Thursday, March 20, 2014

Essential OIl Diffusers - Trying to Decide

I have had several people ask me which diffuser I use.  You would think this would be a pretty straight forward answer, but it turns out, not so much.


I bought a ZAQ Dew LiteMist 

I have owned it for several months now, it has traveled all over the western US with me and isn't bothered by being moved around.  I also love that a very tiny amount of water remains in the bottom of it, as opposed to my SpaVapor which left quite a bit (enough to make a mess if a kid tipped it over.)

I highly recommend this diffuser if you don't have need for it to run for longer than 4 hours without refilling it.


My first diffuser was a  SpaVapor ultrasonic diffuser.

It is $31.99 on Amazon. 

Here's the thing, and you'll see this in the reviews.  It's not a super high quality product.  I've had mine for about 7 months.  I run it a lot.  It is starting to produce less mist, and I'm fairly sure it will not make it to the year mark.  ***update - it died at the 9 month mark****
Now, I don't regret buying it.  It is economical, unobtrusive, quiet, and has done what we needed it to do, plus Leo LOVES to turn on the LED colored lights.  It was a good place for us to start, but if you have it in your budget, you may want consider a better diffuser.

There are two types of diffusers - ultrasonic and nebulizing.  doTERRA sells two ultrasonic diffusers and one nebulizing diffuser.
The Lotus ($119.93 retail, $89.95 wholesale)
Ultrasonic diffusers work by use of small plates in the diffuser that vibrate at a very high speed within a reservoir of water with a few drops of essential oils in it.  That vibration creates a cool mist that contains tiny particles of oil that are diffused into the air.  They use very little oil, are economical to run, and are very quiet.  The Lotus and the AromaLite (both sold by doTERRA) are both ultrasonic diffusers.
The AromaLite ($119.93 retail, $89.95 wholesale)

I like having the humidity added to the room I am in. I also like that ultrasonic diffusers are quiet and easy to clean. Right now I am leaning toward the AromaLite because it is small and unobtrusive. It's hard to tell from the two photos, but the Lotus is much bigger.

****update - my mom and a good friend have both purchased the AromaLite.  It is a good diffuser, and great if you want it to run for 8 hours at a time.  It has a 4 hour setting where it runs continuously, or an 8 hour setting where it runs for 15 min on and 15 min off for 8 hours.

The AromaAce ($173.27 retail, $129.95 wholesale)
Nebulizing diffusers work by means of a jet of air blown over a tube with oil in it.  These also create a fine mist, however, the mist is made up only of tiny oil particles.  This is why they are usually considered more therapeutic.  They can fill a room with a high concentration of oil particles very quickly.  However, they can be noisy, are not ascetically pleasing, use more oil and so are not as economical to run and are purportedly hard to clean.  (Keep in mind, I do not own one, this is what I've gleaned from reading FAR too much on the topic.)  If we had a strong therapeutic need for one, I would absolutely put up with those drawback, but because I know an ultrasonic diffuser has met our needs, I am strongly leaning in that direction.

The AromaAce is the nebulizing diffuser that doTERRA offers.  I will say that people who own them tend to like them.  The only complaint I've heard is that if you aren't careful with your settings you can go through an entire bottle of oil in a few days.  It also comes with a bottle of On Guard.

There are other diffusers besides the ones that doTERRA offers that I think are worth looking at, as well.

The Jasmine Diffuser is adorable, comes in several colors, and people seem to like it for small rooms.  It is $59.95 on Amazon.  It seems to be more dependable than the SpaVapor.  It also has a timer function on it, and runs longer than the SpaVapor.

There are 4 or 5 others on Amazon (just search essential oil diffuser) - which seem comparable to the SpaVapor or the Jasmine.

Lastly, because they are beautiful, and I am so very tempted to put up with cleaning it because of how beautiful they are. . .

This is a nebulizing diffuser sold in an Etsy shop by a company called ArOmis.  They are $89.99 without a timer and $99.99 with a timer. 

