5 Non-Toxic Ways to Make Your Home Smell Like Christmas

Christmas

Most of us enjoy having a lovely smelling home.

Unfortunately you cannot just run to a local store and grab candles off the shelf and expect to have a toxic-free home.

Thanks to the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, companies that produce products like air fresheners for the home, are not required to put all the ingredients on the bottles and containers.

So that why it’s important to only buy from companies you can trust to be 100% toxin free, or to make air fresheners yourself.

In my post earlier this week, How Air Fresheners May Be Making You Sick, I covered just how toxic basically all traditional air fresheners are.  Whether it be candles, plug-ins, or room sprays, the chemicals in traditional air fresheners can leave you with health problems like allergies, sinus infections, asthma, and even contribute to cancer.

This does not have to be!  You can make your home smell wonderful any time of the year with scents that actually make you HEALTHIER!  

And since Christmas is right around the corner, I’m sharing Christmas scents specifically in this post.

So let’s make your home cozy and smelling like Christmas, shall we?

5 Non-Toxic Ways To Make Your Home Smell Like Christmas

1. Candles

Nothing spells home and coziness like the soft glow of a candle.  Just lighting unscented soy candles is cozy, but why not try some of these candles with a little scent derived from essential oils?  If you would like to add more scent to scented or unscented candles, just drop some essential oils on it before you burn it!

Here are some non-toxic candle options:

2. DIY Room Sprays

Room sprays offer a quick spritz of fresh air.  At this time of year they are a good option to use for spraying the Christmas tree with an oil like Pine Essential Oil to give it that pine smell, whether your tree is real or not.  I always have a real Christmas tree, but after a few days, the tree doesn’t give off its smell like it does at the beginning.

Basic Room Spray Recipe

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol, vodka, or real vanilla extract (You can buy the real stuff or save a ton of money by making your own.)
  • 20-50 drops of essential oil
  • Spray bottle (preferably glass)

Combine all ingredients in spray bottle and use!

Ok, so I know that 20-50 drops of essential oils is a huge range, and that’s because different essential oils have different strengths of smell.  You can really add as much as you wish.  You may want less than 20 or more than 50 when it’s all said and done.  I recommend starting out with 20 and adding more if you want a stronger scent.  You can use single essential oils (like cinnamon or peppermint), or you can use a combination of oils.  See the suggested oils to use and some recipe ideas below!

Note: The alcohol in this recipe is optional, but it does help preserve the spray to last a long time.  Without it, the spray will only be good for a week or so.

3. Wax Warmers

Wax warmers plug-ins like this one can be used with essential oils instead of wax.  Simple pour olive oil or coconut oil in the warmer and add essential oils of choice.  The typical recommendation is 1 drop of essential oil to 1 tsp of olive oil.  You can add more essential oil if you wish since this is not a mixture you are using on the skin.

Please note that heating the essential oils will kill the beneficial components, so you won’t be getting the healthy benefits out of the aroma (use a diffuser for that-details below), but using essential oils instead of wax is a healthier option than the toxic wax that is typical for the plugins.

Christmas EO

4. Diffuser

I absolutely love my diffuser.  Diffusers use only cold air to emit essential oil vapors, which does not damage the molecular structure or the therapeutic properties.  Diffusers can purify the air and send healing to your family.  They can also emit beautiful scents that put you in the mood for Christmas – it all depends on the essential oils you use!  This Breeze Diffuser is one excellent option!

5. DIY Simmering Potpourri

Simmering herbs, citrus peels and essential oils on the stove is another healthy way to fill your home with fragrance.

I have used this homemade Christmas scent on my stove and everyone who walked in the door declared how wonderful it smelled.

Homemade Christmas Scent

  • 3 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 1/8 Cup Whole Cloves
  • 1/8 Cup Peppermint Leaves
  • 1/2 Orange
  • 1/2 Lemon

Combine in a pan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and simmer on low for as long as desired.  Add more water as needed.

Try these other recipes too!

