Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Trip to Washington D.C.

We decided to go to some historic spots while we were in Washington D.C.. First stop was Mt. Vernon.

These are both backyard shots.
All the trees were still bare from this very cold winter. I did see a Tulip Poplar that had been planted in 1785. I took a photo of the trunk because it was so big!

George Washington believed that the curved line was nature's gift so he reshaped the walks, roads and gardens in that fashion. This was and is a working farm. Apricots peaches nectarines and cherries grow near the wall because they needed the warmth of the wall to survive the winter. The kitchen garden was big and could feed 16 to 18 people but since Washington had 600+ visitors a year he grew produce in all his gardens.

We then traveled to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello where I found this Little-Leaf Linden. There are two of them at the front walk. It’s branches reach down into the ground and ducked in and out of the soil below. Something right out of Harry Potter. I wondered if it would pick me up and throw me into the river!

Here is a White Ash (had to hug it!) and a White Pine. Very pretty.
Jefferson grew 330 vegetable varieties and 170 fruit varieties. As at George Washington’s Mt. Vernon, Monticello was and is a working farm.

Now here is something interesting. On the walk down from the Jefferson Family grave plot I spotted this. I was told it's English Ivy gone amuck. They had to cut a big piece out of it because it was killing the tree. It doesn't look like any ivy I've ever seen.

When we were in Williamsburg I spotted this large tree. Big enough for several people to sit under.

We will defiantly have to come back in the spring when everything is in bloom.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Anti Aging Salve - dōTERRA

So many people have been asking me about the recipe for the salve—so here it is!

It’s an anti aging salve but it worked just fine for my burnt hand.

Here is what you’ll need.

1 cup coconut oil
1 cup olive oil
4 Tablespoons Beeswax
10 drops each of Frankincense, Lavender and Cypress
4 - 4 ounce jars

Heat Oils and beeswax in a double boiler until melted
Cool for 3 minutes
Add Essential oils

Pour into jars and cover with a paper towel until cool
Seal with a lid

It’s that easy! It feels so good and can be used all over the body. I use it on my face at night but my friend Tanya puts it under her makeup during the day.

Frankincense has many uses - one is it helps with infected wounds. This was the NEOSPORIN® of old and is why the wise men brought Mary and Joseph Frankincense.

Lavender also has many uses. Most common is the ability to help one sleep. It also is great for blisters, burns and can be used as a pain reliever.

Cypress is also a pain reliever and a skin re-vitalizer.

This is why the salve that Kelly made, made a difference in the recovery of my hand.

You can use any essential oils you'd like. This time Kelly made a wake up salve for morning use. It contains Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Lavender and Wild Orange.

If you want to find out how to get dōTERRA CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade* essential oils please go to my site

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Essential Oils and Burns

My husband Robert and I were making dinner in the kitchen. I had my back turned when he pulled the steak out of the 450 degree oven and placed it on the center eye of the stove. I filled my pan with the vegetables I had cut up and turned to place it on the stove. I saw the cast iron pan sitting on the stove and without thinking I grabbed it with my left hand to move it over to the side.
I screamed and started crying. My whole hand was burnt and I knew what was coming next. Blisters, swelling, intense pain and skin damage. Robert saw what had happened and told me he was taking me to the emergency room.
No, I didn't want to sit there for hours and hours with no treatment or pain relief. My friend had gone there recently and had to wait 8 hours to be seen. I wasn’t doing that. But I knew I had to act fast.
I quickly opened my Modern Essentials book. It’s a contemporary guide to the therapeutic use of essential oils. I happened to have it on the kitchen table that day.
I could hardly see through my tears but I turned the pages until I found "Burns".

Lavender, Melaleuca, Peppermint, Geranium, Helichrysum and Roman Chamomile. I asked Robert to call my friend Kelly who lives down the street to see if she had Lavender, Helichrysum, Roman Chamomile and Geranium. I had just run out of Lavender but had Melaleuca and Peppermint.
I started treating my hand with the two oils that I had while Robert ran down the street for the others. Kelly didn't have Roman Chamomile either but that was okay. She did have Lavender, Geranium and Helichrysum. It’s always good to have a neighbor who uses essential oils just in case!

Robert came back quickly with the other oils and I started rubbing all 5 onto my hand. Two drops each every 20 minutes for 5 applications total.
The pain dulled but didn’t go away. My hand was red but hadn’t started to blister yet. We waited. I went to bed that night still being conscious of my burnt left hand.
When I woke the next morning the skin on my hand was tight. I just knew I’d have blisters on my fingers and the middle of my palm but no.
My hand was red but had no apparent skin damage. The skin on my hand was tight and very dry but that’s it.
I applied the salve that Kelly had made for me a couple of weeks before. (I’ll post that on my next entry.) I did that all day long. My hand didn’t look burnt at all. I had a little skin damage on my finger tips and when I put my hand on my cheek my hand felt hot.

