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Diffuser Care: How to Clean Your Diffuser Properly

 

It is extremely important to take care of our diffusers. For one, they are an investment. And two, they are incredibly beneficial to our health and well being.

There are different types of diffusers. Some use a candle to heat the oil in a small dish that sits above it. There are necklace and bracelet diffusers. Nebulizer diffusers. Ultrasonic diffusers. But for this post we will be talking about an ultrasonic diffuser.

I know what you are thinking right now. What is the difference between nebulizer diffuser and an ultrasonic diffuser? Here we go.

Nebulizer diffusers, allow you to put water and oil in a small reservoir and it pumps cool air through a chamber. This creates a fine mist to be pushed through an opening, which then, allows the oil molecules to be dispersed through the air more evenly. Nebulizer diffusers are beneficial because they do not heat the oil, making the oil last a lot longer.

Nebulizer diffusers are a great choice for a larger room that has high ceilings and where sound is not so much a factor. These diffusers tend to be have a bit more humming and more of a loud vibration.

Ultrasonic diffusers, is pretty much the same thing as a nebulizer diffuser in terms of how they work, however, it is extremely quite. Making ultrasonic diffusers a perfect choice when it comes to the bedroom. These diffusers work best in 400 square feet or smaller spaces. They only require a few drops of oil in order to make an impact on the room and you health. Ultrasonic diffusers tend to come with a dull night light, which makes them ideal for kids rooms.

Two birds, one stone? Umm, I think so y’all.

Now, because we use water in these diffusers, it is extremely important to clean them properly and regularly.

But why?

When regularly using anything that contains water, mold and bad bacteria have chances to grow. And let’s think about this for a minute, diffusers allow us to pump beneficial oils into the air right?! Well, they can also be pumping not so beneficial molds and bacterias into the air as well.

Umm yuck!

So let’s stick to pumping beautiful oils like, siberian fir and onguard into the air and not mold and bacteria, okay?! Let’s get to cleaning your diffuser yo!

Now full disclosure, I am pulling all these steps on how to properly clean your diffuser from the book, Aroma, from doTERRA. Which is an incredible diffuser book that has all kinds of recipes for ALL kinds of moods, months of the year and occasions.

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Y’all ready? Let’s roll!

First thing y’all want to do before we get deep into this mess, is know how to take apart your diffuser. There tends to be a cover that is on the underside of your diffusers lid, that can pop off. This tends to build up pink mold, usually associated with water. So, be sure to remove that cover and wash with soap and water.

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The middle piece clicks onto the underside of my diffuser lid.

Regularly Clean:

  • First, drain all the water from your diffuser.
  • Rinse water reservoir with clean water.
  • Take a dry towel and wipe entire reservoir.
  • Allow to air dry until next use.

Deep Clean:

  • Fill water reservoir half way with clean water.
  • Add 10 drops of white vinegar to water reservoir.
  • Turn on diffuser and allow to run for three to five minutes.
  • Drain water completely from reservoir.
  • Dip a Q-tip in vinegar and wipe small areas with Q-tip, as well as, the mist chip.
  • Rinse water reservoir with clean water.
  • Wipe entire reservoir with a dry towel.
  • Allow to air dry until next use.

This process is incredibly easy and incredibly necessary. I never realized how important this maintenance was until recently. We have diffusers in all rooms. They are an added benefit to my family’s health. And they need to be clean and pure, not only for our health but so that they do these amazing oils justice.

You can find diffusers on amazon. And they are good and all. But if y’all want this little bad boy that is pictures above. Head on over here. This little diffuser is fantastic. It is extremely small in size and perfect for any room including bedrooms. It has a delicate little mist that comes from it and it can fill the room with beautiful oils like no other. It is an ultrasonic diffuser so you barely hear anything from it. Which is super helpful when putting in the kids room.

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Now go clean that diffuser of yours yo!

Happy cleaning! AND Happy diffusing!

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Harvest Lemongrass

 

Ahhh lemongrass, how you smell so fresh and lively.

If you have never experienced lemongrass, I highly suggest you run right out and find yourself some and take a big fat inhale.

You will immediately feel ten pounds lighter in energy. Lemongrass has this incredibly clean, bright uplifting smell that can change your mood from crappy to dancing on roof tops within seconds.

Seriously.

Let’s talk about growing and harvesting lemongrass shall we.

Growing Lemongrass

Lemongrass, Cymbopogon Citrates, is incredibly easy to grow. It is a sub tropical plant, so it thrives in full sun and in warmer climates. If you can’t find yourself some already established plants, you can head on over to the grocery store (usually specialty stores) buy yourself some lemongrass, put it in some water and let it root on its own. Once roots appear, you can transplant it and….

