7 Reasons to Purchase an Essential Oil Diffuser

Essential oil diffusers seem to be gaining popularity. You can find them in more and more stores these days (even Target!). I have even been coming across different products containing essential oils. I first discovered the essential oil diffuser about a year ago. It seemed like such a great way to add wonderful scents to the home. What I didn’t realize was that the essential oils being emitted into the air can have such a positive effect on your mind and body!

Remember when you are purchasing essential oils you want to make sure that the oils are organic and sourced properly. The oil blends that I am showing you on today are from Healing Solutions. Although, on the Healing Solutions website it’s stated that the oils are pure and high quality they are not organic. For that reason, this set would not be my first choice but it was gifted to me so it is what I have been using. Even though they are not organic they still smell wonderful but for that reason, I probably wouldn’t add them to any skincare products.

As always it is important to do your research (especially if you’re pregnant or taking specific medications) the effects certain oils can have so I recommend reading this article from The Wellness Mama for more information before diving in and trying them out!

1. Safer than traditional candles or incense

With an oil diffuser, you don’t have to worry about the dangers of an open flame and you can leave it on unattended for several hours. Not only that but traditional candles and incense contain toxic chemicals that are released into the air once lit. Some of these hazardous chemicals are benzene and toluene which can cause allergies, asthma, and even cancer. There is a great deal of research that backs up these claims and I can’t even begin to explain it here. If you want more information to check out The Wellness Mama and this Huffington Post article.

2. Pain Relief

Certain essential oils can actually aid in pain relief. In fact, I have two blends that are for pain relief! One is for headaches and the other is for tense muscles. When you use an essential oil diffuser you are breathing in the essential oils which then, in turn, has a positive effect on your mind and body.

The set from Healing Solutions came with 2 blends for pain relief:

Deep Muscle Relief – Wintergreen, Peppermint, Chamomile Blue, Eucalyptus, Camphor Oils

Head Ease – Lavender, Peppermint, Wintergreen, Basil, Frankincense, Rosemary, Sweet Marjoram, Sweet Orange Oils

3. Relaxation and Sleep

When you use essential oils such as lavender and chamomile it has a relaxing effect on the brain helping you to relax faster and fall soundly asleep. I enjoy letting my diffuser in my room run for about an hour before I start winding down for the day so when I walk in I can instantly smell the lavender and feel relaxed. I also try to take a few breaths inhaling the scent and maybe even doing a few yoga moves before I turn in for the night.

Good Night Blend – Chamomile, Clary Sage, Copaiba, Lavender, Peru Balsam, Sandalwood, Sweet Marjoram, Ylang Ylang

The Stress Relief Blend is also really good for relaxation

Stress Relief – Bergamot, Patchouli, Blood Orange, Ylang Ylang, Grapefruit Oils

4. Can aid in purifying the air

Just like the rock salt lamp post I did a few months ago, the essential oil diffuser can aid in purifying the air! Certain oils such as thyme, clove and cinnamon bark can actually kill fungus and bacteria in the air! This can help to keep yucky viruses out of the home causing you to experience fewer coughs and colds. I do notice a difference in the air quality when I have my diffuser on. It’s almost like a humidifier in how it makes the quality of the air so much fresher.

5. Breathe Easy

I absolutely loved my diffuser when I was all stuffed up in the winter! I used the breathe right blend to help me to breathe better. Perfect for those days when you’re feeling stuffy or can’t stop coughing. Inhale deeply and it will really clear out the nasal passageways!

Breathe Blend – Peppermint, Rosemary, Lemon, Eucalyptus

6. Mood Booster

Feeling down? Essential oils can help uplift and boost your mood! Lemon, sweet citrus, lavender and rosemary oils all have uplifting and energizing properties.

7. Immunity Booster

Essential oils carry out nutrients and oxygen which can aid in boosting your immune system. Perfect for the cold winter months when viruses like the flu and colds are spreading. Lavender, peppermint, and lemon are just some of the essential oils you can use to boost your immune system.

Health Shield Blend – cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, lemon, rosemary oils

Since I have gotten my diffuser I use it pretty much every day and it makes such a big difference in the way I feel! My favorite is the good night blend. It smells so good and makes me feel super relaxed at night!

Even if you don’t have an essential oil diffuser there are so many ways to use these oils and benefit from them in your everyday life. You can add them to lotions, homemade cleaning products, homemade body scrubs or shower gels.

Do you use essential oils? How do you use them?

For More Information on Essential Oils Check These Articles Out!

