WINSDAY: Lemon

When life gives you lemons… go to Sicily, cold press the rind, bottle the essential oil and do a giveaway, because that stuff is amazing! Seriously, lemon essential oil is one of my favorites. I probably go through close to a bottle a month because I use it for everything. You can replace many household cleaners with this one bottle of essential oil. It’s that good. So, it’s past 10 o’clock and I’m sleepy. Lucky for you, I still want to do a giveaway, so I am gonna cut out the fluff and just give you a list of what I’ve used this essential oil for in my home. Don’t judge me on some of these!

lemons (Photo credit: myjuicecleanse.com)

• Add a few drops to water in a glass spray bottle for an easy all purpose cleaner.
• Forget about a load of laundry overnight? (What? Me?!? Never!) Add 5 drops of lemon essential oil to the load, wash, and the clothes smell lemony fresh!
• Does your kid have a stubborn fake tattoo that won’t come off? 1 drop of lemon essential oil takes it right off. (Sorry, you’re stuck with your real one you got the moment you turned 18. Hope it was a good one! We can’t all have Texas as our first tattoo).
• If you have a white board with marker residue, put a couple drops of lemon essential oil on a paper towel and it will clean it right up.
• Add a few drops to your water (in glass) and enjoy the taste and natural cleansing properties.
• To assist with seasonal respiratory discomfort, diffuse or take internally.
• Diffuse with lavender or bergamot to uplift the mood.

To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment below telling me why you can’t wait to try lemon essential oil. Good luck!

I only recommend one brand of oils for internal use. To learn more about the brand I trust and love email me at info@amandagerber.com.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information provided here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help.

WINSday: Fennel Essential Oil Giveaway

Fennel-Plant

It’s that time again… WINSDAY. Today I am giving away a bottle of Fennel. If you are familiar with cooking with actual fennel, then you will be very familiar with its licorice smell and taste, and the same goes for the essential oil. This particular oil can be used aromatically, topically (dilute for skin sensitivity) and internally. (Again, I only recommend one brand I personally use for internal use, and you can email me at info@amandagerber.com to find out more about the brand I trust and love). Personally, I love the smell of fennel and its many benefits. Here are a few:

• Can be added to tea to calm the digestive system
• Soothing effects when used topically during menstruation
• Can help lessen discomfort with minor skin irritation
• Support a healthy lymphatic system
• Help curb your sweet tooth craving (hello? Need I say more? This oil ROCKS.)

These are just a few reasons you will fall in love with fennel, but one reason I love this oil is because when combined with a Mother’s Milk/Increased Lactation tea, fennel can help assist in increasing a mother’s milk supply. This giveaway seemed appropriate since August is National Breastfeeding Awareness month.

BreastFeedingmonth

I have personally nursed (and I am currently still nursing my youngest) 3 beautiful boys. Happy breastfeeding, y’all! To all you moms out there currently struggling with nursing: keep at it! Yes, there are times it hurts. Yes, there are times at 3AM when having someone else feed the baby sounds like a dream. BUT, there are those sweet moments when the world is quiet and it’s just you and your baby with oxytocin flowing and it’s worth every minute of the struggle. You can do it!

So, would you like to give Fennel essential oil a try? Comment below and tell me why you’d like to give this a go, and you’ll be entered to win a bottle of this oil. For an additional entry, follow me on Facebook (link on the sidebar). This giveaway will be going on until midnight Tuesday, August 18, 2015. Have an amazing day!

The proceeding statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information provided here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. These are simply things that have worked for me personally, and my family and friends.

Congrats to our winner, Sarah! This giveaway is now closed.

Cooking with Essential Oils: Sweet & Salty Popcorn

I’m back! Thank you for your patience while I made some adjustments to my blog. I appreciate all the love and support you have shown. Now, let’s get to it!

Last week I went over to my friend Amy’s house and she served an amazing homemade popcorn. It was the perfect combination of sweet and salty. Best of all: it is composed of all natural ingredients and made with essential oils for an extra dose of awesome.

