Summer Sippers – Easy Summer Drink Recipes with Essential Oils

Summer is here! And you know what that means, fun fancy drinks on the patio on those hot summer days. Yum!

Don’t you love sitting out on the patio, socializing with friends and enjoying that yummy drink? But a few yummy drinks later and usually your sugar intake is good for the week!

I love incorporating some easy seasonal natural flavors combined with my essential oils and not only have I reduced the sugary intake, I now have more healthy options to enjoy on those summer days.

Which Oils Can I Use?

Citrus oils are a good bet in any summer drink. Lemon, Lime and Wild Orange all go very well in drinks and add that little extra punch to whatever your drinking. Plus they are great in a pinch when you don’t have those fresh lemons or limes on hand.

You can also use oils like Lavender, Basil or Celery Seed to create unique or spicier drinks for some of those classics (if you’re a Caesar fan Celery Seed here I come).

Whether you are creating your own or trying out a recipe, using your oils gives you great versatility and options to create those yummy refreshing summer drinks.

A Few Recipes to Try

Whether you are looking for just a summer refresher or something with a little more punch, all these recipes can either be made as mocktails or with a splash of your favorite spirit.

Orange Martini

This yummy martini is lovely and creamy with the fresh orange juice and Wild Orange essential oil. Easy to make without the alcohol if you choose and just as delicious.

Lavender Lemonade

A twist on the classic lemonade, adding Lavender to this recipe gives it a softness and unique taste that’s pleasing to the palate.

Classic Mojito

This virgin version of your classic mojito from Jill Haverstock Nutrition is so easy and refreshing. I adopted her original recipe using 2 drops of Lime essential oil in place of lime juice.

Raspberry Limo-nade

Raspberries and lime are so good together. The lime really enhances the flavors of those already delicious berries. And I love that it’s naturally sweetened with honey (use local and get even more health benefits)

Of course the possibilities are endless! and you could basically take any of your favorite drinks and substitute essential oils in place of your fresh lemons, limes, mints etc. Why would you want to you ask?

Well one is convenience. Your essential oil is always on hand, you don’t have to worry about having the fresh stuff or having it go bad. It is also great for when you go camping, so hard to keep the fresh stuff from going bad!

Two, it saves money. When you buy that fresh basil for that drink and you either a) use it once and then the rest goes to mush in the fridge b) you have good intentions but then forget to use it all together and it goes to mush in the fridge. Plus your 15 ml bottle has 250 drops of oil in it, and when you use 2-3 drops per drink you can use it up to 83 times and works out to about 14 cents, which is less than what you would purchase fresh for.

Fresh is wonderful of course and adds so many things to your food and drinks, but your essential oils are great alternatives and so handy when it works!

So which Summer Sipper are you going to try first?


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Sugar Free Whoopie Pies

sugar free whoopie pies

Moist soft chocolate cake type cookies with a massive amount of creamy white filling inside…. these are whoopie pies and OMG are they delicious! Absolutely Divine!

Growing up these were a special treat in my house and needless to say they didn’t last very long. I could easily pop 3 in a sitting and unless you doubled the recipe there were only about 16 in a batch, so really in a house of 5 that didn’t make for many in your tummy unless you were fast!

When we made the switch to a sugar free household, sadly whoopie pies were one recipe that I didn’t make anymore because I had no idea how to modify the recipe. Being new to the whole sugar free world and substitutions I was at a loss. So they were left unmade for years. Until this weekend….

My youngest son and I decided to take the plunge and modify the recipe to see if we could create these whoopie pies successfully. We debated between using honey or coconut sugar as the sweetener, and decided we’d try one and if it didn’t work out, we’d try the other one later. I am happy to report we got it right the first time and now I can share these delectable sugar free treats with you! (I would suggest just doubling the recipe right from the start, I mean really why deny yourself?)

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Sugar Free Whoopie Pies

Cookie:

1/2 cup shorteningsugar free whoopie pies
1 cup coconut sugar
2 egg yolks
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
5 tbsp. cacao powder
1 cup almond milk (or non dairy milk of choice)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. almond extract

Cream shortening and coconut sugar. Add egg yolks and beat. Add cacao powder and salt, vanilla and almond extract. Stir in dry ingredients, alternately with milk. Let dough sit for 10-15 minutes.

Drop by teaspoon onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes.

When done remove from cookie sheet and place on cooling rack to cool completely.

Filling:

2 egg whitessugar free whoopie pies
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar free icing sugar*
1-2 tsp. of honey
1 tsp. vanilla
dash of salt
1 drop Peppermint essential oil (optional)**

Put all ingredients, except honey, into a bowl and mix together. Beat well and taste for sweetness. Add 1-2 teaspoons of honey to taste. Beat until light and fluffy.

**A mint filling would be delicious with these. If you’d like a mint filling, then add 1 drop of Peppermint essential oil. Measure 1 drop onto a spoon and stir into filling. Measuring onto a spoon helps prevent putting too much in! If you get two drops on your spoon instead of one then you can just wash your spoon and start again. If you measure it straight into the bowl and get too many drops then you’ll have too much mint and have to make your filling over again.