Essential Oil Haven – Understanding Essential Oil Diffusers Better
Natural Living Ideas – Essential Oil Diffuser Benefits
Very Well – Essential Oils for Mood

My Experience at The Goodfest Wellness Festival in Philly

I first heard about The Goodfest on Kaite Dalebout’s Let it Out Podcast. There aren’t really any wellness events in my area. To make matters worse, it can even be difficult to find certain health products or fitness classes. So, you can understand how this event caught my attention!

Here is a little more info about the event!

The Goodfest website described the event as “an all-day event created to ignite your passion for wellness and inspire you to achieve your GOOD life.” So what does this wellness festival actually consist of? Throughout the day you hear from several speakers who share their life journey and offer information on how you can live your best life. In between sessions you get to indulge in some yummy snacks and explore the marketplace. The marketplace was full of vendors selling healthy food, natural skincare products, and sustainable fashion. In addition to being able to purchase products at the marketplace, I received a swag bag valued at over $100. I will be showing off the goods in my swag bag in another post, so keep an eye out!

If you read my New Year’s post back in January, I have decided to choose a word for the year instead of making a New Year’s resolution. The word that I chose was connect! I wanted to use this year to connect with myself and other people. At first, I was hesitant to attend the event because I did not have anyone to go with. But then I thought what better way to connect with other people than to attend an event where the women attending have similar interests? It is always strange to go somewhere new all by yourself. But you know what they say, you gotta get comfortable with being uncomfortable! Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is the only way to experience personal growth!

The Events

The first event of the day was a yoga/pilates fusion session. Since I bought my ticket late, I missed out on the opportunity to participate. However, judging by the pics on Instagram the session looked incredible! Next year I will make sure to get my ticket early so I don’t miss out on a thing!

 

Session #1

Meditation and Intention Setting with Cassandra Bodzak

The first speaking session was Meditation and Intention Setting with Cassandra Bodzak, a meditation, and holistic lifestyle expert. Cassandra told us her story about how she was led to mediation after her brother was diagnosed with a terminal illness (Thankfully is now in stable condition). After she told her story she led us through an amazing/emotional (well at least for me) meditation, followed by a fun little dance party to shake out all of the energy that we built up during the meditation. At first, you could tell that some women felt uncomfortable dancing, but after a minute or two everyone started to let go.

Talia of Party In My Plants blog and podcast was the host for the day!

Session #2

A Guide to Eating Real with Jessica Murnane of One Part Plant

The second session was A Guide to Eating Real with Jessica Murnane of One Part Plant. Jessica told us about her struggle with endometriosis and how she uses a plant-based diet to control her symptoms. Throughout her session, Jessica gave us tips on how to incorporate more plant-based foods into our diet. She also included a list of inexpensive items to stock the pantry with. After that presentation, I had to pick up her book! Simple, healthy and delicious recipes, how could I say no?

After the first two sessions were over it was time for lunch! Snap Kitchen of Philadelphia provided these delicious salads and noodles for lunch. Snap Kitchen also provided two different chicken options.

There were also three VIP sessions with either Jordan Younger- of the Balanced Blonde, Cassandra Bodzak author of Eating with Intention, and Jessica Murnane of One Part Plant with Katie Horwitch of Women Against Negative Talk. VIP tickets were a bit pricier, but it is something to consider saving up for next year.

 

Session #3

Spark Joy with Katie Dalebout

After lunch, it was onto session three, Spark Joy, with podcast host and author Katie Dalebout. Katie spoke about how to create a life worth living and achieving a life of balance. She also spoke about body image and how we are conditioned as a society to believe that certain body types are either good or bad. She mentioned that even in children’s movies the villain often has a larger body type and is labeled “ugly” while the main character is a “beautiful princess” with an itty bitty waist. It was an interesting observation because I never thought about how children’s movies often portray the villains as larger or are said to be “ugly” (such as the ugly stepsisters in Cinderella). This proves how the importance of being thin and “beautiful” is fed to us at such an early age. It becomes ingrained in our minds that we have to look a certain way in order to be valued. It was an interesting perspective that I had never thought about before.

Session #4

Real Life Routines Panel

This panel was like listening to a podcast IRL(in real life)! The panel consisted of Sara Divello yoga teacher and author, Kimmie Smith a celebrity fashion stylist and co-founder of Athleisure Mag, Gianne Doherty co-founder of Organic Bath Co. and founder of The W.E.L.L. Summit and Katie Dalebout.  The women answered questions about their morning/bedtime rituals, how they take time for self-care, what they enjoy cooking, and how they balance work with their personal lives. I always love hearing about how other people live their lives and what they do to take care of themselves. It was an interesting discussion and I will be taking away bits and pieces of advice to use in my own life.

