DIY Bathroom Scrub


Happy Sunday friends!

Yesterday I managed to get my whole house clean (save the floors which I did today), it had been far too long since my bathrooms had a good scrub.  As I was cleaning using the products I make myself I thought that it was about time I start to share some of my tried and true DIY and toxic free living recipes with you.

I’m going to start with one of my very favourites – my husband was even blown away after seeing how powerful this is! This scrub is amazing for showers, tubs, sinks, stove tops or really anything that needs a good scrub.  I use this once every month or two on our shower when I notice the hard water spots building up.  My all purpose cleaner (which I’ll share soon) keeps the build up at bay for the most part but every so often it needs a bit more of a cleaning. When using this on the shower I make sure to clean it right before I’m going to have a shower.  I scoop it out with a wet sponge, scrub the walls and then to rinse off I just jump into the shower – because of the peppermint oil I use I get a wonderfully invigorating wake up shower at the same time as getting a sparkling clean shower!  I’ve used this on tough to clean bath tub, dull and stained kitchen sinks, caked on and burnt food on stove tops and it’s worked amazing every time.

The recipe:

1/2 cup baking soda
1-2 Tbsp Dr.Bronner’s Castile Soap (I like non-scented so I can add my own scents)
Enough distilled water to make a paste (you can alternatively boil water and let it cool down)
10 drops each lemon and peppermint oil (or essential oil of your choosing)

Add everything to a glass jar and mix well.

Give it a try and let me know what you think! If you don’t have any essential oils (and want to try them out) feel free to contact me via e-mail or leave me a comment and I’ll give you some more info.  If you want to know why I use essential oils check out this post.

Becoming Oily


I’ve been wanting to start writing a lot more about my journey with essential oils – why I love them, how I got started, and how we are using them.  As always I don’t really write unless I get a spark of inspiration and today that inspiration is coming from my husband jumping on my oily band wagon! So before the inspiration fades I’m going to just hammer out a post in true “Ashley” fashion.

I’ve been using essential oils for about 3.5 years now – ever since Ezekiel was a baby.  I’ve written before about how I really started to focus on wellness when he was a baby.  I’ve been back and forth on this wellness journey – one step forward a couple back, two steps forward one back and it goes on and on.  I’ve found beauty in this journey and I have no shame about my set backs because each one has taught me something new.  So anyways, when Ezekiel was a baby I ordered a starter kit from Young Living.  I chose Young Living after researching other companies and realizing that their Seed to Seal process was and is far superior to any other company out there.  I guess the gardener/farmer in me just really resonates with planting a seed, growing that seed and preserving the amazing product that comes from that, but I don’t think you need to be a farmer or gardener to appreciate knowing EXACTLY where the product is coming from and how it got there.

After receiving my starter kit I basically only used my oils for diffusing in replacement of candles as well as for all my own cleaning products.  I didn’t dive any deeper into the science of the oils or how they could really support our bodies and our health.  My main purpose in using them was to eliminate some toxins in our home, to have cleaning products that I could use while my small son could be right beside me helping and I wasn’t worried about him putting anything in his mouth or touching the products.

Fast forward to this past year, and specifically the last few months and I’ve been diving deep into the health portion of essential oils and I am BLOWN AWAY at just how incredible these little bottles are and how they are changing our lives.  I’m not going to share all of the ways here right now – that post would be far too long.  Here’s the thing: there is actual science behind these oils.  They may not be researched much in western medicine (but we are getting there!) but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t true science in the oils.  I used to think they were a bit “hokey” but since starting to learn the actual science I’m 100% a believer in these oils.  The same science that applies to any drug also applies to oils but oils are FAR superior!

Please don’t get me wrong – I am in no way saying we should all ditch the drugs we are on and use only essential oils.  I am currently taking two prescription medications and I will not be replacing those with essential oils but I WILL be supporting my body and all it’s systems with essential oils especially my immune system.  My husband is hoping to reduce the amount of prescription drugs he is taking by starting to eat healthier and use essential oils to support his body as well because the drugs he is currently taking definitely can be reduced by lifestyle changes.

So don’t think that just because I’m a bit more crunchy than before that I’m swearing off western medicine – not true and I don’t think that will ever be true of me.  What I am saying is that the less toxins and man made and manufactured things we put into our bodies the healthier we will be.  I’m so excited to be on this journey and the more changes I see in myself and my family the more I want to share!

If you have ANY questions at all PLEASE connect with me, I have so much more to share and I’ll be doing that on the blog from time to time but I really love a good one on one chat!

You can find me on Facebook or Instagram (m_l_ashley) or E-mail me at joyofsimplicityblog@gmail.com

Are you currently an oil user? Have they changed your life like they have changed mine??