Put cookies together by taking 2 completely cooled cookies, add desired amount of filling on one side (and you can put a lot), then place the second cookie on top like a sandwich. Repeat this until you have all the cookies put together. Place in an air tight container and store in the fridge.

Note: The recipe makes a lot of filling so feel free to be generous with the amount of filling that you use for each cookie.

My kids loved these so much they are now requesting that their birthday cake simply be a giant Whoopie Pie! I’ve never done it in a big cake before but I think it can be done. I’ll keep you posted…

PS –  these also make awesome treats for Valentine’s Day! Satisfy that chocolate fest and treat those you love with these delectable treats. Maybe you could even make them heart shaped? Hmmm… I bet it could be done 🙂

sugar free whoopie pies

*Sugar Free Powdered Sugar (replacement for regular icing sugar)

1 cup nonfat powdered milk (for dairy free use powdered coconut milk)
1 cup cornstarch
2/3 cup Krisda Stevia for baking

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and whip until blended and powdered. Store in an airtight container.

This replacement can be used in any recipe calling for icing sugar.


Raw Organic White Chocolate

white chocolate

When I first learned how to make my own chocolate I never even considered that making white chocolate would also be an option. I was so excited about just making the regular chocolate that I didn’t even think about white.

It wasn’t until years later, when I was looking at making white chocolate macadamia nut cookies that I wondered if I could somehow create white chocolate? Of course it had to be possible, it existed, so someone somewhere would have had to have figured out how to do it.

So I poked around a little bit, did a little googling and had my answer within minutes. Of course when I read what needed to be done it made perfect sense. Why I had not thought of it myself, who knows. But you know how sometimes you need someone to point out the obvious to you….

The basic trick in making raw organic white chocolate was that you need to use another powder than cacao powder, that was white. You need to use the powder to thicken it and bring it all together, because otherwise you would literally just have the cacao butter, though the right color, on it’s own is kind of oily and tasteless, which kind of defeats the purpose.

white chocolateThe magic answer is simply, milk powder. It is the right color and consistency and the good news is, ANY milk powder will do. If you want to keep your chocolate dairy free, there are non-dairy milk powders such as soy or coconut to make that work. It was so easy!

Another thing to keep in mind when creating white chocolate is using a fresh vanilla bean will no longer work, unless you want little black dots in your white chocolate. Even regular vanilla extract is brown in color, so to keep it purely white, use clear vanilla extract instead.

Otherwise go to it! If you have already tried the regular raw organic chocolate recipe you’ll be able to white with ease. And if you are new to chocolate making, it really is easy, so you’ll be a pro in no time!

Raw Organic White Chocolate

3/4 – 1 cup cacao butter

2-6 tbsp Soy milk powder or Coconut milk powder (just a caution if choosing soy milk powder, it is not pure white and has a slight tan tinge to it, so if you want it more of a caramel color perfect! but if you want white then I would choose coconut milk powder instead)

1-2 drops of clear vanilla extract (use a pipette if using vanilla extract as you only need a tiny bit, adding too much can ruin your chocolate)

2 tsp. to start Natural Sweetener of choice (again consider color I find clear stevia drops are best or even white stevia powder – honey and pure maple syrup will make your white chocolate more tan or caramel)

  1. In a medium metal bowl add boiling water about halfway up the bowl. *a metal bowl is best as it retains the heat well but can get hot to the touch Place second smaller metal bowl on top of large bowl so that it sits on top of the rim of the first bowl.
  2. Put desired amount of cacao butter into top bowl. Cacao butter will start to melt.
  3. While cacao butter is melting, add clear vanilla extract. Drop 1-2 drops at the most into cacao butter and stir.
  4. Once cacao butter is completely melted add 2-4 tablespoons of coconut milk powder. Taste for desired level of chocolatey-ness. If you’d like it richer add more milk powder.
  5. Once satisfied with amount of coconut milk powder add natural sweetener of choice. Start with 10 drops of clear stevia drops. (You may choose another sweetener but be aware that if you choose something like pure maple syrup this may darken your white chocolate, if so start with 3 teaspoons to sweeten). Taste, if desired level of sweetness has not been reached, add 2-5 drops of stevia and taste again (1-2 teaspoons if using another natural sweetener). Once level of desired sweetness has been reached you have your base chocolate.
  6. For plain white chocolate, spoon your white chocolate into molds and let set in freezer or fridge.
  7. white chocolateIf desired, before setting add additional ingredients such as nuts, dried fruit, coconut, essential oils such as Wild Orange, Peppermint, Lavender, etc. Ensure that the essential oils you are using are safe to ingest, as not all essential oil brands are created equal and many have synthetics and fillers in them that you definitely don’t want in your body! Also if oils are naturally colored they may change the color of your chocolate slightly (like Wild Orange). Pour white chocolate onto a cookie sheet or into a pan to let set for bulky additions, like fruit and nuts. If using essential oils you can pour into molds to set if desired.
  8. Put pan or molds into the freezer for about 5 minutes. Check to see if firm. If firm you can pop them out of your molds or break it up from the pan. If not leave in the freezer for a few more minutes and check again. Chocolate is best set in freezer (and ready faster!) but may also be set in fridge.

