Using doTERRA essential oils – A beginers guide


I have been using essential oils for a while now.  Mostly some eucalyptus for sickness and lavender for bumps and scrapes and the ever important tea tree oil for lice prevention.

I just signed on with doTERRA, and there is SO MUCH MORE you can do with oils!  There’s oils of all kinds, and their uses are endless!!!  Check out this quick 2 minute video on what essential oils are.

For readers of my blog, I am offering an awesome special.  If you’d like to try out some essential oils, leave a comment to get a special introductory kit (complete with a usage book and CD) for only $20 (plus shipping).   Paypal and Chase quick pay accepted!

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How would you use these oils?  Well, let me give you 101 ways to use them!!

LEMON

Home Use

1. A Cure for Laundry Neglect. Lemon essential oil takes out ALL odor when you forget and leave your load of laundry in the washer way too long!

2. Tame Oozy, Sappy Trees. Whether the sap is on your carpet, clothes or seeped into your skin, lemon oil is excellent for removing pine gum and tree sap.

3. Stop Grease in its Tracks. You just fixed your bike. Your hands are black and greasy. Soap alone won’t remove the grease, but lemon oil mixed with your soap will.  Lemon oil is a great de-greaser!

4. Disinfect the Disgusting. You can add lemon oil to a spray bottle of water and attack what may be living in your range hood, on your tables, countertops and other surfaces. For some extra chemical-free firepower, a little vinegar is a traditional favorite.

5. Lose the Gas Mask. When you clean the gunky build up in your shower, do you practically have to wear a gas mask to survive the fumes? Go gas mask free and clean with lemon oil. Just a small amount of lemon oil will go a long way in removing hard water build up.

6. Nourish Your Leathers. Whether you ride a Harley in style or cherish the patina of your leather sofa at home, your leathers are not maintenance free. Use a lemon oil soaked cloth to preserve them, and prevent leather from splitting.

7. High Ho Silver. A lemon oil treated cloth is a great remedy for the early stages of tarnish on silver or other metals. You may not eat on silver every day, but bracelets, earrings, necklaces often need some love.

8. Deactivate the Sticky. Lemon oil can help you avert a hair cutting crisis the next time you deal with gum in hair. Got kids with obsessive addictions to stickers or temporary tattoos? Works for those too. Not for wide receivers.

9. Love Your Luster. Bring your furniture back to life with lemon oil! Just add a few drops of lemon oil to olive oil for a non-toxic furniture polish. Lemon oil leaves a beautiful shine, prevents fine wood finishes from drying out, and replaces lost moisture in antique woods as it penetrates worn finishes.

10. De-Smudge Your Stainless. You don’t need to hunt down that “single use” stainless steel cleaner anymore. Multi-use lemon oil is great for cleaning stainless steel appliances. You’ll love the way stainless looks and smells!

11. Clean Granite or Porous Stone. What is living in the pores of your natural stone counters or floors? Lemon oil cleans deeply, seeps into stone and leaves you with a “real fresh lemons” aroma, rather than that fake lemon chemical smell.

12. Energize your Brush.  If your toothbrush seems a bit tired, add a drop of lemon and peppermint oils to chase away that run-down feeling.

13. Quarantine Pungencies. Moldy kid’s sneakers, a baby’s blowout, potty training … it all adds up to an less than desirable aroma. Diffuse or spray lemon oil and neutralize odors at their source!

14. Take the Spine Out of Scuffs. Got a scuff mark that just won’t go away? Lemon oil lifts scuff marks in remarkable ways!

15. Curtail the Dank, Musty or Mildewed. Things get stored away. Things get old. Things don’t see the light of day. Chase away that “old smell” and inject new energy with a good lemon oil wipe down.

16.Stop Cutting Board Bacteria Palooza. Cutting boards can harbor bacteria in your kitchen.  Nobody wants to taste the chemicals you have in your cleaning closet, yet most people love the taste of lemon!

17. Control an Aphid Invasion, Naturally.  Aphids — those pesky little bugs that dine on your roses and other plants.  Lemon oil (or peppermint) with water in a garden spray bottle are a natural pesticide that kills aphids and their larvae on contact, but leave your plants looking lovely.

