Monday, February 26, 2018

Practical Essential Oils

I know essential oils are everywhere these days and its almost cliche that I’m writing about them (I know you thought it! Its ok :) but I feel like there is a gap that needs to be bridged between die-hard-oil-enthusiast and just-starting-out-newbie because there is a lot of information out there and knowing where to begin can be overwhelming.
Practical Essential Oils from Work it Mommy blog
My journey with EOs began when I was a child. My mom is a product of the 60’s and being a “flower child” believes in alternative medicines so putting drops of essential oils in a humidifier when I was congested was a common occurrence. Finding little glass vials in the refrigerator door was normal. I never really gave it any thought other than liking certain fragrances. Fast forward to now and oils are everywhere! It took me a solid year before I decided to try them out in my own home (2015) another few months researching what brand to use (through this podcast) and another countless hours learning how to use them. And it's still a learning process!

I will not tell you that I’ve replaced all my cleaning products and use just tea tree and water and vinegar because to me that isn't realistic. While I do believe green products are important and the majority of my products are, I admit that I still use bleach. And if I get a migraine I still reach for Tylenol. 
Practical Essential Oils from Work it Mommy blog
I do not sell essential oils and am not sharing to make sales, though I have linked to Amazon products and can earn a small commission if you click on them to purchase, so thank you.

Plain and simple I use essential oils because they smell nice and I enjoy them. 

I own 14 essential oils; 8 are synergies (blends of multiple EOs in one bottle) and 6 are pure. I have two carrier oils, coconut and almond that I alternate between. And I also have witch hazel on hand as a stabilizer when making room/linen sprays that mix with water. There is a diffuser in our room and the girls room

Autumn gift set (seasonal oils)
Plant Therapy Vein Aid Synergy Pre-Diluted Roll-On 

***If I was to tout a miracle oil it would be the Vein Aid above which cleared up a spider vein I had for 6 years on my left shin after two weeks of twice daily use.***
Practical Essential Oils from Work it Mommy blog
I like staring small and working my way up so no big starter kits for me- I also get overwhelmed easily which freezes me into inactivity (am I the only one?!) I simply began by diffusing a few drops of one essential oil in water and have since started combining oils to make more complex scents. 

My top concerns are making sure the oils I use are safe for my kids and dog and making sure to properly dilute when using oils topically. 

Peppermint is a firm no right now. I also will not use oils “neat” (applied directly to the skin without being mixed with another carrier oil) or ingest oils when extracts are more suited for baking and eating purposes.



Practical Essential Oils from Work it Mommy blog
But how do you know if an oil is safe? That was my biggest question and why I love Plant Therapy essential oils, every one of their products is clearly labeled and ones that can be used safely for children 2 years+ are deemed KidSafe (you can see the Kidsafe marking above). You can buy directly from their site or through Amazon which keeps costs down (no middleman) and their testing standards are the strictest in the business. Whichever company you trust is where you should purchase from.

Some other ways to use oils in daily life:
  • Adding a few drops to liquid soap for added germ-killing properties.
  • Adding to laundry detergent to impart fragrance and get rid of musty smells in towels. Alternatively, adding a few drops to wool dryer balls.
  • Adding to body lotion or other personal care items for fragrance (as a precaution always test a small part of your arm for sensitivity to any given oils before applying to larger areas of the body.)
  • Making household cleaners/dusters/polishers.
  • Making hand-sanitizer
Practical Essential Oils from Work it Mommy blog
As it turns out my mom was right about everything 😉

Have any questions? I'll try my hardest to answer them!
Practical Essential Oils from Work it Mommy blog

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The February Book Report

I am happily crossing off book titles and am feeling good. This month I'm joining Stephanie for her What We're Reading Wednesday link up (pop over to her blog for a little interview by yours truly!) there's also a little Q&A at the end of this post with Penny and Stephanie. Affiliate links used. A small commission may be received if you purchase an item through my links. Thank you for supporting my blog!

The Sinner by Petra HammersfahrThe February Book Report 2018 from the blog Work it Mommy
Goodreads Synopsis:
On a sunny summer afternoon by the lake, Cora Bender stabs a man to death. Why? What would cause this quiet, kind young mother to stab a complete stranger in the throat over and over again, in full view of her family and friends? For the local police, it's an open-and-shut case. Cora quickly confesses and there's no shortage of witnesses, but those questions remain unanswered. Haunted by the case, the police commissioner refuses to close the file and begins his own maverick investigation. So begins the slow unraveling of Cora's past, a harrowing descent into a woman's private hell. A dark, spellbinding novel, where the truth is to be questioned at every turn, The Sinner has been a bestseller around the world, and is poised to be a summer smash with the coming TV adaptation, already hailed as one of the most anticipated shows of the summer.

Thoughts:
Holy moly what a trip! This messed with my mind in the greatest way possible. I went back and forth between being horrified, repulsed and then depressed throughout the whole thing and enjoyed every minute. Originally written in German the translating was so hauntingly poetic. If you want a good psychological thriller, this is it. 

Stars:
5 out of 5

Buy the book here | DVD

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
The February Book Report 2018 from the blog Work it Mommy
Goodreads Synopsis:
There isn't one, just a quote from a critic and that aptly sums up this book for me, I really had no idea what it was even about when I picked it up.