So, that is my long answer.  On day I will treat myself to the glass and wood diffuser in the future when I'm not chasing wild little boys all over and wouldn't worry as much about it getting broken.

If you are interested in one of the diffusers offered by doTERRA and want to know more about retail vs wholesale pricing, please email me at

Monday, March 10, 2014

"Russian Tea" re-done: Get Well Soon Tea

My husband, Lincoln, used to make this drink he called "Russian Tea."  I though he had made it up, since he served as a missionary in Russia, but it turns out, it's a real thing.

He would make it with Tang, Lemonade, Cinnamon, and enough sugar to drive a preschool teacher to the brink.  It tasted good. . . but it was far from good for you.

A few weeks ago he was fighting a cold and said he wished he had the stuff to make some Russian Tea.  He wanted a warm drink, but not Hot Cocoa.  He doesn't like any of the 40 or so varieties of herbal tea I keep in the house.  (That is a product of living in Russia.  After choking down countless cups of bad herbal tea, his brain has decided they are all bad.)

As I was considering which essential oils I should use to help him fight off what ever bug had invaded his body, the though occurred to me that I could make a HEALTHY version of the Russian Tea for him, that would also help boost his immune system.

And so the "Get Well Soon Tea" was born in our kitchen. . .

Lemon to replace the lemonade, Wild Orange to replace Tang, On Guard to replace the cinnamon, and honey to replace the sugar.

It took a bit of tinkering, but I finally came up with a delicious and comforting "tea."

Enjoy, and feel better soon!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Spice Shelf turned Oil Shelf

As I began to use and accumulate more essential oils, I found that I needed a different storage solution.  I had been keeping them in these soft cases on top of the cabinet that stands above the toilet in our bathroom, however, this wasn't very convenient.
I still use my case like this for travel and when I teach, I love it. You can find them on Amazon
links are giving me trouble today.

In addition, my darling little Leo, who LOVES the oils could still get into them.  The day he got my Frankincense oil (worth about $65) and "used" 1/3 of it all over his body, I knew it was time to find a new storage solution.
I wanted something that would hang on the wall, away from the counter and toilet, so it wouldn't be accessible to little people, and would make it easy to see all of the oils.  I also needed it to hold a growing collection.

I looked at the various retail outlets that sell shelves specific to oils, but they were very expensive, didn't hold as many oils as I needed them too, and weren't very pleasing to look at.  That wasn't going to work for me.

I had seen some old school spice racks that I thought just might work.  It had to be sturdy, preferably solid wood.  I knew I wanted a bar on the front because I tend to be a bit clumsy, and it would prevent the oils from getting bummed off.  I also wanted plenty of space above the shelves to make it easy to get them on and off the shelves.  I've learned that for me, if something isn't seamlessly easy, I end up not using it.

It took me several weeks of searching Goodwill, craigslist, rummage sales, and our local fb buy/sell/trade group to find what I was looking for.  I turned away several because they didn't seem just right.  Finally a lady emailed me a picture of one she had.  It was perfect, and only $10!  She was about 20 minutes away, but it was worth the drive.  It was exactly what I was looking for.

I wanted a solid color so it would be easy to see the oils, but I also wanted something bright and happy.  (We live in a rental and can't paint our walls - anything that breaks up the white is a welcome change!) I simply primed it and spray painted it with Rust-oleum's Ivy Leaf.

Each shelf easily holds oils two deep and eleven across, so 22 on each shelf - for a total capacity of 88 oils - plenty of room for stock bottles, custom blends, and extras (there are a few I REALLY don't want to run out of, so I keep an extra on hand.)

We've been using it for about 8 months now, and I have zero complaints.  It is the perfect shelf for our house and the way we use the oils.

What do you use to store your oils?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Bubble (Binky) Give Up - 2.0

When John Henry was a pre-schooler and the time came for him to give up his beloved Mimi, we made it as fun as we possibly could.  It took us five days, and it's something that he still talks about to this day.  (The photo book we made probably has helped increase his memory of it.)

You can read the five blog posts about the first Binky Give Up starting here.

