everyone’s talking about essential oils

It’s Jeanne.

“I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that.” – Lloyd Dobler (Say Anything)


And that sort of goes triple for me.

I mean, I am not a fan of sales people.

I once didn’t buy a Honda because the salesperson spent the entire time I was looking at the vehicle bad-mouthing the competition (Volkswagon).

I go to Rodan & Fields parties and feel pressured to buy sunscreen even though I’m freaked out by the long list of ingredients (including cancer-causing parabans and sulfates) in the formulas.

And as much as I love Pampered Chef (and I do … I LOVE Pampered Chef … I want everything in their catalog) I just can’t bring myself to “join sales team.”

In fact, it’s taken me more than five years of continuous use of essential oils to get the courage to actually write this post. (Yes, I’m that weird about multi-level marketing deals even though I know they are effective and useful ways to earn money for one’s family).

But I’m here now.

And there’s no turning back.

Because this blog is about good food, health, wellness, simplicity, sustainability and caring for our littles.


And we’ve been relying on essential oils for years.

Specifically, we’ve been relying on Young Living essential oils for years.

When I was pregnant with our first, I was on a business trip to Russia. It was the ONLY time I had morning sickness during either pregnancy. And if it wasn’t for Thieves Oil Spray, I wouldn’t have made it through the trip. Seriously. I sprayed it on my bed and pillows when I arrived at the hotel because all I could smell was sweat and body oils in the room, even after housekeeping changed the sheets for me. (I was pregnant. I could smell EVERYTHING.)

A few hours later, when it was time to sleep, I had my first moments of relief the entire trip.


When someone in the house has a fever, my first line of defense is peppermint oil on the soles of little feet because it has consistently brought temperatures down that critical one or two degrees that lets tiny bodies keep fighting disease, without any extras like preservatives and sugars. (This is NOT to say that I won’t turn to acetaminophen if we need it. I’m not anti-medicine. But I’m personally not into over-medicating, so if I can use a safe alternative wholistic approach, I’d much rather start there.)

When I nearly set fire to our kitchen, what did I turn to? Purification and Lemon Essential Oils made all the difference.

And most recently, I was starting out on an 18 hour road trip with the kiddos and the little one ended up with a bummer case of motion sickness.


And I had just vacuumed the car and washed the carseats.

(I mostly felt bad for the little guy, but I’d be lying if I didn’t have my own little personal pity party right then and there …)

After a wipe down and a change of clothes, a little EO on his belly and we were good to go. No, I didn’t take a picture mid-crisis. It would have been gross and totally inappropriate! But here’s the “after” photo:


Hooray for YL Lavender Essential Oil!!!

Anyway … you won’t get pressure from me to buy Young Living (or any other equally reputable) essential oil. But I’m passionate about living holistically and simply and sustainably and want to share with you some of the solutions I feel good about that we’ve found along the way, which includes our experiences with YL Essential Oils. Here’s an affiliate link or two to my “store.”

… And I’m here if you want to talk essential oils (selling or buying).

And I want to hear how YOU use essential oils?


Reminder (disclaimer): I’m not a doctor and any advice I suggest is simply based on my personal experience or that of my family. It’s not intended to replace the guidance you receive from your medical professional team. Talk to your doctor before changing your regime.


how to naturally get rid of ear infections… fast!

photo-29This week my entire family came down with a minor cold that left us functional, but groggy, for a few days.

I made chicken soup with bone broth twice, we doubled up on probiotics, the boys and I drank a bit more kombucha than normal and the grown-ups helped ourselves to oregano oil. These things are our go-to’s when we get sick, and always help us knock things out pretty quickly.

It seemed we were on the mend until Tuesday night when my 2 year old hardly slept a wink. The poor guy ended up in bed with us, and tossed and turned, seeming so uncomfortable, all night.

It wasn’t until the next morning when we were all a bit more human awake that I realized my boy had a major ear ache.

I will say, life is so much easier once your kids can communicate. When I asked what hurt he would say “ear owe-ee” in the most pitiful voice ever. Super sad? Yes. Super helpful? Yes.

In general, we deal with most ailments and sicknesses at home with natural remedies within a few days. It’s a rare occasion for us to head to the doctor, but I’m so thankful to have a wonderful pediatric naturopath here in town who sees us when we need him.