18. Spot-Free Dishes. Add a few drops of lemon oil to your dishwasher soap container with each load.  Your dishes will come out looking like new… spot-free!

19. Refresh Bad Smelling Washcloths. When your kitchen washcloths smell foul and could use a boost, add lemon oil to your detergent, soak overnight, wash, dry and your kitchen will smell so much better!

Cooking & Food

20. Energy Boost. For a quick, refreshing energy boost, combine a couple drops each of lemon essential oil and peppermint essential oil in a glass of water and drink up. Add a lemony taste to your bottled water.

21. Zest Up Your Sugary Indulgences. There are an infinite number of ways lemon oil can add a bit of freshness to your sugary savors: Lemon frosting • Lemon meringue • Sour cream lemon pie • Lemon cakes • Lemon tart glaze • Lemon squares  • Lemon cookies  • Breathtaking, awe-inspiring lemonade

23. Pep Up Your Entrees. With lemon oil, there are countless ways to make the bland zippy, or the blah peppy:  Roasted salmon & asparagus with lemon oil, Linguine & shrimp with lemon oil, Lemon oil drizzled over vegetables (especially broccoli),  Lemon garlic shrimp  … or to add a fresh kick to an already great salad.

24. Preserve What You’ve Got. Use lemon oil in a spray to keep your cut fruit fresh until serving.

Body & Mind

25. Ease Respiratory Gunkity Goop. When used with a humidifier, it’s a great way to slow wheezing, colds, cough, and other upper respiratory problems.

26. De-scratch Your Scratchy Throat. Adding a couple drops of lemon essential oil to warm water & honey can change that yucky sore throat feeling, slow a nasty cough, and douse a fever. Lemon oil fights bacteria, as well as viruses.

27. Honeylicious Hair Highlights …Chemical Free. Skip the expensive salon highlight treatment, and use lemon oil to create your own hair highlights.  Just go in the sun after using with your hair product, and it will lighten your hair.  Be careful, it works well!

28.  Fight the Fungus Among Us. Tired of seeing that unsightly nail fungus?  Lemon oil is great for nails, and can help fight against nail fungus.

29.  Halt the Nervous Nellie, In You. When combined with lavender oil and diffused into a room, you’ll find you feel less anxious, a better  mood, more even keel, and well … linear.

30. Clear Thinking & Clear Focus, Made Visible. A clear mind, a clean slate, a fresh outlook.  It’s all good.  Real good. Diffuse lemon oil and you got it.

31. Take the Heat Out of Cold Sores. When you have a gnarly cold sore that’s just begging for attention, douse it with a few drops of lemon oil and you’ll have a new best friend.

32. Nice Mood … No Really.  Chase away the moody blues (not the band), with a bit of blah-reducing lemon oil. Whether you choose to diffuse it or apply topically, it’s hard to not improve your outlook with lemon oil around!

33.  Was That a Crusty? Next time you notice hard, crusty skin on your feet, (e.g. corns, calluses or bunions) regularly add a few drops of lemon oil and you’ll soon have softened skin!

34.  A Brighter Complexion. Lemon oil can help remove dead skin cells and exfoliate.  For a homemade exfoliant, add 4-5 drops to a small amount of oatmeal and water for a homemade scrub.  Feels great!


PEPPERMINT

Home Use

35. Calm a Tempest.  Just one drop of peppermint oil rubbed on the stomach or taken internally can calm indigestion, an upset stomach or other internal digestive commotion. A must-have when traveling!

36. Restore Vitality in the Mouth. When your breath is sharp and your mouth feels furry, peppermint oil with water (and lemon oil) creates a healthy, refreshing mouth rinse that leaves a lasting crisp, clean feeling.

37. It’s About Air Flow. When sinuses seem to be clogged, and throats swollen and scratchy, diffuse peppermint oil (or apply topically on the chest) for almost immediate relief and revitalizing air flow. Peppermint acts as an expectorant and may provide relief for colds, cough, sinusitis, asthma, and bronchitis.

38. Cool the Joints. When the ravages of time wreak havoc on your joints, leaving that hot and achy feeling, peppermint oil mixed with lavender oil cools like an ice bath, but you to stay warm and dry.

39. Feel Full, Faster. Satiety. It’s about feeling full, and not overeating. The aroma of peppermint oil has the ability to make you feel full, faster…especially if you breathe it in during a meal!