Christmas Essential Oils

Note: A few of my favorite places to buy essential oils that are of the best quality, and yet are affordable is at Beeyoutiful.

  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Bay
  • Pine
  • Cedarwood
  • Mandarin
  • Orange
  • Tangerine
  • Frankincense
  • Myrrh
  • Cedarwood
  • Cypress
  • Peppermint
  • Sandalwood
  • Geranium
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Cardamom

Christmas Essential Oil Blends

Here are a few essential oil blend ideas from The Complete Book Of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy.
Double or triple these recipes if using for the room spray recipe above:

Pine 4 drops
Mandarin 2 drops
Cinnamon 1 drop

Mandarin 4 drops
Geranium 1 drop
Cinnamon 1 drop

Cinnamon 1 drop
Clove 1 drop
Orange 2 drops
Mandarin 2 drops

Here are a few blends from The Prairie Homestead:

Woodsy Air Freshener

White Fir 7 drops
Cedar Wood 6 drops
Frankincense 5 drops

Cozy Holiday Air Freshener

Wild Orange 6 drops
Cassia 5 drops
Clove 5 drops

You can really blend any of the essential oils together for the fragrance you love!  It’s fun experimenting!

candle

Do you ever use any of these methods for a natural home fragrance?  What is your favorite Christmas scent?

Linked to: A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

This post was originally published on Nov 21, 2015.

DIY Essential Oil Rub To Avoid the Holiday Sniffles

Looking for a way to stay healthy this holiday season? Try this DIY essential oil rub to keep those holiday sniffles at bay!

(Be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post!)

I still remember my daughter lying on the couch on Christmas day listening to the rest of the family enjoy the festivities in the other room. A very not-so-merry virus had hit her and she couldn’t enjoy that holiday much at all. And I was right by her side sharing in her misery, because that’s what moms do.

Things could have been worse and I’m a firm believer that we can find something to be thankful for in every situation, BUT I like my children to be well as much as possible, and especially when they are looking forward to an event, such as a holiday!

My children do take vitamins, homemade probiotics, immune herbs, and eat healthy foods to support their system, but I also like to incorporate essential oils!

I’m going to share a simple DIY essential oil rub that you can use especially this holiday time of year when candy and baking are plentiful and your kids need that extra immune boost!

DIY Essential Oil Rub For the Holiday Sniffles

Let’s first talk about the power of these oils!

Clove Essential Oil

Use to relieve nausea, fight germs and bacteria. Buy here

Do not use this oil under age 2.

Lemon Essential Oil

When I think of lemon oil, my first thoughts go to its awesome smell and how great it works in homemade cleaners and room sprays, but this oil is also a good choice for illness! It’s a disinfectant, and it promotes lymphatic drainage, which helps you get over colds faster! Buy here

Cinnamon Essential Oil

Besides smelling like Christmas, cinnamon essential oil is also cleansing, relaxing, and helps support the respiratory system. Buy here

Do not use on children under age 10.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus is a great disinfectant, and also relieves colds and stuffy noses. Buy here

Do not use under age 10.

Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary relieves congestion and coughs, as well as having antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. It is said that judges in the middle ages burned rosemary to ward off any illnesses that people may bring to the place of judging. Using the essential oil has the same benefits! Buy here

Do not use on children under 10.

Tea Tree Essential Oil

This oil contains terpinen, the active ingredient responsible for the antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Tea tree oil is probably the first essential oil I was introduced to years ago. We still use it to protect ourselves from viruses, bacteria, and mold by inhaling itBuy here

eo rub

Immune Essential Oil Blend

Ingredients

20 drops clove essential oil
15 drops lemon essential oil
10 drops cinnamon essential oil
8 drops eucalyptus essential oil
5 drops rosemary essential oil
5 drops tea tree essential oil
6 oz. carrier oil (such as coconut, olive, jojoba, sweet almond, etc.)