More Tips for Making White Chocolate

*Be very careful not to get any water into your chocolate as it will not work if you do. If your second bowl sits nicely on top, this should not be an issue as you do not need to lift the second bowl off the one with the water in it until you are done making your chocolate.

**you could use a vanilla bean in this recipe if you wanted, but because it is white chocolate you will see small black dots in the chocolate. If you would prefer solid white stick with the clear vanilla extract.

***when adding essential oils to your chocolate, measure 1 drop onto a teaspoon and stir it into your chocolate. This way if 2 or 3 drops come out instead, it’s on your spoon and not in the chocolate with the flavor way too strong!

****when popping out the chocolate from your molds, use a cutting board on parchment paper or plate. Popping them out directly onto the counter not only makes it hard to pick up, but it also may start to melt as often times the counter is warm.

*****You could also make the chocolate with fillings such as caramel, nuts or other desired filling, in the middle. For this you simply put a bit of chocolate in the bottom of your mold, let it set then add your filling and top up the mold with chocolate and let set completely. If you wanted to get really fancy, make a batch of regular chocolate as well and make layers – have them be white and dark. White chocolate is also great to use for Chocolate Dipped Strawberries! In fact, I discovered a cute Halloween treat this year that are strawberry ghosts. What a great idea! Fun and healthy.

sugar free valentines treats

Making white chocolate opens up a whole new world of possibility and is just as fun as making regular chocolate. And now you can get even more creative with it! Who knows maybe next you can make swirls!

5 Powerful Essential Oils For Opening the Heart

heart opening essential oils

The heart plays such an important role in our lives, not only is it key in keeping us alive and our bodies functioning, it is the home for feelings. It is the place we manifest and create from, the space where we give and receive love.

As you may know essential oils are a wonderful tool in supporting your physical health but they also possess an emotional and energetic side.  They help you in processing emotions and shifting things energetically. They work with all areas of the body, physical or emotional and the heart is no exception.

Often times due to the experiences of life we may shut down our hearts, guard them or close them off to love. This is natural as you may have been hurt or betrayed and you naturally want to protect yourself. This is just a part of the human experience and it’s ok, but a closed heart does not always lead the happiest life or create the best opportunities.  The key is to have the tools to safely open up the heart space again, heal and move forward. Can it be scary, of course it can, but the benefits will outweigh the risks.

5 Powerful Heart Opening Essential Oils

There are a number of essential oils that you can use to support opening up your heart. Which one you choose depends on your intuition and the qualities you are looking for. When using a heart oil choose the one that you are drawn to, it is the one you need in that moment.

Geranium warms the body and opens the heart. It supports loving yourself, compassion and self healing. It supports you to more easily let go of judgments, angers, and resentments, and move you into the experience of unconditional love. Aiding you in letting go of emotional and mental baggage which can stagnate our relationships and block feelings of connection and love.

 

heart opening essential oils

Lavender is the oil of communication. It helps you to listen what people are saying to you at a heart level. You’ll feel the spirit behind the words and speak their language. It also supports connecting to your true self as well as bringing buried emotions, thoughts and feelings to the surface (and therefore enabling you to release them and let them go)

 


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heart opening essential oilsNeroli will open the heart, balance emotions and uplift the spirits. It’s soothing and euphoric in its actions, instilling comfort and strength, encouraging the release of repressed emotions fostering forgiveness.

 

 

 

heart opening essential oilsJasmine soothes the heart, is stabilizing and balancing. It can relax and uplift as well as accentuate the sensual in your life.

 

 

 

heart opening essential oilsRose helps to soothe and strengthen the heart. It helps to alleviate depression and promote a sense of peace and harmony. It opens up the heart and soul to love and spiritual connection.

 

 

 

How to Apply Your Heart Oils

heart opening essential oilsUse these heart oils by putting a few drops in your diffuser or applying topically with one drop directly on the heart space (the sternum between the breasts). You can also create a rollerbottle. Add 10-15 drops of your chosen heart essential oil in a 10 ml rollerbottle and top it with fractionated coconut oil.

Wonderful uses for heart essential oils are any time you want to open up the heart, hear someone at a heart level, or soothe and strengthen the heart. This could be during meditation, your yoga practice, before you go for a walk, having a conversation with someone or simply using it in your diffuser to support the heart while you work.

