Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Oils to avoid during pregnancy

Essential Oils That Should Be Avoided 
During Pregnancy 
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One of my biggest pet peeves is when people say things like "Oh it's naturally based so its got to be gentle" or "We use only natural ingredients so our stuff is 100% safe".  That statement just simply isn't true. Just because something comes from nature doesn't mean it's safe. Poison Ivy is found in nature, poisonous snakes are found in nature, there are countless poisonous herbs and berries that are highly toxic and yes....found in nature. God gave us oodles of healing herbs and tools, but he also put a lot of other really harmful stuff out there too and it's our job to educate ourselves on which is which. 

Now don't get me wrong..I get the statement that they're trying to make. I understand that they mean to say we're a safer alternative than those harmful chemical-laden companies and yes for the most part I agree. However sometimes even those "natural" products containing safe, natural ingredients should be avoided sometimes....such as when you're pregnant. Essential oils are not excluded from this.

Essential oils are a FANTASTIC way to naturally treat and heal a variety of things. Essential oils are amazing, however during pregnancy there are some that should be avoided. The jury is still out on a lot of the facts with essential oils and pregnancy mainly because there just isn't much research done on the topic however these are the most commonly known and warned against.

Let me also say, I only condone using essential oils that are 100% pure, tested, and safe. For that reason I recommend Spark Naturals. No, they are not the only pure EO company out there, but they are the only ones I trust during my pregnancy and know to be safe and pure. Also, like always you should consult your doctor if you ever have any questions or concerns with using essential oils. I am not a doctor, this is not medical advice, I'm simply a second time mommy who wanted to share my list of oils I avoid during pregnancy. Alright so...without further ado..here we go:



Aniseed (Pimpinella anisum)
This oil is primarily trans-anethole which has been known to cause dermatitis in some individuals as well as producing estrogen-like reactions in the body. This oil is also not recommended for individuals with endometriosis or estrogen-dependant cancers.

Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Can irritate sensitive skin, also has emmenagogue properties which stimulate blood flow to the pelvic region.

Birch (Betula lenta)
This oil has high concentration of methyl salicylate, which should be avoided by both pregnant women and anyone with epilepsy.

Calamus (Acorus calamus)
Contains a compound called asorone which can cause convulsions and hallucinations. Asorone is considered to be carcinogenic.

Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora)
This oil is classed as a convulsant and neurotoxin. Overdosing can cause convulsions and vomiting. Individuals with epilepsy and asthma should not use this oil either.

Cassia (Cinnamomum cassia)
This oil is known for being a dermal irritant, dermal sensitizer and a mucus membrane irritant.

Cinnamon Bark (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
This oil is both a strong sensitizer and an irritant. It should not be used in any skin care products or massage blends.

Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)
This oil can in some cases induce uterine contractions and bleeding, is also an oestrogenic. Also avoid this oil while drinking as it can cause a narcotic affect when mixed with alcohol.

Clove (Eugenia caryophyllata)
It may cause skin irritation and irritate mucus membranes.Individuals with kidney and liver conditions should avoid this oil as well.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
Like Aniseed it contains high amounts of trans-anethole which has been known to cause dermatitis in some individuals as well as producing estrogen-like reactions in the body. This oil is also not recommended for individuals with endometriosis, estrogen-dependant cancers, or women breastfeeding.

Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
This oil contains pinocamphone which gives off toxic affects. This oil should also be avoided by people suffering from epilepsy.

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)
Has been known to cause skin irritations.

Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
This oil is toxic, causes irritations, and produces narcotic effects on both the brain and the nervous system. Under no circumstances should this oil be used by a pregnant woman.

Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
This oil is a known as a skin and mucus membrane irritant.

Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)
This is a highly toxic, poisonous, abortifacient oil. Under no circumstances should this oil be used during pregnancy.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Just like Basil, this oil has emmenagogue properties which stimulate blood flow to the pelvic region and act as a uterine stimulant.

