Traveling with Essential Oils

Later tonight, I’m hopping on a red eye and am embarking on a 10-day trip to Ireland with my mom and brother. My cousin and his fiancé are getting married in Belfast and, when presented with the opportunity to attend, there was no way that we were going to pass it up. We decided to make several stops while we are there, including Dublin, Galway, and the Aran Islands.

While I am so incredibly excited, I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t feel a little panicked about not having all of my oils and oil-infused products at my fingertips. You see, while I love to travel, I haven’t taken an extended vacation since oils have become such an integral part of my everyday life. As such, I’ve put a ton of thought into what I will bring on my journey – so much so that I decided to compile a detailed list and share it with you.

For starters, Young Living makes an adorable, portable, itty bitty diffuser that is perfect for traveling. The diffuser that I am referring to is called the Orb. It’ll save me from having to lug around one of my full-size diffusers, and it is both spill-proof and USB-powered.

Next, let’s talk about travel bags for essential oils. I searched the internet for hours looking for the perfect travel bag. Believe when I say that Baggage and Co. (via Etsy) makes the cutest, most practical travel bags around. They use Rifle Paper Co. fabric, for crying out loud! I ultimately purchased one of their 10 bottle bags that fits roller bottles, 5 ml bottles, and 10 ml bottles. Versatility is the name of the game! I won’t deny that narrowing my collection down to just 10 oils was a painstaking process, but now that I’ve decided on which are worthy of coming along for the journey, I feel so freaking good about what I selected.

ESSENTIAL OILS

  • Valor: A blend of Black Spruce, Camphor, Blue Tansy, Frankincense, and Geranium, this is one of my absolute favorite oils. It goes onto my wrists every. single. day. Personally, I call it “liquid courage” as it helps me get through everyday woes. I have no doubt that it will come in handy for those pre-flight jitters.
  • Deep Relief Roll-On: Between flights, train rides, and walking on cobblestone streets, I have a sneaking suspicion that this trip won’t be without achey muscles and joints. And, let’s be honest: I’ll likely experience a little bit of head tension after over-indulging in too much whiskey and Guinness. Comprised of Peppermint, Lemon, Balsam Canada, Clove, Balsam Copaiba, Wintergreen, Vetiver, and Dorado Azul, this magical roll-on provides relief from all types of discomfort.
  • Peace&CalmingLavenderCedarwood: Every oil user has their tried and true sleep trio, and this happens to be mine. Although I generally sleep well on vacation, changing time zones can be tricky and result in a compromised sleep schedule. Ain’t nobody got time for that when there are sites to be seen! Fun fact: Cedarwood is known to naturally stimulate melatonin production.
  • Tummy Roller: This is one of my favorite DIY roller bottles because it is a total miracle worker! In a 10 ml roller bottle, combine 15 drops Digize, 15 drops Peppermint, and unfractionated coconut oil. Irish cuisine, while delicious, can be both heavy and indulgent. Since I generally don’t eat that way, especially for prolonged periods of time, both Digize and Peppermint will provide me with mind-blowing digestive support. Digize is a blend of Tarragon, Ginger, Peppermint, Juniper, Fennel, Lemongrass, Anise, and Patchouli. I prefer to add extra Peppermint to Digize as it tends to mask Digize’s not-so-lovely smell.
  • Oola Family: The Oola line of essential oil blends is my latest obsession. All of the blends are incredible in terms of both functionality and aroma. Because this is a family trip, bringing Oola Family along for the ride seems more than appropriate. This blend is too complex to list all of the single oils that it contains, but trust me when I say that it’s absolutely amazing!
  • Present Time: A blend of Bitter Orange, Black Spruce, and Ylang Ylang, this essential oil is incredible for emotional support. I have found that my best travel experiences take place when I completely let go of the mundane things that I deal with on a day-to-day basis. It’s difficult to live in the moment when you are worried about sharing the perfect Instagram photo or racking up a less-than-ideal credit card balance. Present Time is all about living in the moment and embracing the YOLO mentality that we know and love!
  • Orange Vitality: I love love love Orange and include it in countless diffuser blends. Unfortunately, I won’t have my entire oil arsenal with me, so Orange is coming along for a more practical purpose. I add a drop of Orange Vitality to my Thieves AromaBrite toothpaste for a naturally brighter smile.
  • Frankincense: Similar to what I said about Orange, I love Frank (yes, we are on a first name basis) as it is a staple in many of my diffuser blends. Again, as I won’t have all of my oils with me, Frank is tagging along for a more practical purpose. I add a drop of it to my ART Light Moisturizer as it provides phenomenal skin support.

Next, let’s talk supplements because Lord knows that I can’t be without them for 10 whole days. Interestingly, extensive research has made it quite clear that the vast majority of supplements on the market do not get absorbed by the body. What does that mean? You’re literally pissing money away if you’re not investing in high quality supplements.