The Difference Between Boundaries and An Open Heart

Some of you may be concerned that opening up your heart too much can make you vulnerable or a person that people can take advantage of. This is not the case, as there is a difference between having an open heart and having boundaries. Boundaries are what you have in place to ensure that you are true to yourself and your beliefs. Living from your heart space creates a great capacity to love, be genuine and caring for yourself and others. Boundaries do not need to be compromised when living from your heart. In fact, you will find smoother communication with others, an ability to manifest more of what you want and be generally happier in your life.

Play with these heart oils this month and see how things open up and blossom for you.

If you would like to explore more about the emotional side of essential oils I would invite you to experience a Perfect Alignment Essential Oil Clearing. The theme for February is Love. It is designed to open yourself up to love with reckless abandon. This is your time to shine, to harness that energy of true love and all the joy and gifts it brings. This is not just romantic love but love for yourself and love for life! When you are surrounded by the energy of love wonderful and amazing things happen. Message me to connect for this clearing.


Find Your Miracle Morning

the miracle morning

A Miracle Morning. What would that be like? What would that do for you?

How many of us start out our days harried, rushed, having dragged ourselves out of bed because we just can’t get excited about the day? Trying to successfully get out the door, running through the list of things that need to get done and feeling just oh so unexcited about it.

What if I told you that you could change that? I mean really change that. Would you be interested?

The Miracle Morning

Months ago I was working with a client and she wanted me to create a banner for the book club she was running, The Miracle Morning. Of course I did that, but I was curious as to what this was all about so I looked it up. “Success before 8 am” it claimed, “Everyday will feel like Christmas”, “Not a morning person, you will be”. Really? I thought, I’d heard many of these claims before, what would make this one any different?

Even with these doubts in mind I decided I would give it a go anyway. I grabbed the book from the library and started reading. Hal Elrod claimed that even if you are not a morning person that you will be bouncing out of bed with enthusiasm each morning. Ok we’ll see, I said, I was not a morning person.

the miracle morning

The whole basis of the book is in order to create success in your life and business that you need to be working on yourself personally on a regular basis. If you want to move up to the next level, raise the bar on success, you have develop personally and you have to work on it every day. Because if you are not working on yourself personally you won’t level up no matter how badly you want it.

“Your level of success, will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become.” Jim Rohn

This made total sense to me. And I could see it, I love my me time, but when life gets busy, guess what goes first? Yup my me time, my workout, my reading, etc. and in fact this book was suggesting I needed to do the opposite. Protect and create that time all the more. Hmmm, made sense. All the times I have felt stuck, like I wasn’t getting anywhere, when I spent a bit of time on me, magically things shifted. Now if I was doing this on a daily basis…

The 6 Pieces

Your life is made up of a variety of components which are both external and internal. External ones are events, people, places. These things can affect you in your world, but they are not who you are.

Internal components are physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual, your inner world. And your inner world is where you create from and creates the basis for how you react or interact with your external world.

With this in mind, Hal has created the Miracle Morning so that you are working on all these internal components on a daily basis. Improving and shifting your inner world on all counts, which then in turn affects your outer world.

Hal calls these 6 internal components the Life SAVERS and they stand for:

S – Silence is one of the best ways to immediately reduce stress. Connecting you to your inner voice, gaining clarity and increasing self awareness. Silence can take a variety of forms and can be anything from meditating, prayer, reflection to deep breathing and gratitude.

the miracle morningA – Affirmations are positive statements that you say over and over in order to support changing your thought patterns, your inner programming. You know those inner voices or even critics. Focusing on changing what you say by creating statements that you repeat over and over to change that negative self talk and bring in the positive. I personally have changed my affirmations to afformations which has made an even bigger difference for me. More on afformations later.

V – Visualization is the process of picturing and focusing on what you want using visual cues, whether they be physical or within your minds eye. It is the practice of imagining specific behaviours and outcomes that you would like to create in your life. Things like vision boards, drawing what you visualize or picturing it in your mind are all forms of visualization.

E – Exercise is simply movement of your body. This can be as simple as doing 10 jumping jacks and a few push ups, some gentle yoga or going for a run. The key here is to get the body moving and the blood circulating. It’s proven that just a few minutes significantly boosts your energy and self confidence, enhances your health, improves your emotional well being and enables you to think clearer and concentrate longer.

the miracle morningR – Reading is one of the fastest ways to improve areas in your life. You can quickly acquire, knowledge, ideas and strategies to achieve what you want. You also have the advantage of learning from experts who have done it before, no need to reinvent the wheel! And it’s limitless there are many books out there to choose from.

S – Scribing (writing) is simply putting pen to paper. Capturing your thoughts, whether they be insights, ideas, breakthroughs or simply just airing things out (that has value to and can be healing). You could write that book you always wanted a few minutes at a time, write your gratitudes, dream, just the art of pen to paper will benefit.

And Your Miracle Morning is simply the first hour of your day divided into 10 minute sections for each of these 6 components. Are you with me yet? Or are you still thinking yeah right.

