Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Homemade Chicken Broth

When making soups, rice, pasta, etc. do you just add water? Have you ever considered that there was a healthier way to amp up your recipes without the store bought products?  In my family, I like to avoid as much sodium, dye, MSG, and who knows what else as possible and keep my family healthy and happy! 

There are many benefits to making your own broth and I love to add it to almost everything we make! In this post, I'm going to focus on chicken broth but look for beef and others in the future!

I like to kill 2 birds with one literal stone so i'm going to tell you how to make broth and chicken at the same time :) 

1.  Place vegetables in a Cast Iron Dutch Oven, crockpot, or stockpot and add about 6 cups of water.  This is a great time to use up any veggies that might be getting old or to use the scraps that you've been saving up just to make broth.  I like to keep a baggie in my freezer and throw veggie scraps into it each time that I cook so that I have a stockpile when it comes time for making my broths! Typically, I use onion, garlic, celery, peppers, carrots, fennel, etc. and throw in anything else that might give us some added nutrients.

*This post contains affiliate links.  You can read my entire affiliate policy here.

Here is the start of my new broth veggie bag!

2.  Now that I have my vegetables cooking, I simply place a whole chicken (skin and all) into my pot and then place the cover on and cook on medium low for around 8 hours.  We buy organic, pasture raised chickens and I definitely would look at the source of your poultry before you go through all of the work of making broth.  You can take the chicken out once it's cooked, harvest all of the meat for other meals and return the bones, skin, etc. back into your pot and add more water to fill the pot and continue to cook for another 8 hours or so.  *Note: If you don't have a whole chicken and just have the bones, skin, etc. after cleaning it- throw all of that into your pot along with your veggies and cover with water- cook the same way :)

3.  Once your broth is done cooking and developing all of its wonderful flavors, it's time to finish the process.  First, I take a big colander and dump the entire pot into it with a large bowl underneath.  If you have pigs, farm cats, etc. then this is a great meal to give them instead of throwing it away!  

4.  Now, take your broth and once again run it through a fine colander to get the remaining parts and pieces out.

5.  Here you are! You now have a large bowl of gorgeous, nutritious chicken broth that you can use to add flavor and nutrients to many different dishes.  If you have a large batch, I like to pressure can my jars and then store them in our cellar.  This batch was a smaller one so I filled 1 quart and 2 pints that I will just store in my fridge because it's winter and I make a lot of different soups and comfort foods so I know this will be used up quickly!  Some other great flavor tips are to use Young Living Essential Oils to add flavor and other amazing benefits to your food.  In my broth, I've added 1 drop Thyme, 1 drop Black Pepper, and 2 drops of Lemon and it's amazing! I do this right before I pour it into the jars- now i'm supporting my Immune System even more with this extra pop of flavor!

You can also fill up a jar to keep in the fridge, and then use the remaining broth and fill up ice cube trays and put them in the freezer until they are solid.  Pop them out and store in a baggie and simply add 1-2 cubes to whatever recipe that you want.  

Before I pressure can my broths, I put the giant bowls of liquid in the fridge to cool.  You end up with a bunch of fat that hardens on the top that you can then scoop off and put into another jar for frying foods, in place of butter.  I bring my broth back to a boil, fill my hot, canning jars, and then place them in my pressure cooker for around 2 hours.  Now, they are ready to be stored in our basement cellar along with all of our other nutritious, homemade canned goods that provide our family with healthy meals all year round!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Frankincense, which one do I need?

Have you noticed that there are 3 different types of Frankincense that you can buy from Young Living? Do you know the difference between them, and how do you decide which one you need? I personally have all 3 of them and they all smell very different and have different properties.  Frankincense is also really fun to learn about and it's actually harvested by "tapping" the trees.  They take little tools and injure the bark of the tree which creates urgency for the tree to begin to heal itself.  It starts producing the resin to help heal the wound and then the resin is collected from the tree, and steam distilled into our beloved Frankincense Essential Oils.

Elemi is technically not Frankincense but I include it here because it has many of the same properties.  I use Elemi in place of Frankincense for my skin support! It's a more economical and gives me the support that I've come to know from using Frankincense.  I like to add about 10 drops of Elemi, Lavender, and Melrose to a 10ml roller bottle and then top off with some Rose Hips and Jojoba oil.

I use this Frankincense as my main "Emotional" oil because I know it works wonders to help me stay somewhat calm in the world of crazy that I live in! I like to diffuse it with Lavender to provide a calming environment and also to help support mine and my toddlers Respiratory systems from time to time! 

