Essential Oil Basics: Part 1 – What are Essential Oils?

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Since I was introduced to essential oils in 2013, I’ve been using and researching them quite a bit. Recently, my friends have started asking about them, and they’re a bit overwhelmed by all of the information out there.  So, I thought I’d do some blog posts based on what I’ve learned over the last few years.  This Essential Oil Basics series will cover what essential oils are, how to use them, my favorite oils and brands, and using them safely with children and pets.

 

    What are essential oils?

  • Essential oils are highly concentrated natural oils found in various parts of plants. They are retrieved from plants using a process called distillation, most often by steam or water. After distillation, the concentrated oil will have the fragrance and healing properties of the plant it came from.
    Are they the same as fragrance oils?

  • No. Fragrance oils are created in a lab. Essential oils come directly from the plant itself.
    What do I use them for?

  • Essential oils have a variety of uses. Lavender is probably one of my favorite oils, because it is so versatile. It can soothe a bug bite, heal cuts and scrapes, and help you get a better night’s sleep. (Assuming your kids will let you. Haha)

 

Check out all of the posts in this Essential Oil Basics series:

 

Disclaimer: The information contained on The Practically Green Mom represents the choices I have made to take charge of my own health and that of my family. Statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products.

{This post is not sponsored by any essential oil company or Amazon. It does contain affiliate links to Amazon.com. Purchases made through these links support The Practically Green Mom Blog. Please see my disclosure policy for my information.}

5 Steps to Creating a Culture of Self-Reliance in Your Family

The following is a guest post.  No compensation was received.

When you have a family, you always strive to teach them something good and invaluable. Our grandparents have done that with our parents, our parents have done that with us. Now, it is our turn. It is important for us to enable our children to be self-reliable from the early age. Here is how you can teach your children some basic steps that will lead them through life later on.

Learn how to save money

First things first, money is important for every person in the world and who says differently isn’t telling the truth. The money provides stability and security. Making your own money automatically means that you are an independent person and that you can rely on yourself, which is actually something we all want in our lives. If you impose such a system in your house within your family members, the odds that your child will be aware of the fact that money can be very important are very high. At children’s early age, you can provide them with some allowance and advise them to keep that money so they can buy a toy or some candies later. Advise them that saving money will enable them to spend it on stuff they really want. Tell them a story of how have you been saving money so you could afford a house or a journey to a seaside. Have your child sit next to you when you count how much money you need to pay the bills and let it go with you to pay those. Some numbers will be too large for the child to understand them, but it will realize that it is a serious thing.

Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without

And by ”it” we mean clothing, toys, gadgets and even food. It is very important that you advise your family that they shouldn’t change their clothing after only a month of wearing it. They shouldn’t crave for new Ipad when they have sufficient toys and other gadgets. They shouldn’t throw away food they don’t eat. Being self-reliant means that you are able to know when it’s time for changes or new things. Teach them to wear the clothes until they are unable to fit it. Teach them that they should save food if they cannot eat everything. Try to make them to fix thing when they are broken. They will appreciate it more.

What are you going to be when you grow up?

This question is important because it imposes many others. You need to explain to your child the fact that people work for money, but that we also want to do something we like. Try to make the child feel positive about work, job generally and earning.

Ask a child what it would like to be when it grows up and draw that dream job. After that, draw yourself at work (you do not have to do a masterpiece) and explain to the child what do you do, why you have chosen it and why you love your job. You can do this with many occupations. In this way, children will be taught values regarding hardworking and obligations. It is proven that children who work over summer holidays have strong communicative skills and are easily adjusted to jobs later.

Maintaining the house

Starting from their rooms, they have to learn that there should be no one picking up after them. They need to know that it is important to have some responsibility at home, as well as in the schools, colleges, or at work. If they learn to be tidy and neat, those characteristics will help them later in the life. People notice such things and praise people for that. You can start at the early age of your children. Advise them that their rooms need to be tidy. At first you can start with rewards, such as giving them candies if they do it. But rest assured that later it will become their habit. Once they are to go to a college, they will be ready to live alone with no one to help them clean the apartment.

Exercising and healthy food

These two will help everyone become self-confident. If we feel good and healthy, then there is nothing to stop us and it boosts our ego. You can start by explaining how important is to eat healthy food and have some exercising. Also, if you do it, everyone else will in the family. Besides, children always seek for their role models. You can be theirs.

If you start implementing these things, your children will grow up into self-reliable people, and sometimes that is actually what we all want. They will be thankful, rest assured. 

 

About the Author:

Healthy living and wellbeing have always been Harris’s main occupation. He’s a certified yoga instructor and in the last ten years, he’s taken up hiking and trekking as a way of taking care of his physical fitness and inner peace. He shares his experiences and advice on http://www.prosurvivalist.com/ as one of its revered writers.

 

15 Summer Activities to Help Your Kids Appreciate Nature

The following is a guest post.  No compensation was received. 

What are your kids doing this summer? For many of us, summer time with the kids is a time to enjoy the outdoors, the sunshine, and if you’re lucky the ocean!

As much as kids love summertime, keeping them busy can be a real chore! If you don’t have the luxury of sending the kids to camp, then it’s up to you as parent to find things for the youngsters to keep busy with.

Failing that, your kids might spend all their time in front of a computer, tablet, phone or other screen.  Research has shown that spending too much time in front of a screen can have a detrimental effect on the health and well-being of children.

Studies have shown that taking part in nature-based activities helps people who are suffering from mental ill-health and can contribute to a reduction in levels of anxiety, stress, and depression. In fact, a daily walk in nature has showed decreased activity in a region of the brain associated with a key factor in depression.