So now that it was Leo's turn we wanted to do something similar for him to help him say goodbye to his "Bubble."  We started out by looking over John Henry's book and by asking him if he was ready for about a month.  Finally it was time.

Day One:  Balloon to the Moon

The first binky had a ticket to ride on a bunch of mylar balloons.  

 First Leo drew a picture for the baby we were sending the binky too.  Then I wrote a note for him.

 Enjoying this particular Bubble one more time. . .

John Henry gave him some support as he prepared for the launch.

A little sad as he thought about letting go. . . 

 and then up, up, up and away!  Leo told me that it was going to the moon to a baby who lived there.  :)

Day Two:  Baby Chance needs a Binky!

Another picture, another note. . . this one to his cute baby cousin who lives in Utah.  He saw a picture of Chance on my computer and we noticed that he didn't have a binky.  I asked if he could have one of Leo's, Leo thought that would be OK.

John Henry was really cute and supportive the entire time.  He didn't want Leo to be too sad.

Into the box it goes.  He was a little surprised when he reopened the door and found nothing there.

A few days later his aunt Erin sent a picture of Chance with the binky.  Leo was mad and wanted it back.  He got over it pretty quickly, though.

Day Three:  The Binky Fairy

Probably the least painful day, because he didn't actually have to physically give it away, plus candy and new trucks always help.

The binky fairy came while he was at preschool, took a picture of what she was trading the binky for, with the binky, then left a note and some smarties in it's place.

Leo was getting more anxious each day - so this was a good break for him.

Day Four: Sail Away

Leo was most excited about this day- and getting to go to "the beach."

We went up to Henry Hagg Lake, about 10 miles from our house.

He wasn't even sad.  He was very excited to launch his Bubble Boat.

There were mostly smiles through it all.  He did suggest we go out in the water to get it, but when I told him no, he accepted it.

Day Five: Bubbles the Monkey

The last day- and the hardest. 

He was able to go to sleep the night before without his Bubble, but didn't make it through the entire night.  We could tell he was anxious, as we told him throughout the morning that today was the day he would put his last Bubble into an animal, like John Henry's Mimi Doggy.

He was very excited when we got there.

After much deliberation, he chose a monkey for his animal.

He filled him up with fluff.

And then in went the heart and the binky.

A good air bath, 

and a birth certificate. . .

here is the binky free Leo for the first time with Bubbles the Monkey.  

He held it together through most of the week, but finally couldn't hold it in any longer.  He melted down as we left the mall- and promptly fell asleep in the car.  He went to bed that night, and the two nights since without a problem and without asking for his Bubble.

You are so big, my sweet boy.  I am so proud of you.  This was so hard, but you were brave and you did it!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Rules for Being an Adult

One of the goals I had for this year was to come up with a set of 'rules' for myself.  Things that I want to focus on, that will make me a better person, that I should use to organize my life.

After several weeks of thought, consideration, and discussion with friends, here is what I came up with. 

What are you're "Rules for Being an Adult?"

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Chalk it up to . . .

I've been painting a lot of chalk boards as of late, and having fun working on my chalkboard art.

I'm not a football fan, but I am a Seattalite at heart.  Had to support my city!

Some of you may know that I am dyslexic and Phoebe is a dyslexic advocate - working to get the appropriate resources into schools for her son and all dyslexic kids.  I cheer from 800 miles away and create zillions of PDFs for her.

My chalk art is improving - but I think I need to invest in a ruler. :)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Why Essential Oils? Why doTERRA?

You may have noticed the doTERRA badge hanging out on the left side bar of the blog for a while now.  Phoebe and I have both used essential oils for some time for various things.  About a year ago we were introduced to doTERRA, and suddenly a whole new world opened up to us.

Why Essential Oils?

I've been using essential oils for a long time - I've used lemon to make cleaning products, tea tree oil for my skin, clove to sooth my babies' gums, peppermint and eucalyptus to help support respiratory health, lavender to help calm myself and overly tired children, etc.  I loved being able to use a natural products instead of potentially dangerous chemicals.  I also love the idea of being proactive about my health and my family's health instead of reactive.