These 2 types of Frankincense (Frereana & Sacred), I've combined in a 5ml bottle and put a roller fitment on it.  I added 10 drops of each and then topped off with Sweet Almond Oil.  I like to use this blend on my temples to help clear my brain when i'm feeling overwhelmed or annoyed.  It's also a great blend to apply to the back of my neck before quiet time or meditation.  You can also add a couple drops of either or both to 1/2c. epsom salt and make a relaxing bath.

I hope this helps you decide which type of Frankincense that you will benefit from the most!  I encourage you to build your collection overtime to include all of them so you know how each of them effects you.  Anyway you chose, Frankincense is an amazing oil to have in our lives and a huge thanks to Young Living for being the only company to have contracts around the world to locally source their Frankincense from the homelands of this beautiful oil.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Diffusers & Diffusing

About Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is a holistic therapy that uses pure essential oils to positively influence the mind and body and to enhance emotional and physical well-being. Essential oils are highly concentrated extracts from the aromatic part of the plant. They are wholly natural molecular substances which when diffused in the air are transmitted to the part of the brain that controls memory and emotional response. When used topically they are highly effective due to their ability to help stimulate the body's natural ability to heal.

Transform your surroundings 
into a fragrant spa
One of the most effective ways to enjoy the therapeutic properties in pure essential oils is by diffusing them in the air allowing them to enter through the upper respiratory tract.  A diffuser is a device that disperses the small volatile elements of the essential oil into the air. The environment becomes filled with minute oil particles, purifying the air of any foul odors.

Suggested uses: While traveling, use the diffuser to remove unpleasant odors from hotel rooms. In bedrooms use soothing blends such as Stress Relief or Peace & Calming. In your kitchen, use Lemon, Purification or Thieves. While at work try Peppermint, Valor, & Lemon, or blends such as Joy, Peace & Calming or Valor. Use Frankincense to improve your mood.

Maintaining Health: Purify the air in your home with a diffuser
There is something entrancing about candles...the warm glow, the flicker of the flame, the sweet and spicy aroma.
Did you know that candles are a huge source of indoor pollution? Some of the toxins released from paraffin candles are the same as those found in diesel fuel fumes! Paraffin wax (a petroleum waste product), artificial and chemical fragrances, and the wicks possibly containing heavy metals are all elements that are being released into your air.
I know there are types of candles that are non-toxic or even purifying (soy and beeswax) but my now-favorite way to add aroma to the air (and purify it!) is through a cool mist diffuser.

Cool mist diffusers combine a humidifier, air purifier, atomizer, and aromatherapy diffuser into one simple-to-use product that safely releases essential oils into the air to eliminate odors and create a relaxing atmosphere. It works through ultrasonic technology which breaks up essential oils and water into millions of microparticles, disperses them into the air, and activates the powerful plant constituents found in essential oils.

Why Heat is not Ideal for Diffusing:
When purifying the air is your goal, and not just a nice smell, you do not want to use heat. Heating essential oils can alter the delicate compounds within the oils, which breaks down the therapeutic benefits. So putting drops of essential oils onto a lightbulb, a warming tray, a pan of water on the stovetop, or other heating methods, while still spreading the aroma, will cause the oil to lose much of its therapeutic effectiveness.

For more information or to Get Started, go HERE

Start Slowly with the Diffuser:

Start with just 2-3 drops of oil in your diffuser for a 15 minute time period. If all is well then increase the time intervals. The home diffuser will run for about 3-4 hours and after this initial test period, feel free to run it as long as you are able and with up to 8-10 drops of essential oils. We tend to use fewer of strong oils like Joy for example and more of fresh, citrus oils like Lemon!

Diffusing Blends:
Here are some suggestions on different blends to help you get an understanding of which oils work best for you and your family.  Always used distilled water in your diffuser.

Joy, Lemon, Valor
Peace & Calming, Lavender, Frankincense

Peppermint, Lemon
Lemon, Joy, Purification
Grapefruit, Lime or any Citrus combination

Immune Support:
Thieves, Purification, Lemon
Lavender, Peppermint

Best Sleep Ever:

Cedarwood, Peace & Calming

Fall Scents:

Pumpkin Pie:  
4 drops Cinnamon Bark, 2 drops Clove, 1 drop Nutmeg

Orange Spice:  
4 drops Orange, 1 drop Cinnamon Bark, 1 drop Clove, 1 drop Nutmeg

Apple Pie:  
2 drops Clove, 2 drops Ginger, 2 drops Cinnamon Bark

Purifying blend: 
Bergamot Oil 3 drops

Clary Sage Oil 2 drops

Rosemary Oil 3 drops

Thyme Oil 5 drops

Immune Support blend: (Adults)

Oregano 3 drops
Clove 3 drops
Thyme 3 drops

Immune Support blend (Children)
Lemon 5 drops 
Melaleuca Alternifolia ( Tea Tree ) 5 drops

 Respiratory blend 
R. C. or Raven 
5 drops of one or the other
Alternate each time but not together

  Respiratory Blend 
Thieves 5 Drops
Purification 3 Drops

Single Oils to Diffuse:
Thieves: Help support your immune system and everyone else that's around you!

