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  • This week we are talking about wellness and the great outdoors

    I have teamed up again with Stephanie, Shellie and Michelle to bring you another Wellness Wednesday. This week we are talking about the great outdoors.  I am excited because these ladies are so knowledgeable I love learning from them. 

     

    I just love making soap and have found this recipe to be the best soap for cleaning the grit and grime out of the cracks of my hands after a long day of working in the garden. There have been times when I can’t get it off. This soap was made from my christmas tree. Its is a great way to bring the outdoors in and then scrub the outdoors off. Check it out here. 

    Shellie has such a great post to help with spring time ailments. Essential oils are so powerful and I love how they heal and smell good too. She is has some really great information up about how to use them in the spring. If you suffer from allergies then this post is for you. 

    One of my goals is to grow herbs and actually use them. Michelle lays out some very simple herbs to grow to get started over at Garden of Auarius . I grow many of the ones she talks about in her article and I love them. They are easy to grow, easy to use and beautiful. 

    Stephanie over at Steph’s Social Pie is talking about the benefits of simply stepping outdoors. She has a entire list of ways to engage with nature and the health benefits it brings. If you are looking for a way to boost your mental and physical health check out what she has to say on her latest post

    Thanks for Joining Us this week for Wellness Wednesday

    We get together and share with you twice a month for some of the best information we can give you to from our journey to yours. If you stop by any of these wonderful blogs remember to leave them a comment. 

    Have a happy healthy week!

    This post may contain affiliate links. I would only ever recommend products that I personally love and use. All opinions are my own. 

    When you are just getting started with essential oils it can be hard to figure out what to buy.

    I have been using essential oils for the better part of a decade now. When I say that outloud it makes me feel so old. Remembering back to when I was just getting started it was so hard to know where to begin. Researching them was like falling down a rabbit hole and everyone had something to say about what brand was the “best.” I spent the better part of a year trying to learn about them before just jumping in and finally ended up deciding that it was OK to like more then one brand. 

    That said, I also decided that I loved Butterfly Express. They provide high quality oils, tons of proprietary blends alongside their many options of singles. Butterfly Express also sells other holistic healing products such as herb packs, hydrosols, tinctures, and more. If you love oils and natural health they are for you. 

    Lastly, I have to say that I call them all the time. They are so helpful knowledgeable. I still buy oils from other companies but for the quality and the price you can’t compare to Butterfly Express. Now that I am blogging I am just so excited to share them with you. 

    starter kits

    Often with essential oil companies you can get starter kits. I think there are some really good options out there to get your feet wet. Starter kits can be a good way to go because they do the thinking for you. Butterfly Express sells kits as well. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t such a free spirit, while I like the idea of a starter kit, I like picking out what I want even more. 

    If you are interested in purchasing a starter kit so you don’t have to think too hard about how to get started with essential oils check this one out here. It has the basics (great basic oils, carrier oils, and Miracle Salve). 

    I wanted to show you my basic list and what I would pick for a starter kit. Hopefully this will help you get started using quality essential oils for a fraction of the cost.

    The following is my short list of essential oils that I can’t live without. If you just get started with these you will be on your way to becoming an essential oil expert in no time. 

    Sweet Orange- This oil is a gentle mood lifting oil. It is great diffused, in cleaners, handmade soaps, and sparingly in smoothies . It can relieve nausea, and clean up sticky residue. 

    Lavender– I love this oil for the smell. A lot of people use it as a sleep aid. I like it for minor burns and cuts and insect bites. It is our favorite in the summer for mild sunburns. 

    Eucalyptus– This oil is so good when you have a head cold. Put some on a cotton ball inside your pillow case or use it in a hot bath. I love it in handmade salves. 

    Tea Tree– We use this for almost everything. It has been used to freshen stinky smells, healing skin infections, and clearing up dandruff. It also is a great additive to hand soap and shampoo. You can use it as a laundry aid as well. 

    Copiaba Balsam– If you are looking for a natural anti-inflammatory look no further. We rub this oil on sore muscles and use if for headaches. I always put it in handmade salve. 

