For The Love of Lavender


Looking around my home, you will notice a common theme... lavender hand soap, lavender bubble bath, lavender room spray, lavender candles, even lavender tea! Needless to say, I am absolutely in love with lavender!

Lavandula angustifolia, aka lavender, is known for its powerful relaxing qualities. Good for both the body and the mind, it should be staple in every household. I have always loved the variety of ways you can use it, and its positive effect on my life. In case you are in need of some inspiration, I compiled a quick list on how to add lavender into your life!

Drink a cup of lavender tea each evening, or whenever you are overwhelmed with stress. If you can, get the highest quality of loose lavender buds, brew it in a tea infuser like this one, add a tiny smidge of honey (if you must), and enjoy it about 20-40 minutes before bedtime. If you're like me, you might fall asleep before you even finish your cup!

Soak in a hot bath with a couple cups of epsom salts and a few drops of lavender essential oil. When my body feels tense, soaking in a lavender bath for at least 20 minutes releases any tension I have, softens the skin, and inhaling the lavender aroma calms my mind as well. When I am done soaking, the lavender scent stays with me long after I dry off.

In the summer, combine a drop of lavender oil with coconut oil, and apply it to sunburns or insect bites. This calms the skin and relieves itching, therefore allowing the skin a better chance to heal.

When doing laundry, insert a satchel of lavender buds to the dryer to result in yummy smelling clothing and sheets. 

Lavender plants are beautiful, smell wonderful, and are pretty hardy, so plant a few bushes in your garden so you always have access to some!

Use an essential oil diffuser to diffuse lavender into your bedroom at night, or to create a relaxing atmosphere in an office or treatment room. 

Put a sprig of dried lavender or a satchel of dried lavender buds in your car to freshen it up instead of using chemical-based air-fresheners.

Put a drop of lavender mixed with a carrier oil (like coconut or jojoba) on the bottom of your feet at night for a deep, restful night's sleep.

I rotate in a coconut oil/lavender oil combination into my skincare routine a few times a week to give my face a break from salicylic acid treatments, while still fighting off acne and clogged pores. I moisturize my face, then use the mixture for the rest of my body as well!

When sick, inhaling the steam of lavender can help fight of bacteria and infections due to its antibiotic and expectorant properties. If you are feeling under the weather and stuffy, fill a bowl full of hot water, add a drop of lavender essential oil, and lean over the bowl with a towel over your head and the bowl (trapping in the steam). Be careful the water is not too hot, as to not burn your face with the steam. 

If you are prone to depression, anxiety, or constant stress, keeping a vial of lavender essential oil nearby can be helpful. When I feel like my mental health could use a tune up, either wearing lavender or just smelling it seems to be the emotional boost I need. (Obviously, if your need of a "mental health tuneup" is severe, consult a professional.) Put a drop or two in your hands, cup them to your face, and breathe in slowly and deeply. 


Well, now that lavender is on my brain, I'm going to go put the kettle on to make a cup of tea!

Do you love lavender as well? What is your favorite use for it?

Bathtub Meditation: Scrub Off Negativity


"There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them."
Sylvia Plath

Over the past year, I have experienced a lot of "life" (career changes, moving, medical emergencies, family death, etc.), and it was easy to find myself occasionally overwhelmed with stress.

Have you ever noticed how when you have a lot weighing on you emotionally, your body feels physically weighed down as well? It almost feels as if you are wearing a heavy coat of negativity. Not so fun...

When you are stressed, it can be hard to carve out time to just sit down and meditate. Therefore, I have found a quick solution that lets you (literally) scrub off some of those heavy thoughts: shower-time or bath-time meditation!

Since it is something that everyone does everyday (give or take), it can be a great way to squeeze in a little mental tuneup. Many times, people rush through washing up on autopilot: shampoo, soap, scrub, shave, done. This basic meditation allows you to bring a little mindfulness to your day, and do a little good for your emotional self as well. Depending on whether you prefer showers or baths, you can chose between the two meditations.