40. Cool Your Tootsies. If you’ve been on your feel all day or religiously wear hard soled shoes, just add peppermint oil to a cold water compress to cool your overworked, over heated tootsies.

41. Perk Up. The invigorating aroma of peppermint is a wonderful, non-stimulating way to perk up on long drives, in school, during late night homework or any other time you need to “burn the midnight oil.”

42. Energize Your Lather. Some shampoo and conditioner combos can make you want to go back to sleep. No energy. No pep. No fun. Not good. Add peppermint to your potions to stimulate the scalp, energize and wake up! The oil is an antiseptic in nature, and can also help remove dandruff and lice.

43. Allergies Beware. Peppermint oil has the ability to relax smooth muscles in the body — the same muscles that line our airways and become affected in allergy season. Peppermint oil (with lemon) should certainly be another arrow in your allergy treatment quiver!

44. Chase Away Tension Headaches. Got a mind numbing headache? A few drops of peppermint dabbed on your temples, neck and sinuses can quickly spring into action and chase that headache away!

45. Help Kids Get on the Ball.  The next time Junior is a little unresponsive to all that is going on with school and homework, try spritzing a little peppermint on his shirt before study time, placing drop on the tongue or under the nose for improved concentration and alertness.

46. Seep, Soak & Revitalize. After a long day, apply peppermint, let it seep in and then soak in a warm bath or shower. The refreshing peppermint vapor will make you feel cool, relaxed and energized again.

47. Add a Refreshing Kick to Your Tea.  Just one drop of peppermint oil can add life to any herbal tea (without having to add lots of sugar) while also aiding in normal digestion or to relieve heartburn.

48.A “Should I Work Out Today?” Antidote. You ask yourself this question. It’s OK. Using peppermint oil prior to exercise immediately awakens your senses and gets you in your right mind so you can crank.

49.  A Snack Vendor’s Nightmare. When you get that mid-morning craving, diffuse peppermint oil to reign in the urge to snack on junk food, or anything else that might appear before you.

Cooking & Food

50. Add Zip to All Things Chocolate. Enhance your chocolate in a gazillion ways: gourmet hot chocolate, mint brownie frosting, peppermint bark, peppermint patties, peppermint brownies, peppermint chocolate Bundt cake, red velvet cupcakes with white chocolate peppermint cream cheese, yum!

51. Brisk, Delightful Confections.  Peppermint chiffon cake, homemade candy canes, butter mints, peppermint ice cream, peppermint glaze over pastries and cookies, homemade peppermint patties.

52. Unforgettable Beverages. Peppermint water on ice, peppermint mocha, peppermint tea, peppermint hot chocolate, that’s right … it’s all delish.

Body & Mind

53. Wake Up Your Mind.  Peppermint oil activates the limbic function in your brain.  The limbic function helps control things like emotions and long-term memory and is related to olfactory structures in your nose.

54. An Itch Fix. If you have the after effects of a sunburn where skin is a little warm and itchy, apply a drop of peppermint oil (mixed with lavender) to cool, soothe and stop itching.

55. Theme Park Relief.  If you’ve got that “I my gosh, I can’t believe I just went on a spinning ride” feeling, four or five drops of peppermint rubbed on the stomach can calm smooth stomach muscles and help dispel discomfort.

56. Travel to the Arctic, Without Traveling. When you add a few drops of peppermint to your ice water, it not only improves the taste, but also leaves you with a feeling of cool, refreshing arctic wind in your airways!

57. Burrow No More. If you find a tick has decided to make your skin its home, just give that tick a nice bath of peppermint oil with a cotton swab. The tick will stop burrowing, remove its head and then he’s yours.

58. Don’t Make It Easy on the Critters. Many household bugs do not like peppermint oil — ants, aphids, beetles, plant lice, mice and cockroaches try to steer clear of peppermint. Just add to water in a spray bottle and spray where you think pests grace you with their presence!

59. Clean Naturally. Peppermint oil is a wonderful natural cleaning agent because it has antifungal and antibacterial properties. Spray on countertops and bathroom surfaces, scrub, and enjoy cleaner clean.

