Laresa Watkins

A Summer DoTERRA Make-and-Take: Foaming Hand Soap, Shaving Cream, and After-Sun Spray

Jul 25, 2018
mommyinbonlee

I have been using DoTERRA essential oils in my home for over 2 years now.  I originally began using them only in my diffuser as a way to replace my love of scented candles, but along the way I have discovered many, many more ways to use them.  They have become my first go-to when dealing with any health issues in my family and have saved us lots of trips to the doctor.

My favorite thing about essential oils is their versatility.  I use them for cleaning products, skin care, bug repellent, in my garden, and the list goes on and on.  They have saved us money, and I know that they are good for our family.

I enjoy my oils so much that I can’t help but tell people about them or offer them my homemade things to try, so it was natural that I eventually became a DoTERRA wellness advocate.  I enjoy telling people about our products and helping them become healthier in a natural way, but my favorite thing to do is host make-and-takes in my home.  It’s a great excuse for my kids’ friends to come over to play while their moms and I have some fun, for me to share my love of a good DIY, and for my friends to experience the many uses of essential oils.  (It’s also a great excuse for Jason to play golf!)

I have been hosting a make-and-take once a month.  This month’s was a summer theme, and we made foaming hand soap, shaving cream, and an after-sun spray. I have found these things so helpful and have been using them so often, I decided to share them here.

If you’re going to try these recipes, make sure you’re using containers that are made to use with essential oils.  Glass and most metal containers are great, but if you’re going to use plastic you should make sure that  it is a #1 or #2 plastic.  Even when the oils are diluted like they are in these recipes, you want to choose a plastic that won’t break down when it comes in contact with the oils.

I get my supplies for all of my DIY’s using essential oils from Got Oil Supplies. I only recently learned about this company and started buying from them, and I have found that they have good prices and their products are very high quality.  They even sell Modern Essentials, a great book that I recommend to everyone interested in essential oils.

The first thing we made at my summer make-and-take was a foaming hand soap.  This is really simple to make, and I don’t see myself ever buying hand soap again. All you need is:

1 Foam Pump

Castile Soap

Aloe Vera Gel

Vegetable Glycerin

Fractionated Coconut Oil

20-25 drops of Essential Oil.

*For my citrus-spearmint soap, I used a mix of tangerine, grapefruit, wild orange, and spearmint.

This is a recipe that I usually eyeball:

1-You’ll fill the bottle about 1/4 full with the Castile Soap, then just add in a squirt of the remaining ingredients, along with your oils.  During winter when my hands get dry, I will add in more vegetable glycerin and coconut oil.

2-Put the lid on the bottle and shake it well to mix everything together.

3-Remove the lid and fill the bottle the remainder of the way with water (Be careful not to overfill-remember that the pump will take up some space in the bottle and you don’t want to waste any of your precious oils!)

4-Replace the lid, shake again, and you’re done!

This makes a great gift, as well.  You can use any mixture of your favorite essential oils to go along with whatever season you’re in. Keep in mind that citrus oils are photosensitive-this means that they will cause you to sunburn.  If you’re going to be out in the sun within 24 hours after using your oils topically (unless you wash them off, like in the hand soap), you need to stick to oils that aren’t in the citrus family. 

My other recipes came from One Essential Community.  This is a great blog full of ideas and DIY recipes.  I absolutely LOVE the homemade shaving cream we made, and like to put lots of eucalyptus in mine to give myself a spa-like feeling.  And I keep a bottle of after-sun spray in the refrigerator and another bottle in my pool bag all summer.  If you’re in the sun too long, or if you’re just feeling hot, it is perfect for a quick cool-off. You can click the links below for the recipes.

Homemade Shaving Cream {with essential oils}

After Sun Spray

Got Oil Supply’s amber spray bottles and cream jars were perfect for these DIY’s.  Emma thought so, too.  🙂

If you’re interested in buying any essential oils, you can click here to visit my DoTERRA page.  We have a great wholesale program, and you can either sign up on that page or send me a message if you would like for me to help you get signed up.

Thanks again to everyone who came to my make-and-take.  It was fun, as always! I hope that you guys who read this will love these recipes as much as I do.