Time IN vs Time OUT

A few days ago I browsed a blog post that talked about the difference between time-in’s and time-out’s (this isn’t the exact post but something similar I found because I couldn’t find the exact one).  I had of course heard of putting children in time-out’s and have used that strategy 4 times in the past year with great results.  However I had never heard of time-in’s and I was intrigued.  Essentially a time-out means separating your child completely and a time-in is like a time-out for you both together.  In a time-out you put your child alone in a designated spot, for time-in you sit with your child in that designated spot.

Ezekiel is 2, at that age where he is learning that he has the ability to say no and fight for what he wants.  He’s a fairly reasonable child – I can usually talk him out of a temper tantrum if I catch it right at the beginning.  He can be distracted by something equally as tempting as what he wants to do which is a strategy I use often (Ezekiel I’ve asked you to stop touching the things on the shelf, how about you come help me with supper instead).  He also understands and follows rules if I implement them consistently – the most recent one being no toys at the table.  In the beginning there were many meltdowns over that rule, but now he’s satisfied with placing his beloved toy at the foot of his highchair to play with when he’s done eating.

Side-note – meltdowns are absolutely allowed in our house, these are different from a temper tantrum.  Being upset because you really want something is different then thrashing, hitting etc. because you didn’t get what you want.  In the event of a melt down I simply allow him to cry for a while and then ask him to take some deep breaths, try and distract him by singing his favourite songs and continue to reinforce the rule he is upset about.  That strategy works 99% of the time.  1% of the time it turns into a full blown tantrum.

Of course he’s still a two year old and still gives in to so many temptations breaking rules here and there.  My general rule is that if he is breaking a rule and I’ve asked him to stop – he demonstrates he understands by stopping and then continues when I look away – if I have to ask him three times then he goes upstairs to his room for 2 minutes.  We are now working on “sorry mom I didn’t listen to you” so I go upstairs and ask him to say sorry – sometimes he outright refuses in which case I leave for another two minutes and repeat the process until he says sorry.  This specific instance has only happened once. Usually he listens and stops what I’ve asked him to do before the third time.

There have been times of complete uncontrollable temper tantrums – 3 that I recall.  All of them have happened after coming home from the dayhome before supper.  He’s exhausted and very hungry and controlling emotions is something that is just not going to happen.  I get it, I totally understand but I also get very frustrated in those moments.  Two of those times happened last summer and I put him in his room until he calmed down then went in and we snuggled for a good 15-20 minutes and from then on he was happy and I quickly fed him so he’d stay that way :).

Yesterday was the third instance.  I knew he had a rough night with my husband the night before while I was at work and I knew he would be tired.  When his emotions are extreme it indicates his level of tiredness – usually it’s overly happy, running and yelling and laughing and dancing.  He reminds me of those times as a teenager when you’ve pulled an all nighter with your friends which was usually spent laughing at nothing because when you’re overtired everything is funny.   When I picked him up yesterday his level of happiness was OVER THE TOP which is always nice when you’re child is extremely happy to see you but I also thought “we definitely need an early bedtime tonight.”  We got home and it was nice out so I let him play outside while I tidied before getting supper ready, somehow within 10 minutes he went from happy to frustrated with something (I still have no idea what) that he was not able to communicate with me.  The situation very quickly went in a downward spiral as I asked what he was upset about and he got more and more upset without trying to explain.  In that moment I decided playtime outside was done and he was MAD – over the top, more than I’ve ever seen him.  I took off his outside clothes while he thrashed and screamed bloody murder.  I knew this was not going to be controllable on the main level of our house so I marched him upstairs thinking I would put him in time-out but then I remembered the article on time-in’s and thought I’d give it a try.  I went to his room, closed his door, sat on the floor and made him sit down facing me.  I held his hands in mine and asked him to take some deep breaths, he instantly calmed down in less than 30 seconds – still upset but not thrashing around.  Then I grabbed our homemade lavender coconut oil lotion and rubbed some on his chest and feet, he helped by putting some on his feet.  By that point the pouty lip had stopped and the tears were done.  I asked if he would like to read a story, he promptly got up, grabbed a book and ran to me happily ready to read.  We read two books and he got up and I asked if he was ready to go make supper, he ran to the door laughing.

What an amazing tool! I couldn’t believe the response I got from that strategy.  It shows him that temper tantrums are not tolerated but that I’m willing to help him out when he can’t seem to help himself.  It shows him that crying and screaming doesn’t get you what you want but that there’s always other options to what you want to do.  It gives him a choice with his mom by his side helping him out with that choice.

I will still use time-outs for those instances of outright disobedience because I know very well that Ezekiel is capable of following direction and listening to rules but when it comes to uncontrollable emotional outbursts I will definitely use time-in’s.

What is your discipline strategies? Any tips for this momma? I know down the road the frequency of discipline is likely to increase exponentially!

Beating the Cold and Flu Season Naturally

  
For as long as I can remember I have been, what seems to me, unnaturally prone to being sick.  I remember all through college and then university having to have an endless supply of tylenol cold and flu on hand.

