Author Archives: Beeyoutiful Mary

How-To Tuesday: Using Bergamot Essential Oil

#HowToTuesday- Using Bergamot Essential Oil from Beeyoutiful.com (2)

Bergamot is well known for its pairing with Black Tea, producing the much-loved flavor of Earl Grey. But did you know that Bergamot Essential Oil has some amazing benefits that go much further than just tea? Join us for How-To Tuesday and learn some of our favorite uses for this citrus oil.

#HowToTuesday- Using Bergamot Essential Oil from Beeyoutiful.com

Refreshing Facial Mask

2 drops Bergamot Essential Oil
3 tsp French Green Clay powder
Distilled Water to desired consistency

Using a non-reactive, non-plastic bowl, mix Bergamot, clay powder, and water together thoroughly. Once water has been thoroughly absorbed (a few lumps are okay; green clay is notoriously clumpy), apply to face. Let dry for 20 minutes, then wash and rinse. Optional: Add 1 drop of Spearmint Essential Oil for an even more refreshing tingle!

Jazz Up My Day Diffuser Blend

Add one drop each of Bergamot, Cassia, and Clove essential oils to your diffuser’s reservoir, then fill up the rest of the way with Eucalyptus.

Bergamot it Up! Cleaning Spray

10 drops Thyme Essential Oil
10 drops Bergamot Essential Oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tsp Liquid Castile Soap

Mix in a spray bottle and add water. Shake well before use. Spritz on surfaces, then scrub and clean all those dirty corners!

#HowToTuesday- Using Bergamot Essential Oil from Beeyoutiful.comSunshine Day Massage Oil Blend

1 drop Bergamot Essential Oil
1 drop Lavender Essential Oil
1 drop Geranium Essential Oil
2 Tbs Jojoba or Sweet Almond Oil

Put all essential oils in a glass bowl or container and then add carrier oil. Use as a refreshing and cheerful massage oil. Store in a dark colored glass bottle. Refrigeration will extend shelf life. Bottle can be gently warmed after refrigeration by sitting in warm water for a few minutes before using in a massage.

What’s your favorite use for this fragrant essential oil? Tell us in the comments or on Facebook how you use Bergamot

 Eager for more recipes and tips on Essential Oil usage? Our email series 101 Uses for Essential Oils is packed with information you can put to use right away!

Foodie Friday: Kid-Approved Frozen Treats (Four Wholesome Summer Popsicle Recipes!)

#FoodieFriday- Kid-Approved Frozen Treats (Four Wholesome Summer Popsicle Recipes!)

It is almost officially summer in these beautiful rolling hills of Tennessee, and it is hot and humid. Pretty much all my kids and I want to do is eat popsicles and sit in the pool!

#FoodieFriday- Kid-Approved Frozen Treats (Four Wholesome Summer Popsicle Recipes!)As a family, we avoid food dyes, artificial flavorings and sweeteners, and other potentially toxic food additives. If you have checked the ingredient lists of most frozen treats these days, you’ll discover that you almost cannot avoid extra chemicals.

Instead of purchasing additive-laden frozen treats, we started making our own. It’s very easy, I have direct control over the quality of ingredients, and I have the added benefit of tailoring them to meet our specific nutritional needs.

Here are a few of the yummy and refreshing popsicle recipes that we love; try them for yourself and let us know which is your favorite!

Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles
(Makes one tray of 6 popsicles)

8 ounces of strong Lemon Balm Tea, brewed and cooled
1/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
Juice of 1 lemon
Drops of Liquid Stevia to taste

Blend all ingredients together and pour into mold. Freeze for at least 6-8 hours until firm.

Watermelon Mint Popsicles
(Makes 6-10 Popsicles)

2 Tbs Fresh Peppermint Leaves, steeped in 1/4 cup freshly boiled water and then cooled
3 cups Watermelon
Juice of 1 Lime
3 Tbs Honey
Optional: add a handful of blueberries and additional fresh mint leaves

Blend together and then pour into popsicle molds. Freeze until solid and enjoy.

#FoodieFriday- Chocolate Coconut Popsicle RecipeRaspberry Peach Pops
(Makes 12 popsicles)

1/2 cup Raspberries
1 cup Peaches
8 ounces Red Raspberry Leaf Tea, brewed and cooled
Optional: sweeten with honey or stevia if desired.

Blend together, pour into molds. Freeze until solid, and enjoy.