However I didn't love that depending on the brand, and even the bottle of essential oil I used I didn't always get the same results.

Why doTERRA?

It comes down to that last sentence. 

Essential oils are derived from plants.  They can't be patented, and they are not regulated by the FDA or any other organization.  Some of them are very expensive to produce, and therefore, there is a BIG financial reason for companies to not sell pure, top quality oils.

The founders of doTERRA saw this problem and chose to address it.  They created their own certification for oils.  If they can't produce a 100% pure oil, free from pesticides and other chemicals, sustainable, and with the highest possible therapeutic properties known to exist, they won't produce the oil.

They call it Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG) - and you can read more about it here.

I can now be confident in the oils I am using, which allows me to use them for far more applications than I was previously, not to mention the incredible educational resources the doTERRA has made available.


Now I'd like to get a little personal.

I have been sick for much of my life.  For a long time we didn't know why.  In 2007 when I became pregnant with my older son we learned that I had a rare neurological disorder called Chorea Gravidam.  It is a movement disorder brought on by a negative reaction to progesterone.  It made my pregnancy a nightmare - and our son was born via emergency cesarean at 35 weeks.  (He is now a happy, healthy six year old.)

While we believed that we were properly managing the disorder, (which "normally" only effects women WHILE they are pregnant, but I'm a "special" case) my body continued to rebel against me in an increasingly destructive way, until I could not longer parent my children.  I sent my sons to stay with my sister, and spent much of 2012 in the offices of specialized neurologists, cardiologists, endocrinologists, pulmonologists, gynecologists, and sleep experts - none of whom were able to help me, but often tortured me in the attempt.

I was in no shape to manage the flow of information that these specialists produced, and my primary care physician, who happens to be a naturopath, managed all of it.  She listened to me, encouraged me, believed me, and did her best to make me more comfortable. 

By the beginning of 2013 we had managed to find a way to eliminate all Progestin from my body (not an easy task, as I also have endometriosis, which is typically treated with Progestin.)  I was better than I had been, but my body's natural production of progesterone still caused me problems, particularly during the times in my cycle where progesterone naturally peaks.  We tried several drugs to try to decrease the effects on my body, but they did nothing other than make me sick to my stomach all the time.

It was shortly after I had given up on the drugs, and consigned myself to a life of being less than a healthy person, that I attended my first doTERRA class at a friend's house.  I looked in the book, Modern Essentials to find out if there was an oil that could help me.  Obviously, there wasn't anything listed for CG - but we found some similar disorders with oil protocols - and GET THIS - they were backed up by scientific studies.  I signed up that night and received my oils a week later.

I have used the oils every day since then.  It has taken some time, and some trial and error (lesson learned, in very sensitive people, Rosemary oil will dramatically raise your blood pressure - I won't do that again!)  I have not only found the combination of oils that will help my body balance itself and keep my symptoms as bay (a true miracle in my life,) but I have also found many other incredible uses for them. 

My younger son, Leo (who was adopted - another pregnancy would likely have killed me,) has also been sick much of his short life.  The boy just has crappy lungs.  Who knows why.  He's been hospitalized for RSV,  had pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, two burst ear drums, and more ear infections than I can remember.  Since I started using the oils on him to give his immune system a boost, he hasn't had anything more than the sniffles.  Being able to do something like that for him is amazing.  I hated the helpless feeling of not being able to help him or comfort him when he was sick.

Even my husband, who is a pharmacist, uses them on a regular basis for various things, and recently started stocking them in the pharmacy he manages.

So - you can see I'm pretty enamored with them, and every time I visit with other friends who use them I hear more stories about the ways that these lovely, natural oils have helped people.  So, I have a lot to say about them, and things I want to share with my tiny corner of the internet.  I all ready have five blog posts planned.  There will still be all the usual stuff, furniture, cute kids, garden and canning, but doTERRA will be a regular feature on the blog.  Hopefully something I can share can help one of you.

If you have questions about any of the oils or what they do, please feel free to email me.  I'm even willing to talk to you over skype or facetime. -
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