Treat Yourself This Valentine’s Day

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Four unexpected yet easy ways to treat yourself this Valentine’s Day! (Because not every love affair needs to be about someone else.)

Treat yourself this Valentine's Day! When was the last time you spent money on you? As women, I think we're conditioned to look out for the needs of others first. So instead of buying something for someone else, why not treat yourself? Buy something that sparks your creativity. Make more time for yourself to do the things you love. Take care of your physical needs. Four unexpected ways to treat yourself for Valentine's Day - or any day! #treatyourself #selfcare #healthandwellness

I’m not the biggest fan of winter. Granted, snow is fun – to a point. But we’ve just not had enough snow to hoot and holler this winter. And that polar vortex that dipped super south this year? It left me huddled inside feeling the full force of those winter blues. While Valentine’s Day is on the horizon, it’s not really a day I’m looking forward to with any sort of zeal. To be truthful, I’d rather stay inside where it’s warm and cozy until spring. So in addition to – or perhaps just instead of – celebrating Valentine’s (or Galentine’s Day) why not simply treat yourself with one of these easy self care ideas?

4 Ways Treat Yourself for Valentine’s Day

#1 Treat yourself with a gift on your wish list.

When was the last time you spent money on you? As women, I think we’re conditioned to look out for the needs of others first. So instead of buying something for someone else, why not treat yourself? Buy something that sparks your creativity. Or splurge on that new pair of shoes or that eyeshadow pallet you’ve been dying to buy, but simply can’t justify. (I’m thinking about buying this linocut printmaking kit right now.)

#2 Treat yourself  by making more time for the things you love.

You can also invest more time in your passions, by skipping those last minute trips to the store. Whenever we even get the threat of snow here in Southwestern Virginia, everyone freaks out. This makes going to the grocery store for a regularly planned trip to pick up toilet paper feel like you wandered into a madhouse. Everyone else is cleaning out the milk, eggs and bread. And all you want is few extra rolls of toilet paper because you’ve been using yours as tissues for the past week. Why torture yourself?

Treat yourself this Valentine's Day! When was the last time you spent money on you? As women, I think we're conditioned to look out for the needs of others first. So instead of buying something for someone else, why not treat yourself? Buy something that sparks your creativity. Or splurge on that new pair of shoes or that eyeshadow pallet you've been dying to buy, but simply can't justify.

Sign up for Grove and get your everyday products delivered monthly right to your door – all when you need them! I love that I also have the option of receiving the things I need early – or simply skipping a month – depending on what I may need or my financial situation. Plus, right now, Grove is sending out some pretty incredible freebies for new customers. Things like treeless toilet paper and paper towels as well as dish and hand soap and scrubber sponges. Practical items – all shipped free with your first order of $20 or more. (I like to throw in holistic immunity boosters this time of year as well.) So you can take back that hour of chaos and bank that time to do something you actually enjoy. Check it out!

If you have a love of learning, then there's no better gift of give yourself than the gift of knowledge. The Herbal Academy just introduced their revised and expanded their herbalism courses for the new year. Not only are they coinciding this with an awesome spring sale, there are some super sweet freebies that come with select programs. They also now offer PRINTED course guides! (For those of us who are constantly mourning the loss of paper books.) You can take advantage of sale pricing at The Herbal Academy through February 20th. New students will receive a $25 discount off registration through February 20th. Plus you'll receive a free herbal goodie bag ($70 value) with any textbook package order!

#3 Treat yourself with the gift of knowledge.

If you have a love of learning, then there’s no better gift of give yourself than the gift of knowledge. The Herbal Academy just introduced their revised and expanded their herbalism courses for the new year. Not only are they coinciding this with an awesome spring sale, there are some super sweet freebies that come with select programs. They also now offer PRINTED course guides! (For those of us who are constantly mourning the loss of paper books.) You can take advantage of sale pricing at The Herbal Academy through February 20th. New students will receive a $25 discount off registration through February 20th. Plus you’ll receive a free herbal goodie bag ($70 value) with any textbook package order! Sign up here.

With winter here, however, staying active can be a challenge. But with the legalization of CBD oil across the country (with some restrictions) we are now able to turn to healthier options for chronic pain like arthritis and fibromyalgia in addition to our overall health and emotional well being. Don't like the taste of CBD oil tinctures? You can now support your body's endocannabinoid system with natural CBD oil infused treats!

#4 Treat yourself by supporting your ECS.

