Stuff we do, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Coping With Exhaustion

exhaustionI don’t know about how things go in your house, but some weeks in my house it seems like I never get to sleep. I haven’t seen a full, uninterrupted night’s sleep in over five years. I know what you’re thinking, “HOW IN THE WORLD DOES THAT HAPPEN??” Well I’ll tell you…It all began when I was pregnant with my first baby. Now as you mommies well know, sleeping whilst pregnant is not an easy feat (especially in the later months). Post partum, part of my exhaustion was contributed to my decision to do attachment parenting; which I LOVE, but it’s hard to stay rested when your children are so close to you all the time (especially if they wiggle a lot in their sleep).

If you’re pregnant, the best advice I have for you on how to handle the pre-delivery days, is to sleep when and where you can. You have a hard battle ahead of you, so in order to be ready for the big “D-Day” you’ll need to sleep and rest up as much as you can. Take naps if you can…If not, go to bed early and try to get as much rest as possible. Some nights I slept on the couch with my back propped up by pillows (I had AWEFUL heartburn). One thing that also really helped was to sleep on my side with one of those big body pillows between my knees.

Try to relax! A nice warm bath is a great way to calm your nerves and ease achy bones and muscles from all of the extra weight you’re carrying. I took baths everyone during my third trimester with both of my kids. Maybe put a few drops of lavender or chamomile essential oil in with you to help the process. My baths were nightly before bed, it really helped a lot! I would take a nice warm cup of chamomile herbal tea with me and sip it while in the tub to help with the relaxation as well. It’s important to take some nice deep breaths while you lie in the water. It not only brings more oxygen to your brain and helps calm your mind; it’s great for the baby too.

After I had our beautiful son, we soon discovered that sleeping was not his strong suit. Some nights it seemed as if he would fall asleep just to wake up again five minutes after I got him back to sleep. This was all fine and good and I was able to cope OK, until I went back to work. I lost my afternoon nap and was having to get up earlier to make it to work on time. Now he’s almost five and still wakes up, on a occasion, once a night. One choice my husband and I made as new parents was that we couldn’t handle letting him “cry-it-out”…we just couldn’t. So I always got up with him and we did a lot of co-sleeping.

Now we have two wee ones and are coping with our youngest not wanting to sleep through the night. Luckily our oldest does his best to stay in his bed most of the time. We even went through a faze when both of them were in bed with us making a mommy sandwich. My poor husband got feet in his face and chest all night. Luckily he is understanding and patient with the kids. They tend to do better over the summer months when I’m home with them every day and we can have a solid routine. I know in my heart that as they get older they will develop independence and good sleeping habits. I’m doing my best to guide them and teach them good sleeping habits.

If you are like me, and can’t handle the process of “sleep training” your baby, but need ways to cope with your exhaustion here is a short list of some of the things that I do to keep my head above the water:

Go to bed after the kids go down for the night. Even if you just go to read a book, go to bed. If I sit down and watch TV, I’ll be up much later than I should and make my exhaustion worse.

Take naps when you can. In the car (while hubby’s driving of course), on the weekends, whenever you have a few minutes to just close your eyes and let your brain turn off for a minute or two.

Eat healthy. Nothing makes exhaustion worse than a poor diet. Processed foods can create many digestive problems (heart burn, indigestion, diarrhea, etc.). Sometimes it’s hard to avoid these foods, but try not to eat them too much.

Take a break from time-to-time. Have someone watch the kids so you can take a walk, a nap, or even just a few moments at home to yourself.

If you can afford it, go get a massage. If you are able to enjoy the luxurious kind at a spa, sweet talk your hubby into giving you one. You deserve it!

Exercise…”you’re only one work out away from a good mood!” It can be even harder to be motivated to exercise when you’re exhausted, but you’d be surprised at how it will make you feel. Even if it’s just a walk around the neighborhood, get up and get moving.

I know it can be hard to admit when you’ve had too much or that you can’t take any more. Before you hit your breaking point, stop, step back, and get someone to help you. Even a couple minutes of quiet time can mean the world on a day when exhaustion is at its peak. I know I feel better when I get a chance to recharge my batteries. You will too! Life is too short to be serious and responsible ALL the time. Sometimes you just have to let a few things go, so that you can make it through your day.