Chocolate Coconut Pops
(Makes 6 popsicles)

1/2 can (about a cup) of Full-fat Coconut Milk
3 Tbs Raw Cacao
3 Tbs Maple Syrup (adjust to taste)
2 tsp Shredded Coconut
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp of Grassfed Gelatin Powder
Optional: add mini chocolate chips into the mix for a bit more fun!

Mix gelatin powder into a small amount of warm water and let dissolve. Then mix all ingredients together and pour into molds. Freeze until solid. Enjoy!

How-To Tuesday: 8 Simple Ways to Put Black Pepper Essential Oil to Work For You

#HowToTuesday- 8 Simple Ways to Put Black Pepper #EssentialOil to Work For You from Beeyoutiful.com

#HowToTuesday- 8 Simple Ways to Put Black Pepper #EssentialOil to Work For You from Beeyoutiful.com1) Black Pepper Essential Oil is kid-friendly and great to use in oil blends! When using topically, always dilute this oil with a ratio of 4 drops of Black Pepper to 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil.

2) Add a drop each of Frankincense and Black Pepper to 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil and massage in joints for support during sore or painful times.

3) Diffuse Black Pepper and Lemon Essential Oils to increase focus and attention.

4) Add 4 drops of Black Pepper to 1 teaspoon of Jojoba Oil and gently massage the abdomen and spine during digestive complaints.

5) For a quick immune booster, add 1 drop Black Pepper, 1 drop Tangerine, and 1 drop Frankincense to 1 teaspoon of carrier oil and apply to the chest and bottom of the feet.

6) Dilute 4 drops of Black Pepper in 1 teaspoon of Sweet Almond Oil. Massage the bottom of the feet to provide a warming affect.

7) After a hard workout or an injury, 4 drops of Black Pepper in a teaspoon of carrier oil makes a great massage oil. Apply to the area and then add warm, moist heat.#HowToTuesday- Black Pepper #EssentialOil Bath Salt Recipe from Beeyoutiful.com

8) When you are feeling a bit under the weather, take a warming and soothing bath.

1 cup Bath Salts or Epsom Salts

1 teaspoon of Sweet Almond Oil or Jojoba Oil

1 drop Black Pepper Essential Oil

1 drop Tea Tree Essential Oil

1 drop Thyme Essential Oil

1 drop Lemon Essential Oil

Add ingredients to a glass bowl in order listed. Mix thoroughly to disperse oils throughout salt. Run a tub of hot water and add  salt mixture, agitating well to dissolve.

Eager for more recipes and tips on Essential Oil usage? Our email series 101 Uses for Essential Oils is packed with information you can put to use right away!

June 2015 Hobby Farm Update

hobby farm update from Beeyoutiful.com

So much ​green has happened since last month! We’re excited to see our seeds turn into plants. We consider ourselves amateurs, so when the plant actually looks like it should, it is time to celebrate! One of the Centerville locals laughed at us and said, “Yes, this is the fun part; just wait until you have buckets of produce to put up!” Well, we think that part sounds pretty fun too, especially with all the mouths we have to feed!

On Mother’s Day, we lost some of our meat chicks to a wild dog or coyote. It was a sad, sad day, but we did have a few survive and we have 100 more fluffy little peepers growing. We also have added adorable little bunnies to the mix of animals this month. For now they are used primarily for their awesome fertilizer-producing skills. Next month, we’re hoping to have pictures of harvest buckets and fully-grown birds!

2015_June_farm

Foodie Friday: Savory Java Rub

#FoodieFriday- Savory Java Rub from Beeyoutiful.com

#FoodieFriday- Savory Java Rub from Beeyoutiful.comI love to grill and try a million different flavor combinations. Just in time for Memorial Day and the summer cookout season, we tried our hand at our own Java Rub for meats. And it was AMAZING!

Java Rub Recipe

1 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 Tbsp Finely Ground Coffee
1 Tbsp Cumin
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Cayenne (use 35kHU for a mild burn, and 90kHU if you like it fiery!)
2 tsp Salt

Mix spices together and store in airtight container. Rub onto raw meats and allow to sit in the refrigerator for a few hours to absorb flavors before grilling over low heat.

20 Ways to Cool the Sun’s Rays

20 Ways to Cool the Sun's Rays from Beeyoutiful.com

Its summer! And no matter if you are blessed with olive skin that enjoys the kiss of summer or are snow white and must hide from the sun’s rays, it’s important to both protect and nourish the skin when exposed to some of the more damaging aspects of sunshine.20 Ways to Cool the Sun's Rays from Beeyoutiful.comGrowing up, many of us were cautioned to avoid going out during the hottest parts of the day, to stay in the shade during the most intense times, and enjoy the sun in the morning and evening.

