Currently viewing the tag: "health"

Nota bene: I am an Independent Young Living Distributor, and this post talks about essential oils. You can follow all essential oils related posts here.

Now that you’re a Young Living member, which oils should you buy next? If you find yourself using any of the oils in the Premium Essential Oils Collection on a daily basis, I would go about replacing those first! I started by purchasing full sized bottles of grapefruit (not in the kit, but still a staple), lavender, lemon, and peppermint, and those are still the most used in my arsenal!

Young Living Oils Under $20 ::

Thankfully, there are plenty of useful Young Living oils that are reasonably priced under $20. Items marked with a [*] are among my favorites. I’ve included current (May 2016) pricing for both retail and wholesale.

Premium Collection Replacement Oils Under $20:

  1. Purification 15ml | $24.67 retail / $18.75 wholesale *
  2. R.C.™ 5ml $13.49 retail / 10.25 wholesale
  3. DiGize Vitality™ 5ml  $18.09 retail / $13.75 wholesale *
  4. Lemon Vitality™ 5ml $8.22 retail / $6.25 wholesale *
  5. Peppermint Vitality™ 5ml $13.16 retail / $10.00 wholesale *
  6. Thieves Vitality™ 5ml $19.08 retail / $14.50 wholesale *

What is Vitality™? Vitality™ is Young Living’s dietary oils collection. Vitality™ oils come in 5 ml bottles, and are all safe for consumption. If you are already familiar with Young Living, these are the same oils they’ve always been, just with different labels!

Vitality™ Oils Under $20:

  • Basil Vitality™ 5ml $14.14 retail / $10.75 wholesale
  • Bergamot Vitality™ 5ml $17.11 r / $13.00 w
  • Black Pepper Vitality™ 5ml $24.67 / $18.75
  • Celery Seed Vitality™ 5ml $15.46 / $11.75
  • Citrus Fresh Vitality™ 5ml $9.54 / $7.25 *
  • Clove Vitality™ 5ml $9.54 / $7.25
  • Dill Vitality™ 5ml $20.72 / $15.75
  • Endoflex Vitality™ 5ml $16.45 / $12.50 *
  • Ginger Vitality™ 5ml $17.43 / $13.25
  • Grapefruit Vitality™ 5ml $9.87 / $7.50 *
  • Jade Lemon Vitality™ 5ml $14.14 / $10.75
  • Lavender Vitality™ 5ml $15.46 / $11.75 *
  • Lemongrass Vitality™ 5ml $8.22 / 6.25 *
  • Lime Vitality™ 5ml $7.57 / $5.75 *
  • Orange Vitality™ 5ml $7.89 / $6.00 *
  • Oregano Vitality™ 5ml  $15.46 / $11.75
  • Rosemary Vitality™ 5ml $9.87 / $7.50
  • Spearmint Vitality™ 5ml $14.14 / $10.75
  • Tangerine Vitality™ 5ml $9.87 / $7.50 *
  • Thyme Vitality™ 5ml $18.75 / $14.25

Oil Singles Under $20:

  • Black Pepper 5ml $24.67 retail / $18.75 wholesale
  • Cedarwood 15 ml $14.80 r / $11.25 w *
  • Citronella 15ml $25.66 / $19.50
  • Clove 15ml $20.07 / $15.25
  • Cypress 15ml $25.33 / $19.25
  • Dill 5ml $20.72 / $15.75
  • Eucalyptus Blue 5ml $19.74 / $15.00
  • Eucalyptus Globulus 15ml $19.08 / $14.50
  • Eucalyptus Radiata 15ml $24.34 / $18.50
  • Fennel 15ml $22.70 / $17.25
  • Geranium 5ml $24.67 / $18.75
  • Ginger 5ml $17.43 / $13.25
  • Goldenrod 5ml $20.07 / $15.25
  • Grapefruit 15ml $22.04 / $16.75 *
  • Jade Lemon 5ml $14.14 / $10.75
  • Lemon 15ml $14.80 / $11.25 *
  • Lemongrass 15ml $14.80 / $11.25 *
  • Lime 15ml $16.12 / $12.25 *
  • Nutmeg 5ml $17.11 / $13.00
  • Orange 15ml $14.14 / $10.75 *
  • Palmarosa 15ml $25.99 / $19.75
  • Pine 15ml $19.74 / $15.00
  • Rosemary 15ml $20.39 / $15.50 *
  • Spearmint 5ml $14.14 / $10.75
  • Tangerine 15ml $21.05 / $16.00 *
  • Wintergreen 15ml $23.36 / $17.75 *

Oil Blends Under $20

  • Christmas Spirit™ 5ml $13.49 retail / $10.25 wholesale
  • Citrus Fresh™ 15ml $20.07 r / $15.25 w *
  • Envision™ 5ml $24.67 / $18.75 *
  • Grounding™ 5ml $23.36 / $17.75 *
  • Melrose™ 15ml $25.99 / $19.75
  • Sacred Mountain™ 5ml $20.39 / $15.50 
  • Taste of Italy™ 5ml $25.00 / $19.00

Read more about Young Living membership here. I’m always happy to answer any questions you might have!