Ingredients:
• 1 cup un-popped popcorn kernels (preferably organic & GMO free)
• ¼ cup butter
• ¼ cup pure maple syrup (NOT pancake syrup, go get the real deal!)
• 4-5 drops Protective blend essential oil
• Cinnamon powder and salt, to taste

Directions:
1. Place the kernels and a small amount of butter (a tablespoon or so) in a pan or pot with a lid, turn on medium high heat and get popping!
2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and maple syrup and incorporate together.
3. Once the popcorn is popped, pour the butter and maple syrup mixture on top. Put the lid on and shake it really well to evenly coat.
4. Once coated, add a sprinkling of salt and cinnamon powder and enjoy!

Notes:
• When I was eating this popcorn, I kept thinking about Cracker Jacks, and thought, Next time I’ll add nuts! So if you love Cracker Jacks throw some peanuts or almonds in and you won’t regret it.
• The Protective blend consists of: wild orange, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary essential oil. This blend is formulated to support your immune system, and is great to use on a daily basis. It tastes like a Thanksgiving day celebration!
• Any kettle corn lover is sure to inhale this popcorn, but a note of caution: pregnant women should use the Protective blend sparingly, so if you want to you can always leave it out for them.
• Again, I only trust one brand for internal use and to find out more information on the brand of essential oil I adore, you can email me at info@amandagerber.com.

Who’s making this popcorn for their next movie night?!?

Friday Fun Facts #7

1. Monday morning after breakfast I had a little freak out over a roach I saw on the floor in our dining room. I finally got up the nerve to kill it, raised my foot high to stomp on it and hopefully make that disgusting “crunch” go by quickly… and I realized it was a raisin. I screamed at a raisin.

2. My sweet 4 year old, Noah, had this interesting conversation with Uncle Kyle the other day.
Noah: “Kyle, how do babies get out of their mommy’s tummies?”
Kyle (without even a moment’s hesitation): “They go to the hospital, and then the baby comes out.”
Noah: “Oh, ok! Want to play in my tent?!”

3. Isaac refuses to say “mama.” Every time I ask him to he says “dada” and even emphasizes the syllables as if he wants to make sure I know he’s not saying it! He sure is cute though.

4. Our public library was having a reptile exhibit earlier this week, and I attempted to take all the boys, without back up (aka my mother) to a library that I’m pretty sure was beyond the limits of its maximum occupancy capacity. We saw one snake and then left for ice cream before I ended up losing a child in the madness.  On the bright side, the boys still thought it was cool and were hissing like a snack the entire car ride home.

5. I’m going to start doing a WEEKLY essential oil/essential oil product giveaway. Yay! It won’t always be on the same day every week, so be sure to check in during the week so you won’t miss it. You can always follow my blog or social media site to stay updated as well! I will give you a heads up that the giveaway post will be TOMORROW for this week. See ya then!

Homemade All Natural Deodorant

So I took the plunge and made my own deodorant. I hate spending grocery money on toiletry items. This is how my mind works when I have to do that: shampoo+conditioner around $6 = A pineapple, kale, and bananas. Deodorant around $3 = Organic potatoes. Not to mention all the chemicals in those products! So I decided to make my own deodorant. I got the recipe from wellnessmama.com and did my own tinkering to it. I’ve been using this deodorant for a few days and really like it. I think what I like most is that I know exactly the ingredients in it, and not to mention it works!

deo

Ingredients:
• ¼ cup of cocoa butter
• ¼ cup beeswax
• ¼ cup coconut oil
• ¼ cup arrowroot powder (or cornstarch will work here too)
• 1 tablespoon of baking soda
• 5 drops of melaleuca (tea tree) essential oil
• 5 drops other essential oils for scent (optional)

Directions:
1. Melt cocoa butter, beeswax, and coconut oils together in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water.
2. Once melted, take the bowl off of the heat and add the arrowroot powder and baking soda. Mix well.
3. Add the essential oils and mix well.
4. Pour into an empty and clean deodorant container. This recipe makes one bar of deodorant and a little extra. Pour the extra in a baking cup, or soap mold and use it as a travel deodorant.
5. Let it cool and set overnight before using.
6. Use the next day with the joy of knowing you know exactly what you are putting on your body: pure goodness.