How It Has Helped Me

I have to admit when I first started my Miracle Morning I was keen to give it a try but I did not think it would transform me into a person who loved mornings. Or that I would bounce out of bed an hour earlier willingly and have it feel like Christmas each day. But I gave it a go because well I wanted change, and I wanted improvements and if Hal assured me that this would make a difference then I thought fine, I’ll give it a fair shake. So I began.

As I got started on my first morning I enjoyed it. I found I was very happy once I got downstairs to start the rest of my day, things that usually bothered me didn’t, and magically we were more on time that morning, in fact I think we might have even been early, then ever before. Huh I thought. Ok I looked forward to day 2.

the miracle morningThe next morning same results, and then the next and the next. And then all of a sudden I craved this daily time for me, I got mad if on the odd occasion the alarm didn’t go off and I missed it or had to delay it until after I took the kids to school. I was noticing I was more productive and efficient, happier and super excited about getting up each day. I was wondering which book I was going to choose next for my reading time and what other things was I going to bring in to benefit my life and finally move me forward. Things started to shift, stuff that seemed stuck all of a sudden started moving. I was not only hooked, I had seen proof and I was a believer.

What I think makes a big difference between the Miracle Morning and other morning ritual programs is doing all of these personal development pieces at once. I am sure many of you meditate on a regular basis, and exercise, perhaps read intellectual books, etc. but that most of you do not do these all in one shot. This, I believe, is the key, working on them all a little bit at once nurturing each part, feeding the soul completely before you start the rest of your day.

Ready to Create Your Miracle Morning?

What would it be like if you had this? Ready and willing to get out of bed each more with excitement, starting your day by filling your own bucket. How would your life change? Are you willing to try?

the miracle morningThe Miracle Morning is something you can easily do on your own. Get the book read and follow it and you are on your way. And for some people that is perfect. But for others it is helpful to have that community, that support, that accountability when trying something new. Those cheerleaders that have your back and say “You Got This”, no matter what happens. That say if you miss a morning, without judgement, don’t worry about it, start again tomorrow, we all falter sometimes, and that is ok.

Either way, you choose the way that works for you. And that’s another reason why I love the Miracle Morning, it is totally customizable. I love having my full hour, but sometimes I only have 30 minutes or less. Hal says don’t worry, you can do it in as little as 6 minutes on busy days or if you are strapped for time (you will find as you go though that you would like more time and will make the adjustments to create that). Make it fit you, make it fit your time, the key thing is to just do it.

You can also choose to extend your silence time if you want 15 minutes instead of only 10, and really 3 minutes of visualization works, while you might do 20 minutes of writing and 5 of exercise. Whatever works, it does not have to be neat little pockets of equal time necessarily. Just ensure you get in all 6 personal development pieces in your chosen time. That I believe is of the utmost importance.

The Book Club

If you are one of those people who likes to have that community and support consider this – I was so excited about what I had discovered that I knew I had to share this with other people in my life. I knew that many other people could benefit from this and I wanted them to experience it for themselves. It really was creating miracles.

So I created and led my first ever book club with a small group of people last Fall. And I loved it! I was so passionate and excited about the topic and I loved leading a group of people through it, watching their experiences. Seeing them learn and grow, supporting them in  creating their own Miracle Morning and how it was benefiting them. It was fun, it was magical and it felt good to know that I contributed to the new benefits that they were now experiencing in their lives. It was a wonderful experience and one that I love to share again and again.

Our Fall group was so successful that I am offering this group experience again starting February 6. We read through the book together and connect on live calls to support and enhance our experience. We share and dive a little deeper into the book through guided questions and reflection – taking what we are reading and bringing that to the next level. It also provides accountability as we connect with each other once we start playing with our Miracle Mornings. If this interests you, join us for this next group by registering here. I look forward to having you!

And if the group thing is not for you right now, then I invite you to seek out the book and do it on your own. The Miracle Morning is an easy read and though, like me, you may read through and go “Yeah right” give it a try for a few days and just notice what differences it will make for you. It really will create miracles.

Boost Your Immunity Naturally with On Guard

I have been a journey for awhile now to reduce the amount of chemicals and toxins in our lives. It seems that so many products we use these days, whether they be food to cleaners and even medicines we are using to alleviate or prevent being ill, contain things we do not really want in our body.

As a society we have moved into using a lot of synthetic and chemical laden products which not only inhibit our health but can often be the cause of illness. So I have looked to more natural ways to reduce the toxins and chemicals and support a healthy immune system naturally.

I have tried a number of different things over the years such as homeopathic remedies, using tea and honey and a few more. And though they have been helpful to some point, nothing has compared to the use of OnGuard essential oil blend from doTERRA. Whenever I feel something coming on or notice that the kids are, I start diffusing it immediately, or I will take an On Guard beadlet – and whatever was percolating does not develop or worsen. In fact, it disappears fairly quickly and we move on. And I feel good in knowing that we did it naturally.

On Guard essential oil blend is a powerful blend comprised of Wild Orange, Clove Bud, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary. It supports healthy immune function, contains cleansing properties and is a must have in any family’s home to help prevent and alleviate feeling ill. Especially during cold and flu season! It is super easy to use.