We were also coached on the differences between UVA and UVB rays. (UVB rays are the Vitamin D-producing rays, and the UVA rays are the ones guilty of causing damage to the skin.)

While avoiding hot sunshine may help you avoid burns, it may not have been the best advice available! What you probably weren’t told is that damaging UVA rays are prevalent all day long, while beneficial UVB sunlight is best obtained in the midday. UVB light is extremely low in the morning and evening, exactly the times we were encouraged to be outside!

So while I was diligent to do my gardening early in the day to avoid the “intense” sun, I was unwittingly exposing myself to the damaging UVA rays while almost completely missing the beneficial UVB rays.

Thankfully, I’ve gained more complete knowledge since then. Here’s what I’ve learned about sun exposure.

How to Avoid Sunburn

First, there are things we can do to dramatically increase our skin’s health and lower our potential for burns and damage.

1. Build your tolerance by small, increasing increments of barrier-free sun exposure, specifically during the middle of the day. Start with 5-10 minutes (less if you are especially fair) and work your way up daily, adding a few minutes at a time.

2. Use clothing or hats to cover yourself to allow for a barrier; remember that protection is important even on cloudy days, early in the morning, and late in the afternoon.

3. Give your skin a rest with frequent breaks in the shade or indoors.

4. Drink green tea for a plethora of antioxidants that help to protect the skin and body.

5. Take Cod Liver Oil or Omega 3’s. Having a healthy amount of Vitamin D and Omega fats in the body provides natural protection against the sun’s damaging rays.

6. Use a non-toxic sunscreen like Bee Shade!

But I got sunburned anyway!

There are times when even though we’re the most cautious, we do get a tad pink (or even blazing red!). Our bodies fairly scream at us for relief when this happens. There are some great ways to calm the sting, help restore your skin, and reduce the effects of the sun’s rays.

20 Ways to Cool the Sun's Rays from Beeyoutiful.com (1)7. Apply Aloe Vera Gel directly from the plant to the sunburn. This provides both soothing relief and healing support to the skin.

8. Gently massage burned areas with a nourishing oil.

Nourishing After-Sun Skin Oil

Mix together equal parts Vitamin E Oil, Aloe Vera juice and Coconut Oil. Apply to skin.

9. Make a soothing paste of Bentonite Clay or French Green Clay and apply to the sunburn. A drop of Lavender or Tea Tree Essential Oil can also be added to the mix.

10. Arrowroot Powder can also be made into a paste and applied to the area. You can add a drop of Frankincense or Lavender Essential Oil as well.

11. Slather on some homemade raw yogurt (use the plain unflavored variety, of course!).

12. Fresh plantain leaves can be bruised and then layered on the burn.

13. Lavender Essential Oil can be added to a carrier oil or witch hazel and spritzed on the burned areas.

14. Spray the sunburn with Hair Shine to help soothe the irritation. (It’s great for hair AND skin!)

15. Make a paste of raw shredded potatoes. Apply to the skin and cover to retain the moisture.

16. Keep well hydrated with water, flavored fruit waters, herbal teas and bone broths. All of these provide hydration, along with the nutrients needed to regenerate fresh skin after a burn.

17. Take an oatmeal bath. Place uncooked rolled oats in a tube sock in the bathtub. The oatmeal provides soothing relief. And while you’re in there, skip the soap! It can contribute to dryness, causing further discomfort to already-tight skin.

20 Ways to Cool the Sun's Rays from Beeyoutiful.com (2)18. Make your own burn relief spray.

Cooling Aloe Spray

6-8 Tbsp Aloe Vera water (available at health food stores)

10 Drops of Lavender Essential Oil

10 Drops of Peppermint Essential Oil

Combine in a clean, empty spray bottle and spritz on skin sunburned as needed. NOTE: Cooling Aloe Spray is not considered safe to use while pregnant or nursing. Consider omitting Peppermint and just using Lavender while pregnant or nursing. The Cooling Aloe Spray should NOT be used on children under 10 years old. Consider substituting Spearmint or just using Lavender for children from ages 2-10. 

19. Sport some cucumbers! Slice a cucumber into rounds or strips to apply to the burn. Its antioxidant and analgesic properties provide great relief to the burned area.

