Thursday, August 28, 2014

Middle School

No time for a well though-out post, but I want to record the ramblings in my head. :)

We have a middle schooler. I am pleased to say he is very happy so far!  I think he is enjoying the independence and making more of his own decisions.  I'm enjoying his independence too - he easily gets himself ready in the morning and makes his own lunch.  YAY!

He has made a friend in his web design class that is also interested in trains.  The boy's dad works with diesel engines.  They are working on a website together about... you guessed it.... trains! :)  Can't wait to see the finished product.

He doesn't share too much other information unless I probe and ask the right questions.  However, I can tell he's enjoying school because of his attitude.  He is happy to go in the morning and happy when he comes home.  It's nice to see that smile on his face and a bit of a bounce in his step. He has said that all his classes are going at a good pace for him and the time flies by. :)

We received a note this week about getting a Gifted Education Plan together for him.  Jeff and I will have a meeting at the school next week.

Today he will attend his first pep-rally. I'm curious to hear his thoughts on it and if all the noise bothers him. LOL.  Should be an interesting experience for him.

Oh, I also have to mention our goodbyes in the morning.  We have a carpool set up with the neighbors so he rides with them in the morning.  Every day I walk him to the front door. I get a huge hug and the cutest smile! Melts my heart each morning.

Today I drove him to school for the first time since our neighbors are out of town.  I watched him walk into that big school building with his backpack on for the first time.  He did it with ease.  Can't say the same for me... small lump in my throat.

I am so proud of him.  He's growing up and becoming more confidant.  He's got such a sweet heart, too. If only I could get him to show that sweet heart to his brothers! LOL! (He can be quite the aggravator, too!!!!)

So far, sixth grade is going very well. Hope it continues!


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Weight Loss

I've lost almost 20 pounds in the last 3 months. I'd like to lose another 35 by Christmas of this year.

I've been miserable looking at myself. My clothes didn't fit, but I refused to buy more. So much in fact that even now, 20 lbs lighter, I still haven't had to buy new clothes. They just finally fit like they are supposed to.

infographic_good_fat_vs_bad_fat_HQI have been eating low-carb, moderate protein, high fat (good fats). No exercise and I've been loosing about 1.5 pounds/week on average.  I do plan on including exercise, but you know what, I need to lose some weight first. I know that sounds crazy, but I just don't have it in me to start exercising yet. I assume it's a mental commitment just like choices of what to put in my mouth.  I know I'll get to the point of wanting exercise, but I'm not there yet.

Part of what keeps me making better choices is the physical health problems I have when I make bad food choices. I get migraines from too much sugar when I've been off it for awhile.  I also get TERRIBLE low-carb "flu" when I go through the induction process. It takes me about 4 days IN THE BED for my body to detox from carbs/sugar.

I've never stuck with a "diet" for 3 months before. I think the difference is that I now see this as a life change. I plan to have occasional treats, but I also plan to make better choices overall. I finally see that it's all about choices. I'm not depriving myself if I really don't want it.

I have been very conscious about asking myself, "Do you really WANT that or are you going to eat it just because it's there?"  Since I've started asking myself this (and am past my carb-detox), I have found that I really don't want it. So I don't eat it. I've taken the boys out for ice cream without getting any for myself and did not felt deprived because I just didn't want it. I have ALSO gone out for ice cream with the boys and have purchased a little for myself when I do want some. I've got to live, but I've got to be deliberate in my choices.

I totally see where losing weight is not a matter of willpower, but a matter of changing your mindset. I by no means have this conquered, but I think it's important for me to write this down to be able to come back to it when I stumble.

(This is my first journal entry "required" by NO CAKE TILL CHRISTMAS. :)

Want to join me on my journey?

I keep track of my loss and food on MyFitnessPal as missbecky75 if you'd like to friend me there :)

I'm read several LCHF groups on facebook, but I think 90 Day LC Challenge is my favorite for newbies.

I also have some LC boards on Pinterest if you're interested.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Carrier Oils

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. This information is not intended to treat, cure, prevent or diagnose any disease or condition; nor am I prescribing. I am merely sharing collected information and my personal experiencesThe decision to use, or not to use, any of this information is the sole responsibility of the reader.

In my last post, I discussed inhalation of essential oils (AKA aromatherapy). Before I get into the second approach of using essential oils - topical application - I want to explain what carrier oils are.

Carrier Oils

Carrier oils come from the fatty parts of plants like nuts and seeds, therefore they are loaded with great fats for nourishing the skin with essential nutrients.  A few examples of these oils are: Avocado, Coconut, Jojoba, Olive, Flaxseed, Grape Seed, and Sweet Almond.

