Sunday, March 11, 2018

SPA NIGHT

     I've been working a lot lately. I wanted a night off to relax, have fun, and be with friends. So I organized a SPA Night ~ so my lady friends and I could chill out and just BE. And we did, big time. To be honest I didn't have a lot of time to plan ahead for this, but I pulled it off and it was really nice. Luckily my friend Reagan Jewitt loaned me her collection of Young Living skin care products so we could try them out and have a supreme facial situation. I also mixed up a bunch of potions and lotions for our spa treatments using my ever growing collection of Young Living essential oils. I will share the recipes for those here too, but first let me tell you the sequence of events.
     Ok, so everyone arrived with some yummy potluck snacks and entrees, yoga mats, and towels. I had my laptop set up in my yoga studio and we streamed a YogaGlo class off the internet. I totally could have taught a class, but I honestly didn't want to ~ that would be work, and I just wanted to not think and relax. It was fun! It was like we all went to a yoga class together, but we didn't have to leave the house! Then it was time for the potluck, so we feasted and ate chocolate cupcakes and brownies for dessert. I asked Reagan to bring her Young Living Savvy Mineral Cosmetics stash so she could give a few of us a little makeover using this super deluxe non-toxic mineral makeup. Good thing Nickie came too, because 3 of us wanted to get gorgeous.

We paired up so we could all take turns enjoying each of the  4 spa stations set up around the house:
1) The Meditation Room ~ my good friend Becky Keen has a sweet guided meditation that we listened to when it was our turn to meditate.


2) The Manicure/Pedicure Station: Peppermint Salt Scrub, Foot Balm, and tubs for a good foot soak ~ bliss....


3) The Facial Station: The Complete Young Living ART Skin Care line made it easy and delightful to  cleanse, scrub, mask, tone, and moisturizer our skin. I even made Lavender Eye Make Up Remover Pads and Oatmeal Honey mask too. The highlight of this station though were the steamy hot facecloths (ready and waiting in a crockpot set on low) and the cucumbers for the eyes (of course!)
4) The Massage Table: I have never once regretted buying a massage table. It seriously came in handy last night. Even an amateur massage from a friend works magic on a tired momma, cuz it comes with a loving touch ~
Lots of gratitude for the laughter that filled my home last night......
THE RECIPES

FOOT SCRUB
1 cup epsom salts
1/4 cup almond oil
10 drops Young Living Peppermint essential oil
5 drops Young Living Tea Tree essential oil

OATMEAL HONEY FACE MASK
1/4 cup organic oatmeal
1 Tbsp jojoba oil
20 drops Young Living Lavender essential oil
1/3 cup hot water
1 Tbsp honey

Method: Grind oatmeal finely. Stir in oil, honey, and lavender. Stir hot water in to create desired consistency. Smooth onto face and let sit 10 minutes. Wash off.

ALOE VERA HAND GEL
2 Tbsp veg. glycerin
1/4 tsp almond oil
2 Tbsp Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Jelly
2 Tbsp water
10 drops Young Living Sacred Sandalwood essential oil 
5 drops Young Living Rose essential oil

Combine and place in a pump bottle.

LAVENDER EYE MAKEUP REMOVE PADS
2 Tbsp Young Living V-6 Carrier Oil
1 Tbsp witch hazel (alcohol free)
2 Tbsp water
4 drops Young Living Lavender essential oil

Combine all ingredients in a glass jar and shake well. Place a stack of round organic cotton pads in the jar and seal.

FOOT BALM
1/4 cup calendula infused olive oil (or plain)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup cocoa butter
25 g beeswax
30 drops Young Living Peppermint essential oil
5 drops Young Living Tea Tree essential oil

Warm the vegetable oils and beeswax in a double boiler until wax is melted. Allow to cool slightly and stir in essential oils. Pour into glass container.

MASSAGE OIL FOR HARDWORKING MAMMAS
1 drop Young Living Sandalwood essential oil
3 drops Young Living Neroli essential oil
2 drop Young Living Orange essential oil
2 drops Young Living Frankincense essential oil
2 drops Young Living Bergamot essential oil

Place in 100 ml sweet almond oil.

For more information about Young Living Essential Oils & Products visit www.anastasiaakashakaur.com

Monday, March 5, 2018

TICK TALK

     It's only March and the ticks are already out here on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. As much as I love the Spring and Fall, it is also a scary time of year because that is generally when ticks are active. If you live somewhere ticks don't, then you may not be aware that ticks can transmit a very dangerous illness called "Lyme Disease." There is no cure for it, although treatments are quite effective. 
I'm going to share some information about ticks, and what you can do preventatively to avoid being affected by them.


