May 27, 2010

Baby Adalyn




Adalyn Grace finally made her big debut: 
May 17th | 10:20pm | 7lbs. 8oz., 19 3/4" long! 

She is the perfect little mixture of her two older, very proud sisters. We've been enjoying her tiny toes and long fingers. She sleeps so much, I can actually get a nap in with all the girls! (choir sings "Hallelujah"). Thanks to all our family and friends for the "well-wishes," visits and meals. We are so blessed by all of you! We have been settling in well at home, no jealousy issues so far! Now we are just trying to rest and get some strength back! Please bare with me through this season, my blogging may slow down for a time, I'm sure most of you understand! But I will be sure to post all of the wonderful discoveries and experiences we have as soon as I can!

May 25, 2010

Essential Oil Blends


I'm still learning a lot about essential oils.  I haven't done much with them yet, just a few basics in soaps, cleaning products, and inhalation techniques.  But these little "recipes" are very interesting to me.  Wyndmere Naturals have created some essential oil blends that I've posted for you.  Check out the link for some more information on blending oils.  If you try any or have already, feel free to leave a comment and let me know what your experiences are!

Always dilute before using on skin.

Aches and Pains: Clove Bud, Sweet Birch, Rosemary, Black Pepper, Coriander and Cypress.  Helps relax muscles and improve circulation.  Use before or after physical exertion or for general aches and pains.

Anxiety Release: A soothing and relaxing synergy of Orange, Lavender, Clary Sage, Geranium, Vetiver and Roman Chamomile. 

Bacteria Fighter: A spicy blend of Lemon, Cinnamon, Lavender, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Clove, Elemi and Thyme.  Diffuse in the air or dilute to use topically as an aromatic way to protect yourself against airborne or surface bacteria.

Balancing: A calming and grounding blend of Patchouli, Lavender, Elemi, Lemon, Orange and Clary Sage.

Breathe Easier: An invigorating and penetrating blend of Basil, Niaouli, Eucalyptus, Pine, Rosemary and Lavender.  This synergy is designed to help clear one's sinuses due to stuffiness of a head cold or allergies.

Circulation Aide: A gentle, warming blend of Lemon, Orange, Eucalyptus citriodora, Coriander, Ginger, Black Pepper, Geranium and Vetiver pure essential oils combined to help with sluggish circulation.  Do not use if you have high blood pressure.

Clearer Skin: An all natural approach to skin care created by blending Lavender, Geranium, Rosemary, Palmarosa, Maychang, Benzoin, and Cedarwood.  Helps to clear toxins and balance sebum.  Helps all types of problem skin including itchy, scaly, and inflamed skin.  Use daily.

These are just a few of the many, many options there are for mixing your own EO.  Have fun!

May 17, 2010

The Power Nap






The Power Nap... ahhh, what a beautiful thing!  I find myself using this little "secret weapon" more and more as I get older and have more children!  It is an awesome energy booster for mothers, students, business women, anyone who has only a few minutes in the day and needs a little boost to keep you going throughout your busy life.  According to wikihow here is the correct way to power nap:

  1. Find a good place to nap (limit light, distractions)
  2. I've heard to try and elevate your feet above your heart (propped up)
  3. Set your alarm for 15 minutes (only if you fall asleep right away, it usually takes me about 10 minutes to fall asleep, so I would set my alarm for 25 minutes.  Or use a free application if you have an iPhone, such as Happy Nap that measures your breathing to determine when you're napping cycle is finished)
  4. Get up as soon as your alarm goes off (no snoozing, put your alarm across the room if you have to!)
    • "What you're doing during a power nap is capturing the benefits of the first two of the five stages in the sleep cycle. These first two stages take place in the first twenty minutes. In addition to making you feel more rested and alert, the electrical signals in your nervous system strengthen the connection between neurons involved in muscle memory, making your brain work faster and more accurately."[source]
  5. Get your blood flowing with a few jumping jacks, wash your face, or get in some sunlight to wake you up fully.  
  6. Enjoy the energy!

Here is an interesting website that is a great tool to help you find out when is the best time to power nap.

Here are also a few more natural ways to boost your energy levels:

  1. Taking a vitamin B6 once a day.
  2. Snacking on wholesome foods rather than high sugar treats: the mix of carbs and protein and wholesome calories will keep you full longer and your sugar level more balanced.
  3. Move!  Even light stretching gets your blood flowing, getting your heart rate up a little will  give your body a little boost.
  4. Stay hydrated.  Dehydration can cause fatigue.
  5. Check out this energy bar recipe from Sara Snow.