    Lemon– Lemon is one of my favorites. I love a drop in my water, or several drops in my dish soap. It is also great in any cleaner. Lemon can be a powerful aid when trying to heal from a cold. 

    Rosemary– The smell of rosemary is all I need to lift my mood. I often combine this oil in anything I would put the lemon oil in. It can also be a stimulating and refreshing oil to use for massage. Just make sure to use a carrier oil.  

    Peppermint– I have used peppermint to cool myself when in a hot overcrowded room. It is also a great oil for muscle rubs and head aches. We like it in sunburn sprays. 

    There are a couple proprietary blends I can't live without

    I love DuTerra’s On Guard. They make some cough drops with it and I could eat them nonstop. There a also a lot of people out there that are crazy about Young Living’s Thieves oil.

    If you want an oil that is almost the same but with its own flavor and spin then you should try Spice C. Normally I wouldn’t be so blatant to plug a product or a company but I can’t live without Spice C. I diffuse it almost exclusively throughout my home. It has the same cold and flu fighting qualities and a heavenly smell. Put it in your cleaners, dish soap and hand soap for a divine cleaning experience.

    Lastly, I just love Butterfly Express’s Breezy. We use this for head colds and coughs and sinus congestion. It has a pleasant fresh smell. Besides being good for breathing it has tissue regenerating properties. 

    Some final thoughts about oils and Butterfly Express

    Make sure you are using oils safely. There are very few oils I use neat (without a carrier oil). Carrier oils protect your skin and internal organs since oils can be very powerful. Your oils will also last a lot longer if you dilute them properly. Get some empty roller bottles to blend them and save a lot of money. 

    One other thing besides the quality and price of Butterfly Express that I love is the options on size when you go to order. Did you see my first picture with the different sizes up here on the top of this post? When I find an oil I love I always order the 50 ml bottle. They even offer larger options up to 450 ml! Their size options are so awesome I don’t have to feel like an oil hoarder.  

    Do your own research and decide for yourself on which oils you want to buy. I have been using oils for so many years that it is a no brainier for me to share this brand with you. I love helping people find quality while also helping them to save money. There is no reason to overspend on similar products. 

    One final note. remember, I am not a doctor. This post is in no way offering you medical advise. If you have concerns about your health please consult a health care professional. 

    Do you use oils? What are your favorite varieties and blends? Share your thoughts in the comments below and thank you for joining me today at the farmhouse. 

    Join Us This Week for Wellness Wednesday where we talk about healing food

    I have teamed up with some amazing women bloggers to bring you Wellness Wednesday. Together with Shellie from Shellie Lynn.com,  Stephanie from Steph’s Social Pie, and Michelle from Garden of Aquarius  we will share with you our knowledge  to help you live a happier, healthier life. Join us twice a month for some of the best information we can give you to from our journey to yours.

    Herbal rosemary Lemonade

    Earlier this week I shared how I  bring extra flavor and nutrients to my home cooking by using fresh herbs. I included a recipe for herbal Rosemary lemonade. It is such a refreshing beverage for warmer weather.  You can get this delicious recipe here: Cooking With Herbs and Herbal Rosemary Lemonade.

     

    Homemade Vanilla Extract

    Vanilla Extract is a must for any home kitchen. I can’t survive without it. With the rising costs and questionable ingredients found in some store bought varieties you will always be better off just making your own. To learn how to make your own vanilla extract for just pennies go see what Michelle has to say with her: Practically Free Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe.

    Learn about foods that boost your mood

    Shellie is one of the most inspirational health coaches out there. I love her knowledge base and how much she can teach about how to live a healthier life. Go learn some amazing information on plant based foods that will boost your mood from her at: 9 Plant Based Foods That Will Boost Your Mood.

    Have you heard about the dopamine diet? Stephanie’s article about it so informative. She gives some great information about healthy foods that can help you feel the powerful effects of dopamine.  I am over the moon about the recipes she links too. To enjoy the powerful effects of this diet learn about it straight from her at: Dopamine Diet, Eat Your Way To Happiness. 

    Keep an eye out for future Wellness Wednesday’s where we will continue to share what we know to help you live your best life. 

    Thank you so much for stopping by.

    spring is such an exciting time of year. Its like a fresh beginning and feels so hope full.