60. Sleep Like a Baby. If you find you are having a hard time sleeping, peppermint oil helps activate cold-sensitive receptors in the skin and mucosal tissues.  When used this way, it may help with insomnia.

61. Quell Apathy. When you’re with someone who feels gloomy or like they “just don’t care”, ask them to try peppermint oil (aromatically, topically, or internally) to stimulate their mental sharpness and focus.

62. It’s About a State of Mind. Someone’s mental outlook can be a game changer.  If they are shocked, stressed out or nervous, peppermint oil may help restore feelings of normalcy and balance.

63. Tame a Toothache. Peppermint oil can act as a concentrated natural pain killer and muscle relaxant, especially with painful gums, teething or recent dental work.

64. Alleviate Internal Strife. When used topically or internally, peppermint is a favorite for fresh relief from cramping, indigestion to diarrhea. Skip the antacids and go with peppermint oil!

65. For That “Marathon in Clogs” Feeling. When you feel like you’ve just run a marathon in clogs, and your feet are a hot mess of ouch, massage peppermint oil onto aching feet, joints, and strained muscles.

66. Leap from Lethargic.  Feeling lethargic or in a brain fog? Peppermint has been known to improve blood circulation and awareness, leaving you with an energized, awake feeling.

67. Go Eight-Leg Free. When you diffuse peppermint into the room, you’ll notice fewer spiders.  Why? They don’t like it.  It’s safe, contains no harsh chemicals or pesticides. It doesn’t kill the spiders, but forces them out.


LAVENDER

Home Use

68. Chase Away Stagnant Closet Air. You know that smell. Fabrics of all variety, shoes for every occasion, plus a dirty clothes bin and no fresh air can only equal one thing…you need lavender essential oil.  Whether diffused, drizzled on earthen ware, or dripped on cotton balls, chase stagnancy away!

69. Take the Bite Out of It. Insects, creepies and crawlies are not too fond of the smell of lavender. In fact, they hate it. If you forget to go the prevention route, lavender soothes bites, itching and inflammation.

70. A Multi-Purpose Spray. Next time you sitting in traffic, pull out a spray bottle filled with a lavender and water mixture and freshen your car. Who wouldn’t prefer a car smelling like lavender?

71. Kids Won’t Go Down? Lavender drops on their pillows … it’s like magic. It will help ease their mind, calm them down, make bedtime a bit more rewarding, and best of all … lull them into a restful sleep.

72. Skip the Aerosol Chemical Sprays. Next time you are deodorizing the bathroom, think of lavender and water in a spray bottle. Lavender’s antibacterial, antibiotic, antiviral, antiseptic properties can only help.

73. Take the Acrid Out of Vinegar. If you clean with vinegar, but can barely stay vertical while using it, lavender is the answer. Just add lavender and vinegar together in the spray bottle and you’re set!

74. Therapeutic Dish or Laundry Soap. If your liquid soap smells a bit flat, you can add lavender for additional aromatherapy benefits and antibacterial properties. It transforms your cleaning experience!

75. Lovable Linens. What does your linen closet smell like? Probably cotton. Maybe old cotton. Energize your linens with lovely smelling lavender.  It leaves no oil marks and leaves things invigoratingly fresh.

76.Lavender candles. Ahhh the long lost art of candle making. If you’ve ever made candles you know how fun it can be. When you add lavender, the smell that is released is intensely therapeutic!

77. Wood Floors, Like New. A tired wood floor is, well … tired. Commercial floor polishes often contain harsh chemicals. Woods love oil.  Just add lavender to your cleaning system and your floor can look like new!

78. Help That Trusty Ball Cap. A well-worn, much loved ball cap can look great, but smell like a wild animal. Add 4-5 drops of lavender to make it bearable. It will be your favorite hat if you have a headache too!

79. Change Your Sheets, Refresh Your Mattress. Unfortunately, your mattress can be neglected, and have that “wires, foam and fabric” smell. Add lavender when you change your sheets and neglect no more!

80. Homemade Room Freshener. Put baking soda and a 5-6 drops of lavender oil in a small Mason jar. Punch holes in the lid. Place in smelly areas (near garbage can, dirty clothes), shake jar often. Smile.

81. Pet Smells No More. Add a skiff or two of your baking soda and lavender mixture to carpets and vacuum up!  If you have pets, (especially the un potty trained variety), fight back with lavender!