Last year I learned that our bodies have an entire system that supports everything from pain sensation and pregnancy to fertility, mood and appetite. It’s call the endocannabinoid system (ECS.) Voluntary exercise naturally boosts our ECS which can lead to exercise induced euphoria. (Source.) With winter here, however, staying active can be a challenge. But with the legalization of CBD oil across the country (with some restrictions) we are now able to turn to healthier options for chronic pain like arthritis and fibromyalgia in addition to our overall health and emotional well being. Don’t like the taste of CBD oil tinctures? You can now support your body’s endocannabinoid system with natural CBD oil infused treats!

For more lifestyle and wellness ideas, as well as natural beauty recipes, sign up for my semi-weekly newsletter so you never miss a post. You can also follow me on Pinterestfacebook and instagram.

Homemade Laundry Stain Remover Recipe for Laundry Stains & Delicates

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

No one wants to deal with dirty laundry – and especially not laundry stains. This homemade laundry stain remover recipe is a great way to tackle your tough laundry chores. Keep reading to learn how to make a natural laundry soap that makes stains vanish. Plus it’s perfect for handwashing your favorite delicates!

Homemade Laundry Stain Remover for Laundry Stains & Hand Washing Delicates. No one wants to deal with dirty laundry - and especially not laundry stains. This homemade laundry stain remover recipe is a great way to tackle your tough laundry chores. Learn how to make a natural laundry soap that makes stains vanish. Plus it's perfect for handwashing your favorite delicates! Best natural laundry soap recipe and stain removal stick DIY.

Let’s Tackle Your Tough Laundry Stains!

Around five years ago I was inspired to create a homemade laundry stain remover recipe – soap style! Inspired by The Laundress Wash & Stain Bar, my own version of this natural laundry soap recipe was suitable for both stains and hand washing those delicate laundry items. However, now that some time has passed, and I’m no longer using palm oil in my homemade soap recipes, I thought a revised version of my homemade laundry stain remover recipe was in order.

Like The Laundress Wash & Stain Bar, my laundry bar soap recipe does contain borax. (I mean there’s a reason it’s included in all those powdered laundry detergent recipes. It gets stains out.) However, my new version of this recipe is made using only one soapmaking oil – coconut oil – for its highly cleansing properties. It’s then combined with borax and natural lemon essential oil, for a simple homemade laundry stain remover recipe that not only eliminates stains but is also great for handwashing or laundering when you travel.

Homemade Laundry Stain Remover for Laundry Stains & Hand Washing Delicates. No one wants to deal with dirty laundry - and especially not laundry stains. This homemade laundry stain remover recipe is a great way to tackle your tough laundry chores. Learn how to make a natural laundry soap that makes stains vanish. Plus it's perfect for handwashing your favorite delicates! Best natural laundry soap recipe and stain removal stick DIY.

As my homemade laundry stain remover recipe does contain borax, I recommend wearing gloves when using this product to avoid skin irritation. Additionally, I also ever so slightly superfatted this laundry stain soap bar. I did this in order to account for any errors that are possible when weighing out the ingredients. This will ensure that there is no unsaponified lye that may be left in this soap otherwise. (However, if you’re extremely confident in your scale’s accuracy, you can make this natural laundry stain remover recipe with 0% superfat or 2.2 oz. sodium hydroxide.)

Finally, I also scaled this recipe back from the original version. Because honestly, unless you work in a laundry mat there’s not way you’re using 3 lb. of homemade laundry soap anytime soon.

Homemade Laundry Stain Remover for Laundry Stains & Hand Washing Delicates. No one wants to deal with dirty laundry - and especially not laundry stains. This homemade laundry stain remover recipe is a great way to tackle your tough laundry chores. Learn how to make a natural laundry soap that makes stains vanish. Plus it's perfect for handwashing your favorite delicates! Best natural laundry soap recipe and stain removal stick DIY.

Homemade Laundry Stain Remover Recipe

Ingredients:

12 oz. refined coconut oil (100%)

2.18 oz. sodium hydroxide/lye (1% superfat)
4 fl. oz. distilled water (33% of oil weight)

.25 oz. borax powder (sodium borate)
.15 oz. lemon essential oil

Getting Started:

I recommend you use a silicone soap mold with cavities for this recipe. My homemade laundry stain remover recipe creates an incredibly hard bar of soap. Therefore it’s likely that cutting the soap into bars will be a challenge is you use a loaf mold. (Square silicone ice cube tray molds would be perfect for this.) In addition, you will need a digital scale in order to weigh out the ingredients. (This digital bakers math scale is perfect for soapmaking.)

You can easily source 20 Mule Team Borax for this homemade laundry stain remover recipe in most grocery and big box stores. It can be found in the laundry aisle. However, you can also purchase Milliard borax powder online. This brand of borax is made from anhydrous pure powdered sodium borate with no additives or preservatives.