Well, Young Living’s supplements are not only high-quality, but also infused with essential oils. While this may seem silly, hear me out. Taking supplements that are infused with essential oils makes them 70-80% bioavailable to the body. This is HUGE. Because of this, I notice an insane difference in my wellbeing when I am without them. This, my friends, is why they are coming along for the ride.

Young Living’s Core Vitality Case is the bomb.com for storing supplements. Damn straight I have a pill box − I’m 28 going on 84 and proud. Because I’m terrible at remembering to take my precious supplements, I use this case both at home and while traveling. It houses three Vitality oils, which means that I get to bring three additional oils with me. SCORE! It also houses veggie capsules and provides enough room for a dropper bottle of carrier oil so that I can make my own supplements on the fly.

SUPPLEMENTS

  • Thieves, Lemon, and Peppermint Vitality: I love my Vitality oils. The pretty white label means that they are safe for consumption.
    • 2 drops Thieves + 2 drops Lemon + carrier oil will provide much-needed immune support. Between germy trains planes, trains, and automobiles; overindulging; and being on-the-go, traveling wreaks havoc on the immune system.
    • 2 drops Lemon + 2 drops Peppermint + carrier oil will allow for detox from the overindulgence mentioned above. I have a “when in Rome” mentality while traveling, but it tends to get me in trouble once those early morning tours and train rides roll around. In those instances, this combo will provide me with some pepp in my step − literally.
  • Multigreens: This powerhouse capsule is packed with chlorophyll, which is present in every green plant. Key ingredients include spirulina, alfalfa sprouts, barley grass, bee pollen, eleuthero, and Pacific kelp. As I anticipate eating much more meat and potatoes than I typically do, I’ll take all the green nutrition that I can get.
  • Life 9: Combining 17 billion live cultures from 9 beneficial bacteria strains, this is the probiotic of all probiotics. Gut health is hugely important, but even more so while traveling. My digestion gets all sorts of whacky after flying and veering away from my largely plant-based diet, so there is no way that I’m leaving home without some digestive support.
  • Super B: Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12 are engery-boosting and so very important. Each one plays a unique role in the body’s overall function. I’ve noticed a huge difference in my energy level since I started taking Super B, hence why it’s coming along with me.
  • Ningxia Red: This delicious beverage is loaded with antioxidants and has become a staple in my everyday life. I seriously crave it. Because of that, I love that Young Living offers it in convenient, single use packets that are super convenient for traveling.

Lastly, I am so grateful that Young Living’s Bon Voyage Travel Pack exists. Now that I know just how terrible most personal care products are for our health and wellbeing, I can’t imagine having to resort to bringing them along with me for the sake of being TSA compliant. I also love that I don’t have to triple check a toiletry list to make sure that I’ve packed everything that I need. Instead, everything comes in a neat little bundle, ready to go. All of the incredible goodies that are included in the travel pack are listed below.

PERSONAL CARE

  • Thieves AromaBright Toothpaste
  • Thieves Fresh Essence Plus Mouthwash
  • Thieves Dental Floss
  • Cinnamint Lip Balm
  • Young Living Toothbrush
  • Lavender Shampoo
  • Lavender Conditioner
  • Morning Start Bath + Shower Gel
  • Genesis Hand + Body Lotion
  • ART Light Moisturizer

And, that’s a wrap! As you can see, traveling with essential oils is well within the realm of possibility. If you’ve traveled with oils before, I’d love to know which made the cut.

Also, feel free to follow my journey on Instagram, and stay tuned for Ireland travel tips! :)

DIY Garden Spray

As a city dweller, I take pride in my urban garden. Between veggies, herbs, and flowers, I’ve got containers upon containers of homegrown goodies come summertime. While most gardeners in the ‘burbs and countryside have to worry about a whole slew of insects, rodents, and even large animals such as deer, the most common pest that I’ve come across in the city is squirrels. Ugh!

I love animals of all kinds. I also love using all-natural products whenever possible. As such, store-bought and toxin-filled products just weren’t cutting it for me. I’m not in the business of hurting harmless critters or myself; I simply want them to stay away from my labors of love. After a bit of research, I’ve come up with a recipe to keep the squirrels away without harming them or poisoning my food. 

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1/4 cup red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp. unscented Castile soap
  • 25 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 16 oz. glass spray bottle

What you’ll do:

  • Add the filtered water and red pepper flakes to a small pot; bring to a rapid boil for approximately 5 minutes; allow to cool to room temperature
  • Pour the mixture over a fine mesh strainer; add the liquid to the spray bottle; discard the red pepper flakes
  • Add the unscented Castile soap and peppermint essential oil to the spray bottle; top with filtered water until the bottle is full; apply the lid and give it a good shake
  • Give your plants and the soil below them a good spritz every several days, especially after rainfall

DIY Dry Shampoo

Hellooooo, ladies! If you are an avid dry shampoo user such as myself, you will love this post! I am a dry shampoo junkie. I go through cans and cans and cans. Between work, school, maintaining a social life, enjoying hobbies, and working out, whose got time for daily hair washing and styling?! Quite honestly, I should have invested stock in Batiste a looooong time ago. However, as I’m on a mission to rid my apartment of all things toxic now more than ever, I almost fainted when I realized what goes into that aerosol can.