82. Extra Potpourri Mileage. If you have a pot of potpourri that has seen its day, try refreshing it with a few drops of lavender essential oil.  You’ll love the way lavender can change the feel of your home!

83. Sweet Smelling Vacuum Bags. Your vacuum can be your nemesis when it comes to keeping your home smelling clean.  As you well know, it can even blow microfine dirt! Pin some cotton balls (soaked in lemon and lavender oils) on the inside of the bag and let your vacuum blow!

Cooking and Food
84.Soften Citrus Flavors. Use in delicate lemon sauces for chicken or fish or in powerful orange marmalades, citrus salads, real lemonade and more!

85. Amazing Marinades and BBQ. Baste chicken or fish on the grill with honey or a garlic and rosemary blend, spread over roasted vegetables, marinade chicken pieces in honey and lavender, yum!

86. Bake Like the Best. Lavender is a nice addition to lavender blueberry banana bread, lemon lavender cookies, baked salmon, lavender sugar cookies, lavender muffins, lavender cakes, oh yeah!

87. Give Your Sugars a Delightful Twist.  Use as a substitute for vanilla extract (in creams, custards and sugars), use it in lavender icing, add to honey for extra flavor in tea or toast, and even maple syrup!

Body and Mind

88.   The Oatmeal Secret.  Fill a baby food jar with oatmeal, and add 5-8 drops of lavender oil.  When it’s time to wash your face, add water and it becomes an excellent natural scrub! A little goes a long way.

89. Minor Burns, Major Relief. When you’ve slightly overdone it in the sun, a little lavender oil is helpful in preventing peeling skin. It aids in your skin’s healing without scarring as well!

90. Boo Boo Relief. Lavender has disinfecting properties. It’s great for the skin, and wonderful for relief from cuts and scrapes, especially if the cut or scrape is located wherever it’s difficult to keep covered.

91. Alleviate Feelings of Earaches.  You can warm lavender (don’t scald it), mix with olive oil and gently massage around the ears (not in the ears) and near glands in the throat.

92. A Dry Climate Answer. If you suffer from dry, itchy skin, and don’t want to mess around with chemical smelling lotions, add lavender to fractionated coconut oil and comfort will be yours!

93. Horrific Heels & Foot Fatigue. If you’ve been wearing sandals all summer, and your heels look like the Atacama Desert, 6 drops of lavender in a hot foot bath is the answer. Your porous feet will thank you.

94. Neck & Wing Relief. When you have neck and scapula tension, apply lavender with fractionated coconut oil, breathe it in and massage those knots out!

95. A Hood of Wonder. Next time you have a cold or the flu, remember the lavender steam hood. Add 4-6 drops to a bowl of hot water. Place a towel over your head, and inhale the vapor slowly and deeply.

96. A Woodworker’s Friend.  Do you work with wood or handle wood?Rather than dig a hole in your finger trying to catch that splinter, add a few drops of lavender, let the splinter swell and slip out.

97. Allergies, Sinuses & Congestion Oh My!  Lavender can calm down unruly sinus issues, defiant allergies and other respiratory issues. Just apply on the back of your neck, chest, and between your eyes.

98. Fortify Your First-Aid Kit.  There are many dōTERRA products that would be tres glam additions to your First-Aid kit, but if you could only pick one, lavender should be it.  Why? Basic First-Aid kits are often geared toward minor skin irritation, scrapes, rashes, and so forth.  Lavender is great for all those, not to mention its calming properties!

99. Rub a Dub Dub. Rather than using regular soap and warm water at baby’s bath time, add about five drops of lavender oil to the warm water.  Your tot’s skin will be pampered and smell great!

100. Soak Away Stress. Your muscles are tight. Anxiety and deadlines are eating at you. Your heart is racing. Where’s the pressure release valve?  Right here, with lavender. Add to a warm bath, soak it in, soothe.

101. Let Vapor Talk. Wet your hair in the shower. Add 4 drops of lavender to a handful of water and work it into your hands and hair.Tilt your head down, under the water and capture the aroma instilled vapor as it melts off your hands and hair. You’ll love how it smells, and how your hair feels!

Bonus Tip!