If you are showering: As you stand under the stream of water, envision it washing away all of your negative thoughts, as if they were mud stuck to your skin. Some emotions might take a little extra scrubbing, but as you lather up, release all of your fear, anger, and regret so that it may go swirling down the drain.

If you are soaking in the tub: Allow all of your muscles to sink into the hot water. Using a loofa or wash cloth, massage your skin from head to toe, visualizing any negativity within being released into the water. Once you feel truely relaxed and surrendered, unplug the drain and send the water that now carries all that detrimental energy away.

By the time I dry off after a shower or tub meditation, I always feel a lot better, both inside and out!

I always like bringing a cup of yummy tea in the tub with me as well!
I love to use natural bath and shower products, such as Epsom salts, essential oils, Jason shower gel, and my favorite homemade sugar scrub. What are your favorite natural products? Have you ever meditated in the tub before?

Holistic Cold Care


Let's face it.... you can do everything "right" by taking care of yourself, and you can still come down with that dreaded bug... a common cold!

Since it seems this cold currently kicking my behind is making its way around town, I figured I'd share a few of my go-to cold remedies. Having a cold is the pits, but being loopy off of drugstore cold medicine is also pretty awful, so why not do everything you can to get better quickly and naturally?

When I start feeling run down and sick, I take a high dose of Vitamin D3 Extreme for three days (make sure to consult your doctor about what proper dosage is right for you). If I take this as soon as I start noticing symptoms, I typically don't even have to take it the second or third day. (You do not want to continue taking a high level of D3 past three days due to toxicity risks.) In the case I don't get the vitamins in quick enough and my cold progresses (like the bug I am experiencing right now), there are some back up methods that are both comforting and healing.

Umka Cold Care, which can be found at your local health food or grocery coop, is a life saver. Taken three times a day, it will whoop your cold's butt! Unlike the usual drugstore cold medicine, this natural cold medicine will help you feel better without leaving you drowsy and loopy.

In between doses, stay plenty hydrated! I think Yogi's Echinacea Immune Support tea is delicious because, in addition to all of its other yummy and healing ingredients, the licorice root in it soothes your throat without being an overpowering flavor (which I have found to occur in similar tea blends). I alternate drinking tea and water all day, and I make sure that my water includes a drop or two of Young Living's Theives essential oil, which is a fantastic immune system booster.

Although it usually has zero appeal when you don't feel well, I have found that getting a light amount of exercise can sometimes help clear the sinuses and that dreaded brain-fog. If my cold is not terribly severe, I usually try a very gentle yoga routine and/or go for a walk with the dog (if it isn't as cold as it has been lately). Getting your muscles moving and your blood pumping a little harder than they would be just parked on the couch can work a cold out of your system a little faster, as long as you make sure not to push yourself too hard, you bundle up, and you don't dehydrate yourself.

Personally, I find that I am more susceptible to illness when I am stressed or overworked. Common colds are my body's way of saying "Whoa there, how about you calm down and put your feet up? Oh, you're too busy? Too bad, I'm going to make you put your feet up whether you like it or not!" So rather than get frustrated and repeat "I'm so sick. This is awful.", which can just make you feel worse, take a minute to give yourself permission to take care of yourself. Give yourself permission to put your health as a priority (which can be extremely difficult for people to do while the hectic world swirls around you). That way you will not only bounce back with a healthy body, but a healthy relaxed mind.

When it is time for bed, while I put on one of my favorite mellow albums, I put a little more Theives oil mixed with jojoba oil on the bottoms of my feet and cover them up with some thick wool socks. A homeopathic remedy I found at my local coop, Nighttime Cough and Bronchial Syrup, combines a variety of cold and flu specific remedies with a relaxing, mind-calming remedy is a great nightcap so I can drift off to sleep and wake up refreshed and renewed!

Alright, well I'm crawling back into bed in hopes that some more rest will have me back up and running in no time!

Do you have any cold remedies that you swear by?