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Natural Living Parenting

Aromatherapy: Organic essential oils

May 20, 2014

I’ve used essential oils for awhile now, but it wasn’t until this past year that I began collecting and mixing my own blends. I came across a wonderful book, Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child which is what really set this preoccupation in motion. The book covers how and what to use essential oils for, touching on nearly every condition or circumstance. I was on the hunt, researching storage, brand comparison, and organic vs non-organic and have saved you some time by putting the links at the bottom of this post.

Through my research I was most impressed with Mountain Rose Herbs, being that the majority of their oils are organic or wild harvested. Organic oils are more expensive, but worth it in so many ways. It makes sense to use organic oils when you think about it. Essential oils are one of the most concentrated forms of a plant and something we intentionally inhale, massage into our skin or bathe our bodies in. Our children’s skin is far more permeable then our own, so using oils guaranteed to be grown without harsh chemicals, pesticides and GMOs is really important. You often hear the words “pure” and “therapeutic grade”, these do not mean organic and are often misleading. So far I have been very impressed with the quality and customer service. Here is a list of the oils I have so far in my collection, based on the recommended must-haves and first aid kit in the Aromatherapy for Healthy Children book and those I’ve found most valuable.

Tea tree
Chamomile (Roman)
Chamomile (Blue)
Ylang ylang
Clary sage


I was on the hunt for a diffuser that wasn’t all plastic or an eyesore, which so many are. I found this simple and modern ceramic diffuser, the Casa Aroma Genie by Toast Living. It has two timed settings, an optional night light and a nice sized reservoir. I seriously love it. We also have a traditional candle diffuser we use in the bathroom. Find more informations regarding diffuser types and reviews at the bottom of this post.

Aromatherapy has become a part of our everyday life. Both at home and work, when sick and healthy. I use the stress and thieves oil blends on almost a daily basis, and have found great success using blends for Coltrane’s ear aches and teething. Another great success I had was using peppermint oil mixed with coconut oil to help alleviate fevers. A couple months back Coltrane had a high fever and between cool baths and rubbing the peppermint oil blend on his feet we were able to bring it down considerably. It’s an amazing thing to watch our bodies do the jobs they were created to do, fighting off illness and healing with the aid of natural remedies.

Blending essential oils has become a ritual I relish, I’ve listed some of my favorites here.

Thieves Oil // Antibacterial, anti-viral…we use this anytime there’s a hint of illness or while fighting a cold or flu
40 drops clove
35 drops lemon
20 drops cinnamon
15 drops eucalyptus
10 drops rosemary

Sleep // There are so many sleep blends, but this is my favorite so far
2 drops lavender
4 drops petitgrain

Ear Infection // This is a strong smelling blend…
5 drops thyme
3 drops lavender
10 drops camomile roman
3 drops palmarosa

Stress // I use this at work daily. Mix with a base oil of your choice (I use almond oil) and keep in a little bottle at your desk. Prior and during stress, rub into your neck, shoulders, temples, etc. It smells divine.
6 drops bergamot
2 drop geranium
2 drop frankincense

Headache // Rub on temples of use in diffuser
10 drops lavender
4 drops camomile roman
10 drops eucalyptus

Do you have a favorite aromatherapy blend/recipe? Please share!

Books //
Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child
Advanced Aromatherapy

 Essential Oils //
Mountain Rose Herbs -Where I order majority of my oils from
New Millennium Essences -Friends have said they really like this brand as well and often found at coops
Aura Cacia -They have a limited selection of organic oils, a little hard to find on their site but I have several and like them

Storage //
Storing essential oils and shelf life
Shelf life list

Organic vs non-organic //
Interview with essential oils expert Anita Boen, great information
Q&A with an Aura Cacia commodity manager on the topic of organic vs non-organic

Other Helpful Information //
The quality of essential oils  -great info on  how to find quality oils, safety, etc
Information regarding “therapeutic grade” claims -another good article
Aromatherapy safety -great safety info

Diffusers //
Casa Aroma Genie by Toast Living
Ceramic (burner) diffuser 
Handmade ceramic burner

Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to prescribe, treat, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition. This information is simply an opinion.


Finger foods: Dining with a toddler

April 12, 2014

Dining with a baby, now almost toddler has been enlightening. I often like to say that having Coltrane actually saves us money, because if he weren’t here, chances are we would be eating out nearly every night like we used to. We cook a lot more at home now than we ever have before and it’s been better on the budget and our buns.

When Coltrane was about 4 or 5 months he became a challenge at restaurants. Where he would have previously just slept or snacked his way through dinner, he became increasingly harder to entertain and often overstimulated. Until he was about 9 months, we rarely if ever ate out. Nowadays we get out a little more often, and when we do we have our routine down to a science. It’s a tag team circus of sorts.

Here are a few tips…

1. Ditch the gargantuan stroller. Nobody like a stroller in a restaurant. Opt for wearing your little one in a carrier or getting a stroller that folds down very small. We have the Quinny Zapp and it is amazing how small it folds down. We usually just tuck it away at the entrance or under our table.

2. Order a bowl of fruit or steamed veggies when they ask for drink orders. This ensures you have finger food and entertainment for them asap. It’s always smart to have snacks in your bag I guess, but so often he would get bored with those. It helps if you’re familiar with baby led weaning as well. We did BLW and so finger foods worked great at a younger age.

3. Spoons are your friend. Watch them carefully of course, but don’t underestimate the entertainment a spoon can give.

It doesn’t work perfectly all the time, but it has allowed us to explore some of the great restaurants San Francisco has to offer. I started this “Finger Foods” photo series because I adore his chunky little fingers and wrists and hope never to forget them. It’s also incredible to watch a little human discover and enjoy so many different foods for the first time.

Bon Appétit!