Tonsillitis – meet your match!!

Howdy blogging world!! After a little hiatus over the holidays… Well more like a period of oh-my-gosh-I-dont-even-have-time-to-shower-let-alone-think-about-blogging… I am happy to say I am back, and I’m back with an awesome essential oil testimonial!!

My testimonial starts out not so awesome though. It starts out last Thursday evening when my 6 week cold seemed to be getting worse. I was at a get-together with friends when the pain in my throat started. I was chugging my bottled water and washing it down with more water, but it wasn’t helping. I went home thinking that my cold was just returning for the most vicious cycle yet, so I took some vitamin c and went to bed.

The next morning I woke up with a huge lump in my throat. Both tonsils were extremely swollen and sore. Having naturally large tonsils, this can sometimes be a cold symptom for me and nothing more. I took some more vitamin c and went about my day.

Later in the morning, the pain increased. I tried gargling with salt water, but due to an overly sensitive gag reflex that caused me to throw up from gargling, it only made things worse. So I took more vitamin c.

I decided to push through and teach a scheduled riding lesson that evening. I was weak. My brain was fuzzy. It hurt to talk. I was freezing cold. It was miserable. As soon as the lesson was over I came inside, and you guessed it, I took more vitamin c. This time though, I also took my temperature. I was shocked to discover that for the first time in 5+ years I had a fever. 101.1F. Yikes. I finally accepted that this was NOT a cold, and I was really sick. I was concerned about the possibility of strep. My whole body ached and the lymph nodes on my throat and neck were extremely swollen and sore. Everything hurt.

Finally, I pulled out the essential oils. Thieves on the feet, thieves on the outside of my throat, and a spoonful of thieves EO, lemon EO and honey. Lots of thieves. I took a hot bath with some Panaway mixed in Epsom salts. The combination of hot water, bath salts, and the Young Living oil blend worked wonders in relieving the aches and pains. After a long soak, I got dressed and applied several drops of thieves and peppermint to my feet. Thieves to fight the sickness, and peppermint to fight the fever. I applied more thieves to the outside of my neck and took another spoonful of thieves and honey. I covered my feet with socks and went to bed.

Sometime during the night my fever broke, and I woke up fever free. Who needs Tylenol when you have peppermint essential oil?? My right tonsil had shrunk down to a normal size, and the lymph nodes on the right side of my neck had also shrunk and were no longer sore. My left tonsil was still a bit swollen and sore, but had significantly decreased in size.

Throughout that day (Saturday) I continued taking honey, lemon EO and thieves EO, and applying thieves to the left side of my neck as well as my feet.

On Sunday morning, I woke up with energy. It was a great feeling after spending 2 days absolutely drained and weak. I decided I must be well enough to go to church, so I did. And I went to lunch afterwards. And I came home and vigorously cleaned my room. The next day I got up and ran my Monday morning errands, made a horse feed run, cleaned and organized the tack/feed room, and spent the better part of the afternoon/evening playing ultimate frisbee. I think I took my thieves and honey once that day.

You know how they say to make sure you take the FULL round of antibiotics to make sure the illness is completely gone? Natural remedies are no different.

Tuesday was a slow digression and by Wednesday I felt about like I had on the previous Friday. This time I went in attack mode. Thieves EVERYWHERE, soft foods, gently gargling salt water (yes I did throw up again, as I am apparently incapable of gently gargling), and drinking lots of my favorite sick tea- Traditional Medicinals Organic Throat Coat. Today is Friday, a week after this ordeal started. My left tonsil is still a bit swollen, but the pain is nearly gone. In fact, I would have to describe the way it feels as an itch. It feels like a healing scrape that itches from the healing process. My infected tonsil is healing! The lymph nodes on my neck are no longer swollen and the pain has subsided. From my googling, I am quite convinced that what I experienced was tonsillitis. There are a few symptoms difference from strep that I experienced, and I do not appear to be contagious.

So, while I am not a doctor, I can say from personal experience that Thieves essential oil healed my tonsillitis. I was already a believer, but after this even I am amazed.

As a recap, here are the 4 main oils I used to heal my tonsillitis:

Thieves Essential Oil Blend (clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus, & rosemary):

 

Lemon Essential Oil

 

 

Panaway Essential Oil Blend (wintergreen, helichrysum, clove, & peppermint)

 

 

Peppermint Essential Oil

 

 

And I have to put in a good word for Tradition Medicinals Organic Throat Coat Tea – and no, I’m not getting paid to promote this tea, it’s just that good!!