BOOM SON, lemongrass be growin’.

Lemongrass is a huge fan of well drained soil. It grows to be tall grass like bushes, so be sure to give it some room to spread out. We planted our lemongrass at the top of our herb spiral and it just loved every ounce of life. If you are wondering what the F an herb spiral is, head on over here my friends.

Harvesting Lemongrass

Harvesting lemongrass is super easy. You want to make sure you allow the plant to grow at least 12 inches high before you harvest. Try and harvest lemongrass before the leaves turn brown. But you know what, life gets busy and I am here to tell you, it is going to be alright yo, if you have a few brown leaves just throw them back into the compost.

The cycle continues, right.

Anyway, there are a couple ways to cut the leaves to harvest. One way, the way we did, is to cut right above the stalk part of the plant. You know right before it gets thick toward the bottom. This method allows you to wrap the leaves easily. The second method is to cut the leaves all the way, leaving about 2 inches of plant left above the soil. This gives you a large portion of the stalk, which you can use for cooking, (stews, stir fry….) and with this method it would be best to hang dry.

Shall we go over both drying methods? I think so too.

Lemongrass wraps

Now let’s talk wrapping these mofo’s. Wrapping is super convenient for making tea. We discovered this method from Big City Gardener. You simply just take a little wrap out, place it in a mug, pour hot water and BAM….

Delicious lemongrass tea.

Ok. Let’s do this. First you want to harvest your herbs in mid day when they have had time to dry up from the morning dew. Always give your lemongrass enough time to grow, so allowing it to at least reach 12 inches high is best.

Cut your leaves above the stalk. Remove all brown leaves.

Rinse and allow to air dry completely before wrapping them.

Now take a small handful maybe about 10-15 leaves….Oh, and gloves might be a wise choice. Lemongrass is a bit sharp.

Wrap the leaves around your hand and twist the leaves so they bind together.

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Make a fist and hold the beginning of the wrap in your hand and simply twist the leaves and thread them through the loop you made with your hand. Twisting the leaves just allows the leaves to stay together and thread a bit easier.

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Continue to twist and loop through until all your leaves tighten into a wrap.

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Don’t worry about the loose leaves that refuse to twist and wrap. Just consider them rebels and still appreciate what they are going to do for your soul!

Place these wraps on a screen and allow to air dry anywhere from 2-6 weeks.

Once dried place in an air tight jar or bag, label, date and enjoy!

Loose Leaf Lemongrass 

The second method is incredible easy as well. Simply cut your lemongrass down to the stalk. Make little bunches and tie the stalk end with twine. Hang in a cool dark place for 2-6 weeks.

When done drying, you can throw the bunches in a food processor or high power blender and grind just enough util it gives you a loose leaf tea consistency.

You can use by placing a spoonful or two in a tea steeper and enjoying.

That is it y’all. Incredibly easy to grow and harvest lemongrass.

How do you enjoy lemongrass?

Happy harvesting!

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Herbal Remedies for Anxiety

 

Who doesn’t suffer from anxiety.

I mean, it is so unbelievably common these days. When you step back, if you can step back, and look around there are so many factors that heighten anxiety ALL. DAY. LONG. We live in a world of go go go and it never stops. We constantly feel like we have to keep up to survive. But in reality none of the things we dwell on matter. And yet we are so consumed with that feeling of tightness and tension that it becomes our reality.

I suffer from anxiety. 

I allow my mind to become consumed with unrealistic expectations. I get caught up in seeing on social media all the greatness others are doing and I get devoured by the awful feeling of “failure,” whatever that means. I allow unnecessary conversations to take place in my mind. But I tend to bring myself back to what is important. Sometimes it takes me longer than I’d like to admit but I usually find my center again. And believe me…

It’s hard.

It’s hard to realize that you’ve been living in that state of mind. It’s hard to see the beauty around you when that heaviness is upon you. It’s hard to breathe. It’s hard to appreciate. It’s even harder to pull yourself out of this state of mind.

But you can. Especially if you have the help of Mother Nature. She has strategically placed specific herbs on this earth for us to utilize. She has provided us with what we need to help keep us our optimal selves. And you know what…..

These herbs work. 

Here are a few ways I help deal with anxiety and living in an ugly state of mind. There is no one answer here though. You have to find what works for you, honestly. You have to put in the work to conquer it.

Herbal Remedies for Anxiety

  1. Yoga. I know, I know you’re probably thinking “oh goodness of course she said yoga.” But seriously yo, yoga is one of the only things that keeps me centered. It keeps me connected. It allows me to be open and accepting. Which in turn helps my body accept the help from Mother Nature and all she has to offer. Yoga teaches you how to be present. It teaches you what you are capable of, physically, mentally and spiritually.