Session #5

Katie Horwitch, founder of Women Against Negative Talk

The final session was with Katie Horwitch, founder of Women Against Negative Talk (WANT for short). Katie spoke a bit about her life growing up, an experience in college, and her insecurities. Most of all she spoke about fear and how to push through it and get over a lack of self-trust. She gave actionable steps to take when feeling fearful and unworthy. Her session was about shifting that negative mindset and learning the tools that can help push you forward instead of letting fear hold you back.
Katie had incredible energy on the stage and her talk was the perfect way to end a day of inspiration and wellness!

The Goodfest was 7 hours of inspiration, connecting with like-minded women and learning more about health. If you have never attended an event like this I would encourage you to check it out. You will learn so much and get to meet new people with similar interests.

Did you get a chance to experience The Goodfest? If so, what was your experience like? If not, would you consider attending this festival or one similar? The Goodfest dates are not posted for next year but I definitely want to make an effort to go. It was such an inspiring and fun experience!

13 Paleo, Gluten or Dairy Free Easter Dessert Recipes

Paleo, Gluten and Dairy Free Easter Recipe Ideas

Easter is almost here and I have been searching Pinterest all week for some interesting and healthier desserts to make. I wanted to keep whatever I am going to be making gluten and dairy free as there are some people in my family who are avoiding them at the moment.

There are so many pretty and delicious looking ideas on Pinterest that I am having a hard time deciding what to make! I was thinking I would go the vegan cheesecake route but then I heard the Pale Lemon Cupcakes calling my name!

Maybe you could help me decide what to make!

Paleo, Gluten or Dairy Free Easter Dessert Recipes

Paleo Lemon Cupcakes from PB Fingers

Lemon is a classic this time of year and these cupcakes look amazing. I love how she topped them with a little slice of lemon for decoration.

Copycat Cadbury Creme Eggs from Hold the Grain

Normally I wouldn’t bother recreating candy that you could buy at the store but sadly Cadbury Creme Eggs are not gluten free. This recipe seems easy so I am considering making it. I mean what is easter without Cadbury Creme Eggs?

Vegan Cheesecake Recipe
Image courtesy Chocolate Covered Katie

Rainbow Unicorn Cheesecake Bars by Chocolate Covered Katie

I have been seeing unicorn everything lately. Unicorn lattes, toast, makeup brushes, you name it! So why would cheesecake be any different? This is another recipe that’s visually stunning and sure to impress.

No-Bake Cadbury Mini Egg Balls from North South Blond

These mini egg balls are in cookie dough form (eggless) and couldn’t be cuter! Anything that involves cookie dough is alright with me! They are simple to make, so even if I don’t make them for Easter I will be trying these out another time!

Chocolate Caramel Easter Eggs from The Pretty Bee

Chocolate and caramel one of my favorite combinations. Can’t go wrong with this Cadbury Caramel Egg inspired recipe

Carrot Cake Fudge from Purely Twins

Carrot cake fudge?? I would have never though to create a fudge recipe inspired by carrot cake! It seriously sounds so good and looks pretty too!

Superfood Berry Cashew Cream No-Bake Bars by Food Faith Fitness

These no-bake bars are so pretty! I love the layered look and the fact that it sneaks in some spinach. Perfect for spring time!

4 INGREDIENT PALEO CHOCOLATE COCONUT CUPS By Beaming Baker

These cups are so cute and seem very easy to make especially since they are no bake. I love almost anything that includes coconut and the addition of chocolate is even better!

Vegan Cheesecake
Photo Courtesy of the Minimalist Baker

7 Ingredient Vegan Cheesecake by Minimalist baker

I have been dying to make vegan cheesecakes but so many recipes seem too complicated. This 7 ingredient recipe looks easy enough to master by easter!

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars by Le Petit Eats

I saw these on Pinterest and I had to include them on this list. They are so cute and as I already mentioned I love anything with cookie dough!

Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake by Lazy Cat Kitchen

Oh my gosh! This is just about the prettiest cheesecake I have ever seen! The pretty pink color and how she decorated the cake with flowers and strawberries. It is just perfection! I’m sure this recipe will be quite impressive to your guests.

Which ones would you like to try? I’m still undecided so help me out and let me know in the comments!