20. Rest is healing! Try incorporating some topical strategies while lying in a dark room with cool air.

What are your favorite ways to protect your skin from the sun, or to heal from over-exposure? Can you add to our list? We’d love to know! Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

How-To Tuesday: How To Zap the Ugh Out of Bugs (Three Tricks!)

​Spring and Summer would be absolutely amazing… if not for the bugs. The stings and bites, the buzzing and dive bombing can all combine to make leaving the house a miserable experience.

We want you to enjoy the great outdoors, and here are three tricks to pull it off!

How To Zap the Ugh Out of Bugs (Three Tricks!) from Beeyoutiful.com

Use a natural bug spray to deter the bugs. 

Not only are biting insects annoying, but they can also carry dangerous diseases that are easily transferred to humans through their bites. Not only does deterring the little critters make for a more pleasant outdoor experience, but it also helps decrease the likelihood of exposure to the diseases they carry.

How to Zap the UGH Out of BUGS from Beeyoutiful.com (2)Bug Repellent Spray

Makes 8 ounces

scant ½ cup distilled or boiled water

scant ½ cup natural Witch Hazel

Essential Oils (We suggest a combination of Cedarwood, Bergamot, Lemongrass, Citronella, and Lemon)

Fill an 8oz spray bottle half full with the water, then add witch hazel almost to the top. Add a total of 40-50 drops of the essential oils, adding more or less to reach your desired strength. Shake well and spray to keep all those nasty little biting suckers at bay!

NOTE: When using any recipe containing essential oils, always skin test a small area to check for possible skin irritation. Omit Cedarwood if using this blend while pregnant or nursing. ​The Bug Repellent Spray should NOT be used on children under 2 years old.

Soothe the Stings​.

My kids are extremely scared of bees and wasps. They can appreciate the important job that bees do, but they wish they were far away.

Wasps, though… oh they just hate them! We’ve found two great ways to soothe the stings, and they’ve helped take some of the fear away as well.

Pick a few fresh plantain leaves (in our yard they grow rampant!) and crush well or chew them up a bit to release some of the soothing properties. Then you can put the plantain leaves directly over the sting. This should soothe it very quickly. If you do not have fresh plantain, you can use dried plantain; soak in freshly boiled water for 5 minutes. Strain and when the wet herb is cool enough to touch, use it as a poultice.

Activated Charcoal poultices can be used to help as well. Mix the powdered charcoal with a little water to form a paste. Apply directly to the sting for relief of both the swelling and pain.

We have also developed an easy way to have charcoal paste always ready in case of an emergency. Mix activated charcoal and water into a thick paste. Then, shape it into little one inch round balls and wrap in saran wrap. Keep them stored in the freezer.

You can even add Bentonite clay to the charcoal and it will soothe the pain even faster. The frozen rounds will keep forever (as long as your freezer lasts). Then, when ever an ‘incident’ happens, just unwrap one, hold it on the sting and watch it work! CAUTION: Charcoal does stain pretty badly, so avoid getting it on clothing or furniture.

How to Zap the UGH Out of BUGS from Beeyoutiful.com (1)Take the itch out of bites.

​Make a poultice out of green tea, or simply use a damped teabag to apply to the bites.

Mix a small amount of honey (1 teaspoon) with Bentonite Clay to form a paste. This is sticky but can be applied to the bites for soothing relief.

Rub a slice of cucumber or the inside of a banana peel on the bites.

Spray Laveshmint Hydrating Toner on the itchy areas; the Aloe, Lavender and Peppermint are soothing to the bites.

Mix some Witch Hazel with two drops of Lemon Essential Oil and use a cotton ball to dab on each bite or sting.

Herbal Bug Bite Compress

1 tablespoon Chamomile

1 Tablespoon Peppermint

1 Tablespoon Calendula

1 Tablespoon Catnip

Mix dried herbs together and then steep in 8 oz of freshly boiled water. Use the mixture to dampen a cotton cloth, then drape on the bites to provide relief. Mixture can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

How to Zap the UGH Out of BUGS from Beeyoutiful.comBug Bite Relief Oil Blend 

1 drop Basil Essential Oil

1 drop Lavender Essential Oil

1 drop Lemon Essential Oil

1 drop Chamomile Essential Oil

1 drop Spearmint Essential Oil

Add all five drops into 3 ounces of a carrier oil. Apply a drop of the blended oil to the bites or stings.

NOTE: ​Omit Basil if using this blend while pregnant or nursing. ​Bug Bite Relief Oil should not be used with children under 2 years old.