To make this natural laundry soap recipe, refer to my basic cold process soapmaking instructions. I recommended you take all safety precautions when working with sodium hydroxide (lye) to avoid accidental burns or unwanted chemical reactions. It’s important to be 100% sure that none of your containers or utensils are made from aluminum.

Instructions:

Measure out the distilled water in a heat safe container. Then, using a digital scale weigh out the sodium hydroxide (lye) into a separate container. Carefully pour the sodium hydroxide into the water in a well ventilated area. Then stir to combine, mixing until all of the lye has dissolved.

While the lye/water cools, weigh out the coconut oil called for in my homemade laundry stain remover recipe. Gently heat until melted, then set aside.

In the meantime, weigh out the borax and essential oil into two separate containers.

Wait for both the lye/water and the coconut oil to cool down to around 90°-95°F. (Additionally they should also be within 10°F with one another.) Now mix the lye/water into the melted coconut oil using an immersion blender.

Once the soap batter for this natural laundry soap recipe reaches a light trace, stir in the borax and lemon essential oil. (If you have sensitive skin, you may omit the essential oil. Or use another citrus based essential oil or essential oil blend of your choice.) Mix thoroughly until the borax and essential oil are fully incorporated. Once you reach a medium trace, pour the soap into your mold of choice.

Lightly cover the soap with parchment paper if desired, then set aside. You may unmold your natural laundry soap the next day. Allow the soap you crafted using my homemade laundry stain remover recipe to cure prior to use, approximately three weeks. However, as these homemade soap bars are not being used on skin, you can technically use your natural laundry soap after several days have passed. This will ensure all the lye is gone, having fully saponified all of the coconut oil, leaving no lye behind.

Alternate Version:

If you’re not quite ready to make cold process soap, there is an alternate version of my homemade laundry stain remover recipe. You make a natural laundry soap recipe for stains and delicates by simple rebatching ready made bars of 100% coconut oil laundry or all purpose soap.

To do this, grate 16 oz. (by weight) of 100% coconut oil laundry soap.  Place into a medium saucepan or pot on the stove. Next, dissolve .25 oz. or borax (by weight) in 6 fl. oz. of water. Combine the water and borax mixture with the grated soap. Heat the ingredients at medium-low until the grated soap melts. Then add .15 oz. of the lemon essential oil. Stir to combine, then pour into molds and allow to harden. Unmold and use as you would the cold process soap version of my homemade laundry stain remover recipe.

Homemade Laundry Stain Remover for Laundry Stains & Hand Washing Delicates. No one wants to deal with dirty laundry - and especially not laundry stains. This homemade laundry stain remover recipe is a great way to tackle your tough laundry chores. Learn how to make a natural laundry soap that makes stains vanish. Plus it's perfect for handwashing your favorite delicates! Best natural laundry soap recipe and stain removal stick DIY.

How to Use Your Homemade Laundry Stain Remover:

To use simply your natural laundry soap bar, simply dampen the bar of soap and/or fabric and rub onto soiled or stained spots prior to washing. For deep set in stains allow to set several hours to overnight.

More Homemade Cleaning Recipes

If you’re looking for more simple ways to clean your home, then try one of these homemade cleaning recipes. Other Soap Deli News readers love my 3-Ingredient vinegar free all purpose cleaner recipe. Or give this no scrub deep shower cleaner recipe with essential oils oils a try for a clean shower with almost zero effort. Alternately, for tough household odors try my deodorizing room spray recipe with essential oils as well as this natural deodorizing beeswax candle recipe.

To discover even more new recipes from Soap Deli News, sign up my semi-weekly newsletter. You can also follow me on facebook and instagram.

A New Year, A New Me: Five Worthy (And Doable!) Goals for the New Year

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

Five worthy goals for the New Year that anyone can accomplish! Let’s do this!

Five worthy and doable goals for the New Year. Make the New Year your best year ever by taking the time to try new things and explore the world around you. #goals #inspiration #newyear #resolutions #newyearresolutions #newyearsgoals

This year I’m kicking off January not with resolutions, but with achievable goals for the New Year. I went through a lot last year. From changing unhealthy relationship patterns, moving on from a not so pleasant divorce and learning how to manage a chronic illness so it doesn’t manage me. It’s been a doozy. With past challenges conquered, however, I’m super excited about all the new adventures in store for me in the coming months.

Following are some of the goals for the New Year that I’ve set for myself. I hope you’ll join me in on some of these endeavors to explore and try new things. I’d also love to hear what your goals for the New Year are. So don’t forget to share your plans for conquering 2019 in the comments.