The next day my hand was back to normal.
Would I recommend not seeing a doctor for a bad burn? No. You never know and you don’t want to take a chance but I decided against it.
I was glad for Robert who believed enough in me and in the oils - allowing me to use my intuition instead of insisting on going to the ER. I am grateful for Kelly who had the oils I didn’t and who made the salve that I used all through the next day. I’m happy that I had my essential oils and the presence of mind to use them.

“People who are unfamiliar with essential oils might see them as voodoo or quackery because there’s not much scientific validation yet. The research is coming slowly gaining momentum as our Western society realizes the value of natural products.” Nicole Stevens is a member of the dōTERRA Scientific Advisory Board.

Want to learn more? Please go to

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Homemade Lip Balm and Lip Scrub

Lip Balm is so expensive and you never know what’s in it. I got these recipes off the Doterra blog site and it is so simple! Here is what you’ll need.

1 ounce beeswax (3 TBSP)

I bought 1 ounce beeswax blocks so this makes it easy to measure the exact amount.
1 ounce coconut oil (2 TBSP)

1/2 ounce shea butter (1 TBSP)

1/2 ounce cocoa butter (1 TBSP)

20 drops Peppermint essential oil

10 drops Lavender essential oil

Line up empty containers on counter. You can get them for about 3 cents a pot online.

Measure all butters and oils in a heat proof measuring cup.

Fill a large skillet with 1.5 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Add the measuring cup to skillet. Stir until melted. The beeswax will take the longest.

Once all wax and butters are melted, remove from heat and let sit for 3 minutes to cool a bit.
Add essential oils. I use dōTERRA CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils because I feel that they are the best.

Pour mixture into containers.

You can almost use it right away because it won’t take any time to cool.
I was able to get 16 full containers of lip balm from this recipe.

Next the lip scrub. It’s nice to use this once or twice a week to keep your lips moist and free of dry skin.

Here is what you’ll need.
8 teaspoons brown sugar
6 teaspoons coconut oil
6 teaspoons honey
4 drops dōTERRA Peppermint essential oil
4 drops dōTERRA Wild Orange essential oil

Mix all these ingredients together until smooth and fully combined. Next - fill the same sized container with the scrub. You’ll get eight pots of scrub out of this recipe.

If you are planning to give these as gifts you can give two balms with one scrub (since you’ll only use the scrub once or twice a week)

Go to for more information on CPTG Essential Oils.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Essential Oil Play Dough - Valentines for Kids

Here is another recipe I got from the Doterra International Blog-
This is a wonderful Valentines gift to give to kids.
Peppermint, Wild Orange and Lemon are fun oils to add to home made play dough. It will help chase those rainy day blues away!

Here is the list of ingredients.
2 cups flour

2 cups colored water. Make sure you make your colors very dark because when they are mixed with the flour they will get lighter. I used yellow for lemon, orange for Wild Orange and red for peppermint.

1 cup salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

10 drops essential oils (the original recipe calls for 5 but it wasn’t enough for me)

1. Combine all ingredients (except for essential oils) in a large bowl and stir until well mixed.
Note: There will still be some lumps but they will cook out later.

2. Once combined pour into a large pan over medium heat. Using a spatula, continue to stir ingredients together until it forms a ball. Just when you think that maybe you should cook it a little more take if off the heat. It will continue to cook as you kneed the dough.
Note: Don’t overcook or your dough will get too dry

Once cool, add 10 drops of your favorite essential oil and knead until thoroughly combined. I repeated this recipe three times to make three colors and scents.

I found these heart zip lock bags at the Dollar Store. The dough will keep for a couple of months in your refrigerator!

Go to to purchase Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils that represent the safest and most beneficial essential oils available today.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Essential Oil Soothing Bath - Valentines Day Gift

I got this base recipe off of the Doterra International blog site.
I have to be honest, this blog was titled Essential Oil Bubble Bath but when I tried it I saw very few bubbles so I changed the name. This also works as a shower gel.

Still way better than store bought and safer too! By using essential oils and other natural ingredients you know this will be gentle on your skin. Kids will love it too. You’ll help them get ready for a great nights sleep by adding lavender or other soothing and calming essential oils to their nightly bath.
Go to: - to learn more. This recipe makes two gifts with 4 uses each.

Here is what you’ll need-
1 cup unscented castile soap or baby soap ($7.99 for 16 fl.oz)
1/2 cup vegetable glycerin ($8.09 for 16 fl.oz.)
Note: Castile soap and vegetable glycerin are sold at Whole Foods or Life Grocery.