Target Acne, at the Source.Bacteria thrive in sebaceous glands that over produce sebum…that waxy stuff that can be associated with acne. Lavender helps balance sebum and control break outs.

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Garden fresh


Okay, so not all of today’s lunch was from the garden.   I love having a garden steps away.  My kids love it too.  Nothing like walking over and grabbing a peach, bean or tomato while playing the day away.  It’s also a great tool to teach your kiddos where food comes from.   It doesn’t just magically appear in the grocery store or farmers market.   My little princess talks to the tomato plants.  She says hi ‘matos, love you.  And gently hugs or kisses the plants.  I can’t make this up.   We had summer squash straight from the garden and cous cous with our dinner last night.   My big guy liked it.  Sauted with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.

Today we had:

Cucumber sandwiches.  I grew the cucumbers all by myself.   And yes, I consider this a great feat, since I do not have a green thumb.   In between them is a slice of cheese, a tiny basil leaf (again from my garden!) and a sprinkle of pepper.  They were gone in seconds.   I popped some popcorn the other day.  I didn’t grow the corn, but I did get it from the farmer’s market.  So it kinds counts, right?  The kernels are purple, much to the delight of my Diva.  :)  The peach is home-grown.  And so sweet and juicy.  Both girls ate it first.  We are down to our last 2 peaches.   I thought I’d never see the end of them.   I gave them to family and neighbors.  The raccoons and birds helped themselves.   I also made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on honey graham crackers.   YUM!!!!

 

 

Here’s what the big guy got.  No way in you know what he’d eat a cucumber and cheese……………

He got what I like to call “ninja salami”  He’s really into Ninjago, so since the salami is on a sword (yellow his fav color!), I called it ninja salami.  Come on, I know I’m not the only Mom that makes up stupid things to make her kid giggle.  Gotta have some crackers and animal crackers too.

 

Plus some ninja grapes…………

 

 

 

And peanut butter and honey grahams.

It’s that time of year………….


Back to school that is!!!!   It’s always bittersweet.   The big guy started 3rd grade, and the diva is still in preschool (darn you November birthdays!!!)

I have come to realize REAL food is the best food.  We’ve cut out all (okay most!) preservatives and dyes.  The big guy knows if he can’t pronounce it, he can’t eat it.   The big guy is also too big for cutesy little lunches.    Knowing he doesn’t get a bagged PB&J, bag of chips and fruit snacks for lunch….he picked this cool container.   It fits perfect (on it’s side) in the Pottery Barn Kids Retro lunch box he has.

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While he LOVES him a PB&J, he really likes hot lunches too.    On his first day he took a sloppy joe, BBQ kettle chips, a honey stick (from the Farmer’s Market!).   I had a brainstorm.   We don’t really do leftovers here.  Sadly.   So instead of putting the leftover sloppy joe meat in the fridge, forgetting about and begging someone to eat it.  I froze it.   Stolen from a Pintrest idea, where they froze individual chicken soups, I lined a muffin tin with foil, plopped in the meat, and froze.  Once it was frozen, I transferred it to a freezer bag.  And then you have perfect single serve portions.

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The night before, I pulled a cute little foil packet out, placed it in a bowl in the fridge and it was thawed by morning.   Just heat it, and throw it in a thermos.  Threw the bun in a reusable sandwich bag, added the chips in a container (so they don’t get smashed!).  Just as quick as a PB&J.

Here it is in action!!!!

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Today we had a fluffernutter sandwich.  Not the best choice, but hey, moderation right?   I used Justin’s All Natural chocolate Peanut Butter tho!!!  And those orange things…..Meijer Natural’s cheese puffs.  If you have a Meijer near you, I tell you, check out their Natural’s line.   ;)

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Yummy grapes!!!

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Organic Animal crackers

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And an extra drink.  He gets milk at school, but they are small cartons and he’s always thirsty.  So I added water.  Don’t tell him, but the ice pack I used was the one that came with my breast pump to keep the expressed milk cold.  shhhhhh

Happy Valentine’s Day…part 1


The kids and I made valentine’s for their classmates. Thanks to Pintrest for the inspiration….. Here’s what they have picked. As you can tell, they pretty much made them themselves. I just did some gluing and writing.

The big guy is giving these.