One in four people are estimated to experience bouts of mental ill health and it’s on the rise. Prescription medication of antidepressants are also at a record high level and the demand for more invasive treatments are also on the rise. Health and social care commissioners are examining and commissioning different options for cost effective services for mental health and one of these options is a daily walk of 90 minutes or more. We need to learn from the past when kids got excited to spend their time climbing trees and building dens rather than spending hours inside.

Joe at Nature Rated understands this all too well and has put together an infographic on 15 Summer activities to help your kids appreciate nature.

This is what it looks like:

15 Summer activities to help your kids appreciate nature

From baking a blackberry pie to constructing a pond or insect hotel, there’s plenty for the youngsters to get up to. Head on over to his site for step by step instructions to get your kids out and about enjoying nature.

An outdoor enthusiast, Joe is the lead editor at Nature Rated; a website which rates and reviews the best outdoor gear for people who quickly want to know what to get. He believes in no fluff, to the point reviews, which help you choose the right gear for your next adventure.
Whenever daily life gets him down he heads to the nearest lake or river with his kayak and camera spending time recharging his batteries.

December Baby – 18 months

Sweet boy,

It’s hard to believe you are halfway to 2 years old!  

Lots of learning going on around here!  You figured out how to ride the ride-on toys, and you zoom all over the house!  You learned a new sign, “bath”.  When I ask “where’s your belly button?”, you lift up your shirt.  And, you’ve added a few new words to your vocabulary.  

I love you!
Mommy

Current stats:

Weight: 28 lbs. 7 oz.
Height: 33.75 in.

Pants: 18 months
Shirts: 18 months
Shoes: size 6
Diapers: size 5
Teeth: still 12, I think?

Foods:
Likes – almost everything lol
Dislikes – green beans

18 month milestones (from Baby Center):

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)

  • Will “read” board books on his own – Yep
  • Scribbles well – Yes

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)

  • Strings two words together in phrases – “Uh oh”, “thank you”, “hi dada”
  • Brushes teeth with help – Yes
  • Stacks four blocks – Been there, done that

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)

  • Throws a ball overhand – Been there, done that
  • Takes toys apart and puts them back together – Yep
  • Shows signs of toilet training readiness – He’ll point to his diaper sometimes when he’s wet.

December Baby – 17 months

Happy 17 months, sweet boy!

This month was a big one on the language front. You’ve added a few more actual words to your vocabulary, and can now say “bye” and wave. You can understand simple directions, and follow them. You point to your nose when asked, and you love to high-five! It’s so cute!


I love you!
Mommy

17 month milestones (from Baby Center):

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)

  • Uses six words regularly – Yes – “mama”, “dada”, “hello”, “bye”, “no”, “go”…
  • Enjoys pretend games – Yep
  • Likes riding toys – He can sit on them, but hasn’t quite figured out how to make them go…

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)

  • Feeds doll – Nope
  • Speaks more clearly – He’s getting there.
  • Throws a ball underhand – I haven’t seen him do this, but he throws overhand really well.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)

  • Dances to music – Yes
  • Sorts toys by color, shape, or size – Not yet
  • Kicks ball forward – Maybe once or twice? He prefers throwing them. Lol

December Baby – 16 months

Happy 16 months, little guy!

You are becoming more verbal and mobile everyday. You still mostly jabber, but you can now say 5 words/phrases (Uh oh, mama, dada, go, thank you). You also sign “more” and “milk”. You’re an expert at climbing on and off the couch. Your one year molars are in, bringing the teeth total to 12.

You’re just now getting into the tantrum phase, but overall, you’re a happy boy who loves to laugh and play!

I love you!

– Mommy

16 month milestones (from Baby Center):

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)

  • Turns the pages of a book – Yes
  • Has temper tantrums when frustrated – He’s just starting this.
  • Becomes attached to a soft toy or other object – Nope

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)

  • Discovers the joy of climbing – Definitely
  • Stacks three blocks – Been there, done that.
  • Uses spoon or fork – He’s getting more coordinated.
  • Learns the correct way to use common objects (e.g., the telephone) – Yes

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)

  • Takes off one piece of clothing by himself – Not yet
  • Gets finicky about food – Yes
  • Switches from two naps to one – Not everyday, but more often than not.

December Baby – 15 months

Sweet Boy –

I can’t believe how fast 15 months have gone by. You are so full of personality! Your laugh is infectious, and you have to do everything your big brother does. You love to be outside, and will run to the back door every time we let the dog in or out, even if it’s pouring down rain!  It is so much fun watching you grow up!

I love you!
Mommy

Current stats:

Weight: 26 lb. 2 oz.
Height: 32.5 in.

Pants: 12-18 months, depending on the brand
Shirts/Onesies: 18 months
Shoes: Size 5
Diapers: Size 5
Teeth: 8

Foods:
Likes – cheese, bread, blueberries
Dislikes – green beans

15 month milestones (from Baby Center):

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)

  • Plays with ball – Yep
  • Uses three words regularly – Not yet
  • Walks backward – Nope

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)

  • Scribbles with a crayon – Kind of…
  • Runs – Yep!
  • Adopts “no” as his favorite word – He doesn’t even say “no” yet…lol

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)

  • “Helps” around the house – Yes, he loves to sweep and “unload” the dishwasher.
  • Puts his fingers to his mouth and says “shhh” – Nope

The Life Cycle of Electronic Devices

No compensation was received for the following post.

We live in a world surrounded by cell phones, televsions, computers, and more.  But, what do you do with your old and broken electronics?  Did you know that every year we generate 50 million tons of e-waste worldwide, and only 12.5% of it is being recycled?  What kind of impact does this have on our environment?  Check out the following infographic on the e-waste problem and what you can do to help reduce it! 

Infographic created by Digital Doc

In addition to recycling services such as E-Stewards and Best Buy, many cities now have their own electronic recycling programs.  Consider these options before throwing away your used electronics.

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