I was tempted to call him, but decided to administer some garlic oil in his ears first. He was in a lot of pain, so wasn’t up for laying on his side for a solid 30 seconds so I could put in the drops.

My garlic oil didn’t smell very potent, so I headed to the co-op in hopes of finding something a bit stronger. Thankfully, I came across this Mullein Garlic Oil, which I will from here on out refer to as Magic Juice.


I got home, and my husband helped me hold our son down (it was a bit dramatic), and I placed 2 drops in the ear. We kept him on his side for 30 seconds for it get down his ear canal.

Within 5 minutes he was crashed out on me for a solid hour.

When he woke up, he was fever free and showing zero signs of an ear infection.

No pain, no tears, no tugging on his ears…. see what I mean when I say Magic Juice?

So while I could try my hand again at some homemade garlic oil, I’m happy to invest the $10 dollars in something that worked to quickly effectively.  Considering my kids haven’t had many ear infections in the past, this bottle will last us well over a year.

Here are a few links from our Amazon store of natural (affordable) supplements we use often to ward off sickness.  We keep these things stocked in our cupboards, and consider them a great investment… way cheaper than several doctors visits.

I hope you find this helpful, and know that I was blown away with how fast this Mullein Garlic Oil worked.

Cheers to not wasting winter being sick indoors!




summer natural remedy round up

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It’s easy to go broke buying over-the-counter meds for simple summer maladies.  To be honest, in our opinion, home remedies often work better, taste better, smell better, and are safer for the littles and the world.

And today, we’ve been invited by the editor at Modern Alternative Kitchen to guest post and share some of the home remedies that we use to beat the nagging summer ailments we’ve faced this year … things like sunburn, bug bites, swimmer’s ear, BBQ bloat (aka indigestion) and the dreaded summer cold.

Click here to read the full post!

NOTE:  Modern Alternative Kitchen is dedicated to real food and traditional cooking.  It’s a place you’ll find healthy recipes, tips on ingredients, basics on kitchen supplies and techniques, food science and research, eating real food on a budget, and more!


We’re linked up:

Kelly the Kitchen Kop
This Chick Cooks

homemade cough syrup

Jeanne again.

I can’t decide if I’m more embarrassed that my kids pretend to cough so they can have a teaspoon of this syrup even when they are 100 percent healthy … even the little guy … or (because the ingredients are so good for them whether they are sick or not) that I let them have it. 🙂


It may be unusual that I’m talking cough syrup in the middle of summer … but of late, we’ve been battling the dreaded summer cold (which, I think, has something to do with the near-freezing temperatures, sleet and rain we encountered camping a few weeks ago).

And while I usually have this super-simple concoction on hand in the fridge from September through March, I found myself whipping up a batch and being reminded how simple things can make us feel so much better.

cough syrup

These three simple ingredients (which you may even have in your cupboard already) have been known for thousands of years for their healing properties.

In the Ayurvedic tradition, Lemon is considered a blood purifier and can strengthen your immune system, detox the digestive system and is a power-packed antioxidant.

Ginger is known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties, ginger will soothe the tummy.  And ginger is supposed to boost the effectiveness of other herbs and spices, so not only do I use ginger in this concoction, but if I have ginger in the house, it makes its way into almost any tea or kombucha that I brew up.

Raw Honey has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties.  It strengthens the immune system and is used as an expectorant.  Local raw honey can even help with seasonal allergies.  And it tastes amazing.

And this is a combo that’s always good to have in the refrigerator … just in case.


  • 1/2 lemon (washed and sliced into thin bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 inch of ginger (skin on or off, washed and sliced into thin bite-sized pieces)
  • enough raw local honey to cover the lemon and ginger


Slice the lemon and ginger and pile them together in a small glass jar with a lid.  Cover with honey.  Set in the fridge overnight.  The lemon and ginger will liquify the honey into a syrup.  Administer the syrup as needed.  Or, you can take a few pieces of the ginger and lemon, a teaspoon of the syrup and make a “tea” with it by simply adding them to a mug, pouring boiling water over them and letting it steep for 3-4 minutes.

It’s not only great for a cough, but a wonderful digestive.

We’re linked up:

The Nourishing Gourmet
Kelly the Kitchen Kop

This Chick Cooks