Sage (Salvia officinalis)
This oil is classified as an oral toxin, and in large doses can cause convulsions. This oil should not be used by individuals suffering from epilepsy or high blood pressure.

Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
This oil can cause convulsions and epileptic-like attacks, and even small doses can be lethal. Under no circumstances should be used by a pregnant woman.

Terragon (Artemisia dracunculus)
This oil can be moderately toxic due to the methyl chavicol in the oil, and should be avoided during pregnancy. This oil should not be given to young children.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Known skin and mucus membrane irritant. Breastfeeding women, and children should also avoid this oil.

Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides)
Recommended to use cautiously during pregnancy.

White Fir (Abies alba)
Can cause skin irritation, use cautiously.

Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)
Just like with Birch this oil has high concentration of methyl salicylate, which should be avoided by both pregnant women and anyone with epilepsy. Additionally, because this oil is an anti-coagulant it may increase the effect of pharmaceutical blood thinners.

Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)
This oil contains an extremely high amount of thujone which is a convulsant and neurotoxin. Under no circumstances should this oil be used by a pregnant woman.


Alright, well there it is. My list of essential oils to avoid during pregnancy. Since finding out I'm pregnant I'm having to look over all of my labels to make sure the face washes, masks, lotions, etc that I'm using contain none of these oils. I use Perfectly Posh products which although they are naturally based they still have products I have to avoid while pregnant..like their Wakey Wakey skin stick that has Rosemary essential oil in it. It's not hard you guys...I promise, just give your products a quick label check. After you've done that I think you've totally earned a nap, ooohh or maybe a foot massage, yes...opt for the foot massage. Feel free to message me with any questions and like I said earlier...this is a guide, consult your doctors. Good? Good. Love you guys!








Monday, October 13, 2014

Yep, it's official.

Hi guys! Do you remember a little while ago when I told you that I was super excited because Spark Naturals had Bliss calming blend on sale and that I really, really needed it but I couldn't say why at the moment? Yes..great, no..well you basically get the idea. 
Anywho, time has finally come to spill the beans....

I'm pregnant! 

Woo! I guess the fortune cookie of doom was finally right. That's not the only news however...oh no, things could not go that easily in this household. Here's a fun little rundown of what's been going on in my little bubble:

1. Hubby quits his side job on a Friday after much deliberating.
( it seemed smart in retrospect )
2. We find out we're pregnant on Saturday, literally the next day.
( who says God doesn't have a sense of humor?)
3. We find out Hubby got a fantastic new job we've been praying for.
( Woo!)
4. We begin the process of moving for this new job which is a whole new state away.
( During the first trimester mind you yyaaayyy )
5. We find the perfect house we like only to have it nabbed from under us a day before we finalize renting it.
( I told him we should have licked it )
6. The move is in less than two weeks and we don't "officially" have a place to rent yet.
( pfftt who needs a roof and solid walls am I right? totally nothing to stress over....)
7. New job means a switch in insurance while pregnant...
( yay...you can hear the sarcasm in this right? )

Needless to say things are a bit crazy. This pregnancy take two hasn't been the easiest, and combining it with a move to a whole other state has been quite the little adventure. Little Munchkin has been great so far and the family has been extremely supportive and helpful though. We're really, truly excited and feel blessed about all of this. 

Sometimes life just kind of happens all at once you know? I've found that it helps to laugh through the craziness, and smile through the stress. It will all work out, I'm certain of it so until it does I'll just keep the faith and write all about it to you, my loving friends who I swear I don't know what I'd do without sometimes. I hope life is treating you all well, and if you're having a crazy month like I am just think about how funny this will all be a few months from now! 




Monday, September 22, 2014

Bliss Calming Blend


I mentioned in an earlier post how much I loved Fall, and how typically Fall doesn't love me back. Alright so that might technically not be true, I mean Fall might love me every bit as much as I love it, it's just that darn life tends to be jealous of what we have and makes things all chaotic for us to be together. It's sort of like Romeo and Juliette but with pumpkin pie spice lattes instead of murder and whatnot.