Thoughts: 
Aside from the derogatory language used in that time period, this story was a good read. The three-way narrative made it that much more interesting and it resolved nicely.

Stars:
4 out of 5

Buy the book here

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The February Book Report 2018 from the blog Work it Mommy
Goodreads Synopsis:
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.
Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.
Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia — a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo — to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells.
Henrietta’s family did not learn of her “immortality” until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family — past and present — is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.
Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed in the lives of the Lacks family—especially Henrietta’s daughter Deborah, who was devastated to learn about her mother’s cells. She was consumed with questions: Had scientists cloned her mother? Did it hurt her when researchers infected her cells with viruses and shot them into space? What happened to her sister, Elsie, who died in a mental institution at the age of fifteen? And if her mother was so important to medicine, why couldn’t her children afford health insurance?
Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.
Thoughts:
I've been meaning to read this Nonfiction book since last year but kept putting it aside. I'm almost done with it; it is a quick read and very informative and fascinating (the way the world worked just a few decades ago is mind boggling) The science aspect of this is written in layman's terms so its easy to process but what isn't understandable (to me) is why the Lacks family hasn't gotten more recognition for Henrietta's crucial role in medicine/vaccinations.

Stars:
4 out of 5

Buy the book here | Digital HD

Book counter: 8/30


1) What book did you read from start to finish that when finished you thought "That was a waste of time."?
I had the think long and hard about this one. If a book doesn't capture my attention, I have no problem abandoning it and starting a new one. One that eventually came to mind was Fifty Shades Freed. I got caught up in the whole "Fifty Shades" saga and didn't want to be left out of the conversation, so I read all three books. The last one was dreadful! When I finished, I definitely thought it was a waste of time.

2) Someone is looking for a tear jerker. Which book is your go to suggestion?
The Art of Racing in the Rain. This book, told through the eyes of the dog, made me laugh, cry and every emotion in between. I just loved it! If you haven't read this New York Times bestseller, I highly recommend you add it to your reading list.

3) What book have you read more than once? Maybe even more than 3 times?

A book I could read over and over is To Kill A Mockingbird. Who wouldn't fall in love with Scout?!? Fun fact: Apparently Atticus Finch was inspired by Harper Lee's father.

Read Penny's meet and greet experience. She, too, got to spend an evening with on of her favorite authors. Again, this is such a fun experience!

1) What book did you read from start to finish that when finished you thought "That was a waste of time."?
This is going to be a shock to those who love this author but Emily Giffin's One and Only was awful. While I love most of her stuff, this particular book left my feeling uncomfortable the entire way through. Another one that felt just wrong and off was Nicholas Sparks' Two by Two.

2) Someone is looking for a tear jerker. Which book is your go to suggestion?
I am a huge fan of WWII novels and when I finished reading Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale, I was a sobbing mess. I was crying so hard my chest hurt. It's that good of a book! Not only does it create this amazing story of resilience but it gives a whole new perspective on the war. All while breaking your heart.

3) What book have you read more than once? Maybe even more than 3 times?
I have read The Help by Kathryn Stockett 8 times. It's one of my all-time favorite books and movie. It's always one those books that is made into a film that the film does the book justice. I'm sure you've seen the movie but the book is so worth reading anyway.

Read about Stephanie's meet and greet with Jojo Moyes by visiting her blog, Wife Mommy Me.

***If you're interested in co-hosting with Stephanie email her at sacox65@gmail.com***


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Friday, February 16, 2018

Tiny Letters 2.18

Joining Kristin for one of my favorite link ups, Little Letters!
Tiny Letters 2.18 from the blog Work it Mommy
Dear Family, 
I would be lost without you. I can't believe Kinsey just turned seven (SEVEN!) Brielana, you are hilarious, Clark a doll and Brian, my other half; we may not have all our ish together but together we have it all.
Tiny Letters 2.18 from the blog Work it Mommy
Dear lavender essential oil, 
Bless you. I mixed up a simple room spray and have been going spritz crazy. The girls request it at bedtime and I happily oblige. I love Plant Therapy for my EOs.

Dear Mossimo Supply Ruffle tops,
These (link) tees are everything. Super soft and comfy but with an added ruffle to dress it up a bit, I've been living in them.
Tiny Letters 2.18 from the blog Work it Mommy
Dear Healthy Living app,
Kristin actually introduced me to this app and it is so much fun! Thank goodness my skin products rated well because I was having low-level anxiety over having to possibly switch them out.

Dear new hair cut,
I love you. I got the “mom lob” and chopped off about 6 inches. It feels amazing. My curls are springier, my prep time is like 5 minutes(if that) and now there’s less of it for Clark to pull and chew (gum) on. 
Tiny Letters 2.18 from the blog Work it Mommy
Dear Reading, 
I'm so glad you're hanging around. I've had an extra-productive January and knocked out six books. Making time to read just makes me a happier person.

Dear decluttering ,
Getting rid of all the extra nonsense stuff has been super invigorating. I wouldn't call myself a pack-rat by any means but some of the things I have been holding onto is baffling. Bye Felicia!
Tiny Letters 2.18 from the blog Work it Mommy
How is February treating you?
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