The back is the To/From info. He wrote this himself. I taped a glow stick to the back. He also added a heart to each one. He told me that since I had more practice writing, I should do the front. It was his idea to make the hearts out of red sparkle paint. I did most of them, since I’ve had more practice and all.

It was at 7:45 pm last night that he asked if we could MAKE something for this teacher. Of course I said yes, but I didn’t know what to make since I hadn’t been planning on it. My thoughtful little man suggested I just go out to Bath and Body Works once he goes to sleep and get her a couple of bottles of that smell lotion stuff. He’s such a male. Smelly lotion stuff…… My wheels started spinning and I remembered I had pinned some recipes for homemade sugar scrubs. They looked simple enough. And they were. I made a vanilla brown sugar scrub. Fancied up an empty (and clean!) pickle jar.

Super simple and good enough to eat. And you can. Here’s what you need.
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

(pretty sure you all have this in your pantry!)
Mix up your sugars so that there are no lumps. Use a fork! Keep your 7-year-old son from eating said sugars, especially since it’s 8 pm. Distract him by having him climb the counters to get the vanilla. Make him measure the olive oil and vanilla. Let him stir it all up and again try to keep him from eating it. Send him to go brush his teeth with the promise of a “taste” when he comes back. While he’s gone transfer it all to your jar. Leave a smear of scrub on the mixing bowl for his “taste.”
I used leftover ribbons and an unfinished bow for the top. I actually think I will make this again, but for myself. I had to test it out you know. And it made my hands super soft!

The diva picked butterflies as her project. We went to Michael’s and picked up some purple sparkly (of course) paint and clothes pins. In case you are wondering….I did not cut out any of the hearts for either project. I bought a couple of packages of heart-shaped cards, which I cut in half. (I’m lazy) She painted all the clothespins herself. She stamped her Happy Valentine’s Day stamp “kinda” and wrote her name all by herself. I taped them and glued the antennae on the backs. She even insisted on the red sparkly eyes.

Finally, here’s the big guy’s lunch today. I tried to make it manly.

Yesterday I forgot his snack. I remembered today. He had a squeezy applesauce and I taped a red heart that said you are the APPLE of my eye. How cheesy. :)

A manly valentines lunch


I asked my little man if he wanted a Valentine’s lunch today. He said yeah, but make it manly okay mom?

And this is what I came up with.

A couple of M&M’s and animal cookies. A granola bar is in the foil. A couple of potato chips and a Peanut butter, banana and honey sandwich. I cut out a heart from fruit leather and “glued” it to the top with a piece of PB and honey covered banana that fell out of the sandwich (waste not want not! lol)

Fruit Salsa and cinnamon chips….an after school snack!


Yet another Pintrest recipe!!!

I made mine a little different from my pin. I used what fruit I had on hand and what I knew they would eat. Mine is:
A couple of blueberries (halved)
Two strawberries (teeenny tiny pieces)
Four blackberries (quartered)
Five red grapes (quartered)
One spoon of crushed pineapple
A sprinkle of white sugar

To make the chips I used whole wheat tortillas, cut in strips and then in half. I threw them in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and a few shakes of cinnamon sugar. I have a shaker of this premade and it’s great for waffles and toast, oatmeal and applesauce.

Oh, I almost forgot. We made jello jigglers the other day and I saved the “scraps” since we cut out shapes. That is what is in the little dip bowl back there. It’s apricot flavored and it’s very good. I’d never seen apricot jello before!!! I don’t make a lot of jello because it all usually has a dye of some sort and usually a red dye. I’ve been finding it harder and harder (at least in my normal store!) to find unflavored gelatin. Well, I found some made by Jello! It’s called Jello mixchief. It’s unflavored and the kind I bought was to add your own juice. We splurged and bought some yummy peach, grape mango orange juice and this is the best jello I’ve ever had!

Lost, but not forgotten


Alphabet pasta salad with a drizle of ranch and chopped olives, pickles, flower PB&J , brocolli and veggie crackers. If I would hav given the kids elbow noodles and olives and ranch, no one would eat it. Magically if you add fun shapes, like letters, they eat it all. And if you are lucky like me you will find their name spelled out in slimy noodles on your kitchen table.

Girls lunch! PB&J gingerbread man, veggies, goldfish and fruit

Snowman sammys in “snow” (aka popcorn), half an orange and grapes on letter picks (I did his initials).