Anyways, I wrote about ways to relax and re-focus during this sometimes stressful time and I kid you not...life was like " LOL give me one second...." and everything kinda got turned upside down on my end. Literally everything that could go wrong, and might go crazy did as if my blog post had been a challenge. It has literally been one of the most craziest weeks of my life, and that is saying something people. I can't go into specifics at the moment, but you just keep this post in the back of your mind and when I can share everything you're going to agree with me. 

So imagine all of that going on and then finding out that Spark Naturals is having a sale on Bliss Calming Blend. It's like a sign from Heaven you guys. I LOVE Bliss. It's my go-to oil when the Munchkin is fussy, when I can't sleep, when I can't calm down, when the dog is going crazy, basically anytime that things are getting to be a little too much. 

Bliss Calming Blend contains Lavender, Sweet Marjoram, Roman Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood and Vanilla. Bliss Calming Blend can be used aromatically or topically (dilute for younger skin).  What makes these oils so great? Let's check it out: 

1) Vanilla Essential Oil  
- Antioxidant: protects the body from free radicals, wear and tear. 
- Antidepressant: fights off sadness and depression while promoting happy feelings. 
- Sedative: removes anger, annoyance and promotes a soothed, calm feeling.
- Relaxing: calming, fights off anger and anxiety. 
- Tranquilizing: helps the body and mind relax and calm down. 

- Sedative: calming affect on both the mind and the body
- Analgestic: pain killing properties that calm emotions


- Antidepressant: fights off sadness and depression while promoting happy feelings. 
- Sedative: removes anger, annoyance and promotes a soothed, calm feeling.
- Analgestic: pain killing properties that calm emotions


4. Lavender
- Analgestic: pain killing properties that calm emotions
- Antidepressant: fights off sadness and depression while promoting happy feelings.
- Sedative: calming affect on both the mind and the body
- Calmative: has a sedative, calming affect on mind and body.


5. Ylang Ylang
- Antidepressant: fights off sadness and depression while promoting happy feelings.
- Hypotensive: lowers blood pressure, promotes calmness
- Nervine: calms nerves, eases anxiousness
- Sedative: calming affect on both the mind and the body

6. Sandalwood
- Antidepressant: fights off sadness and depression while promoting happy feelings.
- Sedative: calming affect on both the mind and the body


As you can see there are a lot of calming, balancing, relaxing essential oils in this blend. Now you know why I like using this bottle of calm the heck down lol. Now you know why, here's the how:

My Top Favorite Ways To Use Bliss

1. Take 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and add 1 drop of Bliss Calming Blend then rub the mixture onto the bottom of Munchin's feet right before bedtime. A calm toddler is a happy toddler...and a happy house.

2. Add one drop of Bliss Calming Blend to Munchin's bath. This is the BEST when she's been super fussy and just having an overall bad day. The scent fills the bathtub and we all get to soak up the benefits.

3. Add 1-2 drops of Bliss Calming Blend in the diffuser (or a pot of warm water on the stove) to calm the whole down. This is especially useful when things are super chaotic and crazy. Start diffusing in the morning to avoid meltdowns in the afternoon.

4. Worried about a presentation at work? Put 1-2 drops of Bliss Calming Blend on a tissue or small piece of felt and attach it on or near your car vents. Your commute will be stress free!

5. Add a drop of Bliss Calming Blend to your pillow before bed, you'll sleep like a baby! I like doing this on laundry day, there's nothing better than knowing your sheets are clean, fresh, and have the added bonus of a blend ready to lull you into a deep slumber.

6. Add some water to a Spray Bottle and add a drop of Bliss Calming Blend to it. Shake it up and spray the mixture lightly onto the baby's car seat (check manufacture guidelines to see if yours can get wet). It dries quickly and leaves a light, calming scent. This little trick is also great for dog beds and dog carriers, your panicking pooch'll be a little more manageable.

