Simple Wood Polish

We live in a very old house; from the information I can gather, it has been here since at least 1836.  There’s wood everywhere you look, some of it stripped of paint in recent years and definitely in need of a little TLC.  I decided to make a *very easy* recipe for wood polish: 2-3 tablespoons of Sunflower (Helianthus annus) oil to which I added about 10 drops organic Lemon (Citrus limon) essential oil.  This combination of oils moisturizes and conditions the wood, cleaning it at the same time.  (You don’t have to use Sunflower oil, you can use whatever fatty oil you have on hand).

I decided to try it out on our old, wooden kitchen table, which was in serious need of care after all the spills of my two toddlers.  After wiping the table down and then drying it, I began by dipping a soft, clean cloth into the oil, smoothing it over the table surface in even strokes.  I let it sit for several hours to absorb, then wiped up any excess with a clean cloth to avoid attracting dust.

The immediate results were amazing; I could almost hear the table say, “Ahhhhh!”   My family and I definitely gave a sigh of relief when we smelled the light, sunny aroma of our all-natural and healthy wood polish.

Aromatherapy & Fiestaware

In a few days we will celebrate the life of our friend, Karen, who passed away in March from melanoma. Her fight was brief…a mere 7 weeks or so…and her passing has a left a gaping hole in the lives of those who knew and loved her. Karen was one of the kindest people I have ever known, with a smart wit, a soft voice, and a compassionate heart. She and her husband were originally friends of my husband’s during his previous marriage, but I felt I knew her long before I’d actually met her. As collectors of Fiestaware, we had something in common right off the bat, although of the two of us, she was the consummate collector. The first time we met I told her, “Wait til you see my collection,” to which she said, “No, wait til you see MY collection!” When I finally did see what she had, it was true, she had tons of it! And, we had something else in common: aromatherapy and natural cleaning.
About the time I started my aromatherapy education, Karen also got into using natural cleaners. She offered to help me fulfill one of the three consultations I had to complete in order to become certified. I met with her and we designed a stress-relieving spray with the essential oils she chose: Lavender, Lemon and Sandalwood. What a beautiful combination of floral and citrus aromas, and the warming, low-note of Sandalwood! She loved it then and reported that when she used it, she did feel less tense. When she told me of her terminal diagnosis this past January, I made the spray for her, along with a massage oil with the same blend. It was the only thing I could think of to do for her that might help in even the smallest way. Her sister told me how, when Karen was in hospice, she misted her with the spray and could visibly see her relax. It makes me feel better to know that at such a time, the blend we made together could bring her some peace.
The picture above is the gift Karen and her husband gave to our daughters the first time they came to see them after their births. The Fiestaware cups, from her collection, are known by their colors, which I can’t remember now…like Apricot for Ava and something with a “B” for Beatrice. I really wish I could ask her.

Back to School with Aromatherapy

With the school year starting, lots of parents are filling lists of supplies for their children’s classrooms.  Whether your child is starting kindergarten, college or any grade in between, aromatherapy is a great way to support their health, to ease test day anxieties, and to help them learn.

To begin with, there are two easy options for taking to school.  A simple hand sanitizer of 2 oz. aloe vera gel and 10 drops Lemon essential oil can remove germs, support the immune system, and enhance mood.  An inhaler (similar to the Vicks inhalers found in drugstores) of essential oils like Lemon, Orange, Lavender, and Eucalyptus, used throughout the day, is a portable way to ward off colds and other illnesses going around.  For kids bound for college, a First Aid kit of natural products is definitely in order.  Filled with essential oil blends for issues such as headaches, cuts and scrapes, sleep support, anxiety relief, and colds and flu, you can be sure they’re well cared for when you can’t be there.  (See the notes section of Sweet & Woodsy Aromatherapy’s Facebook page for a natural immune system boosting recipe!).  Sending them off with aromatherapy-based cleaning products for the dorm room is another great way to help ensure good health while away at school.

For children with anxiety over attending school for the first time or an upcoming test, the quickest method for relief is through inhalation.  For a young child, a few drops of essential oils such as Lavender, Roman Chamomile, or Bergamot (on a cotton ball carried in a Ziplock bag) can help soothe any fears.  For older children, an inhaler with these oils is a smart option because it easily fits in a pocket.  Diffusing these same oils at home can also help reinforce a feeling of calm when the blend is used at school.

Aromatherapy is a helpful tool to use while studying.  As the connection between new ideas and scent is developed during learning, that same scent can trigger the memory when it comes time to take the test.  Diffuse Laurel Leaf, Peppermint, and Rosemary essential oils (or a blend of them) while your child studies to help with concentration, to stimulate the mind, and digest new ideas.  On test day, a few inhales of the same blend will help your child recall the information they previously studied.  (These essential oils are best used with kids over 5 years of age). 

Aromatherapy is an easy, natural, and effective way to support your child’s school experience at any age and throughout the year.

Every Day is Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day is my third, if you count the Mother’s Day when I was 6 months pregnant.  My husband and I went to a local plant nursery to buy two Hydrangea bushes, one for each of the baby girls we were expecting.  I was still in amazement that I would actually have the opportunity to be a Mom as I had struggled to get pregnant for close to 2 1/2 years and spent many sleepless nights worrying about how I would deal with it if I couldn’t have children.  We’d also considered adoption, but I did want to know what it would be like to carry a baby.  I was blessed to have two at once; I am blessed to have any children at all.

It’s definitely not easy raising two babies at the same time, but we developed a rhythm, an understanding…as I’d hoped we would…which made life with two a bit easier.  I do look forward to sleep SOME DAY, but am grateful that the reason I’m losing sleep now is because of my children and not due to worry.  I am grateful for every hug, kiss, smile, tear, laugh, new word, and, occasionally, even the temper tantrums: all of these interactions prove to me that I am, indeed, a Mother; the best and most difficult job of my life.  I love every minute of it as I love my two sweet little peanuts more than I can say.