Directions

  1. Blend ingredients in a dark glass container.
  2. Rub on soles of feet to prevent and help heal illnesses.

Immune Essential Oil Blend
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Ingredients
  1. 20 drops clove essential oil
  2. 15 drops lemon essential oil
  3. 10 drops cinnamon essential oil
  4. 8 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  5. 5 drops rosemary essential oil
  6. 5 drops tea tree essential oil
  7. 6 oz. carrier oil (such as coconut, olive, jojoba, sweet almond, etc.)
Instructions
  1. Blend ingredients in a dark glass container. Rub on soles of feet to prevent and help heal illnesses.
Notes
  1. If using on children under the age of 10, omit the essential oils that are not safe on those ages and adjust the carrier oil amount.
  2. To diffuse, omit the carrier oil and add essential oils to diffuser.
  3. For a room spray, add the essential oils to 6 oz. of water.
Jill's Home Remedies http://jillshomeremedies.com/
Christmas Blessings Pin_preview

Speaking of the holidays…

The giving season is upon us and I have partnered with 22 other bloggers to give TWO families $500 Paypal cash in the 4th annual Christmas Blessings Giveaway!

Our hope is to bless two families this year by allowing them to fulfill their kids’ Christmas wishes, pay off a bill, or to help build up their nest egg.  Whatever the money ends up being used for, our prayer is that it helps to lessen any financial burden and/or fills a specific need.

You can earn a lot of entries using the Rafflecopter form below. I know it can seem tedious and time consuming to go through all the entries, but isn’t a chance at $500 worth it? I think it is! Plus, if all of these generous bloggers didn’t participate, we wouldn’t have been able to have such big prizes! So I hope you will take the time to go through each entry. Who knows, maybe you will find some new blogs to follow.

The giveaway will run from Monday, November 13th through Wednesday, November 22nd (ends at 11:59pm EST). Winner will be notified by email shortly after the giveaway ends and will have 48 hours to respond to claim the prize or another winner will be drawn. You must have a Paypal account to win. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

10 Creative Ways to Use Quinoa

  Homemade Southwestern Mexican Quinoa Salad with Beans Corn and Cilantro

I said goodbye to white rice many years ago when I realized it was a fake food and not good for the body. [1] Instead, I switched to brown rice for our stir frys and similar meals. 

And yet a few years ago I read about an even healthier alternative: quinoa (pronouned KEEN-wah). Quinoa isn’t an actual grain, but a seed, and yet it can be used in a similar way as brown rice in recipes.

Here are a few benefits that will make you want to add it to your diet too!

Quinoa is: [2]

  • A complete protein food
  • Gluten-free
  • An anti-cancer food
  • Helpful for weight loss
  • Good for the heart
  • Good for bone health
  • Helpful in fighting diabetes

If you’re anything like me, you want recipes and ideas of how to use a new “superfood” that you’ve just been introduced to. Here’s 10 delicious ways you can add quinoa to your diet for your family’s good health!

10 Creative Ways To Use Quinoa

1. Quinoa On-The-Go Meals

Did you know quinoa is a complete protein food and assists in weight loss? Here's 10 creative ways to use quinoa for your family's good health!

As much fun as it is to add quinoa to recipes, my favorite way to eat this healthy food is in these on-the-go meals by Cucina & Amore  simply because they are yummy and a quick snack/meal I can grab on the go! These ready-to-eat meals are so convenient and healthy for those of us with busy lives. It’s far too easy for me to grab quick, unhealthy foods when I’m rushing here and there to sports practice and music lessons for my girls, or skipping meals altogether. These quinoa meals are ready to eat and require no refrigeration prior to opening. Plus, there’s a small fork included with the food. These people thought of everything!

If you don’t mind using a microwave, the containers the quinoa comes in are microwavable. However, I gave up microwaved foods long ago and enjoyed eating the contents at room temperature. The quinoa is already cooked and it was so tasty just simply eating at room temp! I received a box from Cucina & Amore to sample and thoroughly enjoyed each flavor. You guys, these meals were seriously so yummy. They come in 4 flavors:

  • Roasted Artichoke
  • Mango Jalapeno
  • Basil Pesto
  • Spicy Jalapeno & Roasted Peppers

I had such a hard time deciding which was my favorite, but I think the Spicy Jalapeno & Roasted Peppers ended up winning in the end (though all of the flavors are SO good). 