Green Tea Lover’s Oatmeal Recipe

 

Green tea and oatmeal two of my biggest breakfast obsessions. I decided that I needed to combine these two ingredients to make the ultimate breakfast oatmeal made with green tea! Beware! This oatmeal has a very strong green tea flavor so if you aren’t a green tea lover like I am then it might not be for you.

For this recipe, I used matcha green tea powder. Matcha green tea powder is just ground green tea leaves, which means it has a very strong green tea flavor and is packed with antioxidants! In Japan, this is the powder that is used for the tea in their traditional tea ceremonies. You can find matcha powder at your local Asian market, online or at Teavana.

Green Tea Matcha Powder from the Asian Market

Image by Akuppa John Wigham from Flickr

Blueberry Power!!

 

Green Tea Lovers Oatmeal

1/2 Cup quick oats

1 Cup freshly brewed green tea

1 Tsp. Matcha green tea powder

Handful of blueberries (optional)

1/2 Packet of Stevia or sweetener of choice (optional)

Splash of milk, almond milk or coconut milk

Brew a cup of your favorite green tea. While the tea is brewing pour oats into a microwavable bowl. Once the tea is ready, pour 1 tsp. matcha powder into the brewed green tea and stir until it is dissolved. Pour over the oats, and microwave for about a minute and a half. Top with blueberries, sweetener and a splash of milk for added creaminess. 

If you’re curious as to why I love green tea so much check out this link!

There you have it! A simple and healthy oatmeal recipe. What are your favorite oatmeal recipes? Do you love matcha green tea as much as I do? Let me know in the comments or on social media!

 

Spring FabFitFun Unboxing

I have been waiting for my Spring FabFitFun box to arrive and it is finally here! My box arrived on the first day of spring and I couldn’t be more excited! If you haven’t heard of FabFitFun then be sure to check out my previous post about the welcome box!

Isn’t the yellow and purple box so lovely and perfect for the season?

This month FabFitFun featured seven female-founded brands. Which is quite fitting since it is Woman’sHistory Month! Many of the brands included are cruelty-free, ethical, natural and built around positivity.

Here is what came in this month’s bag

Gypsy 05 Roundie $50

The Gypsy Roundie is a cute patterned blanket that you can use for a picnic, the beach, table top cover, or to throw on your sofa. It is made of 100% cotton and has a fun tassel trim! I will definitely be taking this to the park and the beach this season!

Milly Zip Pouch $45 Slay All Day

This canvas pouch is perfect for using as a cosmetics bag or for keeping items organized in your work bag. It is lined on the inside so you can even use it to hold your wet bathing suit in the summer time! It’s so cute I would honestly consider using it as a clutch because girl, I Slay!

Briogeo Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray $20

Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin and Nails Gummies $4.99

This leave-in conditioning spray states to add softness, eliminates frizz and even protects from heat and UV rays. The formula contains a blend of rosehip, argan and coconut oils and can be used on wet or dry hair. I can’t wait to try it as it is also free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.

Also pictured is Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin, and Nails Gummies. Consuming more Biotin is supposed to help you to grow longer, stronger hair and nails.

Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Age Defying Exfoliator $79

This exfoliating scrub is good for multiple skin types and will help to improve dullness, fine lines, and blemishes. The formula contains aluminum oxide crystals, lactic acid, and botanicals which brushes away dead skin cells. This item like all others in the FabFitFun box does not contain sulfates or phthalates.

Karuna Hydrating + Face Mask $28

I am really excited to try this product because I have yet to try out face mask sheets! A while back I posted a picture on my Instagram of a cute strawberry sheet mask but I still have not tried it! This face mask might be just what I need because I have super dry skin! I’ll take anything that will help hydrate my skin. According to the Sephora website “In a clinical test on 20 subjects, ages 18 to 60: – 40% increased hydration”. Among the ingredients in the formula, it contains a blend of hyaluronic acid and peptides, as well as aloe vera and chamomile to hydrate.

Realher Lip Kit in Neutral Pink – Woman Rule the World $48

Realher was started by Bill Xiang for his little girl Yarie! The brand name is a combination of Yarie (rie for short) and her (because it was created for her). Xiang wanted to create a makeup brand that would empower women by putting a motivational quote on each of their products. Not only is the brand inspirational but all of the profits go to AAUW which is a non-profit organization that advances equality for women and girls!

Emerald DUV Joshua Tree Cage Bracelet $80

This is a statement bracelet and I can’t wait to rock it! It is a very light item which makes for comfortable wear.

