Amazon Prime Day 2017

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

Amazon Prime Day 2017 is tomorrow, July 11th…but the deals start tonight (July 10) at 9 PM EST!

Here’s what you need to know:

1. If you’re not already an Amazon Prime member, get a free 30-day trial!

2. If you’re a student, you can get a 6-month trial of Prime Student, AND a 50% discount if you decide to renew!

Watch the Amazon Prime Day page for all the details and deals! Happy Shopping!

{This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.com. Purchases made through these links support The Practically Green Mom Blog. Please see my disclosure policy for my information.}

Essential Oil Basics: Part 4 – 10 Popular Essential Oils and their Uses

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

In my last post, I talked about my personal favorite oils and blends. This post will cover 10 popular essential oils (single oils, not blends), and what they can be used for.

Clove (Syzygium aromaticum)

Scent: warm and spicy, often used in holiday blends

Uses: cleaning, aching joints, relief of occasional toothache (adults only)

NOTE: only use a max dilution of 0.5% for topical applications, do not use with children under age 2

 

Eucalyptus(Eucalyptus globulus)

Scent: medicinal, clean

Uses: respiratory problems, congestion

NOTE: Do not use with children under age 10

 

Frankincense (Boswellia carteri)

Scent: woody, a bit spicy

Uses: anti-aging, may reduce the appearance of scars, immune support

 

Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)

Scent: citrusy, a bit sweet

Uses: mood booster, brightens dull skin

NOTE: Grapefruit essential oil is phototoxic and can cause severe sunburn or blistering when exposed to the sun. If using this oil topically, do not expose your skin to UV light for 12-18 hours after application.

 

Lavender(Lavandula angustifolia)

Scent: floral, fresh, sweet

Uses: promotes relaxation, relief for bruises, cuts, and itching

 

Lemon(Citrus limon)

Scent: citrus, fresh

Uses: cleaning, immune support, mood booster

NOTE: Lemon (cold pressed) essential oil is phototoxic and can cause severe sunburn or blistering when exposed to the sun. If using this oil topically, do not expose your skin to UV light for 12-18 hours after application. Steam distilled lemon (pictured) is preferred for topical use, since it is not phototoxic.

 

Oregano (Origanum vulgare)

Scent: intense, herbal

Uses: cleaning, immune support

NOTE: Do not use with children under age 2

 

Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

Scent: fresh, cool

Uses: headaches, congestion, promotes energy

NOTE: Do not use with children under age 6

 

Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)

Scent: sweet

Uses: promotes relaxation, eases soreness

 

Tea Tree(Melaleuca alternifolia)

Scent: clean, medicinal

Uses: skin care (acne), disinfectant

 

In Part 5, I will go further into safety information about using these oils around children and pets.

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.}

Essential Oil Basics: Part 3 – My Favorite Essential Oils and Brands

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

Now that we’ve covered the what and how, let’s talk about some of my favorite oils and brands!

I’ll start by saying that there are people out there who insist that “x brand is better than y”, and yes, there are some cheaper brands out there that are definitely a “get what you pay for” kind of deal. But for the most part, I think it’s a matter of personal preference. Some people have loyalty to a particular brand, and you do you. I have several brands of essential oils in my arsenal, and though I don’t have a “favorite”, the two brands I use the most are doTerra and Plant Therapy (especially their KidSafe line, which are blends that are specifically formulated for children ages 2-10!)

In Part 1 of this series, I mentioned lavender is probably my favorite oil, and definitely the one I run out of the fastest.

I also love:

Peppermint ** – for nausea and headaches

Breathe ** – for respiratory issues and congestion

Tummy All Better – kid-friendly alternative to peppermint for nausea and stomachaches

On Guard ** / Germ Destroyer – for immune system support (the latter is the KidSafe version)

** these oils are not suitable for use around children (see part 5 of this series for additional information and alternatives)

 

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.}

Essential Oil Basics: Part 2 – Using Essential Oils

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

So now that you know what essential oils are, let’s talk about how you can use them in your own home. The most popular ways to use essential oils are to diffuse them through the air or apply them on your skin (topically).

 

 

Diffusion

Diffusing or inhaling essential oils is the most effective way to get the benefits, which include: relaxation, improved breathing, mood enhancement, and more!

Here are a couple of tips:

1. Only put essential oils in an essential oil diffuser – not a humidifier, candle wax warmer, etc.
2. Do not dilute the oils with a carrier oil (or use a pre-diluted oil blend) in a diffuser. It will ruin it.

Most diffusers work about the same, so here are the general steps, but obviously follow the directions that came with your model.

Step 1: Take the lid off the diffuser and add water. Most models will have a max fill line.
Step 2: Add your oils. For a small space like a bedroom, I only use a few drops.  In a larger space, I may use more depending on how strong the scent of the oil is.
Step 3: Replace the lid, and turn it on. You’ll see the mist and smell the oils immediately!

 

Run your diffuser for 30-60 minutes, then turn it off for one hour, and repeat if desired.

 

Topically

Topical application is best for a skin or muscle issue, or when you want oil absorption for a longer period of time. (Essential oils take time to get through the skin as opposed to being inhaled.) I always recommend you dilute your essential oils with a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil, before applying them.  I’ve included some dilution guidelines below.

Note: It is NOT recommended to use essential oils on children under the age of 2, unless directed by your healthcare provider.

.25% Dilution (1 drop per 4 teaspoons of carrier oil)

  • For children 2-6 years of age

1% Dilution (1 drop per teaspoon of carrier oil or 5-6 drops per ounce)

  • For children over 6 years and the elderly
  • Recommended when applying oils to the face or all over the body

2% Dilution (2 drops per teaspoon of carrier oil or 10-12 drops per ounce)

  • For healthy adults in most situations

Please note that these are guidelines, not rules. There may be exceptions based on the individual and the oil being used. Always use the lowest dilution possible for your needs.

 

If that’s a little too much work (I totally get it), you can purchase many varieties of essential oils that are pre-diluted in a rollerball (pictured), and just apply it directly to your skin without having to mix anything.

Be aware that most rollerball applicators used the dilution recommended for a healthy adult, and may not be sutable for use on children (unless you are using the Plant Therapy KidSafe products…more on those in my next post!)

 

Internally

Some people and brands also advise taking essential oils internally (adding them to drinking water, etc.), but based on the research I’ve done, I do not feel like this is safe. Therefore, I do not practice this myself, or recommend it to others.

 
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.}

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.
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