Overcoming some fears this summer…

Jul 6, 2018
mommyinbonlee

I am not scared of too many things.  There are things I avoid because they make me uncomfortable, such as speaking in front of large groups of adults or going to Wal-Mart on a Saturday, but I can do those things without too much anxiety.  🙂

There is something I am really scared of, though, something that makes my heart beat faster and my thoughts spin out of control: murky water.  When we go over a bridge, especially the long, tall bridges like we went over last week when we went to the Outer Banks, I have to focus on the road in front of me. If I let myself, I will go through in my mind the entire scenario of what would happen if we somehow plunged over the edge of the bridge.  I imagine myself busting out the window of the car, telling Jason to grab Charlie while I get Maddie, then swimming to the surface only to be tragically eaten by an alligator just feet from shore.  Those bridges are all beautiful, but they make me very anxious and I am always relieved to reach the other side.

I avoid any water that isn’t clear enough that I can see my feet.  I love sitting on the beach and walking on the beach and building sandcastles on the beach, but the kids have to really beg me before I will join them in the ocean.  I feel the same way about lakes, rivers, etc. Nope, nope, nope.

Every once in a while I am forced to face this fear, and last week on vacation was one of those times.  Jason mentioned several days ago that there are lots of kayak tours on the OBX, and he wanted to go on one.  Without really thinking it through, I agreed.  Suddenly, I found myself here:

Yep, those are my feet. My feet on a kayak tour through a maritime forest complete with snakes, fish, turtles, 2 feet of mud which a woman would immediately sink into up to her knees if she accidentally fell out of her kayak, and alligators (Our tour guide, Justin, denied this, but I later learned that an alligator had, in fact, been caught in this exact area only weeks earlier. Not only did they catch the alligator here, but they tagged and then released it in the SAME SPOT.).

Why do I let myself get into these situations that scare me so much? Well, I don’t want to miss out on anything. I want to experience every single thing I can in this life, and I want my kids to experience every single thing they can.  While Maddie didn’t care for kayaking, Charlie discovered a new passion.  The problem is, now I am going to have to take him kayaking all the time.  This is him at the lake a few days ago:

I took this picture from shore.  🙂

I want them to be brave and courageous and feel free to try new things, even if they are scared.  And I want them to look back on these experiences and say, “Wow, I did that!”  So I have to do that, too.

Over and over again, apparently.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Silence of Winter

Jan 18, 2018
mommyinbonlee

This week’s photo challenge from The Daily Post is “Silence.”  I find it so fitting for the months of January and February, when life calms down from the excitement of fall and Christmas, and we spend long days bundled up at home getting caught up on schoolwork and just enjoying being together.  I relish this time before ball season and VBS planning start up.

We had a great snow yesterday.  We measured 12 inches in some spots in our yard, which is almost unheard of in NC! We’ve had a wonderful time playing and eating snow cream and riding the four wheeler.  We love walking through the woods by our house.

I thought these pictures were perfect for this photo challenge, because nothing is more silent than the woods when there is snow on the ground:

 

 

 

 

 

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

The months of January and February seem long and slow to me, but they are a time for planning and working and healing.  God illustrates this for us in his creation during winter, when everything takes a break from showing off to get ready for spring.

We’ve had a great time in the snow the past couple of days:

 

 

 

 

 

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” -Lewis Carroll

 

 

Balance in the Chaos-Taking Care of Yourself

Nov 30, 2017
mommyinbonlee

 

In my mom’s group a few weeks ago we were talking about disciplining in anger and how to avoid that.  One mom pointed out that she had a difficult time dealing with her children when her blood sugar was low, and all of us agreed that we had a hard time when we were running on little sleep.  I’m sure all of us have gotten into a habit, at some point or another, of not taking the best care of ourselves.  We do things for other people all day long, and it’s hard to stop and spend time on ourselves. The problem with this is that everyone around us suffers when we don’t take care of ourselves.

