Essential Oils I Love {...and no, actually, I do not sell them...}

I love to hear how other women live in their every-day.  I love it when they tell me what new thing they are loving, what products work for them, what they carry in their purse, their dinner plans, what books are in their reading stack, and what beauty products sit in their bathroom.  I might have boundary issues, I'm not sure.  But if I have boundary issues about these things, chances are you do too.  Because we are all so curious, whole magazines make their profits from giving all of us a peek inside the every-day lives of others.

(And you do have a reading stack, don't you?  Doesn't everyone?)

It's true that I'm talking about essential oils today, and I do not - and will never - sell them.  I know, it's a weird feeling, isn't it?  But you really can stick around, because you won't be asked to click anywhere, to buy anything.  (I do know the perfect person you can talk to about essential oils - and you are welcome to email me, and I will put you in touch with her.)

So here is a little spot inside my master sanctuary...

I've been busy designing (for myself, not for my shop - YET) facial toner, cleaners, roll-on oil combos, etc etc.  In fact, I've been at this for awhile, now.  I purchased my first singles in early January, and have been combining them ever since.

Something I love about essential oils is the creativity available to me in combining them (within certain guidelines - read up, first!)  I am free to come up with my own blends!  Be still my heart.

Then, when I come up with something I love, I do what any designer-at-heart would do:  I put my logo on the bottle.

A caveat:  you do need to use better oils than what you typically even find in health food stores.  They need to be something called "therapeutic grade".  Also, when creating your own blends (do it!) I advise using only singles.  It is the best way to add a drop of this and a drop of that, and add and subtract until you love it, and actually have an idea of what you are doing.

I am purposely only showing my own blends, because I truly don't sell essential oils, I am not a monetized blog, haven't (yet) explored affiliate links, and don't want to sell you anything...well, except maybe my art.

Yeah, my art is for sale.  But since I promised "no links to buy anything", I won't link my art in this post.

Here is a very simple facial toner recipe:

*put a cup or so of organic witch hazel in an amber glass bottle.  (It has to be amber glass, because I dislike the cobalt blue, okay?  But seriously, amber or blue.  But seriously, get the amber.)

*put a drip of a lovely, moisturizing oil in it (I use vitamin E - just break open a capsule)

*10-15 drops of frankincense essential oil

And that's it!  Shake it, and let it sit for a day.  Add a little more frankincense, to your liking.  Or, if you are me, experiment with a few drops of geranium.

Mercy.  So beautiful.  It will make you remember to use toner...every morning and night.

I have not found essential oils to be the cure-all that some have...yet.  But what I have discovered is that they do have a distinct effect on my mood.  A good essential oil can lift your spirits, which is almost the same thing as a medicine the Bible says.  "A sound heart is the life of the body"...

I am still tweaking the cleaner recipe.  I prefer one sans vinegar - though the vinegar smell really does dissipate after awhile, I'd rather not smell it at all.  When I test a really good recipe, I will share it!

{...and if you know of a good, no vinegar cleaning recipe, using essential oils, please email it to me...}

Here is the short-list of my current essential oil favorites:

Clary sage

5 (Main) Ingredient Cauliflower-Fried-"Rice" { own riff...}

First off, let it be said here today that I would have put sliced carrots in this recipe, but I stuffed the last ones down the Vitamix to make juice yesterday.  So imagine sliced or diced carrots, at the very end, if for no other reason than this dish needs the color they bring!

Grab about 3 cups of cauliflower (that would be 3 cups after grating - so before grating, you just have to wing it.  I was dead-on...and proud of that.  However, this picture is deceiving, in that it in no way represents 3 cups, grated or not...)

I did the busy work for you, and compared grating cauliflower with the usual grater...

...and in about 5.3 seconds, I knew this was the better method:

Throw your cauliflower in, and run it through on variable speed 1, off and on, off and on (you may have to use a tamper to keep from making mush) and it yields this goodness:

Chop about 1/4 cup of onion, and mince 3 cloves of garlic, "glug" some olive oil in your skillet and toss that in - sweat it for just a minute, and then toss in all that cauliflower "rice".  Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt.  Add 3 TB low-sodium soy sauce.  Stir-fry for about 5 minutes, then add 1/2 cup of frozen peas.  Cook another 2-3 minutes.

While the peas are getting warmed, scramble two eggs.  Make a "well" in the center of your fried rice, and pour in your egg.  Let it set up for just a moment, and begin to scramble it.

Plate it up, and take a picture because you. are. that. woman.  You are a goober-blogger-wannabe-foodie-geek.  Work it.

You guys, this really is so good.  We don't eat white rice around here - we normally cook with brown rice.  But if you want to cut even those (good for you, amazing, whole grain) carbs out, cauliflower is truly the way to go.

disclaimer:  I am FOR all grain, not against a single one.

Thank you in advance for Pinning!

Book Review {...and a Vitamix recipe...}

I've been juicing my way through this beautiful book:

...and I thought I'd share a few of my favorites, as time allows.

Of Poets and Painters...{and seers and saints}

There are pictures and there are paintings, and then there is that ineffable thing that we human beings call "inspiration".

I'm Shooting My House This Week {...don't's with a camera...}

So tentatively, our home is going to be featured on a major design blog.  I will share which blog after I shoot my house, send the file via Dropbox, complete the interview process, and have a firm date.

In the meantime, I am actually doing much less styling of our home than I thought I would.

Just three bouquets of fresh flowers - which I would have purchased anyway.  Some fresh fruit - which I would have purchased anyway.  I did paint one side table and one tiny nightstand.

Otherwise, I have staved off the temptation to repaint our entire (huge) master bedroom, and refinish all the wood floors.  (Just kidding.  I love my worn out oak floors!)  My style is, overall, very much an "unstyled lifestyle".  Therefore it is only fitting that I stay true to that.  Authentically that.

Dude.  It's my brand.

Product Design Love {The Lettermate}

Everyone knows that the hand-written card is making a huge comeback.  (Check out this video clip and article in USA Today.)

In a world where automation is the rule - no longer the exception - we all crave "the human touch".

One area where the human touch has really never gone out of style is the area of personal correspondence.  I'm not talking business correspondence, or mass mail outs - those have their place, to be sure.  I am talking about the sentiment we want to communicate to that one friend (or two), or the shower invitation that goes out to a baker's dozen girlfriends, or even the wedding invitation.

Hand written is the new couture - it just looks so personalized, and it so speaks of great taste.

I have found a product I love so much, I have to share it with you.  It's called the "Lettermate".

First and foremost, how can you not swoon when your order arrives like this:

Where Does YOUR Internet Take You? {'s time to limit the number of "teachers" we have...}

"For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions..." (II Tim. 4:3)

It isn't "the" internet, anymore.  It is your internet.  Your internet is what you create it to be.  Your internet takes you where you want to go.  Your internet is a direct reflection of your passions, your anxieties, your goals, your worship.