Top Ways to Use On Guard Essential Oil

Preventative Uses:

  1. Place one drop on the bottom of your feet each day.on guard essential oil
  2. Or take 2-3 drops daily in a veggie capsule.
  3. Diffuse in your home on a regular basis – add 2-3 drops in your diffuser.
  4. Make an On Guard spray and use to clean counter tops, door handles, etc. (10-15 drops in a 2 oz. spray bottle and fill with distilled water).
  5. Use in recipes such as smoothies, pancakes, your pumpkin pie, chocolate or other dishes that suit this blend. A yummy snack is to soak sliced apples in water and add a few drops of On Guard.
  6. Combine a few drops of On Guard with aloe vera and water to create a natural hand sanitizer.

If you feel something coming on try:

  1. Taking 1-2 On Guard beadlets (these are great for kids) or an On Guard Soft Gel.
  2. Diffuse, diffuse, diffuse! (especially at bedtime so it can work while your body is at rest)
  3. Use your On Guard more frequently – so if you were using it preventatively once a day, try twice a day until your symptoms have gone.

Other Uses & Benefits:

On Guard doesn’t just support and boost your immune system it also supports:

  1. healthy circulation
  2. protects against environmental threats
  3. is uplifting and energizing
  4. support’s the body’s natural antioxidant defenses
  5. can be used as a non toxic cleaner
  6. can purify the air in your home

On Guard really is a blend that our home cannot go without! Ever since we have started using this in our home, we are rarely sick and on the odd occasion that we do notice something coming on, it is nipped in the bud very quickly and does not develop further. It is definitely our go to during cold and flu season, as well as throughout the year for immune support.

The last thing I love love love about doTERRA On Guard is that it not only comes in essential oil form but has a whole On Guard product line to support all the different areas of your home – like toothpaste, mouthwash, cleaner concentrate, foaming hand soap, throat drops and much more! Click here to see the full range of On Guard products.

If you love natural products and you’re interested in bringing On Guard into your home contact me and I’ll help get you started.


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Explore the World With Globalfest Passport Pursuit

Blog Explore the World with Globalfest Passport Pursuit

A unique addition to Globalfest this year is the Cultural Pavilion Passport Pursuit adventure.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover this addition this year as I love an opportunity to win prizes! They call it travelling the world without leaving the city and embarking on an epic multi cultural adventure. Fantastic!

To me it’s like a mini scavenger hunt, which I love! When you enter the park you can pick up your Globalfest passport (or from the London Drugs trailer). As you explore the park and go to each pavilion there are specific questions in your passport that you must find the answers to in order to get your stamp for that leohamel.com jewellery san diego. The questions are region specific and it’s as easy as asking a representative in the pavilion! Some of them will tell you the answer straight out, some of them will direct you to where the answer is, or give you a hint, which I think is kind of fun. Can’t make it too easy!

Once you collect your stamps then you can enter to win one of two prizes, which I think are super amazing! If you visit 11 pavilions and get 11 stamps you are entered into the Silver draw which is one month’s worth of parking at the Calgary International Airport, 2 guests for a 1 week stay at Montana Hill Guest Ranch, Map Town World Globe and 2 Globalfest 2019 festival passes and VIP parking.

globalfest passport pursuitIf you want more, visit all 22 pavilions and be entered in the the Gold draw which is one year’s worth of parking from Calgary Parking Authority, 4 guests for one week stay at Montana Hill Guest Ranch, $250 London Drugs gift certificate, the most innovative online video id for fraud protection and 4 Globalfest 2019 and VIP parking.

I love it as it encourages people to explore the park and interact with the Pavilion Ambassadors in each of pavilions. It’s a great way to strike up conversations with them and learn a little more about the country you’re exploring. Plus it is educational! And I am all over educational stuff and opportunities to learn about other countries. Plus I have a little bit of a competitive edge so I am determined to get to all 22 pavilions and get my stamps.

It was fun to watch everyone walking around with passports in their hands, exploring. learning and asking questions. I would say that this has definitely made a difference in getting people out and checking out the pavilions. There was an energy of fun, excitement and anticipation. It also fosters curiosity, which is a wonderful thing. In speaking with some of the Pavilion Ambassadors they said that they have definitely noticed a difference this year to, saying that it’s getting more people out and moving around the park.

It is also a wonderful activity for kids! Yes they have the Children’s Village which is a wonderful place to keep the kids occupied, but difficult if you as parents want to explore the pavilions. This keeps them engaged and interested while you look around and learn to.

globalfest passport pursuitMy kids were all over it and dashed from pavilion to pavilion to get their answers. Plus again they are learning! Have I mentioned I am all over learning about other countries. It’s just a fantastic idea.

The great thing to is that you have until the end of the festival to complete your passport (August 25). So if you’re at Globalfest for more than one night, you don’t have to worry about getting to them all, or running out of time.