    A huge part of my simple lifestyle is working in my garden. Not only does growing your own food provide a sense of accomplishment  gardening in general provides a general sense of well being. Being outside and getting my hands dirty helps me connect with the earth and I am able to releive the stress of our modern world from my mind. When I am out working with plants and dirt in the fresh air I loose all sense of time and get completely lost in the moment. There are other honorable mentions of gardening as well such as being more connected and taking enjoyment in wildlife along with exercise. 

    with warmer temperatures and more rain growth explodes from the earth this time of year.

    Things are starting to grow at in the garden. It has been a cool start of the season and we are about a month behind where I live. 

    Nonetheless the herbs are coming up and the flowers are starting to grow. Many of the early spring flowers are almost ready to bloom and several wildflowers are already blooming. 

    I love walking around and looking for the new growth. It is such a surprise each day to see what has broken the earth. Around here we call the emerging foliage “baby plants” and I have to remind my kids for a few weeks to be careful where they step.

    Some of the earliest to come up are fresh herbs and I am beyond excited to start using them again in the kitchen. Its been a long winter of buying herbs. 

    Walking around the garden I see fresh herbs starting to grow as well as early spring flowers and bulbs.

    Lets go on a little tour and look at what is comming up in my yard. 

    Motherwort

    Motherwort is growing in several areas. I have so much land to fill and much of it is very hard to grow on due to the large pine trees and excessive needles that drop. This herb is very prolific and spreads like wildfire. I am not scared to grow it since it pulls up very easily. It scientific name is Leonurus Cardiaca it is a bee friendly plant that is beneficial to women’s health. Use it in tinctures and teas. It is also great for anxiety. 

     

    mint in several varieties

    Mint is in the same family as Motherwort. Unlike motherwort which spreads from the seeds mint spreads from the roots. It can be invasive. I debated long and hard before planting this herb right into the ground but ultimately I decided that if it will grow in the dead zones then I will be happy. I  love how it naturalizes and how it smells. Even if it migrates into my lawn areas I don’t think I will mind it as long as it gets  mowed regularly. If you don’t want it growing everywhere then plant it in a pot buried in the ground. There are quite a few varieties so I am not going to put up a scientific name. Mint is a favorite for cooking and tea. 

    comfrey

    Comfrey is another favorite of mine. I use it in handmade skin products such as salves. If you want a great salve recipe check this one out here. Its scientific name is Symphytum Officinale L. Comfrey is not only good in the first aid box it is also an amazing aid in the garden. The leaves are full of nutrients and using it in the compost or as a mulch will boost the health of the garden overall. 

     

    Oregano

    • Edit

    Oregano is up and looking strong. This herb is so wonderful in the kitchen and I am sure you are familiar with it. It is also in the mint family but it doesn’t grow as voraciously. There are also quite a few varieties so it depends on the one you grow what it’s scientific name is. Sometimes it goes by Marjoram and the flavor can vary. Oregano is rich in vitamins and nutrients and has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. 

    feverfew

    Feverfew is one of my favorites. It has a million little white blooms when its is in flower and is another herb that is so easy to grow. It is in the daisy family and its scientific name is Tanacetum parthenium. This herb is also quite voracious but it is easy to control by pulling. I love it for how much it spreads and how beautiful it is in bloom. The green foliage also provides garden interest for most of the year.  Most people think it is a weed and pull but if you keep it around it will be beneficial to the bees. My very first plant came up as a volunteer from a house we used to own and I brought it to our new house in a small pot. Now it is in several locations. It is known to be used as a tea to treat headaches. 

    chives

    Chives are some of the best herbs to grow in my humble opinion. They are some of the very first to pop up and they smell so good. They are especially good to grow if you have chickens also since chives and eggs got together like butter and bread. Their scientific name is Allium schoenoprasum and they are close relatives to garlic, leek and scallion. Not only are they tasty but their juices work wonders for inflammation. They are a great culinary addition to almost any savory dish. 

    Early Spring flowers

    Violets, Primrose, Peace Lilly and Tulips are all making their grand debut. Tulips are one of my favorites. I love buying the bulbs in the fall, planting them and then being surprised in the spring because I had forgotten exactly where they were. 