Do you know a friend who would benefit from these recipes? What are your strategies to ward off bugs this summer? Share your ideas on Facebook or in the comments below!

Foodie Friday: Lebanese Lentil Pilaf with Aromatic Spices

#FoodieFriday: Lebanese Lentil Pilaf from Beeyoutiful.com

Try this simple recipe for a delicious and richly-scented dinner, reminiscent of your favorite Middle Eastern cuisine. Serve alongside fresh raw vegetables and yogurt for a nutritional and probiotic boost!

Lebanese Lentil Pilaf from Beeyoutiful.com

Lebanese Lentil Pilaf

  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup dried lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 qt of bone broth or chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup organic long grain brown rice
  • 3 tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, cut into rounds
  • plain yogurt
  • chopped fresh mint

Soak lentils in warm water with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice for several hours. Drain and rinse.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and spices. Sauté until onion softens, about 4 minutes.

Add broth, soaked lentils, and rice. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until liquid is absorbed and rice and lentils are tender, about 45 minutes.

Season pilaf to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to plates. Serve topped with tomatoes, cucumbers, yogurt and mint.

How-To Tuesday: 8 Ways To Soothe a Cranky Ear

How-To Tuesday: 8 Ways to Soothe a Cranky Ear from Beeyoutiful.com

There is nothing worse than a cranky ear that won’t let you rest… except maybe your little one’s tired, cranky ears. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try to watch what they eat, remove food items that seem to trigger ear problems, and make sure they don’t get water in their ears while swimming, it seems that occasionally our little ones still end up bothered by a painful ear.

How-To Tuesday: 8 Ways to Soothe a Cranky Ear from Beeyoutiful.comHere are a few things that have worked in our family to help soothe cranky ears and let us all get some rest!

Important note: If you even suspect the eardrum might be ruptured, do not put anything into the ear and contact your care provider immediately.

1. Slice off the top of an onion and, using the stem and outer skin as a handle, hold the onion up to the offending ear. Typically within a few minutes the discomfort disappears.

2. Good digestion can often help you avoid cranky ears. Our littles take a digestive enzyme and probiotics daily.

3. Eliminate common trigger foods such as wheat, dairy, soy, and sugar from the diet.

4. Try steam inhalation with dried or fresh herbs (remember the nasal passages and ears are connected!). In a large heatproof bowl, place 1 oz of each or some of the following herbs: Lemon Balm, Chamomile, Elder Flowers, and/or Spearmint. Pour very hot or boiling water over the herbs and let steep for 1-2 minutes. As it steams, drape a towel over your shoulders and head, leaning over the bowl to trap the steam and direct it more easily as you breathe. (Be very careful to avoid steam burns!)

5. Sip on some tea made from equal parts Lemon Balm and Mullein. It is yummy and soothing! Add some honey for extra comfort.

6. Use a clean sock filled with uncooked rice and then warmed in the microwave to apply gentle heat to the ear (keep the heat mild; overheated rice packs can irritate and even burn the skin). One of our Beeyoutiful teammates also recently tried this using Coarse Rock Salt instead of rice; the salt seemed to work faster and hold a gentle heat longer, and the added minerals may also be beneficial.

7. Use Lavender and Tea Tree Essential Oils, diluted with Sweet Almond Oil to gently massage around the ear and neck

Ear and Neck Massage Oil

Mix together in small bottle. Massage around ear and neck. For external use only; Do Not Put This Blend Inside the Ear!

8. For soothing of a very cranky ear, try using Garlic Oil or Mullein Oil.

Garlic Oil

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/8 cup Olive Oil

Simmer at lowest possible heat for several hours. (Do not let it burn!) Strain and store infused oil in a dark glass bottle. Use 2 drops per ear, as needed. Store for no more than one month. This recipe can also be used on the bottom of the feet, spine, and neck to help boost immunity.

Mullein Oil

  • 2 oz Dried or Fresh Mullein
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 2 oz Olive Oil or other carrier oil

Mix all ingredients in a glass jar and let sit for 1-2 weeks, shaking occasionally. To speed up the process for immediate use, you can cook over the lowest heat possible on the stove for 30 mins to 6 hours.) Strain and store infused oil in a dark glass container. Use 2 drops per ear, as needed. Store for no more than 1 month.

Important note worth repeating: If you even suspect the eardrum might be ruptured, do not put anything into the ear and contact your care provider immediately. Massages outside of the ear and on the lymph nodes around the ear and down the neck may continue to be helpful, but never drop anything into an ear that has a ruptured eardrum! 

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