Lyme Symptoms (not a full list and not limited to):
*Body Aches                           
*Joint Pain
*Fatigue                                   
*Heart Issues
*Stiffness                                 
*Flu Symptoms
*Memory Loss                         
*Anxiety/Depression
*Headaches                             
*Twitching
*Brain Fog                                
*Sleep Issues
*Gastrointestinal Symptoms (stomach/digestive)
*Neuropathy (never pain, numbness, hot/cold sensations, tingling)

Most people look for a bull's eye type of rash that appears at the site of the tick bite, but apparently this doesn't always appear.

Here are some tips to avoid getting bitten by a tick: (taken from http://www.lymedisease.org):

*Dress Defensively: Wear long pants/sleeves, light clothing (to spot ticks easier).
*Check for Ticks Everyday: Seems simple but important! Look in hidden places (ears belly, scalp).
*Avoid Tick Habitats: This doesn’t mean to avoid hiking all together. Rather, stick to the cleared trails rather than the tall grassy areas.
*Check Your Pets: See if there are tick-prevention options for your pets; they can be a magnet for ticks when outside.
*Wear Repellent: See recipe below to make your own effective, toxic-free tick repellent.

TICK REPELLANT
As much as I loathe ticks and the potential risks associated by being bitten by one, I am still hesitant to use chemical insect repellants, especially on my children. 

Why Not DEET?

     N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET) is the usual go-to for commercial bug spray. It’s incredibly controversial, and for good reason. Recently Dr. Abou Donia, a Duke University pharmacologist, found that “rats treated with an average human dose of DEET (40 mg/kg body weight) performed far worse than control rats when challenged with physical tasks requiring muscle control, strength and coordination.” 
     In the same study, Dr. Abou Donia found that DEET caused “neurons to die in regions of the brain that control muscle movement, learning, memory and concentration.” The pharmacologist says that children are at a higher risk for brain changes after DEET exposure because their skin absorbs it more readily.
     Fortunately, there’s a natural alternative. It has been found that GERANIUM ESSENTIAL OIL works comparably to DEET in repelling ticks. The species used (Pelargonium graveolens) comes from a French island and is only produced in very small quantities. The Geranium essential oil Young Living sells is this species.

Additional essential oils that repel ticks:
CITRONELLA, EUCALYPTUS, CLOVE, OREGANO, CEDARWOOD
    
Should I mix my essential oils with oil or water?
It’s really up to you. Water-based formulas can be sprayed on skin or clothing without causing oiliness. On the other hand, oil-based formulas require fewer applications than water-based versions because they last longer. Lotion lasts longer than water-based formulas and is less oily than oil-based formulas, but it’s not as easy to apply. I’ve included options for all three below.

NATURAL TICK REPELLANTS
     These recipes are targeted specifically toward ticks, but is also helpful with mosquitos.  They are safe for children over two and pregnant/nursing mamas. (Note: For children under two you can spray their clothes when we are going outside.)

WATER-BASED INSECT REPELLANT

100 ml apple cider vinegar, witch hazel or vodka 

100 ml  water

40-80 drops of any of the essential oils mentioned above, or a combination thereof
Optional – 1/2 teaspoon glycerin to help the scent last longer

Method: Because essential oils don’t mix well with water, start by adding your geranium oil to the apple cider vinegar, witch hazel or vodka. Add a squirt of castile soap if desired and allow it to sit for a couple of minutes before giving the mixture a stir. This will disperse the essential oil in the liquid. Add water and pour into a spray bottle, preferably one made of glass. (Essential oils can leach chemicals from some plastics, and we don’t want that!)
Shake well before use. Spray on skin or clothes before going outside.
LOTION-BASED VERSION
2 ounces natural unscented body lotion 
20-40 drops Young Living Geranium essential oil
Method: Mix lotion and essential oils together and add to a bottle, . Store in a cool, dark area when not in use. Should last 2-3 months.
Apply directly on skin before going outdoors.
OIL-BASED VERSION

2 ounces liquid oil such a jojoba (which is non-greasy), olive, etc. 

20-40 drops Young Living Geranium essential oil 

Method: Mix oil and essential oils together and add to a spray bottle, or better yet an oil mister that is less likely to clog. Store in a cool, dark area when not in use. Should last 2-3 months.
Spray directly on skin before going outdoors.
In order for essential  oils to be effective they need to be Therapeutic Grade ~ I only use and recommend YOUNG LIVING ESSENTIAL OILS. To become a member and order the essential oils listed in this post click HERE