These meals are gluten and preservative free.

Check out these on-the-go meals here —>http://www.cucinaandamore.com/quinoa.html !

2. Farmer’s Market Quinoa Salad

Did you know quinoa is a complete protein food and assists in weight loss? Here's 10 creative ways to use quinoa for your family's good health!

I love salads and it’s important to get greens in your diet daily. This salad has a mixture of bright greens, cooked quinoa, and crunchy nuts.  

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/farmers-market-quinoa-salad

3. Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Did you know quinoa is a complete protein food and assists in weight loss? Here's 10 creative ways to use quinoa for your family's good health!

Oatmeal is a pretty basic breakfast in my house. We love it with cinnamon, butter, honey, and almond milk. This quinoa oatmeal recipe is a fabulous idea for a warm and nourishing breakfast!

https://www.loveandlemons.com/cinnamon-quinoa-breakfast-bowl/

4. Pizza Quinoa Burgers

Did you know quinoa is a complete protein food and assists in weight loss? Here's 10 creative ways to use quinoa for your family's good health!

Who doesn’t love pizza? Here’s a way to enjoy the pizza flavor with these quinoa pizza burgers! These meatless burgers are simple to mix up and fry!

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2017/02/02/quinoa-burgers-recipe/

5. Fruit Quinoa Pancakes

Did you know quinoa is a complete protein food and assists in weight loss? Here's 10 creative ways to use quinoa for your family's good health!

Have leftover cooked quinoa? Eat it the next morning in these fruit pancakes! Much more filling and nutritious than those traditional white-flour pancakes.

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1013615-quinoa-pancakes?mcubz=3

6. Pumpkin Spice Quinoa Breakfast Cookies

Did you know quinoa is a complete protein food and assists in weight loss? Here's 10 creative ways to use quinoa for your family's good health!

These pumpkin quinoa cookies are a perfect breakfast treat for the fall! You can substitute the all-purpose flour for soft white wheat or your favorite gluten-free flour.

http://www.skinnytaste.com/pumpkin-spice-quinoa-breakfast-cookies/

7. Quinoa Granola Bars

Crispy-Quinoa-Granola-Bars

These honey-sweetened granola bars are gluten-free and sweetened with honey and stevia!

https://www.simplyquinoa.com/crispy-gluten-free-granola-bars-with-quinoa/

8. Breakfast Cookies

56389472_breakfast-cookies_6x4

These wholesome, gluten-free cookies are just the thing to start you’re morning out with energy and good nutrition! This recipe calls for date paste, but you can also substitute 1/3 cup of bananas for sweetness.

https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/breakfast-cookies-56389472

9. Mexican Quinoa Nachos

nachos

Nachos are delicious, and adding protein-packed quinoa to it makes it a delicious and full meal!

http://thetraychic.com/2015/02/23/fully-loaded-mexican-quinoa-nachos/

10. Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa

enchilada

A crockpot full of delicious quinoa enchiladas is the perfect meal for a busy mom like me! Any meal I can throw together and forget about is on my to-make list! 

http://www.lecremedelacrumb.com/slow-cooker-enchilada-quinoa/

Let me know your favorite ways to eat quinoa!

 RESOURCES

  1. Axe, D. J. (2017, June 13). Refined Carbohydrates: Avoiding ‘White on Rice’. Retrieved September 26, 2017, from https://draxe.com/refined-carbohydrates-avoiding-white-on-rice/
  2. Boldt, E. (2017, September 18). Quinoa: the Complete Protein that Boosts Weight Loss Efforts. Retrieved September 26, 2017, from https://draxe.com/10-quinoa-nutrition-facts-benefits/