Now get off the computer and go take a nap!! ;)

esign

Posted in Attachment Parenting, Natural Mommy, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Chrissy’s EO Journal #15

eo15A lot of people have been making the switch to essential oils. Also, a lot of people have been trying essential oils and giving up on them. I have been there too and I would like to touch down on that a little.

I have been using essential oils for about three years now…give or take. Originally, we started with a great company in Oregon. Everything about this company works for us and we love it. We use their products in everything from beauty to bees. However, we weren’t really getting the results we were expecting out of their oils. I took a year long sabbatical, while Ginny decided to give doTERRA a try. She immediately had amazing results. See her amazing success story here. I was still on the fence about doTERRA because the price of the oils seemed astronomical to me. I had already tried essential oils and my past results weren’t worth the price tag. HOWEVER,  if you read our blog much you know that I eventually decided to give doTERRA a chance and haven’t looked back. See my journal here… and Ginny’s here.

If there was any advice I would give to somebody who was trying oils out for the first time it would be this… commitment. Using essential oils takes commitment for your health. A lot of people get frustrated because there is a possibility that you may be applying oils every hour or two. You have to let go of what you think you know about wellness. Oils are not medicine. Oils are not meant to replace modern medicine. For instance, if your child has an alarming fever, please seek medical attention. If your new to oils especially. If your child has a low grade fever, that would be the opportune time to try applications of peppermint  see if your childs body is responsive to that particular type of holistic treatment. Don’t run the chance that they aren’t. Bodies are different.

Please do your research. The internet will be your friend. Pinterest is my go to and constant companion. Before you use an oil you think may be helpful, look it up. I can tell you this… don’t use oregano on your skin. I mistakenly used oregano instead of frankincense for a sinus infection. I didn’t pay attention to what bottle I was grabbing. I was sorry. Ginny and I are always available and love to answer questions. Catch us here on the site, via email, or any of our other social media platforms (those cute little buttons up in the right hand corner…EASY!) Utilize us. Find a circle of people who you can connect with. Have your wellness advocate on speed dial. If they introduced you to oils they should be talking you through how to use them too.

If you try an oil for something and it doesn’t work, don’t give up. Serenity is an amazing oil and it smells like heaven. If I use it to try to sleep I’m awake all night. That’s not a joke. I use Roman Chamomile and Lavender all the time for sleep, the combination of the two (plus all the other stuff in Serenity) just doesn’t jive with me…for sleeping purposes. Everybody is different. Oils are versatile and can be used in many different ways. I used Digestzen for the same “oregano disaster” sinus infection and it worked the best…for me. Biologically,  we are all different so its important to keep an open mind when your trying to get well. Still…do your research. Don’t put anything in your eyes, your ears, or nasal cavity.

If you already know your going to make the switch to doTERRA essential oils… sign up for the wholesale account. Its worth it. If you don’t want to pay the doTERRA prices and try the other oil brands, that’s great. I hope you have success. Its possible, people are doing it all over the world. However, if you don’t have the success your wanting it could be attributed to the quality of the oils your using. Don’t give up on essential oils until you have tried the best of the best. I WILL NOT suggest you ingest any oils that aren’t doTERRA. Don’t do it.

Oils are not amoxicillin. Your not going to be instantly cured. Your body is going to use the oils and work hard to make itself healthy. Amoxicillin will do as much damage as it does clearing up whatever has its hold on you. Think about good bacteria… it will be gone.

That being said, sometimes the oils aren’t going to be able to combat what ails you. I had to take Motrin one night during my sinus infection. The infection was so bad that I had a heinous tooth ach spanning the entirety of my upper teeth, and no amount of clove oil, frankincense, Onguard…my hole stash… was going to help me get sleep that night. I needed to sleep.  If your sick for longer than you would like…get help. If you have to take amoxicillin be sure you take probiotics. doTERRA makes some great ones in the PB assist.