If you want to try these amazing essential oils for yourself, click here and either place a retail order, or select “wholesale member” to receive discounted prices. As a wholesale member, you can select a starter kit. The premium starter kit is by far the most economical option (I will write a post on the price break down in the next few weeks), and you will receive the basic oils for stocking your medicine cabinet!!

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Dear Miley…

Dear Miley,

A lot of people are saying a lot of things about you. I guess you probably know that.

Most of what they are saying isn’t good. I’m sure you know that too.

But it’s okay, right? As long as they are talking. As long as they see you. As long as they know you. 

Who cares what they say. Just keep them saying something.

As long as they talk, you are somebody. As long as they tweet, you are worth tweeting about. As long as they parody, your music is known. As long as they are shocked, you have the shock factor. As long as they blog, your fame is growing.

As long as they care, you are worth caring about.

What if it didn’t have to be that way.

What if your worth wasn’t dependent on them.

What if it didn’t matter who saw… who cared… who tweeted… who blogged… who talked…

What would it be like to just be you? Raw and vulnerable. Defenseless. Not hiding behind the smoke and lights and racy costumes. No shocking new music video or performance. No twerking. Just you.

Who is that? Do you know? 

Is it Hannah Montana? Miley Stewart? Miley Cyrus? Which wig do you wear this time?

If it’s just you, would they still talk? Would they still care? Would they still know you?

If they did know you, just you… the real you, would they still care? Or would you be alone.

Out of the spotlight. Out of the media. Alone. 

What if that was okay? What if it was more than okay? What if they really didn’t matter so much after all?

Every daring stunt, every revealing costume, every innappropriate music video will die. Sure, they’ll live on in infamy for a little while, but eventually they are gone. People move on to the next thing. Isn’t that what always happens? The entertainment world moves so fast. How can you even try to keep up? It’ll get tiring. It’ll wear you down. All of you. Your body given to drugs. Your soul and emotions given to the opinions of a cruel world. You are only human. You can only do so much before you break.

Don’t break. Not like that, at least.

What if you could be completely known. All of you. All the deep things hidden way down in your heart that you hope no one will ever see. The hurt. The anger. The past regrets. The failure. The fear. The condemnation.

What if someone could see all of that… and still care. Care enough to pursue you passionately and purposefully. 

What if they cared enough to allow you to make your mistakes while standing back with arms open wide, waiting for you to come home.

What if they cared enough to take on your pain, your failure, your sin, your regret. What if they cared enough to take it with them to the grave, paying the price for every single thing you have done wrong. Rising again, victorious over both the physical death and spiritual death. Now waiting… waiting… just waiting for you to come home to a place where you are fully known and fully loved.

He did. Jesus did. His body was broken for you and now His heart breaks for you. He sees you for you. He WANTS you for you.

He desperately desires you who you can be through Him. Alive. Transformed. Fulfilled. Complete in Him.

He’s begging you to come home. And I am too.

***************************

While Miley Cyrus sparked this letter, I think it resonates with all of us. The desire to be fully known and fully loved. The type of love exists. It’s powerful and can transform your life. It exists through death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who died for us, His unfaithful bride. This kind of love can’t be earned or bought. It is freely given to those who turn to Jesus, running to His open arms and fleeing everything that draws away from Him. He died for you. He wants you. He is waiting for you.

 

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November?

November? Really? Is it possble that we have already entered the second to last month of 2013? Wow… Crazy how time flies by.

I honestly don’t have a lot to blog about at the moment. Life is pretty much the same old-same old, and I have been slacking on my DIY recipes to share with you! I have been super backed up on completing orders for my Etsy shop and preparing for holiday craft fairs. It’s a good problem to have though!! 

The shorter days are making it difficult to keep up with horseback riding lessons, but so far I have been able to maintain my current students. I have such a great group of girls taking from me right now and every lesson is so much fun!!

And back on the topic of it being November… I’m know I’m skipping over Thanksgiving here, but do you realize Chistmas is next month???!!! Eeeek!!! I’m so excited but so unprepared!! How about you?? (A quick shameless plug- you may find some great gift ideas in my etsy shop.)

What are some of your favorite Christmas & holiday traditions? I’d love to hear what Christmas looks like in your home!!

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Witch Hazel Herbal Toner

It’s been quite awhile since I have posted a tutorial, so here’s a quick and easy recipe for you to try out today!!

This herbal toner is so simple but very effective in combating oily and acne prone skin!!

I make this recipe in a small 2oz spray bottle that I purchased in the travel section at Walmart. 

I then fill the bottle about 2/3 of the way with witch hazel, a natural astringent derived from the witch hazel bush. It gently cleanses and soothes while cleaning acne and toning the skin.