May 13, 2010

The Essentials of Essential Oils



I finally bought myself some Tea Tree, Lavender and Jojoba oils!!  I'm so excited, I have already mixed a few drops of each into a foaming soap dispenser with Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild Soap and water.  I'm planning to give the girls a bath with their new baby wash tonight!  (Yay!)  While I was at the health food store picking these oils up, they left me with an informative pamphlet by Wyndmere Naturals.  I thought I'd share some of the good info with you.


What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are highly concentrated extracts from the aromatic parts of herbs, flowers, trees and grasses that have been in use for thousands of years.  They are wholly natural substances that have the ability to positively influence the mind and body, affecting mood, emotion and physical well being.

How are Essential Oils Used?
Because essential oils are highly concentrated, they need to be used with care.  Apply them by the drop.  The general rule is to add them to carrier oils, such as sweet almond, jojoba, sesame, canola, hazelnut or grapeseed.  Select essential oils with similar properties and blend together to create your own unique aromas.

Bath: Add no more than 8-10 drops to your bath.  Use less for sensitive skin.  Stir the water briskly to disperse evenly.  Alternatively, add 10-20 drops of oils to 1 ounce carrier oil or unscented natural foam bath oil.  Add the desired amount to your bath.

Massage: Add essential oils of your choice to a carrier oil in the proportion of 10-20 drops of essential oils to 1 ounce of carrier oil.  Use the lesser amount for sensitive skin.

Skin Care: Add 10-20 drops of essential oils to 1 ounce of carrier oil, unscented natural lotion or cream.  Mix well.

Hair Care: Add essential oils to unscented natural shampoos and conditioners.  Use 10-20 drops per ounce.

Freshen Rooms: Essential oils make ideal room freshners.  Place oils in a diffuser, lamp ring or add to a simmering potpourri pot with water.  Replenish as necessary.

Inhalations: Put a few drops on a tissue.  Carry with you or place on your pillow at night.

How Long do Essential Oils Last?
Most essential oils will last approximately one to two years or more if properly stored. To preserve your oils, always store them in a tight container in a cool place. Heat will cause the oils to evaporate and the light will alter them chemically, reducing their effectiveness.  Citrus oils are an exception; they will start to oxidize after a year. They can be preserved longer with refrigeration or adding vitamin E.  There are some oils, such as Patchouli, Vetiver and Sandalwood, that only get better with age.


SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
For external use only.  Call poison control center if ingested.

Do not use directly on skin.  Always dilute in a carrier oil or unscented lotion before using topically.  Test on small patch of skin first.

Keep oils tightly closed and away from children.

Not to be used without seeking medical advice if pregnant, epileptic, or if you have high or low blood pressure.

Keep away from eyes.  Should oil get into the eye, wash with water thoroughly for 15 minutes.



May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!!!


To all you mother's out there, I pray this is a beautiful day of celebrating you because you deserve it!!!  

I was able to take my mom and mom-in-law out yesterday for a celebration.  We went to The Melting Pot and enjoyed a delicious cheese and  chocolate fondue.  Mmmm.  Then I gave them their gifts ... I was so giddy about their gifts all week!  I couldn't wait for them to open up their cute little bags and see the gorgeous NuVintage jewelry inside!!!  We had a blast just talking and loving on each other.  It was awesome!
This week was full of wonderful things!  My mom-in-law gave us a huge bag FULL of newborn baby clothes (which I was really needing since I gave most of mine away after Neeci grew out of them).  And the best part is that every hat, blanket, towel, gown, dress, romper and onesie is 100% Organic (and very cute)!!!  She found all of the items at T.J.Maxx or Marshall's!  I didn't even know they carried organic baby clothes.  And she informed me that they just started getting in organic clothes for toddlers+ too!  I will definitely be taking a trip out there myself soon!  (Thanks Mom!)

My sister and brother-in-law graduated this week as well.  Very exciting for them!  "Congrats guys!"  I took the girls with me to the graduation (which actually went better than I expected, even though we tore through a whole bag of animal crackers to keep them still and quiet).  They were so excited to celebrate with "Aunt Rae and Uncle Aaron."  