While being healthy and feeling good are important to me, the main reason that I need to take care of myself is for my mental well-being (in other words, so I don’t lose it on anyone in my family).  When Charlie cries for an hour because he can’t wear shorts in December, I cannot handle myself very well if I only got 5 hours of sleep.  When I have 10 emails to return, school to teach, and my phone won’t stop beeping with text messages, I get frazzled and can’t focus if I’ve had too much coffee and no breakfast.  In order to handle life’s everyday stressors with grace and compassion, I have to care for myself.

My suggestions aren’t things that take a lot of time.  You don’t have to find a babysitter or take your kids to a germy gym childcare to work out.  You don’t have to get up at the break of dawn or spend hours cooking an organic farm-fresh meal.  These are just a few simple things that you can incorporate into your day that will enable you to have more balance when a chaotic moment is inevitably thrown your way.

1-Get a good night’s sleep

It seems to be the cool thing for women my age to brag about how much coffee they need to drink during the day.  Now, I am a coffee lover, so I’m not downing coffee, but on an everyday basis we should not have to drink coffee all day long in order to get everything on our to-do lists completed.  It’s not healthy.  We need to take care of ourselves by getting more sleep!

I am putting this first because it is so important to me.  I need at least 7 hours of sleep at night, and if I don’t get it I am cranky all day long.  Even thought I know this about myself, it is still really hard for me to make myself go to sleep at night.  After I get the kids in bed I want to spend time reading, watching TV, or playing a game on my phone.  After 15+ hours of hearing “Mom! Mom! Mom!” and “Laresa! Laresa! Laresa!”, my time alone at the end of the day is just wonderful and I hate for it to end. I have to really be disciplined and make myself stop whatever I am doing, turn out the lights, and go to sleep.

It really helps me to sleep better if I get up at the same time each morning, so I have also gotten back into the habit of setting my alarm.

That being said, for all of my friends who have new babies: you just go on drinking your coffee all day.  😉

2-Work Out

There is nothing worse than the 3:00 slump.  That time in the afternoon when we feel like shirking all of our duties and laying down for a nap? Whether you work at home like me or work at a job outside of the home, I know we all experience this during our day. It’s difficult no matter what you do, because we can’t just stop what we’re doing and sit down when we feel a little sluggish.

I have found that if I have a good workout in the morning I don’t experience this tired, cranky feeling in the afternoon. The problem is that I don’t have much time to work out. I used to love going to the gym or walking miles at the park, but that just isn’t feasible for me now.

I have tried lots of different YouTube workouts that I like, but right now I am really enjoying a new app called Aaptiv. You download the app and instantly have access to tons of great workouts.  You can choose from strength training, outdoor running, yoga, and so much more.  You can also select how long you want to work out, which is a huge plus for me since some mornings I have more time than others.  If it’s a morning that I have to take Maddie to gymnastics or we have a MOMS meeting or science co-op and I have to get everyone ready and out the door in a hurry, I choose a short workout so I can get a good workout in without putting a strain on our chaotic mornings.

Aaptiv even has a series of workouts for parents-they’re all around 15 minutes long and give you a great workout in a short span of time.  And, for all of my friends who are expecting, they even offer a great prenatal workout program with different workouts that are appropriate for each trimester.  I wish it had been around when I was pregnant.

They’re offering a free trial right now, so if you’re like me and you need a quick, easy workout you can do at home, you should give it a go.

3-Essential Oils-I have become an essential oil freak.  I used to burn candles all the time to have my house smelling good, but now I constantly have some sort of oil running in my diffusers to not only make my house smell nice, but to keep us all healthy.  When it comes to keeping me balanced, I turn, of course, to DoTerra’s Balance.  🙂

I think I finally convinced my husband of the awesomeness of essential oils last week when he used my Tea Tree Oil on an ulcer in his mouth.  It was gone the next morning!

4-Eating Well- I’m not talking hours of meal planning or crazy shakes or anything like that. I once heard the advice that I should eat 5 servings of fruits/veggies every day, and that’s what I do.  I also try to drink plenty of water.  Doing those simple, non-time-consuming things makes me feel so much better and better-able to handle life’s craziness.

 

Our bodies are gifts from God, and it’s so important we take care of them.  When we do, we feel better, are kinder when faced with tough situations, and can find some balance in this chaos.