Carrier oils can be used for absorption, dilution, and aiding in skin conditions.


Carrier oils aid in the absorption of the highly volatile essential oils. This allows the EOs to retain their scent and healing properties for longer periods of time. 

Here's my understanding of how that works:

Imagine putting essential oils directly on your skin; this is referred to as "neat". Essential oils evaporate extremely quickly. They are also not very slippery, so they get concentrated in one space. Here's a rough drawing where the blue dots are essential oil molecules:

Essential Oils applied "neat" to skin

Now, imagine that you've mixed the essential oils with a carrier oil. Carrier oils have big molecules that maintain their texture and aid in lubrication. These bigger molecules help spread out the smaller essential oil molecules, giving them more surface area for absorption.  They also decrease the evaporation of the essential oils leading to further duration of the therapeutic scent.

Here's a rough drawing where the large, orange molecules are the carrier oil. The small, blue ones are the essential oil. Note that the blue molecules are spread out and fewer have been evaporated than in the previous picture.

Essential Oils applied with Carrier Oils

This picture also shows why it is called a "carrier" oil. It carries the essential oil onto the skin. 


Carrier oils can also be used to dilute essential oils.  Some EOs are considered "hot" oils because they have such a warming sensation to the skin. (Think peppermint, clove, cinnamon. Hot.) These need more carrier oil than other oils.

Young Living Dilution Instructions
There's really not a structured rule on how much carrier oil is needed.  Quality and potency of the EO are going to vary from company to company.  There should be dilution instructions on the label. 

The pictures to the right are for Young Living's Lavender and Lemongrass essential oils. Based on dilution directions, it should be obvious which one is the "hot" oil. :) Please note: the lavender bottle says no dilution necessary unless you have sensitive skin.
These dilution directions are for adults.  A general rule of thumb for infants is 1-3 drops of EO in 1 Tablespoon carrier oil. For children ages 2-5, use 1-3 drops EO in 1 teaspoon carrier oil.

At our house I dilute a couple of different ways, but I hardly ever measure the carrier oil.  Here are my ways:

  • Pour some carrier oil in my palm, then add essential oil drop(s).  From there I will apply topically.
  • Apply carrier oil to skin, then add essential oil drop(s). Massage in.  This works best for me when I am applying to someone else (like an upset tummy). 
  • Add some carrier oil to an essential oil bottle and put a roller top on it. (I do this for oils I'm going to give the kids. They really like to apply liberally with the roller ball because it tickles. I know that it's diluted so it's not getting "wasted" quickly.)

If the oil begins to feel hot, I just apply more carrier oil. NEVER APPLY WATER.  Oil and water do not mix. The water will just push the oil into your skin faster. Use a carrier oil.

My boys call carrier oils the "antidote".  LOL. I love it. So true!

Skin Conditions

Even without using essential oils, carrier oils are beneficial for our skin. They hold in moisture and protect the skin. They can help with skin conditions such as psoriasis, wrinkles, scars, and eczema.  Some carrier oils also have a sun protection factor (SPF).

I'm not going to go into all the different carrier oils and skin conditions; however, I have compiled a few sites that will explain this further for those who have interest:

By Skin Type (oily, dry, etc)
Healing Properties
SPF list

Picking Your Carrier Oils

Carrier oils should be natural and undiluted. Using organic, cold pressed carrier oils are your best bet because they are not damaged by heat nor chemicals.  An addition of Vitamin E is acceptable as it is a natural preservative.

Carrier oils may have a slight, nutty, pleasant scent. If it has a strong scent, it has most likely gone rancid.  Essential oils do not go rancid, but carrier oils do because of the breakdown in their fatty hydrocarbons.   Some suggest throwing out carrier oils every 6 months, so consider that when purchasing. It may be more cost effective to buy a smaller bottle of carrier oil if you aren't going to use very much of it.

Store you carrier oils in a cool, dark place. Some require dark bottles (ex. grape seed oil). Some require refrigeration (flax oil). Others should not be refrigerated (avocado oil).

What Carrier Oils do I Recommend?

My family generally just uses coconut oil or olive oil.  These work fine for every day uses.  I have not gotten into making my own lotions and such yet, but when I do I will certainly delve into all the wonderful properties they have to offer!

If you want something pre-made that utilizes several carrier oils and their properties, Young Living has a blend called V-6.  I have not used this, but I am sure it is fabulous. :)

So, do you have a favorite carrier oil?

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Earlier Posts in this Series:
What are Therapeutic Essential Oils?
Inhaling Essential Oils

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Pinterest: Essential Oils, EO Crafts, Essential Oils in the Bible

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