Goals for the New Year. Winemaking. Learn how to make wine in an Instant Pot. For about half the price of a Bota box, you can make your own homemade red wine in an Instant Pot with just grape juice, sugar and yeast! #instantpot #instantpotrecipes #wine #winemaking #diy #redwine

Goals for the New Year

#1 Make wine.

I’ve always wanted to make wine. My first husband used to make beer from scratch. However, there’s typically a lot of equipment to buy for winemaking.

Just before Christmas however, Greg bought an Instant Pot pressure cooker. Our first dinner we made in our new Instant Pot for baby back ribs was amazing! (And yes! They do fall off the bone.) However, on our second dinner attempt we learned the hard way that the smell of chicken fat rendering challenges my nose in a very big way. That, and we didn’t realize until after the fact, you need to clean the seal with vinegar after every use and/or purchase separate sealing rings for different types of dishes/meats. (After dry heaving for an hour straight I’m never eating chicken thighs again.)

However, while chicken is permanently knocked off the Instant Pot menu, other things are still a go. Like making wine. Yes. For around the half the cost of a Bota box, you can make your own wine. You don’t even need fruit! Just grab a bottle of Welch’s grape juice, some sugar and yeast and you’re all set! (Plus you’re not fighting with those giant glass jugs so it’s perfect for small spaces.) You can find the instructions for making your own Instant Pot wine here.

Five worthy (and doable!) goals for the New Year that anyone can accomplish! Let's do this!

#2 Focus on strength training.

I put on quite a bit of weight (for me) last year. I actually went up two full sizes. Part of it was stress, part was a prescription medication (I’m no longer taking) and some of it is just age. Hormone changes after 40 can really leave you struggling a bit with self esteem. However, I’ve finally gotten to the point where I’m okay with weight gain – or even the unfortunate redistribution of said weight from my butt to my gut – as long as I know I’m still eating healthy. So instead of cardio (which is nearly impossible to tackle with fibromyalgia) one of my top goals for the New Year is strength training.

As we age we start to lose muscle. According to Forbes, we lose about 25% of our muscle between 30-35. By age 70, it’s as much as 50%. Therefore, resistance and strength training is extremely important once we, as women, hit our forties. Especially if want to retain our independence throughout the later years of life. I’m starting out slow with knee push ups and yoga, but I’m getting it done! I’d love to hear your favorite ways (or video titles) that you use to help build muscle and strength. So please share your tips in the comments!

Eco-friendly cleaning solutions for your home. Reduce your carbon footprint as one of your goals for the New Year by switching to Grove's eco friendly, non toxic cleaning concentrates. Their plant based cleaning products are made with essential oils and help you reduce waste by using less plastic. Plus they take up less storage space in your kitchen or bathroom cabinets! #cleaning #ecofriendly #zerowaste #essentialoils #cleaners

#3 Create less waste.

While it’s nearly impossible to achieve a 100% zero waste lifestyle, there are simple things one can do to minimize excess waste – especially in the kitchen. Last year I fell in love with Grove’s European dish cloths. I even got my BFF hooked on these. She’s always holding on to her paper towels and reusing them multiple times on the counter. Not only to reduce waste, but also to save money.

Not surprising, the European dish cloths were an instant hit in her home! Not only are they thicker and have a higher absorption rate than regular paper towels, you can reuse them over and over. Simply toss them in the dishwasher on your regular cycle when they get dirty. This, of course, also frees of some counter space if you have a small kitchen.

I’ve also made the switch to Grove Collaborative’s cleaning concentrates. Not only am I not having to repurchase my cleaning supplies in bulky plastic spray bottles, I’m also saving a ton of storage space. (Which REALLY matters when you live in a tiny apartment. Grove’s cleaning concentrates come in tiny 1 oz. containers to reduce plastic waste and lower your carbon footprint. All you need to do is add one to a 16 oz. glass spray bottle, then fill with water and shake.

I also love that they’re made with non-toxic, plant derived ingredients including natural essential oils. Paired with a microfiber cloth, my apartment is cleaner than it’s ever been. (Though Greg will tell you it’s somewhat more cluttered with all the soapmaking supplies.)

