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Wellness

Life Wellness

I Met People From The Internet And I Didn’t Die

This time last month, I was just getting home from a trip I took out to Salt Lake City for the Young Living Convention. It was an amazing 5 days full of education and time spent with incredible friends. But you wanna know the weird thing? For the most part, it was only my first (max, second) time meeting most of these  ‘incredible friends.’ And I know a lot of people probably think it’s strange that you could call someone an ‘incredible friend’ without ever having met them, but I’m here to tell you that the Internet is a magical place and it can absolutely happen.

If you know me IRL, you know that I’m mildly obsessed with my essential oils. And when I say mildly….I mean completely. They’ve transformed the way I think and feel about our family’s health and opened my eyes to a more natural way of living. They’ve done incredible things for us. But that’s not the basis of what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the relationships I’ve formed because of those little bottles.

I had no idea when I bought my starter kit that there was a business to be made from it. (Like, literally…I didn’t know the business side of Young Living even existed.) And I certainly had no idea that I would be thrust into a huge group of some of the most genuine, caring women I’ve ever met. But that’s what happened. I was introduced to a community of other like-minded mommas and women and they became my support system as I started out on my wellness journey and dove into building a business. Over time, I began to forge real relationships with them – friendships that I truly cherish. We encourage one another, celebrate accomplishments together, brainstorm, dream, pray for each other, and share our hearts a lot – both good and bad. And it’s all done over the Internet. Crazy, I know.

In my earlier days of blogging..when I had hundreds of blogs in my RSS feed and followed so many of them religiously…I felt like I ‘knew’ so many of my favorite bloggers just from the daily glimpses they shared into their lives. I remember reading about real friendships that had started through blogging – like two of my favorites, Sherry Petersik and Katie Bower – and I would think, “Wow, that’s so cool. These two women share similar passions and the Internet brought them together!” But I sort of figured that same thing probably wouldn’t happen to me. I mean, how likely is it that you could meet someone on the Internet that could really turn into someone you hang out with in real life?! Turns out it’s more likely than you think.

I’m saying all this to say, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and try something new. Don’t be afraid to pursue your passion relentlessly. And more importantly, be open to the relationships that you might stumble across during your pursuit. Don’t write those relationships off as ‘less valuable’ just because you can’t physically sit down for coffee together or have a play date. Because you might just get lucky enough to turn those social media friendships into something far more valuable than a ‘like’ here and there.

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Wellness

So You Wanna Brew Kombucha?

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  • March 17, 2017

Before we go any further, I need to confess something to you guys. While I was away from the blog over the last year, I became a hippie.

I mean, I still shave my armpits and everything but I am a whole lot more granola than I was the last time we spoke. And can I confess something else? I kinda love it. I love the changes we’ve made in our house and I love the effects they’ve had on our health and family. And in keeping in line with my new crunchy life, I obviously needed to start brewing my own kombucha before  someone came to revoke my Birkenstocks.

I’ll admit, the thought of brewing kombucha was pretty intimidating to me because I just felt like there would be a lot of ways I could mess it up and working with a live culture kind of freaks me out. But it’s super fun to say SCOBY, so I pushed forward. I looked at several websites that walked through directions and even ordered a Kombucha recipe book from Amazon (this one). I considered trying to collect all my supplies myself, but ultimately decided I’d feel more comfortable if I could just buy sort of a starter kit that had everything I would need. Again, I did some research and settled on this brewing kit from The Kombucha Shop. It was reasonably priced and had tons of good feedback on Amazon. I got the Original kit, but in hindsight, wish I would’ve gotten the Deluxe version so that I would’ve gotten the swing top bottles. I had a couple already, but it would’ve been nice to have 6. And a couple days later (thanks Amazon Prime!) all my supplies arrived on my doorstep!

The Original kit included: a 1-gallon glass brew jar, the SCOBY, organic custom TKS tea blend, organic cane sugar, a reusable cotton tea bag, pH test strips, temperature gauge, a cotton cover & rubber band, and a pipet. They also included a direction infographic that was super easy to follow and had some helpful tips and tricks.

The process is pretty simple really: boil some water, add your tea and let it steep, add your sugar and let it dissolve, transfer to your brew jar and add some cold water to bring to room temperature, then add your SCOBY, cover with the cotton cloth, and let it do it’s thang. You’re advised to let the brew jar sit in a warm place, out of direct sunlight, with plenty of airflow (no closed cabinets). I put mine on the top of the fridge because there’s not enough clearance space between the top of our cabinets and the ceiling to put it there. I put a towel in between the top of the fridge in the jar for some extra insulation. It’s important that the brew stays between 66-88 degrees (ideal being 76) so the culture doesn’t mold, so having the temperature gauge on the side was a nice peace of mind. SCOBY’s are very hearty so they can withstand a lot before going bad.

As it brews, you’ll start to see a new, cream colored layer growing on top of the brew – that’s your new culture! You can either discard the old one and just use the new, or you can use both to start brewing multiple batches. As long as you keep up with feeding your cultures sugar regularly (even when you’re not brewing) you can use the same SCOBY for 10-15 brews. You could also give one to a friend! Kombucha for everyone!

I let mine brew for 2 weeks before checking on it. Once I thought it was ready, I slipped a small pipet down the side of the jar (being careful not to disturb the new culture too much) and took out a little to test the pH. Ideally, you want your pH in the 2.5-3.5 range. Once I verified that the pH was good and my kombucha likely wasn’t going to poison me, I took a taste test. It was a little on the sweet side, so I covered it back up with the cloth and let it brew a few more days. The longer you let it brew, the more tart it becomes. With my brew sitting on the top of the fridge where it was a bit on the cold side, it took a little longer for the fermentation process to happen.