    There are always large garden projects to do in the spring

    Two years ago we worked to cut out all the overgrown trees and bushes. I also build a large flower bed in an area that was too difficult to grow grass. We worked hard to get the grass to grow.

    Last year we bought 12 more yards of dirt to fill the garden beds and cover the hugelcukture mounds we built the previous year with all the cut wood. I shoveled the entire month of May. 

    This year we got a truck of wood chips dumped. Hopefully we can finish our garden paths and start mulching the flower beds. We are fortunate to live in an area with a lot of tree service companies that are super eager to get rid of their chipped wood. 

    If you want wood chips, call around and see if a tree service company near you will drop some off. Keep in mind you have to take the entire load and some areas may require a small fee. The first time we did this I only paid 20 dollars for about 20 yards of wood chips. So it is a really great deal. 

    The greenhouse is my favorite place to be right now

    Stuff is growing in the greenhouse! Late last month we got our shelves built and then I started planting right away. 

    I had a ton of little plastic pots that I have collected from purchasing starts over the years. I had them all stacked together in the shed. They really accumulate fast and I had no idea that I had as many as I did. 

    Still there can never be to many plants (unless you are talking about zuchinni). So I quickly ran out. I ended up using some plastic disposable cups to make up the difference. I quickly ran out of those too and now need to go buy more. I am a plant addict. 

    The disposable plastic cups are a low cost way to make starts. You can get a lot of seeds planed from just one bag. The trick is that you need to put a hole in the bottom for the water to drain out. 

    If you are environmentally conscious you can re use them quite a few times before they get brittle. The better quality you buy the longer they last. 

    I like to put them on a tray or in a pot saucer so that they are easy to move around and categorize. 

    many garden varieities of vegatables are cold hardy so you can start them in the soil as soon as it thaws.

    This past week I direct sowed cold hardy annuals in my garden beds. The kids helped me plant sugar snap peas, radishes, arugula, and leaf lettuce. 

    We always do a seed order in January. I find that by buying seeds from a reputable seed company I have more variety options as well as better germination rates. 

    Its surprising that even among radish varieties some are better suited to cold weather and some like it just a little warmer. If you want to read about the benefits to ordering seeds instead of buying off the shelf of a big box check out this post

    Garlic and Rhubarb by the peach tree

    Last spring I planted some garlic a friend gave me. March was the wrong time of year, it prefers to be planted in the fall. I decided to plant it anyway and it didn’t do great. By summers end it was all gone, the growth stunted and the green stems missing. I forgot about it during the fall clean up since I couldn’t see it and it all stayed in place over the winter. 

    To my surprise it has all come up and is stronger then ever! I planted most of it around my first year fruit trees as an organic pest and fungal control. I am anxious to watch it this year to see what it does. This year I will need to remember to plant garlic in the fall. 

    Can you see the Rhubarb back there? It is growing and looks great. Our favorite way to use it is in a syrup as a cordial or over ice cream. It makes great pie as well.

     

    That's the end of the Early Spring Garden tour. I hope you enjoyed it and learned something too!

    This time of year is busy. We have so much ground to cover (no pun intended) and the work load increases. I love to work in the cool of the spring so that by the heat of summer I can kick back and enjoy the fruits of my labor. 

    What do you grow? Let me know and feel free to ask questions. I am always happy to help you grow the best garden!

    I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award. This was super fun and I am excited to participate. I want to thank Shelia over at midlifemomblog. Make sure to check out her page.

    If you want to read all about the Versatile Blogging Award click here. So, now that I have been nominated, I have to share 7 random facts about myself. Then I get to nominate 15 other bloggers that I think are great. So here you go:

    1. I live in the Inland Northwest.
    2. I am currently remodeling my home!
    3. I homeschool my three kids.
    4. I am trying to grow as much food as I can on our property even though its shaded by almost 20 Ponderosa pine trees.
    5. I am trying to live sugar free.
    6. I prefer productivity over screen time.
    7. We have a Belgian Mallinois.

    So let’s nominate some more people for this award.

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