Eco-friendly cleaning solutions for your home. Reduce your carbon footprint as one of your goals for the New Year by switching to Grove's eco friendly, non toxic cleaning concentrates. Their plant based cleaning products are made with essential oils and help you reduce waste by using less plastic. Plus they take up less storage space in your kitchen or bathroom cabinets! #cleaning #ecofriendly #zerowaste #essentialoils #cleaners

If you’re interested in trying out Grove’s cleaning concentrates, now is the time to make that leap for the New Year. For a limited time you can get a free set of three cleaning concentrates (for tub & tile, glass and all purpose cleaning,) a glass spray bottle, a cleaning caddy and walnut scrubber sponges with your first $20 order. They even throw in free shipping! Spend a little more and they’ll also send you a free stoneware tray. I use mine on our granite countertop for my dish and hand soap. It keeps the water from pooling on the granite so I don’t get those dark water marks. Shop now so you don’t miss out!

DIY Gelli Printing Tutorial! Gelli printing is monoprinting using a gel printing plate. Because the gelli plate is made out of a gel, it's extra sensitive surface will imprint any texture that it is sitting upon or covered with. So you can use materials such as bubble wrap, plastic grids, foam stamps, stencils, leaves and string to create unique and beautiful prints.

#4 Learn something new.

Last year I started taking art classes through a local event called Wine and Art Wednesdays taught by my friend, Hillary. I learned some pretty amazing new crafts while also enjoying the chance to meet new people with similar interests. (You may recall me sharing tutorials from of a few of these classes including how to make needle felted wine bags and suncatchers from upcycled CDs as well as how to create alcohol ink ornaments and gelli prints.)

Five worthy (and doable!) goals for the New Year that anyone can accomplish! Let's do this!

This year I plan to attend even more classes to expand my experience starting with ribbon and macrame mobiles next Wednesday. I’ll also be (finally!) enrolling in an herbal course through The Herbal Academy. If you’ve been thinking about enrolling to expand your knowledge of herbs, now is a great time to do so!

Right now The Herbal Academy is offering up to 25% off all of their courses through January 6th, 2019. Not only will you save money by enrolling now, but The Herbal Academy just announced they will be closing course registration for the Introductory, Intermediate, and all herbalist packages on January 7th until further notice as they undergo some website improvements. So don’t delay! If you’re interested, be sure to sign up now!

Five worthy (and doable!) goals for the New Year that anyone can accomplish! Let's do this!

#5 Take the opportunity to forage (and frolic!)

While living in an apartment doesn’t allow the luxury of the garden, I can still enjoy the outdoors and forage for common herbs and flowers. Last year I stumbled upon a patch of chamomile growing wild off The Greenway I walk on during warmer months. Natural herbs and botanicals like plantain and wild violets are also super common in my hometown. I often find them in backyards and growing along city sidewalks. So even if I discover a new plant that I’m not sure hasn’t been treated with pesticides, I can still use the experience to look it up and learn more about it. Not to mention the hunt for new plants means me getting outdoors and walking even more in the New Year.

(I’m also considering making a handmade book with local plants from our area. Something like my 4th grade project when I had to collect and identify 40 different species of trees in book form, smashed between sheets wax paper heated up with an iron.)

If your area doesn’t offer much of an opportunity to safely forage for wild herbs and plants to use in herbal recipes, then check out the organic dried herbs offered from Mountain Rose Herbs to use in your custom tea blends or homemade herbal salves. Or give this recipe for a homemade energy gel a try!

See. I told you these goals for the New Year would be easy! Now be sure to tell me what your doable goals for the New Year are in the comments. Or, share yourself in action working on your goals via instagram with the #soapdelishowoff so we can all inspire one another! (And yes! Soapmaking goals absolutely count. If you’re finally making cold process soap for the first time, I want to know!)

If you’re looking for more inspiration and DIY ideas as you head into the New Year, then be sure to sign up my semi-weekly newsletter!

Best Essential Oil Blend for Colds and Flu

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

Enjoy all of the wonderful health and wellness benefits of essential oils by starting with this practical (and less expensive) best essential oil blend for colds and flu. Saving you money so you can breathe easy in more ways than one!

Best Essential Oil Blend for Colds and Flu. Essential oils have wonderful aromatherapeutic benefits for health and wellness uses throughout the winter season. However, essential oils can also be expensive to start using. You can enjoy all of the aromatherapy benefits of essential oils by starting with a practical (and less expensive) essential oil blend that targets colds and flu. Saving you money so you breathe easy in more ways than one! #essentialoils

Essential oils don’t have to be expensive.

If you love the idea of essential oils and their potential aromatherapeutic benefits, but aren’t sure where to start, read this! I know many of us have wanted to purchase essential oils in the past. Especially for practical uses throughout the winter season. However, essential oils can be expensive when buying several at one time. Or, you may not want to make a huge investment on essential oils that end up going to waste. You can easily solve this dilemma by purchasing a single essential oil blend. And, as it’s cold and flu season, I’m sharing with you the best essential oil blend for colds and flu to get you started!