Don’t be overwhelmed, intimidated, or scared of using oils. If your one of the first in your circle to give oils a try, people are going to look at you like your crazy. Your going to be criticized and openly scorned by people who believe that they know better than you. Some of these people will claim to be educated. Remember that the term “educated” doesn’t pertain only to the social norm of modern medicine. People who treat others this way are very uneducated in the acceptable ways of society and use their personal “education” to cover their stupidity. VERY rarely you will find someone who opposes essential oils who has actually done their research. I have had yet to meet one, yet I am faced with opposition all the time.  Racists, bigots, homophobes, anti-anti vaxers…and people adamantly opposed to essential oils have a whole lot in common. Intolerance for how other people CHOOSE to live. People have been dealing with this from the dawn of time…and so will you whether you choose essential oils or not. Believe it or not, this even happens WITHIN the realm of essential oils! There is no way to escape adversity, but how you deal with it will depict its impact on your way of life. Don’t let it sway you from making your own choices.

Everybody has an oil beginning too. You are taking your health into your own hands and that is a big step that you should really consider with the upmost seriousness. You are teaching your self how to heal your own body and that of your family, instead of relying on your physician (who has seen many years of schooling to do their job). You are just as capable as they are I promise. As long as you educate yourself or have an open dialog with people who are constantly researching, you have the ability to take all aspects of your life into your own hands.

Not something to take lightly so do a good job. If you’re here you’re already taking a step in the right direction ;)

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Journey to Overcome Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative Colitis

Fourteen years ago I was the sickest I have ever been and possible every will be again (I hope!). It was the Fall of my senior year in high school. I was experiencing excruciating pains in my abdomen. This went on for a couple of weeks…ibuProfen was the only thing that could help ease the discomfort I was feeling. Then, I started seeing blood in my stool (TMI…I know, but bare with me).

Of course, it was time that I go see a doctor. At first they had no clue what was going on with me. They ran some blood tests and discovered that I had trace amounts of giardia in my stool.  Giardia is a parasite that lives in the intestines. The symptoms include: diarrhea, nausea, cramping, and bloating. Since I had worked for the Forest Service on a trail crew the previous summer, there was no question where I got the parasite from…musta had a bad water filter. Still this didn’t really explain why there was blood in my stool. So, I was sent to a gastroenterologist.

More tests were ran…barium x-rays, blood tests, and a colonoscopy. The worst of it all was the colonoscopy. This is not something a 17 year old should be subjected too…it was one of the worst experiences of my life. I woke up in the middle of the procedure (worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life) and then I puked for a whole day after the anesthesia wore off. I was also very groggy and slept on an off for at least 24 hours afterwards. BUT…the good news was that they knew exactly what was wrong with me before the colonoscopy was even over. My colon was riddle with ulcers and a cluster of them were irritated enough to be bleeding. I was diagnosed with ulcertive colitis…and the journey begins!

It was quite a shock to discover that this would be a chronic disease that I would have to battle and take medication for my entire life, but after 6 months of not knowing what was going on, I was ready to get things fixed up. I was put on several medications to get the bleeding under control, prednizone, sulfasalazine, and a couple of others that I can’t remember. The prednizone (a steroid) was to help stop the bleeding…it worked after a month or so, but it made me feel awful. I would puke randomly and I felt very weak all the time. The sulfasalazine was a sulfur medication that was supposed to keep my ulcerative colitis in remission once it got there. I would be taking this medication for the rest of my life.

I was so relieved when the doctor told me that I didn’t have to take the prednizone for very long. I was learning to live with taking pills twice a day and was thinking it wouldn’t be too bad to manage my disease…even if it meant yellow fingernails and very dark pee. :(

Sadly I discovered later on that the pain was also something I would have to continue to deal with. It would come on after a high stress incident, at random times that made no sense at all.

I lived this way for about 6 years…always keeping a bottle of ibuProfen in my purse, just in case. When the pain would hit me…I would pop 2-3 pain pills and stretch out on the floor with my arms above my head. Didn’t matter where I was, I even stretched out on the grass on the BSU campus a couple of times. I would lay there until the pain subsided or lessened enough for me to walk. Sounds like fun huh?!?