It's been a wonderful week full of events and excitement as well as some much-needed rest!  I think we are officially "ready" for baby Addie to arrive.  I have finished all the laundry and cleaning and stocking the freezer and cupboards... so now we wait!  I am so ready to see her tiny face and hold her (on the outside)!  I have had enough people ask me if I'm having twins... it's time!  =)  I'll be sure to blog with pictures as soon as I can after she makes her princess debut into the world!  Until then, may every Graduate be blessed, and every Mother loved and pampered this weekend!! 

May 6, 2010

Foods You Don't Need to Buy Organic


I found this so helpful, not only are there the "Dirty Dozen" - top 12 fruits and vegetables to buy organic (that are more susceptible to pesticides) but their are also the "Clean 15" - top picks that you don't have to buy organic:
  1. Onions
  2. Avocados
  3. Sweet Corn
  4. Pineapple
  5. Mango
  6. Kiwi
  7. Asparagus
  8. Sweet Peas
  9. Cabbage
  10. Eggplant
  11. Papaya
  12. Watermelon
  13. Broccoli
  14. Tomato
  15. Sweet Potato
So focus on buying from these 15 fruits and vegetables when you can't find any good deals on organic produce.
Here is a free printable guide you can take with you to the store!

May 4, 2010

True Freebies!





Update: The lightbulbs website isn't up anymore. I'm not sure if this is a scam or not, I haven't had any issues, but haven't received any bulbs yet either.  I won't promote anything I'm not sure about.  The other "freebie" is completely legit, I went through the entire process myself.


2 Free Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
Go to energyefficientnow.com and sign up for your 2 free light bulbs!  I did it today and received a confirmation email that they are on their way.  Everything seems legitimate, I heard about this through a great source too (thanks Becky!).  Check out their site, they are really informative and have a great mission. 


Free Home Energy Efficiency Program

Oncor Energy is currently offering a totally cost free, no "gimmicks," energy efficiency program for most homes built before 2002.

In case you're wondering if your energy company is covered, Oncor Energy supplies most of the larger energy companies, so don't be afraid to call and ask, you will probably qualify.

Oncor's authorized contractor, "Energy Misers Inc." came to our home a few days ago, and inspected all of our air conditioners as well as all of the vents for overall efficiency and leaks. They caulked each and every vent and intake throughout the entire house, weather stripped all the doors and windows, and added insulation behind every outlet!

They did not attempt to sell us anything. They left a detailed report as to the overall efficiency of our air conditioning system. The company, "Energy Misers, Inc." is reimbursed by "Oncor Energy," not the homeowner.  They test the air loss before and after they fix the problems and we significantly improved our numbers! He said we should expect to see at least a 20% reduction in our electric bill.
If you're interested, call them to set up an appointment for "Duct Efficiency."  I called and they scheduled me for almost two months out, but than called and said they had a cancellation, so I was able to get it done before the baby (yay!)... but I recommend calling as soon as you can because they are booking up fast and they only have so much money budgeted for this year.

Energy Misers, Inc.
817.473.9777 or 
Toll-Free 877 571-4203

If you do call please tell them you were referred by me, Alycia Mantooth!

May 3, 2010

Coupons Galore!


The time/energy it takes to coupon-clip might not be worth it to you... I don't like buying the paper and not knowing what coupons I'm paying for, if I'll even use them and then taking all the time to clip them without the intention of using them all.  I've found that I prefer printing out my own coupons.  It takes some time, a printer and ink (I use all the junk paper, misprint papers, etc. that are clean on one side), but you print and clip only coupons you know you can use!  All you coupon-clippers may already know some of these tricks, but in case you didn't I thought I'd share what I've found!
  • If you're not sure about spending $5 on a double Sunday paper check out Sunday Coupon Preview, they tell you what coupons are going to be in this weeks paper and also give you a schedule for the whole year (how many, if any, inserts each week)!
  • For those of you who know you aren't going to use all your coupons you can send them (even EXPIRED ones) to soldiers and their families overseas by clicking here!
  • Online printable coupons:
  • Here is a link to a much more extensive Organic Coupon List:  Organic Deals & Coupons.
  • Many stores will allow you to use a manufacturer's coupon with their store coupon for double the savings!  And be sure to take advantage of double and triple coupons at grocery stores!
  • Walmart and Target will match prices of identical items in sale papers of (most major) competing stores.  Check their websites for policies on price matching and coupons, you may even want to print it out and bring it into your local store, because not all employees know their companies own policies.
  • Coupons aren't just for groceries, keep your eyes out for coupons at your favorite stores (clothing, department, restaurant, etc.).
It takes time and effort to make money and to save it!
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