I’m SO sick.

We’ve all had those days. Those days where you’re so sick it feels like it will never end. You’ve caught some virus that’s in the midst of throwing down seriously bad voodoo. You can’t breathe. And when you talk, your friends think you’re using a voice changing app to sound like Darth Vader.

The next thing you know you find yourself on Facebook out of sheer boredom. Moments away from pulling the “I’m dying over here” card for sympathy. But you don’t. Because even though you are way sicker than your significant other has ever been in his life, you know that to say that would mean sinking down to that man level cry for sympathy. And you’re a strong badass woman. (Most of the time.)

This is exactly how I’ve felt since Christmas. I’ve had a cough for days. One of those body wrenching coughs that leaves your back sore and your throat raw.

And I’ve been fighting this illness with cough medicine that’s somehow supposed to suppress my cough while also helping me expel mucous at the same time. (How does that work exactly?) Not to mention cough medicine makes me loopy AF. So when my friend and fellow blogger, Cari, suggested that I diffuse essential oils to help, I was blown away by how easy it is to miss the obvious when you’re completely out of it.

Diffusing essential oils for an illness – without a diffuser.

Somehow, however, I’ve managed to make it 43 years on earth without ever once owning an essential oil diffuser. Which, considering my occupation, seems dubious, I know. Of course, I’m not about to make shower steamers when standing is a challenge. So Cari suggested I add a few drops of essential oil to my shower. Now that I could swing. (I mean if all else fails, sitting in the shower is completely plausible.)

So I chose to go with eucalyptus and tea tree essential oils for my (very late) morning shower. I turned the shower head on, let the water get hot then added a few drops of tea tree oil to end of the tub. Next, I followed with some eucalyptus essential oil. Except, oops. I’d taken the dropper out of that bottle and didn’t check before the pour. Therefore, instead of a few drops of eucalyptus to open up my airways, I ended up with more like a teaspoon of eo swimming in the bottom of my tub.

Of course, like any other completely normal totally sick person, I figured it couldn’t hurt. I could barely smell it anyway.

So I showered and inhaled and rinsed and inhaled and at some point I started to actually breathe normally again.

Then Greg came home.

Now the apartment we live in is crazy small. It’s basically the size of a studio apartment but with actual rooms. So my shower basically turned into a giant essential oil diffuser for the entire pad. And when Greg walked through the door he literally took a step back.

Where my overkill of eucalyptus oil had helped to open up my sinuses, it had the opposite effect on him. Greg kept saying “he couldn’t breathe” over and over again. He then went out to the truck to wait for me.

Wait. What?!

Yep. We took a trip to BJ’s Wholesale so the apartment could air out.

So where Greg’s version of events is that I tried to suffocate him. My version is that I was simply disinfecting the entire apartment. Naturally, of course. In one easy step.

Best Essential Oil Blend for Colds and Flu. Essential oils have wonderful aromatherapeutic benefits for health and wellness uses throughout the winter season. However, essential oils can also be expensive to start using. You can enjoy all of the aromatherapy benefits of essential oils by starting with a practical (and less expensive) essential oil blend that targets colds and flu. Saving you money so you breathe easy in more ways than one! #healthandwellness

The Best Essential Oil Blend for Colds & Flu

There are a number of common essential oils you can diffuse for colds and flu. These include eucalyptus essential oil (obviously) ravintsara essential oil, peppermint essential oil, rosemary essential oil,  tea tree essential oil, clove bud essential oil and white fir essential oil. However, buying all of these essential oils at once, or even additional essential oils to create a pleasing essential oil blend for your diffuser, isn’t always cost effective for most people. Therefore, if you only dabble in aromatherapy from time to time, or if you are just starting out, sometimes the easiest and most affordable option is to start with a ready made essential oil blend.

The best essential oil blend for colds and flu is from Spark Naturals. Trusted for their quality and purity, Spark Naturals sells an amazing essential oil blend for colds and flu called Respire. Spark Naturals Respire essential oil blend offers protection against cold and flu germs during flu season as well as congestion in general.

Because so many of us are forced indoors during the winter months, we are more likely to become exposed to these germs by our close proximity with others who may be sick. Therefore, Spark Naturals formulated their proprietary best essential oil blend for colds and flu to offer some protection against common germs. Made using a combination of peppermint, tea tree, eucalyptus, rosemary, lemon and clove essential oils, their Respire essential oil blend also helps with both cold and flu symptoms in addition to common respiratory issues such as congestion.

How to use an essential oil blend for colds and flu.