 

Once I got the taste to where I wanted it, I reserved a portion of the tea and the cultures in the brewing jar to start my next brew. I left it down on our countertop this time where it would be warmer.

I transferred the rest of the kombucha to my swing top bottles. One tip when bottling: filling your bottles closer to the top helps with carbonation. Reducing the amount of oxygen in the bottle allows more CO2 to be dissolved into the kombucha, which is what makes it fizzy. My first brew wasn’t super carbonated, so I’ll be doing a second fermentation to try and get it more fizzy! I’m also going to start experimenting with other flavored teas and adding in fruit for flavoring as well!

I can’t say enough good things about how simple this brewing kit made things, so I would definitely recommend it for anyone wanting to get started. And as a thank you, my followers can use the code ‘lemondrop20’ for 20% off of any order on their website, no minimum purchase required. Happy brewing!

 

 

 

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Baby/Kids Wellness

Oil Infused Sleepy Cream

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  • October 22, 2015

Hello, loves! Another week is almost done, and I can’t believe we’re rolling towards the holidays! This time of year is really busy at our church – our ladies group makes between 750-1000 pumpkin rolls to sell as a fundraiser so I’ve been spending a LOT of time in the kitchen!

I shared something recently on IG and FB, however, and got a lot of questions and comments so I thought I’d post here as well!

I’m sure we all appreciate a good night’s rest. But, if you’re anything like me, that’s not always so easy to come by – especially with kiddos. The key to ME sleeping soundly is getting THEM to sleep soundly. And after some experimenting, I found my secret weapon.

Oil Infused Sleep Cream | Lemon Drop Life

It’s a cream I made using some of my favorite essential oils. So here’s the scoop on what you’ll need to make it:

  • 1/2 cup raw shea butter
  • 1 cup unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 15 drops Lavender
  • 15 drops Cedarwood
  • 10 drops Gentle Baby
  • 10 drops Peace & Calming

You’re gonna start by melting your shea butter and coconut oil together, and to do that, you want to use a double boiler method. If you don’t have a proper double boiler, never fear. Fill the bottom of a pot with water and get it boiling. Then get a bowl that’s wider than the pot, put the shea butter and coconut oil in it, and rest the bowl on top of the pot. And make sure the bottom of the boil isn’t actually sitting in the water – there should be a bit of space between the two.

Once they’re melted together, pop that bowl in the fridge until the mixture turns solid again (it will take 45 min-1 hr.). Once it’s solid, put it in a mixer and whip it for a couple minutes. This helps make it nice and fluffy – like a body butter.

While it’s whipping add in your Tbsp. of grapeseed oil. You could also use almond oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E oil – whatever you prefer. This helps emulsify the mixture and keep it smooth.

Mix for another couple minutes, and then it’s time to add in your oils! Once you’ve added those in, let it mix for another minute or so.

As far as application goes, here’s what we do: I apply a dab of the cream (a little goes a long way!) to the bottom of my kiddos’ feet and then rub some on their chest. It doesn’t take very much at all to get good coverage, so I’m predicting this jar will last us a few months! Meanwhile, I’ll be sleeping easy… 🙂

If you want more info on how we use essential oils for our family, shoot me an e-mail! And if you’re looking to jump in and order, follow this link.

 

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Cleaning/Organization Wellness

Bye Bye, Summer Stink

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  • September 2, 2015

Summer is drawing to a close, which means switching out our summer wardrobes for sweaters and boots. But before I pack everything away, I like to make sure everything is freshly washed and clean – and that goes for our shoes, too.

#realtalk: Socks + summer don’t mix in my house. Socks don’t touch these feet so much as once from May-September (except for an occasional workout), and to be honest, my flats kind of suffer because of it. Especially, my canvas/fabric flats. By the end of the summer, they have a serious funk and that means every time I wear them, my feet have a serious funk. So, don’t be surprised if you invite me over and I loiter nervously in your entryway while I decide whether or not to unleash my funkiness on you. Usually, I just end up throwing them out and buying new the next time summer rolls around.

BUT! I think I may have found the answer to saving my shoes from a life of shame!

Bye Bye, Summer Stink | Lemon Drop Life

I’ve been finding more and more uses for my Young Living oils on a daily basis, and I’m really excited about this one!

And, no, I don’t have dwarf feet. Those are Roarke’s shoes. Socks + summer don’t mix for him either. And let me tell you, he might only be 2.5 years old, but he has the foot stench of a full grown man. It’s seriously impressive.

So, I took a couple of cotton balls and put a couple drops of purification and a couple drops of lemon on each one. Then you just stuff it down inside the shoe.

Bye Bye, Summer Stink | Lemon Drop Life

Within 24 hours, the smell should be MUCH better. But let it sit in there for a couple days just for good measure. And that’s it!

Another way I like to use this combo (besides diffusing it in my house ALL. THE. TIME.) is to take a cotton ball with the same ratio mentioned above and put it in the bottom of our trash cans (underneath the bag). It helps cut down on any left behind stinky-garbarge-smell, especially in the kids’ rooms where dirty diapers are playing a role.

If you’re interested in learning more about essential oils, leave me a comment or you can go here to place an order.

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