Essential Oils

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Did you know we are an oily family?  We are.  We started with essential oils a couple years ago and use them just about daily now.  We started with a few that smelled good, purified the air and got rid of stinky smells.

Today we use them in homemade bug spray, lips balms, Body butters, soaps, drinking water, for upset stomachs, perfume and probably many more uses.  When Jacob trekked to Africa I sent him with a bag of oils to drink in his water to make sure he did not pick up anything crazy in his food (which he didn’t).  I took my peppermint oil, among other things, to Hawaii, and it helped with nausea on my snorkeling boat ride!!

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So there are many uses.  We have used a number of different brands in the past to include a big name company with the whole multilevel markets.  While I know their oils are top notch,  their prices are not.  When you have to cut a check to three people in addition to the company when someone buys a bottle of oil, there is too much markup to me.

One of the reasons I love Rocky Mountain Oils is FREE SHIPPING!!  What?  You would not believe what I paid for shipping alone on some oils from other companies!  I love free shipping!!

Second their oils are guaranteed, even with a 90 day return policy.  But more than that, they stand behind their product and promise to have the highest quality oils in the industry!  Check out more here.

I recently grabbed a few of their roll-ons to throw in my purse or in the car.  And I love their smell as well as how long they last!  I was thrilled with my purchase and we will adding a few more shortly!!

Our family favorite oil,  and one that we share all over (our backyard, Hawaii on a boat with ladies vomitting everywhere), in the car on long rides, you get the picture –> Peppermint Oil.  Seriously my family cannot live without this one.  When we feel bad we rub in on our wrists, neck, and sometimes add a drop to water.  This seriously knocks our our upset bellies.

Lemongrass is another favorite for the smell and its effectiveness to keep bugs at bay!!

So do you use oils?  What are your favorites?

Note – this post contains affiliate links!  Thank you for supporting this blog!!

 

Kombucha

So you know that I love to ferment!  And while I have been making Sour kraut for a while, I recently (April/May) was introduced to Kombucha.  I just want to tell you I love this stuff!  My kids love it, my husband thinks I’m crazy, but what’s new?  I love the energy it gives me, yes I can tell!  I love to experiment with different flavors, and I love drinking it knowing it is good for my gut!

So, (Kristen this is for you) here is my Kombucha making process.  Elizabeth taught me my first class, and then I read a bunch of things online about it and have tweaked it here and there.

First, you need a gallon jar.  My advice, if you have not been saving them in your garage for years, it to go buy a jar of pickles from SAMs for 7$.  Eat the pickles and voila, you have a jar.  Or you can go to Walmart and buy an empty jar for about $14.00.  Either way you are about to make money for your family.  If you want to drink Kombucha and not make it, expect to pay 3-5$ for a single serving bottle!  And good luck finding it in the middle of no where like where I live!

Next, get a starter Scobi from a friend, or buy a “high priced” individual serving bottle from somewhere.  {If you get a starter from a friend, skip this next paragraph}  Pour your bottle of store bought Kombucha in the gallon jar, cover the lid with a coffee filter – rubber banded on the top of the jar and put it in a warm cabinet for 3-30 days (above the stove is great).  Yes, three to thirty days.  In my house this process takes about 3 days, because I have fermenting particles in the air because we ferment and eat lots of fermented stuff.  If you are new to this, it might take up to 30 days.  Check on it often – eventually you will grow a Scobi.

 

 Scoby – symbiotic culture of bacteria & yeast

Your scobi will grow as big as your jar is wide, and will grow thicker with each batch of Kombucha.  I will separate mine, like a hamburger bun, and gift one layer to friends, or give it to chickens to eat.

 

The scobi is making a seal on the top of your Kombucha allowing it to ferment and work it’s magic!!

Once you have your scobi, you will feed it.  You need to make the tea.

I use 4 cups of DISTILLED water – not tap water.  Tap water has chlorine and such and will kill the bacteria and good stuff.

I bring 4 cups of DISTILLED water almost to a  boil with 1 cup of sugar.  Still while it is heating until all the sugar is dissolved.  Then you can turn off the water right before it starts to really boil.

Then I add 4 family size tea bags and steep for 5 minutes, or until I remember to take the tea bags out.  Then I let it cool.

Add the tea mixture to your jar once it is room temperature and fill the rest of the way with the rest of your gallon of distilled water.

Let this sit in a warm dark place (over the stove is where mine sits) for 7 days.  Sometimes i forget and it is 8, sometimes i do it early and it is 6.  But generally I wait 7 days.

Then you take our your scobi, set aside.

Pour your kombucha into jars (I use quart and 1/2 gallon)

I save 1 cup of the Kombucha as  a “Starter” for the next batch.

Set bottled Kombucha aside.

Then I put scobi and “Starter” back into my jar (I wash it out sometimes, sometimes I just use it again.  I think it is fine either way)

And then you feed again with the tea mixture.

Meanwhile you can put your Kombucha in the fridge as it is.  Or you can flavor it.  If you want to be “lazy” you can buy fruit juice to add to provide your flavor.  I do not want what is in fruit juice.  I also do not want it any sweeter than it is normally.  So I flavor like this:

Pumpkin Spice Tea, Chai or Peppermint – steep 1-1 1/2cups of water with 2 tea bags

Blueberry – add 1/4 cup of frozen blueberries

Grapefruit – add frozen 1/4 of a slice of grapefruit

Mango – add 1/4 cup frozen mango slices

Get creative with what you like.  Each variation offers different benefits and vitimins and nutrients.  Plus each taste different.  My favorite is grapefuit – I LOVE IT!!

Next would be Chai or Pumpkin Spice – they are really good too.

Whole family loved Blueberry.


FAQ:

Do not use stainless steel utensils, wooden or plastic and same with pots & bowls :wooden, glass or plastic.

Do not use tap water

Be careful washing everything and putting Kombucha right in or scobi – the chlorine in your water and the ingredients in your soap could kill good stuff.

You can go longer than 7 days, up to 30 – it will become alcoholic at some point.  You are fermenting like wine.

Kombucha help your gut, it even curbs my snack desire/appetite.  It is not a meal replacement but it impacts my day tremendously.

 

 

Herbal Healing Salve

This is our family’s favorite product, well maybe next to the soap, we sure love that soap!

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This healing salve is something I saw on pinterest, I think, and then when I had the chance to buy a start for the plant I grabbed it!!  So we started growing it.  Then, I started making this wonder-product!!

This is our favorite because we use it on everything from cuts, to bug bites, to burns.

I made this and we were using it for minor cuts and scrapes.  Then a friend had a grease fire and had severe second degree burns.  She came over to grab some essential oil that was supposed to help, that I had.  While here, I offered her this salve to try.  I had read all the great things about it but had not experienced them much first hand other than on our scrapes and cuts.

She told me this was the only thing she wanted to put on her burn because it was the only thing that helped.  I was thrilled!!

Then another friend, who I gave a small jar to, told me a bee stung her near the eye, and again I suggested this salve.  The next day she told me it was the only thing that felt good and the swelling and irritation was down tremendously!

Since then, my kids are fighting to have their own tin of this salve in their pocket so when they are out and about a get hurt they have it!  Crazy kids!

Anyway, we love this stuff, and hope you will try it yourself!!