You can use 5-10 drops of this essential oil blend for colds and flu in an essential oil diffuser in your home. Or try about 10 drops in a bowl of steaming water with a towel draped over your head. Alternately, you can also add around 10 drops of this essential oil to your shower to enjoy the benefits. (Just don’t make the same mistake I did!)

You can also make a simple essential oil salve for chest congestion using this blend. Simply weigh, combine and melt .5 oz. beeswax pastilles in a double boiler with 1 oz. of your preferred carrier oil. Once melted, remove from heat. Then mix in 15-18 drops of the Respire essential oil blend. Pour into metal tins and allow to cool prior to use. Or try Spark Naturals ready made Respire Stix multi-purpose balm.

Spark Naturals also offers a base salve that’s already premade for adding in your choice of essential oils. This is especially useful if you don’t have the space or funds to purchase extra ingredients in bulk. In addition, you can also purchase several pre-made essential oil salves containing the same high quality essential oils for a variety of other health ailments including anxiety and trouble sleeping. Their 8-pack salve sampler is a super affordable way to explore the health benefits of essential oils.

The end result.

Truth be told, I feel a LOT better today after flooding our apartment with tea tree and eucalyptus essential oils. And while Greg may not be quite as thrilled about how I handled my own sick care, he’s pleasantly surprised that my shower diffuser experiment eradicated the dog smell from my aging (super stinky) dachshund, Jasper, from the apartment.

If you’re looking for more ways to help combat those nasty cold and flu germs, be sure to check out these 5 must have products to boost immunity as well as this collection of natural ways to fight colds and flu. Or try Cari’s DIY breathe easy wax melts. You can also learn how to use eucalyptus and tea tree essential oils to make your own natural deodorizing candle.

Do you have a favorite recipe for an essential oil blend that you love using in your home? I’d love for you to share it with me and my readers in the comments! (It’s always so wonderful to be able to learn from one another, don’t you think?)

In the meantime, sign up my semi-weekly (meaning sometimes every week and occasionally every other week) newsletter to discover more great health and wellness tips and skin care recipes.

Homemade Cleaner Recipes with Essential Oils

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I love essential oils! They’re perfect for all types of uses, not just making bath and body products. I also use essential oils to create my own homemade cleaner recipes with essential oils. However, I don’t always have the time to create my own products. I mean, life can be crazy sometimes, right?

Homemade Cleaner Recipes with Essential Oils. An eco-friendly way to save money and lower your carbon footprint. Plus learn how you can save even more money with the new eco-friendly cleaning options available from Grove Collaborative and grab a special deal just for soap lovers. Homemade cleaning recipes using essential oils. Cleaning products with essential oils. #essentialoils #soap #cleaning #diy #cleaners #grovepartner

Honestly, there are days I feel like I can’t catch up much less get ahead. Add in those weekly shopping trips, meal planning, cleaning – it’s hard to squeeze in some free time. And if you have kids? I don’t know how many of you do it.

Anyhow, for those of us whose lives are always running in overdrive, I wanted to share a really special deal that Grove Collaborative is offering this month. And, of course, share some of my favorite homemade cleaner recipes with essential oils too! First, however, I have to let you in on Grove’s new offer!

New Eco-Friendly Hand Soap with Essential Oils

Grove recently released a new line of their own dish and hand soaps in addition to stylish refillable glass containers for each one. Naturally scented with essential oils, their natural fragrance options include Lavender & Thyme, Lemon, Eucalyptus & Mint and Pomegranate. Not only are these products eco-friendly options to your regular brand, they can also save you a trip to the store!

As someone who’s always trying to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, I always excited when I find a natural and sustainable product that works as well as its traditional counterparts. I love the new Grove hand soap. Not only is is eco-friendly, it doesn’t dry out my skin like other soaps. I’m also a sucker for reusable glass containers. And the glass soap pumps from Grove? They don’t just look great. They also work incredibly well. I love mine so much, I also bought a set for my BFF who is somehow (shhhh.) a wee bit more type A than I am.

Try Grove’s New Eco-Friendly Hand Soap Free!

For a limited time you can be among the first to try their new hand soap along with a few bonuses! Here’s what new Grove Collaborative Customers get with their first $20 purchase:

  • Free Grove Collaborative Hand Soap Vessel
  • Free Grove Collaborative Hand Soap Pouch
  • Free Grove Collaborative Stoneware Tray
  • Free Shipping & 60 Day VIP Trial

(If you’re already a customer, you’ll receive a free set of Grove walnut scrubbers — they’re sustainably made and tackle tough messes on dishes or countertops.)