Purification: Great on its own or with other oils, neutralizing and deodorizes.

Raven: Good for respiratory support. 

R.C. : Supports the respiratory system. 

Ravintsara: Supports respiratory system in children safely.

Lavender: Promotes a calm, relaxing environment

Eucalyptus Globulus, Eucalyptus Radiata, Frankincense and Cypress are all also great for supporting our Respiratory Systems.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

KidScents Oils

Like I said, I am a mother. I have used YL Oils for awhile now and am always learning and expanding my knowledge base! When it comes to our children, we are the ones who Love, Teach, and Protect them. I wanted to make sure the oils I was using were safe for them because obviously, I wouldn't want to do anything to harm them! I know the oils I use are safe because they are Young Living…

Young Living makes it really easy on us parents and provides a collection of oils designed for children and the best part is the come already diluted!!! I LOVE these oils and so do my kids :) They actually come and ask me for their oils when they need them and as a mom- I'm so relived to know that I'm teaching my kids a healthier way of life!

If you don't want the entire collection- guess what?  Young Living has released these as individual oils now so you can pick which ones that you want to try! Simply search for their names to add them to your oily collection today.

Owie:  Sometimes kids don't want you to touch their owies so I solved that and made a cleansing spray!  Simply put 20 drops of the Owie blend in a 1oz. spray bottle and topped it off with Witch Hazel so now I can just spray and they can continue to play!

GeneYus:  Such an excellent blend to diffuse for young minds that are focusing and concentrating on projects.

SniffleEase: What an amazing oil to support your children's respiratory systems!!! I love to rub this blend behind their toes before bed.

SleepyIze:  This blend is wonderful and I even use it on myself! This will help promote a restful nights sleep or can help unwind in the evenings.  We like to apply it to the back of our necks!

TummyGize:  When your littles are having digestion issues, it can be hard on everyone! Simply rub this blend onto their stomachs in a clockwise direction!

Lavender Essential Oil Information & Uses

As a mother, Lavender truly is my, "Go To" oil!  It's so versatile, and with over 400 known uses- how can you possibly go wrong?  When I first got my bottle of Lavender, I'll admit that I could not stand the smell!!! It was so earthy and weird haha! We are so programed to synthetic, man-made scents that sometimes a natural oil can be quite overwhelming to our senses.  It only took a couple of weeks before Lavender and I became best friends and now I simply adore it's beautiful smell and I can't imagine life without it!

Product Tips:
  • Apply 1-2 drops of Lavender to the back of your neck to help relax your body and mind before bedtime.
  • Place a few drops of Lavender essential oil onto a wet cloth, or wool dryer balls to deodorize and freshen your laundry.
  • Add 5 drops of Lavender to 1/2c. epsom salts to enjoy a detox bath!
    • *Because Lavender is highly detoxing, go slow with it in the beginning! If you notice a reaction from using it, it's most likely a detox reaction and you should slow down with your use.  If applying topical, dilute more and remember- It's taken us a lifetime to fill our body with toxins and it takes awhile to remove them all!
  • When you buy a new tube of mascara, add 1 drop of lavender to promote healthy, beautiful lashes.

Thieves Household Cleaner

History of Thieves:

Young Living’s Thieves essential oil blend was created based on the historical account of four thieves in France who protected themselves from the Black Plague with cloves, rosemary, and other aromatics while robbing victims of the killer disease. When captured, they were offered a lighter sentence in exchange for their secret recipe. Young Living’s proprietary Thieves oil blend includes clove, cinnamon bark, rosemary, lemon, and Eucalyptus radiata and has been specially blended to offer the same kind of defense. Thieves has been university tested and found to be highly effective for cleaning and purifying. 

Clove oil, nature’s richest source of eugenol, is the highest-scoring single ingredient tested for its antioxidant capacity on the ORAC scale. Clove is also known for its immune-supporting properties.*
With 68 percent d-limonene

Lemon oil is a powerful antioxidant known for its ability to act as a natural solvent and cleanser.

Cinnamon bark has a reputation for relieving discomfort during the winter season and supporting the digestive system.