15 drops of essential oil. You could use Lavender but I used Serenity which is a blend of Lavender, Sweet Marjoram, Roman Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood and Vanilla Bean Extract. (Serenity smells so good you can use it as perfume!) This relaxing blend helps to calm and soothe feelings of stress, excitement and anxiety. Perfect for an evening bath.

Find a pretty container - I found one at Target for $3.99. It’s supposed to be used for olive oil but it’s perfect for a this wonderful bath blend.

1. Combine castile soap, glycerin, and water into a glass measuring cup.
2. Add 15 drops of essential oil.
3. Stir until well combined.
4. Pour into container of your choice.

To use: Add 1/4 cup of this relaxing mixture to running bath water.

Go to: - to purchase Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils that represent the safest and most beneficial essential oils available today.

Remember: Wake each morning asking yourself how you can make your sweetheart's day easier and your love will last a lifetime.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A retro review of The Amy Vanderbilt Success Program for Women #2

The next booklet that we will explore is “How to control your weight”. After reading this booklet I am convinced that all diet books have been saying the same thing for years and they don't work. If diets really allowed you to achieve your long term goals we would all be thinner.
We have to look toward mindful eating instead and perhaps that will do the trick. My niece Meghan has been saying this for years. Her web page address is

For now, lets explore how the 1960’s Modern Woman goes about controlling her weight.

First there is a section on the woman who is too thin and needs to gain weight.

“What does being too thin do to you? In the first place, you have too little fatty tissue covering your bones. Its absence makes you look unattractive. The mortality rate for underweight persons is less than that for the overweight, but unlike the latter, which is greatest after the age of forty-five, it is exactly reversed. Underweight is more dangerous to those under forty-five.”

The desirable weight for Men and Women chart in the book was taken from the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. I compared it to today's charts and you can be heavier today and be considered healthy than you could be in 1960. People were expected to weigh less back then.

This booklet also discusses diet pills and meals in a can. I didn't realize that liquid diets were around then.

“The highly dubious will-o’-the-wisp is a 'diet aid.' It usually comes in the form of a pill or a capsule which is guaranteed to make you lose your appetite. Many of them are quite harmless.”

“These diet aids are a prop which bolsters your weak resolve to lose weight for as long as you continue to use it. No doctor would advocate your taking such an aid for a prolonged time. Therefore, when you give it up, having lost the pounds you wanted to, perhaps, you regain your appetite. In the meantime, you have changed not one habit, learning nothing - and back you go to eating too much, too rich food. In a twinkling you’re fat again - and no one should be less surprised than you!”

I liked this next paragraph. A 12 was the desired size but a 12 in 1960 is smaller than a 12 in today's store.
Everything from weigh charts to dress sizes have gotten bigger since then.

“The thrill of finding the size 12 looks perfect on you when you’ve been wearing a 16 is great. The same holds true for a grown woman who used to wear an 8 and looked rather like a scarecrow, when she proudly buys a 12 and looks like a delightfully curvy lady!”

Some of the recipes were very interesting. Here is one that will make you wonder~

Norwegian Fish Pudding
1/2 pound codfish Dash of nutmeg
1/2 pound haddock 1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 egg whites 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
dash of pepper 2 cups of milk

Remove all skin and bones from the fish. Put through the finest grinder twice. Add egg whites and put through grinder again. Add seasonings and cornstarch. Add milk gradually, beating with electric mixer for 15 minutes or longer. Place in buttered loaf pan and bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hour, or until pudding is solid enough to slice. Serve with shrimp sauce. Serves 4.

I made Poories (the next recipe) because they didn’t seem too dangerous. Deep fried flour and water.
1 poorie = 35 calories. (?) A cross between flat bread and crackers.

8 tablespons whole wheat flour
1 heaping talbespoon white flour
dash of salt

Mix flours with salt. Add enough water, gradually, to hold the mixture together. Knead until all four is absorbed. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and of even texture. Divide into 8 balls and set aside, coved for an hour or more. Roll out into paper thin rounds on lightly floured board. Place one poorie at a time in 375 degree deep fat, pressing it down with a slotted spoon, using a circular motion, until it starts to blow up like a ball. Allow to come to the surface, turn over and brown lightly on second side. Drain on absorbent paper. Serve hot (keep in warm oven until needed).

And the last word from Amy Vanderbilt - "It is an interesting thing, however, that the greatly overweight and the greatly underweight have one problem in common- they are both usually chronically tired and dissatisfied with their appearance. Diets to lose, diets to gain, and diets to maintain weight are all predicated on one important need - that of self satisfaction. If we don't like ourselves, who will like us?"