While I was going to college, I was blessed to find a part-time nanny job with an amazing family. They had four kids between the ages of 9 months and 6 years. The daddy was a chiropractor and the mommy was a writer, so she was always available if I had any questions. Great people!! I miss them and think of them often. When they offered me free chiropractic care as perk of the job, I was thrilled. :)

After discussing my medical history with the doctor himself, I discovered that he was also a dietitian. He asked if I knew of any food that I might be allergic to and suggested a cleanse that would help me to figure this out…cause I had no idea!! I went on a 6 week cleansing diet and then slowly began to reintroduce trigger foods that may be causing the problem. It was hard, but I was very determined and stuck with it. One great thing was that after the first two weeks, I felt AMAZING…better than I had in years.

The reintroduction of food was very exciting…I had forgotten what flavor was. ;) I kept a small journal and made an entry every time I ate something new and what my reaction was.

To my dismay, my joy was short lived. Within 2 hours of drinking a small glass of milk I was double over in pain. This was a heartbreaking revelation for me because if there was one type of food I loved and couldn’t live without it was dairy products. :( Throughout my adolescence and even through most of college I would drink a gallon of milk by myself within 2-3 days and could eat cheese all day long if I let myself.

BUT…alas, it was very clear that I needed to cut this life’s blood from my diet. Within 6 months I was able to wean myself off of the sulur medication and manage my ulcerative colitis with diet alone. I was naughty and continued to eat cheese, but cut back quite a bit on my intake (even though I still had to suffer the consequences from time to time…You don’t realize how many yummy foods have cheese in them until you have to try to cut it out of your diet).

I went in for a routine/wellness colonoscopy right after my son was born (almost 5 years ago) and everything looked really good. There were still ulcers, but they looked really good. I was still getting pains from time to time (most likely from the cheese…which was a comfort food in times of stress…not smart I know!!). I was also constantly bloated, but was living with it.

Last year in November, I had a flare up again. The bleeding was minimal, but I still needed to go in for a colonoscopy so the doctor could see where the ulcers were and which ones were bleeding. They put me back on medication and I went on another cleanse. Much had changed in the medications that were being used for the disease and so it wasn’t that bad of an experience. While I was trying to get the bleeding under control, I was introduced to a wonderful woman who sent me some essential oils to help with my discomfort. You can read more about this experience by reading Ginny’s doTERRA Story.

After I started using the doTERRA blend DigestZen for 2 weeks, I wasn’t bloated any more and felt GREAT!! The bleeding stopped within a month and I was able to wean myself off of the medication in 4 months. Of course my doctor was shocked  and said that he wouldn’t need to see me for a year.

In the past year, I have completely cut out dairy. I’m very intune with how my body reacts to foods. I’ve discovered that gluten is one of my triggers as well. I also can’t eat anything with processed/white sugars in it.

I’m learning to live with cutting all of these things out of my diet because it means that I NEVER feel ulcer pains anymore (even during stressful times), I don’t have zits on my face from the sugars, and I’m hardly ever bloated. Of course I’m not perfect and I slip up from time to time, like forgetting to tell the waitress to leave the cheese off my sandwich or being too exhausted to make dinner so we order out fast food…which is very hard to avoid gluten with.

It’s been a loooonnnnngggg journey to get where I am with my health today. It took a lot of will power and determination. I’m actually pretty proud of myself for sticking with it. I love that I can treat my disease naturally and not have to be on synthetic medication for it.

If you think you’d like to try treating your ulcerative colitis or other chronic disease naturally, you’re welcome to contact me through email and we can chat…but PLEASE consult with your doctor before trying to go off of a medication or changing your treatment at all. I am not a doctor and what I did may not work for you.

God Bless!
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The House Elves 2014 Season

sadlooser2I have been putting this post aside due to the extremely depressing fact that I have to admit defeat… not even a little bit of defeat. ALOT of it.

So if you read my first post about my fantasy football team, you will know that I am kind of a fantasy nut. Actually, I’ll have to admit that I am an extremist in just about everything…which can be uuber exhausting.  That first post is wildly unpopular and I have a hard time thinking that my fantasy aspirations are of interest to anyone, but I am prompted by the writing spirit to do a follow up.