7. Rub a drop of Bliss Calming Blend onto the bottoms of your own feet before bedtime for a peaceful, relaxing slumber or in the morning to start your day off stress-free.


So those are some of my favorite ways to use this awesome blend, what's yours? 

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Remember guys you can also use coupon code " Bubble
to save 10% off your whole order



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My fall five.



Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year (with winter being a close second because winter clothes hide some extra baggage you know what I'm saying?). There's just not much that can top crisp air, crunchy, jewel colored leaves on the ground, football season, and of course..pumpkin flavored everything!

When I always think of Fall I like to imagine myself sitting on my porch in the early hours of the morning, sipping coffee before the baby wakes up and finding my soul at peace with the world while little squirrels chase each other around the yard. Sadly however, that is not the case. Instead I usually wake up to an alarm clock that sounds like a banshee, then it's to the new puppy's crate to let him out asap, then it's a brief shower, and hustling to complete the huge to-do list I have. Any interaction with squirrels limited to me yelling at them to get out of the way while I'm driving of course.

Fall just seems to be SO busy for us. We've got birthdays, weddings, doctor appointments, work schedule issues, car maintenance due, car taxes due, insurance openings, two separate trips around the state (and counting) among everything with Perfectly Posh and Spark Naturals and this blog. Needless to say things can get a bit stressful.

SO I decided to come up with a list of things that I've found
 helps me relax, center myself, and truly
remind me why I love this season. Here we go:

1. Put on a centering Fall blend 
of essential oils in your diffuser
( or pot of water on the stove over low heat
 or in your crock pot...whatevs)

1 Drop of Cedarwood Essential Oil
2 Drops of Wild Orange Essential Oil

Cedarwood is known to help with anxiety and in the bible it was used as a spiritual oil to purify, and naturally lift the soul in prayer.
Wild Orange is known to help alleviate stress and used to promote good feelings and emotional balance.

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2. Treat yourself to an anti-aging, fall-tastic face mask 
( say THAT five times fast ) 

3 teaspoons of Organic Canned Pumpkin Puree
1/2 teaspoon of Honey
1/4 teaspoon of milk

Combine the mixture and apply to face. Leave on for 10-15 minutes then rinse with lukewarm water.
Did you know pumpkin has alpha hydroxy acids in it? AKA: the most common ingredient in anti-wrinkle cream. It removes dead skin cells while regenerating healthy skin underneath. Pumpkin is also loaded with Vitamins A and C which help with skin elasticity and elastin production.

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3. Treat yourself to a pumpkin pie spiced coffee! 
( No starbucks required!) 
Simply add 1/4 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice seasoning with a dash of cinnamon and you're all set. Make sure to mix the seasonings after you brew the coffee and add it slowly so you don't reach the end and get a mouth full of chunky seasonings. Blech ( though there are worse things in life I suppose). 

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4. Cuddle up and make time for a Fall themed book.
There's something magical about reading about Fall
 while experiencing the first few tendrils of the season. 
Two quick recommendations from me: 

High Country Fall by Margaret Maron
This is a mystery book in a series and I promise you guys...you will fall in love with this author!
Sookie Stackhouse Books by Charlaine Harris
This might be a bit more Halloween (vampires, etc) but if you're anything like me there is never a bad time for one these books.

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5. Go jump in a lake
( Just kidding, I meant go take a bath...
just seeing if you were paying attention) 
Sometimes there's nothing that can do more for the soul 
like a nice warm bath. These are some of my bath time picks: 

Wanderlust Bubble Bar (Lavender, Ylang Ylang, and Cedar Wood essential oils in a bath bar)
Brazilian Bombshell Bath Salts ( Exotic jungle fruits and sugar cane)
Witch Be Gone Bath Salts ( A mix of Gardenia, Jasmine, Licorice,Wood, Vanilla, and Almond)

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Alright well those are some of my favorites, what are some of yours? Please post in the comments and pinning is love. Also if you're using Spark Naturals for your essential oil needs make sure to use coupon code " Bubble " to save 10% off your order! Woohoo!