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January Goals ::

We made it. It’s 2016! Here’s to you, and everything you accomplished.

There’s snow on the ground (finally), and I’m more or less back to my normal routine, for whatever that’s worth. I rang in the new year with Thai carryout with Tj’s family, followed by a comforting, solitary bottle glass of wine (and a mug of chamomile tea). I’m old.

These are my January goals:

Get outside. This is a big one. New Year’s Eve morning had me feeling black and gloomy, but when I took a moment to think about it, I realized I hadn’t spent any serious time outside in days. I took a walk into town and then through the woods behind our house and felt like a different person. Sunshine is really important to my well-being. I make jokes about locking myself inside, but outside is, of course, not the problem. It’s prolonged human interaction that I struggle with. I am thankful to live where we do, surrounded by trees and so close to the ocean.

Find doctors. As of today, I have new health insurance! This year, I’m going to use it. It’s time to track down a GP and probably a therapist, and maybe get my eyes tested (which could perhaps help provide an explanation for my migraines). Getting stuff done!

Sort through and sell some toys. I took  a bit of an eBay break during the holiday because I didn’t want to worry about shipping. Also, at the beginning of November I shipped out a huge box of My Little Ponies to Poland, and the whole process involved with that transaction was a little stressful and seemed never ending (and, in fact, has not yet ended). I need to take new inventory of what’s left and get some things posted. To those of you familiar with my original collection, don’t worry, I’m still keeping something like 60+ ponies to myself. Glitter and rainbows for life.

Eat green things. This is self explanatory, right? I’d also like to work some healthy vegetarian meals into my normal winter rotation. Soups and chilies seem like a good springboard. It’s definitely time to start throwing spinach into everything. I’m still not really down with kale. Sorry.

My goals for the month are simple, and I don’t really have any New Year resolutions per se. I think I’d like to let myself have more fun, try new things, be a little less reserved. I’ve spent the majority of my life thus far constantly thinking “I’m too ___ to do ___,” which is …limiting, obviously. I have missed out on probably more than I know; I’m scared of basically everything. I would like to be less scared. I would like to smile more. So I think this year I’d like to work on reaching out when I wouldn’t normally reach out, and on taking advantage of opportunities wherever I happen to be. No numbers, no limits, no “absolutely must do or else(s)” this year, just a little bit of stretching. Tips of fingers, tips of toes.

And, always, I want to be kind to the people I stumble into along the way.

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We’re going to pretend that the word “right” is in quotation marks.

There are a lot of things they don’t tell you if you’re a teenage girl with an eating disorder. In fact, if your anxiety prevents you from seeking any kind of serious professional help, they won’t tell you anything. Because there is no “they.” So maybe they do tell you. I don’t know.

But I will tell you.

They don’t tell you that over a decade of alternately starving yourself and purging will wreck your metabolism. And your teeth. You will very rarely smile for photographs (or agree to be photographed, for that matter) for that very reason. They don’t tell you that even when you’re back to a healthier weight, this behavior will probably carry on well into your twenties, especially if it’s symptomatic of your anxiety and depression (and not because of a need to fit in/feel pretty). And they definitely don’t tell you that when you’re thirty, and you weigh more than you ever have, following a “diet plan” of any sort will be impossibly difficult. Because your brain doesn’t actually know how to measure intake without going completely and utterly bonkers.


That’s a thing that’s happening right now. I am a little embarrassed about it.

I am demonstrably out of shape, and I am physically uncomfortable with my current weight. These are facts. Diabetes runs in my family. My mum was overweight. Those are additional facts. A normal, healthy human being ought to be able to come up with a workable, reasonable plan of attack regarding these issues without turning into an obsessive weirdo. I kind of assumed, now that I’m a for serious adult, that I would be able to handle keeping very loose tabs on my eating habits. Very loose is apparently not a thing that exists in my brain. What started out as an innocent exercise in eating “right,” in the course of two days, snowballed into a game of cutting numbers wherever possible, and planning my meals down to the last calorie. Those of you who know me well will tell me that I should have known better. You are correct. I’ve been down this road before. Thankfully, by day three, my for serious adult brain recognized the potential problem, and all food/exercise tracking apps have since been removed from my phone. So on a positive note, I’ve definitely changed for the better. Because in the past, I would have just continued with the obsessive behavior. At least I have that going for me. That’s why I can write about this, now. It’s embarrassing and frustrating, but it’s okay. I’m okay.