Just gonna spit this out. I ended up ranked 9th…out of 10. With me hanging onto 9th by my severely bitten fingernails. All hinging on whether Peyton Manning had a good game or not. Incase you live under a rock and didn’t know, Manning having a bad game is pretty rare. Lucky for me, he finished that game against Cincinnati with just under 12.5 fantasy points.  After the 2013 season, I was ranked 3rd after the championship game. To go from 3rd to 9th is pretty heart wrenching…not going to lie. To top it all off – Alex won the championship. Nothings better than a smug husband gloating in your face.

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Raiders and House Elves = Chrissy’s football dreams dashed.

Anybody who doesn’t care about football can stop here. I’m about to get into the nitty gritty of what happened to my team and its going to be boring for those of you who could care less about fantasy football.

To start. Here’s my roster on draft day:

QB: Tom Brady
RB 1: Marshawn Lynch
RB 2: Demarco Murray
WR: Percy Harvin
WR: Anquan Boldin
Flex: Shane Vereen
TE: Vernon Davis
Kicker: Sebastian Janikowski
DEF: Rams (Nothing to brag on I’m usually streaming my defense until I pick one up I wanna keep)

Bench:

RB: Trent Richardson
RB: Chris Ivory
RB: Bernard Pierce
WR: Michael Floyd
WR: Wes Welker
QB: Russell Wilson

imageAfter drafting I’m always like “yeah…my team is going to kick some major @$$ this year”…  never happens. I spend 5 or more weeks at the first of the season enjoying my plummet to the rock bottom. Last year I worked my way back up. Unfortunately, this year not so much.

The good..

My first round pick was Marshawn.  I was 8th in the queue for draft day and I still scored him. I have a lot of opinions about Lynch (which I wont get into) but I could always count on him to put in at least a touch down. He’s a work horse.

imageSecond round…Demarco Murray. Offensive player of the year. Always putting up amazing numbers. He was the jewel of my team. I’ll cry when I don’t pick him up next year. I’m just going to pretend that none of those first quarter fumbles happened…there were plenty of those. I really hope that he flourishes in Philly.

Obviously, my QBs are awesome. Both in the Super bowl, both ranked in the top 6 for the season. One an MVP. You have to have a certain knack to bench the one that’s going to have a 30 point (fantasy) game while the one you decided to put up has an 11 point game. This happened to me 3 times. I’m tempted to call it bad luck because god knows I’m not going to blame it on poor coaching. OK… it might of been poor coaching. I swear that every decision that I made always looked good on paper and I was always well informed. I do my research.

This made me laugh way too much to not put it in here

This made me laugh way too much to not put it in here

Tom Brady can be a turd that you shouldn’t put a lot of faith in…but you should never write him off. He’s not as solid in consistency as Peyton Manning, but he’s every bit as good when he feels like he needs to be. If I have learned anything about my time with Brady its this…he’s saving himself for post season. Don’t expect him to wow everybody in week 2. The day of drafting Brady in the first round is over. He’s not Manning and he’s not Rodgers… but he’s pretty close. Consider picking him up later in the draft a score. I got him in the 5th round. If your waiting for me to address deflate gate…don’t hold your breath. I think the whole thing is stupid. The Pats would have gotten there regardless. People just need a reason to be crabby.

Russell Wilson is an enigma. Small for a QB and always underestimated, this guy is somebody everybody should want on their roster. This is my second year with him and I’ll also be shooting for him next season on draft day. Pretty sure I picked him up way late…like 12th round or even later.

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I ended up with both the Patriots and Niners defenses. I couldn’t let either go. They both ended the season fairly well.