Once you’ve completed your passport you simply drop it off at the London Drugs trailer to be entered into the draw. Well, and make sure you fill out the Entry Ballot at the back with your name and phone number so they know who to contact for the prize!

Have fun! And come back and share what fun facts you have learned by sharing in the comments below.

What’s Globalfest? Learn more about this explosive event here

Globalfest Lights Up the Night in this Explosive Festival

globalfest

As Alberta’s most explosive festival, Globalfest is an epic event!

Excitement builds as the sun goes down on Elliston Park in Calgary, Alberta. The view over the lake is serene and calm as the anticipation builds for the display to come. People milling about with their mini donuts and treats finding their best viewing spots on the hill.

The lights go down, the music comes up and the skies are ignited with a colliding orchestra of light and sound.

The first time I attended Globalfest I was truly in awe. Moved and inspired by the magical wonder of fireworks lighting up the sky with music to match the rhythm and movement of the display. It was amazing! I didn’t want it to end. I have always loved fireworks – the beauty, the awe, the wonder as the colord explode in the sky. When I was little I anticipated each year the local fireworks display, and couldn’t wait to get there. Always thinking though that the fireworks were often too short, never lasting long enough; wanting more.

globalfestAnd fireworks set to music is truly a wonder and delight. I admire the unique talents of matching the music to the fireworks just so. That this one explodes just as the music crescendos or sways as it fades away. A skill that I know takes time and precision to get it all just right. And makes it super cool!

This is why when I discovered Globalfest I was over the moon excited. It is 5 nights of epic fireworks presentations produced by world-class pyro musical artists that are a good 15-20 minutes long. Each night featuring a different country, different musical pieces and displays. There’s also a little added friendly competition as each country competes and is judged on different artistic requirements to win the title of best fireworks display.

I am always amazed at what each country puts together, the music they choose and how it all flows in it’s beauty and elegance. It’s especially beautiful watching the reflection in the lake of Elliston Park; as it adds a special dimension to the festival – the reflections in the water add a fluid, shimmering mirror of the show taking place above.

But this event is more than just fireworks. Now in it’s 16th year, Globalfest is an international, multi-faceted, arts and cultural festival for all ages, wonderful for families to an adult night out. In addition to the fireworks it includes the Sunbelt Rentals One World Festival. Featuring over 22 cultural pavillions that showcase their heritage dress, cultural music, incredible performances, as well as interactive activities. It’s worth arriving early (gates open at 6 pm) to wander and explore the grounds, the pavillions and all their wares. There’s also entertainment on two stages, the TD Main Stage and Globalfest Village Stage, where you can watch various cultural performances such as dancing and music.

Of course, no festival is complete without food and there’s a variety of both ethnic and traditional concessions. I personally tend to drift towards the mini donuts… but perhaps this year I’ll branch out and try something more unique to the festival.

globalfest

I am looking forward to attending this year’s festival, which kicks off tomorrow night August 16, with the Ukraine. I can’t wait to see what wonders and displays have been created by each country and decide for myself, who has earned the best fireworks display this year.

Hiking with Kids – The Fenland Trail

fenland trail

My son’s first hiking experience was the Fenland Trail in Banff at the age of 2. I had decided that I wanted to get Matthew out there, knowing that starting early with kids was the key to getting them to know and enjoy things. When introduced at a young age, it becomes natural and what they know.

fenland trailThere is also value in getting kids outdoors and nurturing their innate curiosity about nature and their connection with the environment. The Fenland Trail, which is just on the outskirts of the Banff town site, was the perfect introduction to hiking as it is a short 2 km self interpretive loop trail, that is mostly flat. There is a self guided pamphlet available at the trailhead that highlights 8 markers along the loop that teach you about the lifecycle of the montane forest. Not only does this help keep kids engaged as they are often looking ahead for the next post, but it teaches them about nature and about the environment of the trail that they are on.

fenland trailPlus the trail itself is beautiful. It winds through a white spruce forest along the eastern edge of the Vermillion Lakes marshland; and part of the trail also runs along the Echo & Forty Mile Creek. And I don’t know about you but I always love a trail that has some kind of water along the hike. It just adds something to it listening to the trickling water as you’re hiking along.

There is also the opportunity to view wildlife on this trail, as you may catch a glimpse of a muskrat or busy beaver in the creek. Elk and deer in the open fields and a plethora of songbirds chirping in the background, such as the black capped chickadee and gray jay.

fenland trailI love this trail for young kids and toddlers because even though it is about a 30- 40 minute hike, you can go at a nice leisurely pace, allowing the kids to stop and pause along the way, exploring and checking things out. Playing by the creek or sitting at one of the benches along the trail for a break or a snack. You don’t have to rush, you can take an hour or more if you want. I think the first time we went it took us 2 hours! but that was fine, Matthew finished the hike having enjoyed it and feeling successful (and yes he still had energy to burn).

fenland trailOne thing that you do need to keep in mind is because it is close to both the creek and the marshlands the mosquitoes can be abundant. So make sure you take your bug spray or natural bug repellent, so you can enjoy the trail without swatting at the bugs! (If you do get bitten you can use Lavender and Peppermint essential oils on the bites to reduce the inflammation and itchiness).