A corn-y lunch


CORNDOGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kinda…..really easy, and really good! I just snagged one and they are super good!

Can’t get any easier than this!
You need:
Jiffy cornbread mix
(along with the egg and milk it calls for)
Hot dogs
Cupcake tin

Make the cornbread according to the box. Cut your hot dogs in 1/4’s. Grease or line your cupcake tin. Spoon a bit of the cornbread mix on the bottom of the cups. Plop a hot dog down in the middle. Spoon more of the corn bread mix over the top. Bake according to the box. 400 for 15 mins and lunch is done!!!

How to prepare a meal with 3 kids…….


Okay, so I am totally addicted to Pintrest. I have found some really great ideas!!! One thing I found while browsing things to do with the kiddos was making activity bags. Ziploc (or other!) bags filled with things to do. The point of these bags is to occupy/entertain the kids while shopping, waiting at the Dr’s office…etc. In my case, I’ve decided to make them so the big guy can get his homework done in peace and I can make dinner. I also made up some folders full of printables for them to color/do. And then I found more cool links on themes and learning ideas. I put these bags low, so that they can grab them as they want. Here’s a couple of the bags I made from things I had around my house.

A threading bag. Fat piece of ribbon with knots and other ribbon tied at the bottom. So the felt pieces don’t fall off! Enlist your 7 year old to cut squares out of all the felt scraps you have. Then cut a slit in the middle so they ‘thread” onto the ribbon.

Nuts and Bolts. I raided my husbands tool box for screws and wire caps and nuts.

A sorting bag. I had a couple of star shaped ice-cube trays lying around. I wrote numbers in the bottom of each mold and counted the correct amount of beads to be placed in each star. Obviously good for counting and fine motor skills!

The Diva likes to cut. And it’s good for her motor skills. There is a pair of scissors and some cutting worksheets. I got these from The Diva’s school, but you can google or make your own! Sometimes I take a piece of solid construction paper and draw basic shapes all over, have her cut them out and then that usually leads to glue…..

A silly face bag!! If you’ve ever bought a helium tank, you probably still have these face stickers around. At least I did. So I put them to use in making silly faces on some plain lined paper. Unlined would be better, but I found 3 packages of lined paper in my house.

A paper weaving bag. Again I used what I had on hand. I made the “loom” out of the back of a pad of writing paper! Then just cut lines on the cardboard and then strips of paper (and yes, I even threw in the scraps from the “book bag” I made). I included a couple of sheets of stickers so that they can make patterns also.

A make a book bag! Again trying to use up the mass amounts of notebook paper. I cut it down to small hand side, stapled the sides and threw in some stickers I had lying around. I plan to raid my scrapbook supplies too for more stickers!!

A straws, strings and ties bag. I stole this from my son actually. He’s come home from school with clear straws and twist ties to make shapes. I added more straws and strings with buttons tied on the ends. If you click the picture and look closer at it, you will see my son’s addition of a twistie tie guy tied up in a red pipe cleaner!!

Felt cupcakes and ice creams! Again, I used the felt scraps and cut out a cupcake (actually 2) a liner, frosting, sprinkles and a cherry. I also cut out some ice cream cones and ice cream scoops. I used the scraps of the scraps to make “sprinkles”.

Waiting for the snow….


It’s the middle of January and there is not a bit of snow here in Chicagoland. It snowed twice, but not even enough to shovel. My kids have new boots they are dying to “test” out. And I’m sitting here at my computer with the window open and it’s 50 degrees outside.
So in wishful thinking, I made the kids a snowman snack, complete with “snow.” Maybe it worked…it’s supposed to snow here tomorrow.

The snowman is made of banana slices, and I quartered a blueberry to make the “buttons.” His hat is half of a grape and the snow is Sally’s Natural marshmallow cereal and some yogurt covered raisins. The cereal is from Costco, and even my husband who is kinda picky when it comes to food (wonder where the Little Man gets it from), eats it just about every night before bed. :) There’s no dyes or preservatives in it, and it is really yummy!! Stick some pretzel sticks in for arms and dust some powdered sugar (I have an old shaker filled with powdered sugar for this task!) on top and hope for some real snow!!!

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