The bad

Most of the running backs on my bench were busts, with the exception of Chris Ivory. However the Jets were circulating enough backs then that he was never going to be fantasy gold. Since the Jets sacked Rex Ryan this may change. Busting out on the RBs isn’t too much of travesty when you have Lynch and Murray in your line up. Bye weeks are a slight problem but when your hurting in the receiver dept and have to fill your flex position with a running back, it is a huge problem. All I had was Shane Vereen who was absolutely an amazing asset to the Patriots offense. For a back he logs a lot of his points in passing yards which is great. When it comes to rushing yards he was sharing his touches with LeGarrette Blount. (wanna see something crazy?) I don’t like him, but that dude can run a ball. I’ll probably never pick up a Pats back again, but if I do it will grudgingly be Blount. As for Vereen, I’ll be interested to see how he does for the Giants.

imageI always try to work some Raider love into my team and that comes in the form of a  kicker, SeaBass. He’s pretty bad ass for a kicker and I would have him on my side in any bar brawl for sure. As for kicking field goals and extra points…the Raiders offense is going to have to get him a little closer to the uprights. We all know THATS not happening :'(. I ended the season with the Colts kicker.

The Ugly

Every bad receiver…yeah they were all mine.

#1 STOOPID  mistake = Wes Welker. About a week after the draft I had the pleasure to see that he had sustained his 3rd concussion for the year already. Oh yeah…close on the heals of that… drug charges. Even when he was cleared to play he rarely saw a pass coming his way. Wes Welker is an amazing receiver…5 years ago. He’s older, and he’s prone to concussions so my guess is he’s got one foot out the retirement door. That’s the guess of simple house wife so take it with a grain of salt.

For the entire 2013 season, I held on to Percy Harvin. That bum hip was going to heal and I was going to cash in with him. Other than one amazing kick return, that never happened. I really thought I was going to see it in 2014. So I stubbornly picked him up, earlier in the draft than I should have. After trading Golden Tate to Detroit I thought that Seattle would be hurting in the receiver department and that Harvin would be the ticket to their passing game. WRONG. He did nothing for Seattle and was traded to the Jets. Geno Smith is not Russell Wilson so I benched Harvin… I should have dumped him just like the Jets did (did I mention that I am stubborn?).

I actually picked up Larry Fitzgerald at some point. I’m starting to think that has been receivers are my “thing” … probably my downfall.

Kaep doing what he does best

Kaep doing what he does best

DAMN NINERS. Big bust. Michael Crabtree? CHA…no thanks. Vernon Davis…biggest tight end disappointment for the year. Oh…wait I also had Anquan Boldin. Who in all fairness did pretty good this year. When you stack your team with players who actually play on the same team your begging for trouble no matter what. The Niners offense was terrible. Maybe a new coach will help. Oh…did I happen to mention that I throw up in my mouth every time I see Kaepernick? If it was possible to hate somebody you don’t know I would hate him…I don’t know him so I won’t use such a strong word. (This all dates back to when Kaepernick had a large hand in the Nevada win against BSU… don’t forget I’m a Bronco for life). I blame Kapepernick for all of the Niners problems. He belongs in front of a camera…preferably in his underwear. Can you tell that I tried to handcuff with Niners receivers quite a few times only to watch this bag of doo run the ball constantly?!

winkyThat’s pretty much the gist on the downfall of the 2014 House Elves.  I’m already looking forward to what next season will bring. Hopefully better than 9th place. I may revise my draft procedure and try for a better, more reliable receiver. I dunno…Megatron wasn’t so mega. The beauty of fantasy is you never know…never. Not even when your rocking the best RBs AND a couple of the best QB’s in the league.

Now…obviously a Raiders fan and somebody who barely scraped not being dead last in their fantasy league is no “official” on the game of fantasy or even football for that matter. So everything that I have said here is my opinion. So all you Niner/Kaepernick fans (and anybody else I have offended) can stand down. To each his own… live and let live and all that Kae-rap.
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Oh! ps! Any ladies who thought about setting up their roster according to hotness, I do one in my mind every year. Here ya go!

QB: Tom Brady with Mark Sanchez as my backup
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RB1: Demarco Murray     RB2: Arian Foster
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WR1: Eric Decker      WR2: Danny Amendola
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TE: Rob Gronkowski (take him leave the rest if I had too)
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Kicker: Mike Nugent
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DEF: JJ Watt. Many would get greedy and take this opportunity to add on ten more defensive guys… I, on the other hand, have full confidence that JJ could get the job done all buy himself. He is an animal…
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