doTERRA Series: TerraShield Insect Repellent

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I’m not good with bugs.  I’m rarely able to kill them myself and, for fear that one will get away, I’ll stand and watch it while hollering for someone to come kill it for me.  My dad’s rule when I was growing up was that if a spider or bug was inside the house, then it could be killed, but if it was outside we had to leave it alone because that’s their home.  That’s a rule my husband and I have implemented for our household, but we have one exception: widows.  Black, brown, inside, outside…they all die.  Our area of California is also prone to many other spiders and insects (including roaches <shudder>), and most don’t like the heat.  This year we experienced our first triple-digit heat wave at the beginning of May, followed up by a second one a couple weeks later.  Since then, we’ve noticed an increase in spiders and insects IN the house.
So, I’ve had “bug spray perimeter” on our to-do board for two weeks now, but haven’t done it yet.  I should have because that might have prevented this morning’s ants-feasting-on-cat-food event.  That was finally enough motivation.  I used our eco-friendly commercial bug spray to take care of most of the indoor ants, then sprinkled diatomaceous earth along our deck and exterior wall where they were seemingly coming in from.  I also made up a quick indoor insect repellent consisting of TerraShield and water.  What is TerraShield?  It’s a blend of 15 essential oils in a base of fractionated coconut oil (FCO) that was developed specifically to repel insects.  Some of the oils included are Sandalwood, Wild Orange Peel, Rose, and Citronella.  Don’t be put off by the Citronella, this blend smells so good!  Light, citrus-y, and I swear I smell vanilla in there!
TerraShield can be diffused and/or applied topically:
  • Apply to skin “neat” (since it’s already in a base of FCO), or mix with water in a spray bottle for easier application.  One application generally lasts around 6 hours.  
  • Add 1 – 4 drops in a diffuser and place anywhere indoors or outdoors.  Great for BBQs and other outdoor events!
  • Add 5 – 10 drops to a 2 oz. glass spray bottle and fill the rest with water.  Shake before use, then spray along baseboards, cracks, window sills…anywhere insects may be able to get in.
0529141400~2After mixing up a bottle, I sprayed around doors and in window sills.   I don’t often think about bugs getting in through windows and screens, but I was met with an ugly spider when I opened my office window, so windows are on my radar now!
Interested in ordering some TerraShield?  Click here!

World Thyroid Day

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Today is World Thyroid Day.  A day to raise awareness about thyroid health, education and treatments.  I was diagnosed with autoimmune Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis about 6 years ago and feel it was never properly explained to me by my primary care physician, who also happened to specialize in Endocrinology.  Which means that she should have had the knowledge and taken the time to explain just how serious Hashimoto’s could be.  Told by my doctor that I could take medication daily if I wanted to or not because my “numbers” were low enough, I of course opted not to take it.  I didn’t realize the severity of just letting it run its course without lifestyle, food and medical intervention.  Fast forward 5 years to when my naturopathic doctor (who also has Hashimoto’s) convinced me I really needed to take steps towards addressing my illness because of how much the thyroid affects the body.  What exactly does the thyroid affect?  This graphic from Thyroid Sexy explains it well:
hashimotos
The thyroid affects just about everything.  And when it isn’t functioning properly, it can wreak havoc with your system.  The list of symptoms is extremely long and varies from person to person, sometimes leading to a delay in proper diagnosis.  Unfortunately, many who suffer from thyroid disease are often called hypochondriacs due to their long list of ailments and doctors who don’t run all necessary thyroid tests.  This is one of the reasons World Thyroid Day was created…to bring awareness not only to patients, but doctors as well.  If you want to learn more about thyroid disorders – hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, Graves’ Disease, Hashimoto’s – there are many resources.  I recommend the above-mentioned Thyroid Sexy page on Facebook, created by actress Gena Lee Nolin (yep, she was one of the Baywatch Babes) who is using her celebrity status to raise more awareness about thyroid disorders.  Other recommended resources that I’ve personally used include:
Hypothyroid Mom:  website and Facebook page
Mary Shomon: Facebook page and book (she has several other books also)
Izabella Wentz, PharmD: website, book, and Facebook page
Even if you don’t think you have any thyroid issues, I urge you to learn at least some basics about this little butterfly-shaped gland.  That knowledge may come in handy in the future for you or a loved one, or it may provide you with an “ah ha” moment now.  Thyroid disorders are actually quite common, but many people are undiagnosed.
Be proactive about your own health by learning, asking questions, demanding testing, switching doctors…whatever it takes to stay or become healthy.
Be your own advocate.

What “crunchy” means to me…

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There are a thousand ways to be crunchy.  I wish I could say that I do all of them, but I can’t.  What I can do, though, is try to do as much as possible to make my home, my family, and my little part of the world as healthy as possible.  So what does that mean to me?  It means:
  • using and consuming products with as few ingredients as possible
  • recycling and reducing our waste
  • minimizing our footprint
  • eating an organic (whenever possible) diet
  • choosing healthier, alternative medical treatments
  • educating myself and my family, and making lifestyle decisions best for us

What crunchy means to me may not be the same as the next person.  And that’s okay.  But what you’ll find here are my musings on food, photography, home, health and my crunchiness.  Join me on my little adventure through life in my corner of the world!