Deborah Lippman Nail Polish Set in Shape of My Hear /Like a Virgin $19

A portion of the proceeds of this polish set goes to the MORE THAN ME Foundation. These mini sized nail polishes are great for travel and the colors are soft neutrals so they go with everything. Soft pinks are a must have this spring so this is the perfect set to complement your wardrobe!

If you have a subscription to FabFitFun then you have the option of adding products to your spring box. Here are a few of the items I purchased.

Add On’s

ISH Party in Pink Duo $24 and ISH Gold Bomb $22

Modcloth Scarf Red/Tan $24

This time around FabFitFun was offering a mystery bundle and I just couldn’t resist. I had to know what was inside!

Mystery Bundle $29

ISH Gold Bomb $22 (Darn! I shouldn’t have purchased it as an add on!)

Dr. Brant Power Dose D Sunshine Vitamin For Skin $55

Burn “Hinoki Temple” Scented Medallion and Refresher Oil

Stay tuned for more information and reviews on the add-ons!

I will also be doing individual makeup reviews/looks for the ISH products.

Did you get the FabFitFun box? If so what were your favorite products? And if not do you subscribe to any other boxes? Let me know in the comments or on social media!

7 Reasons to Buy a Himalayan Salt Lamp

This is more than just a funky looking lamp!

Here are 7 unexpected benefits to keeping a Himalayan salt lamp in every room.

Himalayan salt lamps seem to be having a moment. I first heard about these lamps a few years ago when I discovered it on Vitacost.com. I thought they were so pretty but I didn’t really know much about them and the thought of getting one just slipped my mind for the next few years. Fast forward to 2016 when I was visiting a friend of mine, I noticed what appeared to be a bowl that was made up of salt “Oh my goodness is that a Himalayan salt lamp?” I asked. Sure enough, it was and she started to tell me some of the benefits of having one your home.

Here are 7 reasons why it is beneficial to keep a Himalayan salt lamp in your home!

  1. It’s Pretty – Maybe this isn’t the most important reason to own a Himalayan salt lamp but it’s my favorite reason. They look amazing! I love the texture of the lamp and how they aren’t quite perfect looking. The orangey glow is another reason I covet this lamp. It’s so nice to turn out the lights at night and cuddle up next to the mysterious orange glow. Not to mention if you take a selfie by the glow your skin will look awesome!
  2. Purifies air – Has the ability to remove air contaminants such as smoke, pollen, and dust.
  3. Reduces allergies – Since the lamp has the ability to remove contaminates from the air it can reduce the symptoms of allergies and even the common cold.
  4. Releases Negative Ions – Salt lamps emit negative ions into the air. Why is this a good thing you ask? Well according to WebMD negative ions “are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy.”  This is important because we are constantly being surrounded by appliances, computers and other electronics that emit positive ions. Positive ions deplete us of our energy, increases anxiety, causes difficulty breathing among many more negative outcomes. The salt lamp works to release negative ions which can help to counter those effects.
  5. Relaxing color – The orange glow of the lamp may have positive effects on your mood and can even work as an alternative to a night light. They can be used with out disturbing sleep patterns and they give a nice softness to whatever room you are in.
  6. Environmentally friendly – Many lamps use sustainable wood and the salt is natural so you know it is safe for the environment. Not only that but they generally use up very little energy.
  7. Inexpensive – These lamps are generally inexpensive and are becoming more readily available. I have this one from Amazon but they are also available at Bed Bath and Beyond and Vitacost.com.

There are actually a bunch more reasons why you might want to get a salt lamp. And if you’re interested in more of the science behind why it’s a great addition to your home check out the links below. Do you have a Himalayan salt lamp? If so how do you like it and can you tell any difference in air quality? Let me know below.

Coconut Craze Granola [Recipe]

granola

Coconut Granola

For the past few days, I have had a huge hankering for a bowl of crunchy sweet granola. For me, granola is a comfort food, it’s right up there with mac and cheese, garlic mash, and a hot cup of coffee (I wouldn’t eat that all at once of course…….or would I hmmm).

Whenever I make granola, I like to peek inside my cabinets and throw in whatever dried fruits and nuts I have.After noticing the amount of dried coconut I had in my cabinets, I decided to go with a coconut granola. I already had an opened can of coconut milk in my fridge, so I went ahead and added a bit to my granola. Since the coconut milk adds a little bit more moisture, you are going to have to bake the granola for a little longer than usual in order to dry it out, but it’s worth it! I think that this recipe would also taste great with some coconut extract for an extra kick of flavor and maybe even some dried pineapple or mango. Try it out and let me know what you think!

 

Coconut Granola