For the most part I just accepted what was and instead of fight it I let it run it’s course while medicating my way through it.  I knew that as soon as I felt a bit run down that the next day I’d have a stuffy nose which would last 7 – 14 days and on about day 4 or 5 my lungs would get hit, finally around days 9-14 I’d have the most annoying tickle in my throat that would force me to have coughing fits in the most awkward of times.

I thought I had some relief from this in the past.  From about 2012-2014 I was fairly healthy and happy to be so! Then, back to work for me and to daycare for Ezekiel which means being very tired and run down.  Mix that with all the germs in the world being brought home and I have been sick far more than I care to count in the past year (not to mention my poor toddler who gets the brunt of the germs).

I am so happy to tell you I have found the perfect mixture of all natural remedies that don’t just help me through a cold – they stop the cold from happening!

I know, you probably don’t believe me – I wouldn’t believe me either, but I’m telling you this works for me! It’s so amazing in fact, that I tell most people I know and I even share my supplies at the first mention of anyone getting sick.  I haven’t yet found something that is safe for my little guy but at least us adults can ward off the germs and take care of our littles in the meantime.

I’ve been using Young Living Essential Oils for some time now, and originally I was so very skeptical of them.  When I bought them originally I thought if nothing else I’d be able to get rid of my candles and have an all natural scent to diffuse through my house instead but I’ve found them to be so useful in so many areas in my house.

Young Living’s RC blend is by far the most amazing results to me because I know my body and I know the exact course it takes when it gets a cold.  At the slightest discomfort in my chest I began to rub 2 drops of RC on my chest 3-4x/day and the results were almost immediate!  I’d inhale for a few minutes and the burning would subside.  I’m not joking.

I also diffuse Thieves to cleanse the air daily.

Then I take 2500mg of Echinacea 3x/day and suck on a Zinc Lozenger 5 times a day, doing this for 3-6 days depending on how I am feeling has helped me to not ever feel bad enough to have to take anything else.  This is amazing – pure magic.   Once I get a week of great sleep (which isn’t happening any time soon while I work nights) I’m back to feeling great.

If you are interested in trying out Young Living Essential Oils let me know, I’d be happy to lead you in the right direction!

Wishing you a happy and healthy rest of the winter!

Essential Oil Bandwagon

Young Living

Essential Oils.

I’m not going to pretend I didn’t just jump on a bandwagon and join the trend.  I’m ok with that.

I’m also not going to pretend that I know anything about essential oils.  I’m also ok with that.

I am on a very slow and steep learning curve when it comes to essential oils.  I’m writing this post, not as education for you, rather as a way to let you know what I’ve been doing and what I hope to do with essential oils.  I’m exploring essential oils as a way to keep my family happy and healthy, and as an addition to my simplified living ways.  I’ve been cautious with using them with Ezekiel and I’m not comfortable with ingesting them but I’m enjoying what I’ve used so far.

I haven’t used them long enough with enough consistency to truly testify to the benefits of using essential oils but here are some of the ways I have used them:

  • Ezekiel has never been a great night sleeper.  In January he finally had 2 weeks of sleeping through the night and then that abruptly stopped.  In the last week or so I’ve been adding 2 drops of Lavender to his nightly baths and I’ve created a cream (1/4 cup coconut oil with 10 drops Lavender) that I rub on the bottom of his feet and massage in for a couple minutes and he’s started to sleep 12 hours through the night again.  I’m not about to stop doing this to test out whether it’s really the oil that’s helping! I use the cream as a preventative bum cream for him as well.  I tried using it to clear up a rash that was already there but didn’t have luck with that.  I resorted back to disposables for a week and a half with a heavy duty diaper rash cream to clear it up.
  • I’ve diffused almost every oil in my house.  Most often I diffuse Thieves blend.  I did this for over a week and then stopped doing it and when I stopped we all got sick.  I can’t say for certain that we got sick because I stopped diffusing Thieves, but I’ve started diffusing it again in an attempt to get us healthy.  Carlos is sensitive to scents so while he’s home I only do quick 15-20 minutes spurts of diffusing.  I’ve also started rubbing Thieves on the bottom of Carlos and my feet to help our immunity.
  • I’m hoping to revamp our cleaning supply pantry with all homemade supplies made with oils.  Right now I’m using up our supplies we already have and will start to make all natural alternatives once they run out.
  • I’m also toying with the idea of revamping my beauty supplies – this one is more on the back burner but I’m reading lots about it.
  • I’m really hoping to be able to get Carlos to use oils consistently enough to help with the stress and anxiety associated with school and also help with his concentration.

I’ve been following a few blogs for quite some time which contributed to my desire to try out oils.  They have been a great resource and inspiration for me:

Live Simply

it’s the little things

Hello Natural

Very recently I’ve been exploring this website which I’ve found to be a great resource.

I’m all ears for tips and tricks and resources for using oils so please leave some for me!

Just in case you are wondering about why I chose Young Living, there are two reasons.  First their seed to seal policy really appealed to me.  Also the fact that signing up for a wholesale account will save me money in the long run was a huge factor.