Notes:
• This recipe is a deodorant, not an anti-perspirant. So this will help with the stink, but you will still sweat. That’s okay, sweating is good for your body!
• I have used this recipe this week while working VBS all morning and working out in the afternoon, and I have had great results.
• You can replace the cocoa butter with other body butters, such as shea or mango butter.
• You can usually find arrowroot powder in any whole foods type of store.
• Melaleuca is great to use because of its cleansing and purifying properties, so I wouldn’t omit this oil. While citrus oils do have similar properties, they are photosensitive, so if you want to add citrus oils I recommend waiting until winter time when you’re not in tank tops anymore.

Have you made your own deodorant before? What’s your reason you would like to make the switch from store bought to homemade deodorant?

Chocolate (Avocado) Fruit Dip

So I only had a couple of hours left before my essential oil party. What on earth am I going to make for the party? I still have to go to the store when Nathan comes home… and the bank to cash my check first… Crap! I’m running out of time. This is what I was thinking as Nathan walked in the door. I frantically left to get to the bank before it closed, leaving Nathan behind with our rowdy noise, I mean boys. And dinner. And a messy kitchen. (Sorry, sweetie!)

While I’m at the store, all the fruit looked amazing, so I decided on a chocolate avocado fruit dip that is absolutely delicious and gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free. I had made it a couple of times before at different events and it’s always a big hit. Sounds a little too good to be true, right? Well, it’s not! Read on.

I gathered all the ingredients and only slightly sped home. I was able to make the fruit dip, chop up the fruit, and put it all on a tray in 15 minutes. So, not only is this dip healthy, but it’s fast and easy. It’s just plain awesome.

fruitdip

Now, I should say I did not originally come up with this recipe, it was given to me by my friend, Amy (who probably found it somewhere on Pinterest), and I adapted it a little bit. If anyone knows where it originated from, please let me know and I’ll update this post to give them credit and a million thanks for this awesomeness. Here ya go!

Ingredients:
• 2 ripe avocados
• ¼ cup cocoa powder
• ½ cup agave nectar (or honey)
• 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
• 2 tablespoons soy milk
• 2-5 drops of a citrus essential oil of your choosing (I like Tangerine!)
• Dash of salt

Directions:
1. Combine all the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl using an electric mixer, except the essential oil. Mix very well and try to get out as much avocado lumps as humanly possible.
2. Add one drop of essential oil at a time, adjusting to taste.
3. Serve alongside a plate of fruit or simply sneak a spoonful here and there when you want a treat.

Notes:
• The original recipe calls for coconut milk. I don’t usually have coconut milk handy unless I’m making my curry chicken, but that wasn’t on the menu this week. So, you can substitute any milk here: soy, almond, cow’s milk, or I have even replaced it with yogurt.
• You want to mix the avocados really well or else you will have green lumps here and there.
• You can make this dip without essential oils and it still tastes great, but I love it because citrus oils are known to be a mood uplifter.  For more information on the only brand I trust to use internally, email ingo@amandagerber.com.

What other essential oils do you think would go well in this dip? Let me know what ya think!

Friday Fun Facts #5

1. We have backyard chickens again! After a chicken massacre a couple of months ago, we went without chickens for a while. Thanks to our friends Ginger and Steve for giving us a few of their laying hens!

2. The boys are so cute to watch with their newborn cousin, Hannah (who Noah lovingly calls “Hannah Banana”). They will tiptoe quietly in her room, whisper back and forth to each other and then as soon as they get out of her room, they go back to jumping and squealing.

3. Timothy decided to redecorate their room during naptime. Note to self: Just because he is quiet, it doesn’t necessarily mean he is sleeping!

FFF5pic

4. Lavender and Vetiver essential oils smell amazing together and do wonders for peaceful sleeping! My husband, who can be a little picky about essential oil scents, really liked this combination diffusing the other day when he got home.

5. Speaking of my husband, he preached this past Sunday morning and did and AMAZING job. Something magical happens when you are able to witness watching your spouse live out their calling. I highly encourage you to try and observe your spouse in “their element,” whether that’s in the ministry, wood working, managing a business, ect. It deepens your appreciation for them and reminds you of all the reasons you fell in love with them in the first place.