There are many benefits of taking your kids out hiking and the Fenland Trail is an excellent place to start! Once you have captured their desire to hike more and nurtured their curiosity, it will be easy to move on to longer hikes with maybe even a little bit of elevation gain.

As you do progress the kids on their hikes, remember to keep these tips in mind when hiking with kids and most of all have a good time!

fenland trail

Cool fact: Fenland refers to a wetland that is nourished by nutrient-wet groundwater

Check out other great Alberta hiking trails for kids, like the Alder Trail near Bragg Creek.

Delicious Blueberry Pie – Sugar Free & Naturally Sweetened

sugar free blueberry pie

Fresh blueberries are a popular summer treat. Those succulent little juicy berries are delicious and nutritious with many health benefits. Blueberries are one of the richest food source of Anthocyanins, a plant compound which gives it it’s blue color and it’s many health benefits. They have been shown to benefit heart health, bone strength, mental health, cancer, healthy blood pressure and are extremely high in antioxidants. Who knew these little blue berries could pack such a punch?

I often buy copious amounts of blueberries in the summer and do all kinds of things with them. From simply eating them straight to freezing them for later, to muffins and smoothie combinations. One of the things that I hadn’t done for a while though was to make a blueberry pie. I have no idea why, as I make all other kinds of pies in the summer like cherry and peach. I guess I somehow had it in my head that I should freeze them all and that they were too small to make a pie out of. (This could relate to the many summers my sisters and I would go up to the blueberry patch on the barrens to pick blueberries – with intentions of picking enough to make a pie. It took us hours to get the amount we needed and sometimes we were not able to get enough).

But this year, when I did my regular purchase of fresh Okanagan fruit I decided that I needed blueberries as well and was definitely going to make a sugar free blueberry pie! (In fact, I even went back to the fruit stand before we left Oliver to get the blueberries as I had not purchased them the day before when I got the peaches and cherries).

sugar free blueberry pieOf course, I had to create a recipe that was sugar free, which by now has become fairly easy to do after many years of being sugar free and using natural sweeteners. Honey is my favorite sweetener due to its many health benefits and being one of the more natural sweeteners (things like stevia and agave nectar are still processed and under controversy as to whether or not they are any better than using refined sugar).

I played a little bit, taking a bit of this and that from a few recipes and then combining and modifying ingredients to make my own. I even got a little fancy with the crust by creating a full top and then adding small shaped hearts on top (believe me I do not always have the time or the desire to do this).

The kids of course waited in anticipation as the pie baked. Turning on the light in the oven to check on it and see if it was ready. Chloe even remarked on the little hearts and thought that was a good idea (she likes to create other shapes and treats with the leftover pastry – you know the pieces that are left over but are too small to really do much with, but you hate to throw out?)

Once the pie was ready and we let it cool – well enough to cut anyway – we dove in! I had forgotten how much I enjoyed blueberry pie and also how much easier it is to make than other pies like cherry and peach where you have to chop and pit the fruit first. Blueberries you just wash and pour them in.

Unfortunately we didn’t have any ice cream on hand (but decided not to wait to get that organized) and fully enjoyed it anyways! In fact, the kids asked hopefully if they could have a piece for breakfast. I said I’d think about it…

Sugar Free Blueberry Pie

2 – 9 inch pie crusts

sugar free blueberry pie5 c. fresh blueberries

3 tbsp arrowroot powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp lemon zest

1/2 tsp cinnamon (or 1 drop cinnamon bark essential oil)

1/4 – 1/3 c. liquid honey

Prepare pie crust – whether you are making your own or have purchased pre made. If you have made your own roll out crust and fit to bottom of pie plate. Crust should cover the bottom and up the sides and over the edges slightly.

Place fresh blueberries in bottom pie crust. Mix together cinnamon, salt and arrowroot powder together and sprinkle over blueberries (if you are using cinnamon bark essential oil in place of ground cinnamon omit here and add essential oil to honey before drizzling over blueberries). Measure honey (1/4 -1/3 cup depending on desired level of sweetness) and drizzle evenly over the blueberries.

Roll out second pie crust to cover the blueberries and to the edges of the crust. Leave enough so that you can press the crusts together and crimp the edges. If using pre made crust, place and fit crust over fruit similarly.

With a knife make small slits in top of crust – this is to allow for air and for juices to bubble. Place in a pre heated 425 F oven and bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes reduce heat to 375 F and bake for another 40 – 45 minutes until crust is golden brown.

Remove from oven and let cool. *Note you can cut pie while still warm but it will not have set and will likely have juices running out. Let cool completely if you’d like it set and to avoid this.

Yum! Enjoy 🙂sugar free blueberry pie