Upon researching how to make some dry shampoo of my own, I was blown away by how simple (and cheap!) it is to make. As an added bonus, I made mine with peppermint and lavender essential oils. They not only make the final product smell wonderful, but have functional benefits as well. The tingling sensation of peppermint on my scalp is also amaaaaazing! It’s truly incredible how much more I have incorporated essential oils into my life since joining the Young Living community. I have learned so much in such a short amount of time and know that I have only hit the tip of the iceberg in terms of what there is to learn.

Ingredients:

  • Corn starch: adds volume
  • Baking soda: cleanses
  • Peppermint essential oil: anti-itch
  • Lavender essential oil: anti-dandruff, strengthens hair, stimulates hair growth

What you’ll need:

  • A 4 oz. powder shaker with lid (I purchased this one from Amazon and it is perfect for this project!)
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 6 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 6 drops lavender essential oil
  • Optional for brunettes: 1 tbsp. cocoa powder

What you’ll do:

  • Add all ingredients to the shaker, apply the lid, and shake well
  • Shake the dry shampoo onto the roots of your hair and use your fingers to work it into your scalp; allow to sit for roughly 5 minutes
  • Once 5 minutes has elapsed, brush the remaining dry shampoo through your hair and style as usual

April ’16 Running Playlist

Happy Weekend, y’all!

Since I’m in the midst of training for the Broad Street Run, I figured that I would share one of my favorite running playlists with you. While nearly everybody requires great music to get them through a workout, I really do when it comes to running. I am not a natural runner by any means, and working my way up to even 10 miles is a challenge. Thus, the better the music, the better I perform. If I have an awesome playlist to look forward to, I’m that much more motivated to get my butt outside and run my little heart out.

If you run roughly a 10-minute mile such as myself, this playlist is perfect for a four-miler. If you’re a Speedy Gonzalez, my apologies. If you give this playlist a try, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! What songs do you recommend that I add to my May running playlist?

Top 10 Food and Beverage Instagram Accounts

People often ask me where my love of food and beverage comes from. The reason is threefold:

  1. My mom’s side of the family is obsessed with food. As such, it’s something that I grew up with. It is through my family that I learned that food is a surefire way to get people together and make memories around the table.
  2. I was a server at several upscale restaurants from the ages of 15 to 24. Those experiences are where my interest in obscure ingredients and the technical aspects of cooking and baking grew even deeper.
  3. I follow many incredible food- and beverage-related accounts on Instagram. It is through these that I seek inspiration and learn something new almost every day. When I explain this reason to people, the next question is typically, “Which are some of your favorite accounts to follow?” After struggling to come up with some of my favorite accounts on the fly, I was inspired to create an organized and well-thought-out list.

I must say that compiling this list wasn’t easy. To narrow it down to just 10 of my favorite accounts was a challenge. While each of the accounts that I selected has its own flair, you’ll probably notice that I am drawn to fresh and local ingredients, stunning photography, vibrant colors, and creative twists on classics. What I ultimately love about all of these accounts is that they make it quite obvious that healthy food doesn’t have to be limiting or boring. In fact, the food and beverage featured in these accounts are anything but.

So, in no particular order…

Alpha Foodie

https://www.instagram.com/p/BDDE7hpK2cy/?taken-by=alphafoodie&hl=en

Half Baked Harvest

https://www.instagram.com/p/BDMQSZbgOn5/?taken-by=halfbakedharvest&hl=en

Cravings in Amsterdam

https://www.instagram.com/p/BCBfFiBqW_P/?taken-by=cravingsinamsterdam&hl=en

Feed Me Dearly

https://www.instagram.com/p/BDi3lXxMJ9u/?taken-by=feedmedearly&hl=en

Ful-filled

https://www.instagram.com/p/BCtNFEoBk3M/?taken-by=ful.filled&hl=en

Madeline Lu

https://www.instagram.com/p/BCaQm0qlZcN/?taken-by=lumadeline&hl=en

Reclaiming Yesterday

https://www.instagram.com/p/BCwT5x8Fw1Q/?taken-by=reclaimingyesterday&hl=en

The Delicious Life

https://www.instagram.com/p/BC_lRanjr_2/?taken-by=thedelicious&hl=en

Circa Happy

https://www.instagram.com/p/BBnFyCgvAhd/?taken-by=circahappy&hl=en

Elsa’s Wholesome Life

https://www.instagram.com/p/BBxA2JOP66r/?taken-by=elsas_wholesomelife&hl=en