Aug 31, 2015

Almond Oat Muffins

With all the hustle and bustle of back to school routines, I am always looking for healthy muffin recipes.  A muffin is such an easy something to grab for breakfast if you're late running out the door.... or to throw into a lunch box for a snack.  These muffins pack a little more protein in them because of the almond butter and oats.  If you do not have a sensitivity to gluten, then you can use whole wheat or white flour instead of the oat flour.  I've made them all different ways and I love them each time.

Almond Oat Muffins
2 cups oat flour*
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup almond butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk**
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients until creamy, then add chocolate chips.  Spoon batter into lined muffin cups, filling 3/4 full.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes.  Store in an airtight container.

*My grocery store does not sell oat flour.  To make it, I simply grind up oats in the blender until it becomes flour.  It is super easy and does not take too much time!

**If you are trying to keep this recipe dairy-free as well, simply substitute almond or coconut milk for cows milk.  

Need more inspiration for Back to School routines??  Check out my last blog post HERE.

Finally, this month, I'm participating in a blog circle with some amazing and beautiful women. Click on The Roach Approach and see what is happening with Jennifer this month.  You can follow the links back around to me! 

Aug 19, 2015

Back To School! Using Essential Oils in Your Daily Routine

August in Texas brings HOT afternoons... and ceiling fans and popsicles and sprinkler play.. basically anything to keep us cool.

August also brings excitement and anticipation as another school year is upon us.  We have purchased 2 brand new backpacks.  (My oldest will be using his for the 3rd year in a row.  Don't ask me how it has survived this long!  He loves it and I love the money saved!)  We have purchased binders and paper and pens and cute skirts and new tennis shoes.  We are gearing up for routines and predictability.  After school activities and music lessons.

This year is always going to be the best ever.  We can't wait to meet the teachers.  We can't wait to see our friends again.  Although I do mourn the loss of all our lazy schedules and time together, I am looking forward to newness.  Change.

Every new start to the school year comes with new ideas on how to make our schedules more efficient.  There is always room for improvement.  Reduce the crazy and aim for those beautiful mornings where we all sit together at the table for a well-rounded breakfast... HA!

Since essential oils have become part of our family's' daily routine, I'm going to share some ideas with you on how to incorporate essential oils into your home during the school year routine.  Here are the top 4 categories to focus on with back to school time!

1.  Defend your family's wellness.
2.  Reduce stress and promote rest.
3.  Healthy meals are a must.
4.  Energize, stimulate, and focus the brain.

1.  Defend your wellness by proactively supporting your family's immune system.

Longevity - powerful blend of Frankincense, Clove, Thyme, and Orange.  This is also offered in a softgel supplement.  All of these oils have optimal immunity support, with clove oil containing the highest antioxidants out of all measured food!

Thieves Essential Oil - supports a healthy immune system.  I will use this oil in my diffuser or apply topically as needed.  This is also available in a softgel supplement.

Ningxia Red - This is a powerful antioxidant drink.  All your kids will need is 1/2 - 1 oz of this juice each morning.  Send them off to school ready to fight off the germs!

Kidscents Mightyvites - delivers a full spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for children, using only nutrient-dense, whole food sources.

 2.  Reduce stress and promote rest.

Stress away - Helps induce relaxation and reduces occasional nervous tension.  Diffuse or apply topically.

Lavender - Diffuse or apply topically at night for a restful sleep.

Isaiah 41:10 Blend - This is a great blend for reducing the occasional nerves that sometimes come with back to school!  We are adopting this verse for the school year.  It will be our constant reminder that there is nothing to fear about change and the uncertain.  God has an amazing plan for our year!  Mix oils together in a 15 ml bottle.  Add a roller ball attachment to the top.  Apply to feet, wrists, or back of neck as needed.

3.  Healthy Meals are a must.

Breakfast - Start the day with more than cereal.  I always try to load the kids up on protein.  It gets their brains focused and working!  Here a couple suggestions:
  • Greek Yogurt/Whole grain granola
  • Breakfast burrito with eggs, bacon, and cheese
  • Orange Creamsicle Smoothie
  • Whole grain waffles and nut butter  
  • Boiled egg and Banana (for those mornings you are running out the door!) 

Lunch - This year, the kids are taking their lunch making into their own hands.  It is simply taking too much time out of my mornings and I cringe when the food I make gets dumped in the trash.  This way, they have the power to choose what they want and no food is wasted.  Win-win.  I made this chart for our refrigerator and you are more than welcome to download the PDF to use it:

After school snacks ideas:

4. Energize, Stimulate and Focus their thinking caps!

The diffuser is a powerful tool!  Here are some great diffusing combinations:

My personal favorites:
Morning wake up:  Peppermint/Orange
Homework focus: Rosemary/Lemon, Peppermint/Stress Away, Peppermint/Grapefruit

For those of us that have kiddos that need focus and concentration support, this is a great roller bottle blend:

I hope this has motivated you in your preparations for the school year!  Planning ahead always makes for a smooth transition.  Have a great year!

*Not all essential oils are created equally. Most essential oils that you buy in stores are not pure and could do harm if applied topically.  Do your research as to which oils are safe.  I have spent hours upon hours of looking into Young Living and I fully trust their process in extracting essential oils without harsh chemicals or high temperatures.  

There were A LOT of essential oils mentioned in this post and most of them come in a fabulous starter kit.  Want to know where to get them?  Follow this link HERE.  I am running a great sign-up bonus this month.  Be sure to check it out!

Aug 14, 2015

After-Sun Spray

The Texas Summer has been HOT this year.  And honestly, we haven't been in the sun as much as usual.  However, there have been those couple of instances where sun exposure has left its mark on shoulders, backs, or arms.  This homemade After-Sun Spray has been a great relief when needed.

Why did I choose these ingredients?
Aloe Vera - assists skin in healing after burns.  Read your labels when selecting an aloe vera gel for this recipe.  Most OTC aloe vera contains additional ingredients and color dyes. (I found mine at a local health food store.  You can easily find it on Amazon.)
Vitamin E - When applied topically, vitamin E interacts directly with the damaged skin cells, helping to prevent signs of aging as well as permanent skin damage.
Lavender - soothing to skin.
Peppermint - cooling to skin.
Copiaba - supports the body's natural response to injury and irritation

After-Sun Spray
2 T Aloe Vera
1 T Vitamin E 
10 drops Lavender*
5 drops Peppermint*
5 drops Copiaba*

Add all ingredients to a glass bottle.  Fill the remaining bottle with purified water.  Shake and apply to skin.

For this recipe, I used a 2 oz glass bottle found HERE at Abundant Health.  At only $.85 each, they are very affordable!  Of course you can use a larger bottle to make it more diluted or just a larger amount of spray!

*Not all essential oils are created equally. Most essential oils that you buy in stores are not pure and could do harm if applied topically.  Do your research as to which oils are safe.  I have spent hours upon hours of looking into Young Living and I fully trust their process in extracting essential oils without harsh chemicals or high temperatures.  Want to know where to get them?  Follow this link HERE.