Cooking with Essential Oils: Cilantro Lime Rice

I love cooking with essential oils. Yes, you can use (most) essential oils internally! On that note, I only recommend one brand to take internally because I know they do third party testing on every single batch of their oils. Keep in mind there are a few oils not recommend to take internally (like wintergreen), so do your research. If you are not comfortable taking essential oils internally, no problem! You can still enjoy this recipe just using the herbs and zest.

I was in a coastal-cuisine type of mood, so I decided to make grilled chicken topped with mango pico de gallo, but I needed a side. I thought of rice, but I wanted to jazz it up a bit while playing off of the flavors in the pico de gallo. So, I googled cilantro lime rice to see what I could find. Of course, I was not the first person to think of this (because there really is nothing new under the sun) so then I adapted a recipe I found on mynaturalfamily.com. I hope you enjoy this as much as my family did!

Ingredients:
1 cup of rice
1 ½- 2 cups chicken broth (this depends on your type of rice)
1 Tablespoon of butter
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Zest and juice of 1 lime
2 drops lime essential oil
1 drop cilantro essential oil

Directions:
– Boil your chicken broth (or water if you don’t have broth) and butter. Again, use as much water as recommended for your type of rice. Once boiling, add the rice, cover and reduce to simmer, and cook for 20 minutes, or as directed for your rice.
– Once rice is cooked, add the lime zest and juice. Give it a stir and combine the essential oils. You probably want to start with one drop and taste before adding more.
– Add the fresh cilantro right before serving.

My family loved this side dish and I loved that they were getting the benefits of the essential oils. Lime essential oil helps support the body’s immune system as well as promote emotional balance. Cilantro essential oil is filled with antioxidants and can be used to internally help support the body with cleansing and detoxifying. For more information on essential oils, you can email me at info@amandagerber.com.

Now for the fun part… a GIVEAWAY!

I have a bottle of cilantro essential oil to giveaway for a lucky winner. Again, this oil goes great in the rice, homemade guacamole or any type of salsa! Not to mention it has some great benefits for your health!

To be entered in this giveaway, comment below on how you use essential oils or what you would like to learn about essential oils. This contest will close by the midnight on April 29, 2015. Good luck!

DISCLAIMER: This information is not regulated by the FDA and is not intended to cure or treat disease. It is for informational purposes only. I am just a mom, not a doctor, sharing my experience with essential oils and how they’ve helped my family.

A Little Crazy and A Little Crunchy

So, let’s rewind a year and a half. It had just been one of those days. I was pregnant with my third baby in three years (yes, on purpose… I’m just a little crazy), and I could feel a bug coming on. My throat had been scratchy and my energy was just depleted. Now, not only am I a little crazy, I am also a little “crunchy” so for the most part, my motto was to grin and bear it.

Well, at that time I was also working night shifts at a local coffee shop. While I was on shift, my dear friend knew I was feeling under the weather and gave me a sample of a blend on essential oils, known as OnGuard. OnGuard that helps support your body’s immune system. So we chatted about essential oils for a bit and then I went back to working and drinking hot tea with lemon and honey to help soothe my throat. My throat continued hurting all night long.

When I finally made it back home after work I started researching essential oils. I had already been doing some research prior to this, but before I commit to anything I like to make sure to really educate myself. While I searching online I had opened the OnGuard sample and loved the scent right away; it smelt like Christmas. So there I was researching, and I realized that a few minutes later my throat was feeling better, simply from smelling the oil. From that point on I followed my friend’s instructions to apply OnGuard, diluted with coconut oil, every hour and by the end of the next day I was feeling as good as new. I have been in love with essential oils ever since!

These essential oils have truly blessed my family. I am able to use a combination of Lemon, Lavender and Peppermint oil (diluted) on my boys and it helps support their bodies to combat seasonal issues and those annoying symptoms. I use the citrus oils for cleaning instead of cleaners from the grocery store that are full of toxic chemicals. I’ve been able to use citrus essential oils to help uplift my mood. The results have been amazing.

For anyone interested in learning more about essential oils, please email me at info@amandagerber.com.

DISCLAIMER: This information is not regulated by the FDA and is not intended to cure or treat disease. It is for informational purposes only. I am just a mom, not a doctor, sharing my experience with essential oils and how they’ve helped my family.