As one of the most versatile of the eucalyptus oils, Eucalyptus Radiata has many health-promoting properties. This powerful essential oil contains eucalyptol as one if its major elements, which in laboratory tests has been reported as being effective against bacteria in topical applications.

Rosemary oil is naturally energizing and may be beneficial for helping restore mental alertness when experiencing fatigue. 

Diffusing Thieves essential oil blend with Young Living’s patented diffusing system creates a safe and simple means of filling your home with therapeutic benefits. Diffusing Thieves adds an extra layer of protection by purifying the air while adding an uplifting scent to your home. 

Keep your bathroom clean and free of sickies by: washing your hands with Thieves soaps and cleaning countertops, toilets, and other surfaces with Thieves products. 

Thieves Household Cleaner:
Thieves Household Cleaner’s new formula boasts the most effective, 100 percent plant-and mineral-based ingredients available, including:
• Vegetable-based Surfactants like alkyl polyglucoside that are compliant with Green Seal and EPA Design for Environment (DfE) standards.
• Biodegradable cutting agents like sodium methyl 2-sulfolaurate and disodium 2-sulfolaurate from renewable sources.
• The all-natural cleansing and disinfecting power of Young Living Therapeutic Grade Thieves and lemon essential oils 
Suggested Usage Ratios
Note : one capful of Thieves cleaner = 1⁄2 Tbsp.

Light degreasing
1 capful Thieves cleaner to 33⁄4 cups water

Medium degreasing

1 capful Thieves cleaner to 2 cups water

Heavy degreasing

1 capful Thieves cleaner to 1 cup water

Hand Cleaner

1⁄2 cup Thieves cleaner to 1⁄2 cup water


1 capful Thieves cleaner in the bottom of the dishwasher

Pots & Pans

1⁄2 capful of Thieves cleaner to 3 cups water


1 capful Thieves cleaner to 6 1⁄4 cups water
note: any floor with a finish should be spot tested in an inconspicuous area. 

1 capful Thieves cleaner to 2 cups water


1 capful Thieves cleaner to 2 cups water
note: before cleaning fabrics, perform a spot test in an inconspicuous area. discontinue use in the unlikely event of staining or skin irritation.

Washing Machine

Depending on size of washer, use 1–2 capfuls Thieves cleaner with each batch.


1 capful Thieves cleaner to 6 1⁄4 cups water

Glass & Windows

1 capful Thieves cleaner to 5 quarts water 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Purification Essential Oil Information & Uses

Purification® can be used directly on the skin to cleanse and soothe. When diffused, it helps to purify and cleanse the air from environmental impurities including cigarette smoke and other disagreeable odors.  Diffuse, apply topically on location as needed, or put on cotton balls to place in air vents of home, car, hotel room, or office.

Product Tips:

  • Add Purification essential oil blend to your washing machine to freshen laundry.
  • Add a couple drops of Purification essential oil blend to shoes to help neutralize odors.
  • Add a few drops of Purification essential oil blend to a cotton ball to help eliminate stale air in the office or your child’s room.
  • Diffuse Purification essential oil blend to dispel unpleasant odors and clear the air of impurities.
  • Diffuse Purification essential oil blend to eliminate odors after the dog returns from playing outdoors in the rain.

Home Purification:

Keep your home smelling great and clear of stale odors with our air freshening solutions. Diffusing is an easy and convenient way to clear the air in your home.  All of the oils listed above are great ideas to diffuse so that the air in your home stays healthy and clean! 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Lemon Essential Oil Information & Uses

Lemon has a strong, purifying, citrus scent that is revitalizing and uplifting. Lemon consists of 68 percent dlimonene, a powerful antioxidant. It is delightfully refreshing in water and may be beneficial for the skin. Lemon may also be used to enhance the flavor of foods. Lemon essential oil is cold-pressed from the rinds of lemons. Jean Valnet MD estimated that it takes 3,000 lemons to produce one kilo of oil.  In his book, The Practice of Aromatherapy, Valnet wrote that lemon is a tonic for supporting the nervous and sympathetic nervous system.

Product Tips:

  • Use 1–2 drops of lemon essential oil to remove gum, oil, grease spots, glue or adhesive, and crayon from most surfaces.
  • Combine 2–3 drops of lemon essential oil with water in a spray bottle to help cleanse and sanitize surfaces.
  • Add 10–15 drops of lemon essential oil to a gallon of carpet cleaning solution to help pull out stains, brighten carpet and rugs, and leave a fresh smell in the room.
  • Place a few drops of your favorite citrus essential oil on a cotton ball and put in the refrigerator to help eliminate odors.