Grove’s new hand soap pouches are every zero-waster’s dream come true! Instead of buying a single-use plastic soap pump, you just twist off the top, fill up your soap dispenser, and voilà!

Homemade Cleaner Recipes with Essential Oils. An eco-friendly way to save money and lower your carbon footprint. Plus learn how you can save even more money with the new eco-friendly cleaning options available from Grove Collaborative and grab a special deal just for soap lovers. Homemade cleaning recipes using essential oils. Cleaning products with essential oils. #essentialoils #soap #cleaning #diy #cleaners #grovepartner

Benefits of Grove’s Hand Soap with Essential Oils

Each pouch of Grove Hand Soap contains approximately three refills. The pouches use 60% less plastic than a traditional soap bottle and cost a lot less to make, fill, and transport. This means you end up saving a lot of money in the long run.

While these soaps are wallet friendly, the scents are decidedly luxurious: Lavender & Thyme, and Lemon Eucalyptus & Mint. Both are formulated with essential oils and aloe vera for extra moisture, and are perfect all-season scents. (For those of you who prefer fragrance free, check out the Free & Clear.)

The set also includes a gorgeous refillable glass hand soap dispenser. Think of it as a “grown up” version of your typical plastic pump bottle. The glass is thick and sturdy, and the brushed metal pump complements any decor.

Along with Grove’s new hand soap and dispenser, this versatile stoneware tray has quickly become one of my favorite items. I’ve purchased a few so I can have one by the kitchen sink and one on my nightstand. It’s perfect for everything from loose sponges to jewelry and glasses.

Grove Collaborative has become my go-to for laundry detergent, toothpaste, vitamins and more because they share my passion for healthy, beautiful household products. They hand-select the best natural products and deliver them (carbon offset) right to your doorstep, on your schedule. I love that their products save me not only money, but that their autoship option also saves me time. This is especially important for those products I just can’t find locally. And I’ve never been surprised by a charge or delivery I didn’t first authorize.

Using Grove is a simple switch that can make a big difference in the health of your home. An added benefit: Once you’ve submitted your first order, you’ll also be signed up for the free 60 day VIP trial. For 60 days, save even more with free shipping, free gifts, price matching, exclusive sales and personal service. I have gotten some really get free gifts from Grove. Kitchen and hand towels, reusable zipper bags, a bamboo prep board – all as a VIP member. And there’s a new free gift available every single month!

If you’re like me and trying to reduce your carbon footprint and create a healthy home, I can’t recommend Grove enough. Here’s how to get your free gift and give Grove a try:

Sign up for Grove Collaborative here. You will receive the free hand soap vessel, hand soap pouch and stoneware tray for free when you sign up! To receive this offer, your order does need to be a minimum of $20.  (I just recently tried their European Dish Cloth Set and was hooked! Just in case you’re looking for more eco-friendly products to try.) Choose the combination of products and scents you love, place your order and then your receive your products in a just a few days!

Natural & Reusable DIY Disinfecting Wipes with Essential Oils via A Life Adjacent. These DIY disinfecting wipes make it easy to keep your home clean without chemicals. They’re easy to make, natural, and reusable — just wash and re-use! These homemade cleaning wipes are made without vinegar, so they’re safe for use even on porous surfaces like marble & granite. Read on to learn how to make your own DIY disinfecting wipes with essential oils.

Homemade Cleaner Recipes with Essential Oils

Ready to save even more by making your own homemade cleaner recipes with essential oils? Give these simple, eco-friendly homemade cleaner recipes with essential oils a try. And don’t forget to add your favorite essential oils to your Grove order!

Natural essential oil home and linen spray recipe. This easy DIY Christmas Room Spray recipe boasts the fresh, deodorizing fragrance of rosemary and fir needle!

Peppermint essential oil foaming soap recipe & decorative winter soap pump tutorial. This holiday foaming hand soap DIY lends a festive touch to your existing soap pumps. Or make your own peppermint scented foaming hand soap with just three simple ingredients! These make great homemade teacher gifts too!

For more ideas for creating your own homemade cleaner recipes with essential oils, be sure to check out this article on the best essential oils for cleaning. You can also learn how to make your own DIY holiday foaming soap pumps to give as quick & easy gifts! Find that tutorial, along with a simple peppermint essential oil foaming soap recipe, here.

For more great ideas for using essential oils as well as updates from Soap Deli News blog, be sure to follow me across all of your favorite social media platforms. You can find me on G+PinterestFacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’ and Instagram. Or, alternately, you can also subscribe to Soap Deli News via email for future updates, DIY projects and recipes.