Now, I could make the argument that our whole modern food system is out of control, and that food tracking and calorie counting is inherently disordered. And I have, will continue to. But that doesn’t really solve anything. And there are a million people who will tell me I’m wrong. You do you.


So I am at kind of a weird crossroads, right now. I actually need to lose some weight for the first time in my life, and I have to be careful to do it in a way that’s going to be safe. It has very clearly (and quickly) been determined that for my sanity’s sake, I can not track anything. I can make better choices when it comes to food, and to be more active, but I have a really hard time wrapping my brain around not keeping track of any of that. Like how does that even work!? I am a born list-maker. Despite being in a generally good state of mind (I talked about that here), the habits that I spent years of my life cultivating are really darn hard to break. For now, I’ve decided to put some gentle limits on myself (like chill out on the wine and snacking), and make more of an effort to be physically active in ways that do not require measurement. Activities like hiking and going for walks or short runs actually seem okay, as I find these kind of relaxing. I’m also making more of an effort to drink enough water and consistently take my supplements. Without iron, I’m completely useless.

In the end, it all comes down to trusting my body, which is something I haven’t been able to do in a long time. I do know that right now, I don’t feel right in the space I occupy, and I sense that feeling itself, for possibly the first time ever, to be genuine and not part of that weirdo eating disordered brain. That’s almost an accomplishment in itself.

I got this. I think.

Thanks for listening/reading. I appreciate you.

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I try really hard to take good care of my nails. I have some pretty terrible habits (like picking obsessively at my cuticles), so sometimes that takes a little extra work. The products below are my top five nail care product essentials.

My Top Five Nail Care Products ::

  1. Karma Naturals nail polish remover is nontoxic and made in the United States. You can read my full review here. I love this product. It’s nourishing, smells wonderful, and does a great job removing both dark polish and glitters. A remover that can tackle black polish and glitter is an absolute must for me, and I am so happy that I’ve found a natural product that works.
  2. Julep’s lavender tinted Brighter is Better nail treatment helps hide nail discoloration and contains lemon extract that, over time, physically brightens your nails. Lemon peel oil helps add moisture and shine, and hexanal strengthens to prevent peeling and splitting. I received this product in my July Maven box, and once I got used to the neon violet tint, I decided I really liked it. Like all Julep polishes, this one is 5-free and vegan.
  3. ORLY argan cuticle oil is some of the best I’ve ever used. It’s intensely moisturizing and absorbs quickly. I apply this to my cuticles and nails every night. A little bit goes a long way, and I love the drop applicator.

My Top Five Nail Care Products ::

  1. Lemony Flutter was the first LUSH product I ever used, and it got me hooked for life. As always, LUSH products are cruelty-free.

My Top Five Nail Care Products ::

  1. I personally notice a huge difference in the health and condition of my skin, hair, and nails when I take a daily biotin supplement. I am currently trying out Olly Undeniable Beauty, but I’ve also used MegaFood’s Skin, Nails, & Hair blend, which happens to be made close to home. Consult a nutritionist or health care professional if you’re concerned about supplements. Your needs might be different from my own.

Of course, products can only do so much. Your general state of health affects the appearance of your nails and skin so much more than anything you apply externally. I do my best to eat right and stay hydrated, but a little help on the outside is always appreciated.

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Once upon a blogtember, I wrote a brief post on easing anxiety. I thought it might be nice to revisit the theme of that post, and round up a few external resources for relaxation.  Sometimes, after a difficult day, I need a little extra help finding my center. Share some of your tried and true relaxation or calming tips in the comments. 


– Online and on Devices –

silk – interactive generative art – listen to the sound of rain in your browser


guided meditations from the Chopra Center

I find guided meditations really helpful, since I have a difficult time getting my mind off of all the minutia floating around in there. Having something to listen to keeps me focused on the moment. Like anything else, I think practice will make it easier. I try to practice mindfulness and intent with all things, but I would be lying if I said it was easy. I’m always so distracted. Even if I can recognize what’s important, that doesn’t mean I can focus on it.

– Books & Paper –


The Big Book of Mandalas coloring book

Tactile and Aromatherapy


tegu – magnetic wooden blocks

I lost my pocket set, and I really miss them.

LUSH fun – scented moldable soap, and shower jellies

Some of these things may seem a little bit childish, but I think having a healthy and appropriate way to regress a little bit actually helps keep me in the now. Play helps me let go of tiny anxieties and remember what’s important.

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