Balance in the Chaos – A Good Morning

Nov 18, 2017
mommyinbonlee

I am a morning person.  Before having children I was a high school teacher, and I got up at 5:30 every morning to spend time on a devotion, take long showers, drink coffee, watch the news, and just get my mind in order for the day.  Jason is not a morning person and was usually asleep during this time, so I had the house to myself. It was a good time for me.

After becoming a mom, my time in the mornings became hit or miss.  When the kids were babies, I slept later out of sheer necessity.  Now I’m on a pretty good schedule, but I’ll get out of whack during the summer and it takes me awhile to get used to going to bed and getting up at decent hours again.

But, ya’ll, that time in the morning is so important to me.  When I hit snooze too many times and sleep too late and end up having to rush around to do what needs to be done in the morning, my whole day is out of whack. That’s why I’m making it the very first post in this series aimed at finding balance in our chaotic lives. If it is at all possible for you to wake up a little earlier in the morning and have some time alone, just some time to get a jump-start on your day, it will make such a difference to you.  I’m not saying you have to get up at 4:30 or anything like that (because I think women who do that are a little crazy, but whatever floats your boat), but maybe 6:15 instead of 6:30, anything to give yourself a little extra time.

Here is what I do with my extra time most mornings:

1-Spend some time with God– I keep a book of people I am praying for and things I am praying about.  I spend some time thanking God for who he is and for all of my blessings, then I pray through my list, and do a short devotion.

In Isaiah 61:3 Isaiah tell us some of what Jesus wants for his people:

“to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.”
He wants us to go through our days with a beautiful headdress, not ashes! Gladness, not mourning! Spirits of praise, not faint spirits! He wants us to be strong and glorify him in our day-to-day life. He will grant us all of these things, and spending a few minutes talking with him in the morning while our minds are fresh and we’re uninterrupted by everyday tasks gets us started on the right path for the day.

I highly recommend She Reads Truth.  You can pay to get the Bible studies on your phone or in book form, or you can go straight to their website to do your studies for free.  They have many great devotions to choose from, but I love doing the current one.  Knowing that women all over the world are doing the same devotion that day is so special to me.

If you don’t have much time (maybe you pressed the snooze button too many times and you have to lock yourself in the bathroom for your quiet time-not that I ever do this, but it could possibly happen 😉 ), I recommend Christine Caine’s “First Things First” Devotion.  She is just a straight-forward, get-it-done type of woman, and when you sign up for this you will get an e-mail each morning with a Bible verse and a couple of paragraphs about the verse.  You can read this in just a couple of minutes and it will help direct your thoughts for the day. I read it while I’m brushing my teeth.

 

2-Start a load of laundry– So, I wouldn’t necessarily say this is something I enjoy doing in the morning, but by having a load of laundry going, I feel a sense of accomplishment.  I actually put a load of clothes in the washing machine before I go to bed at night, then set the “delay wash” so the clothes begin washing around 5.  After my devotion time I’ll throw the clothes in the dryer. There may be another chore (unloading the dishwasher, etc.) that you would rather get out of the way, but by going ahead and doing something small, you’ll just feel better.

In addition to that, make your bed.  It has actually been proven that making your bed will make your day more productive, and actually make you more happy and peaceful! It only takes a second.  This is one of my kids’ chores each morning, and they don’t understand why I feel it’s so important, but one day they’ll get it.

 

3-Work out- I’m going to talk further about this in a later post, but I just want to mention this as part of a good start to your day.  To me, the greatest benefit of working out in first thing in the morning is that I don’t get that mid-afternoon slump.  I went through a stage where around 3:00 every afternoon, I was getting really tired and grouchy, and I’ve found that working out, even just for 10 minutes in the mornings, solves that problem.

I don’t have time to go to the gym (again, I don’t care to get up at 4:30 in the morning) so I love to find workouts on YouTube.

I’ve also found a new app I’m trying out and I LOVE called aaptiv.  More about it later, but if you’re looking for a good workout in the mornings, go ahead and try it out.

 

So, there are 3 simple things you can do in the morning if you’ll wake up 30 minutes sooner than you are now.  You’ll have more energy, begin your days feeling productive, and most importantly, feel prepared to wear your beautiful headdress all day long.

 

 

 

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