Fill the bottle the rest of the way with distilled water.

Then add about 10 drops of tea tree oil to the bottle. I just love tea tree oil for cleansing and clearing blemished skin!! Whenever I am having a break out, tea tree oil comes to my rescue!! 

You can also add a few drops of lavender essential oil if you would like. Another oil I have really been digging lately for skin care is cedarwood essential oil. The earthy scent took me a little while to get used to, but I love how it makes my face feel!!

Normally, though, I only add tea tree oil to my toner. I start with one of my homemade soaps containing tea tree essential oil and peppermint essential oil to cleanse my face. Then I take my spray bottle of toner, shake gently to disperse the essential oils, and spritz on a cotton pad. I wipe my face well with the cotton pad and allow the toner to dry on my skin. I follow up with a homemade aloe vera based lotion (which I will post a tutorial for in the near future!). I add a drop of cedarwood essential oil to the lotion base and massage into my skin. It feels so soft and smooth!

You may wonder why I choose to store the toner in a spray bottle when I apply with a cotton pad. The reason for this is that my back and chest tend to be easily irritated and I find that the toner helps to soothe these areas of skin, but it can be hard to reach my back with a cotton pad. For these large and hard to reach areas of skin I simply spritz until the skin is damp and allow the mixture to dry! Easy easy easy.

Another idea you could try is making pre-made toner wipes like we did with the quick and easy make up remover wipes. Just place cotton rounds in a 4 oz mason jar (I purchase 12 packs of these at Walmart for under $10) and pour the toner over the pads until they are all saturated. Even easier!!

I hope you give this easy & effective toner a try. Leave me a comment and let me know how it turned out! 

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The hard decisions

Over the past few weeks I’ve been wrestling with the idea of selling one of my horses. Not just any of them, either. I’ve decided to sell Belle.

I don’t think I’ve really introduced my horses on this blog, so here’s a little background on Belle. Actually, it’s not so little. It’s going to be long and full of pictures, so consider yourself warned.

Here we go…

I didn’t find Belle, Belle sort of found me. When she was 10 months old my dad decided to surprise me with my first “baby” to train in the form of bringing her home and turning her out in the pasture while I was away. 12 year old me was absolutely giddy with the idea of a foal all of my own to train up as my super horse. 12 year old me also had no idea what I was doing. But I was happy.

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I immediately set to work on training her. Within 6 weeks I had trained her to bite, rear, and kick. I had trained her to snatch treats and trample anyone who tried to lead her. That was when she started training me.

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Slowly but surely I learned a new way of communicating with Belle. I put away the treat bag and together we learned a language of love and respect. I learned that while baby horses may be cute, they are also dangerous. I learned that in order for Belle to respect me as the boss horse I had to learn to think like a horse.

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Many of our training sessions ended with frustration, some ended in tears, but gradually more and more of our sessions ended with happy cuddles.

 

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Belle never transformed into an easy horse to handle. She still isn’t. But she learned to listen to me and I developed a level of confidence I didn’t have before. 

 

No successful training session was taken for granted. Knowing how difficult she could be, I was truly grateful for each obedient response she offered.

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There were silly times, too. I wasn’t the only one who wanted to have fun in this relationship. Belle was curious and always wanting to play so I had to learn to work with that tendency rather than fight against her playful spirit.

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Belle grew and grew, and finally she grew strong enough for me to ride her. She handled it like a champ.

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While she was fearless about having a human on her back, she proved to be just as stubborn under saddle as she was on the ground…

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All that fighting made her first canter a very rewarding experience.

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Each ride got a little better and Belle learned to respect me not only on the ground but also on her back. As I grew up and began highschool, her training also advanced. 

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And of course she was included in my senior pictures…

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But it’s funny how reality hits after graduation. How the real world suddenly becomes so real.

Gone are the days of hours in the barn. Working full time becomes a priority. Minimizing costs, saving money, becoming independent. That’s what life looks like now. Thankfully teaching horseback riding lessons keeps me involved with my horses. I tried to justify holding onto Belle with the excuse of using her as a lesson horse. It doesn’t work. Belle doesn’t like a different person riding her every day and she proves to be too much of a challenge for most of my riders. 

I try to keep up with her on my own time…

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….but this baby is now 5 and needs my attention to finish his training and his mama is 22 and needs some extra care. 

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That leaves Belle on the back burner most of the time. Not her favorite place to be.

I finally came to terms with the idea of letting Belle start a new adventure. It’s time for her to find a new little girl and teach her all the things she taught me. I’m thankful for the years I had her and the horsemanship skills I learned from her. Now I am ready to watch her live the dream all over again with someone else.

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