Many will say to me, “I hate yoga, it just makes me more angry.” Doesn’t that tell you something? If yoga, one of the most peaceful practices in the world, makes you angry what are you really holding on to? Yoga is literally the connection of your breath to the movement of your body. The two things in this world that are truly yours. How can that make you angry?

What I have learned is that those who become angry during the practice are entering the practice with the wrong motive. There is ego present. Ego is telling you, you need to be better than the video you are watching or the person who is practicing next to you in class. But in reality, when you step onto that mat, it is just you and your breath. And when you learn how to connect your breath with the movement of your body…

You begin to see the beauty that surrounds you.

When I lose my balance, it is usually a direct result from losing the discipline of my daily practice. And that is when I become devoured by anxiety.

Along with yoga, I need….

2. Essential oils. Again, I know. It is such a hippie thing to say, but essential oils are Mother Nature’s powerhouses. Essential oils give you the opportunity to reap the benefits of herbs in such a small powerful dose. Essential oils are one of the only things that actually penetrate the blood brain barrier, providing you with incredible benefits in a timely manner. My go-to oils for anxiety are:

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Lavender, I mean that is a given, right?!? Lavender is such a beautiful oil that helps supports  your central nervous system. It allows your mind to reach a relaxed, more clearer state.

Balance, this is a grounding oil which is a delicate blend of oils that work cohesively to provide your mind and body the support it needs to overcome tense emotions.

Siberian Fir, which is heavenly to inhale. It can “help promote feelings of easy breathing, while calming the emotions and providing a grounding effect.”

Arborvitaemade from the tree of life. It is known to be a “powerful cleansing and purifying agent.” I use this during meditation as well. It is an incredible grounding oil.

Vetiver, is an incredible oil for anxiety and ADHD. According to Dr. Eric Z,

For Anxiety…

“The direct effects of aromatherapy inhalation on the limbic system (responsible for reason and choices, among other things) make it a perfectly suited remedy and tool for conditions like ADHD and anxiety, which can be a trigger for ADHD and like concerns.

A 2015 in vitro study compared the effects of vetiver oil with diazepam, a commonly used anxiety prescription. Again, these preliminary results show vetiver to be quite effective.”

For ADHD…

“While we often think of lavender as a calming oil, one study weighed the effects of lavender, cedarwood, and vetiver oils on children with ADHD. The study was small but the results were clear: vetiver was the strongest choice.

This simply study only asked parents to help their children smell the oil right from the bottle a few times each day. Off the record because it wasn’t part of the design, parents reported better attention and behavior from their children during the study period.”

These oils, I use topically in a roller bottle. And let me tell you, I roll that sh!t on me ALL. DAY. LONG. Another thing that has saved me on multiple occasions is wearing a diffuser necklace. I get laughed at all day because when crap is hitting the fan at work, I will mindlessly grab my necklace while I am talking with someone or thinking about my next move and I will just INHALE as if it were crack! I highly recommend a diffuser necklace or bracelet. I must tell you though, I do not wear bracelets, but I provided you a link to them to get you started but I have not purchased that specific product. The two necklaces that I provided links for, I have purchased and absolutely love.

Another way I use essential oils are internally. But I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH….Please, please use a high quality oil that is certified pure and can back its testing up. Oils are not FDA regulated and that means they can literally put anything in that little bottle and still be able to slap a “therapeutic grade, 100% pure” on it and call it a day. So please do your research and pick a company that you trust with your life because you literally are putting your life at risk when you put something into your body. Me and my family trust doTERRA. Click here to read why and make your own decision.

I simply place one drop of each oil in a capsule and take it one to two times a day. Here are the oils I am currently using.

Copaiba, “can help soothe anxious feelings and it can be applied to the skin to promote a clear, smooth complexion. Taken internally, Copaiba essential oil supports the health of the cardiovascular, immune, digestive, nervous, and respiratory systems.”

Vetiver, has calming and grounding effects. It also has been known to help support ADHD.

Lavender, well because lavender is just a beautiful medicinal herb and calms my soul nicely.

3. I use tinctures. Man oh man, these tinctures save me. They go straight to work the moment I take them and I am so thankful for their healing properties. I use…

Bring Me Peace, which is a beautiful blend of lavender, chamomile, feverfew and lemon balm. All herbs that make the mind more restful and focused.

Rosemary, which is an incredible herb for the brain. It helps with memory, focus, depression and so much more.

All other tinctures available in our shop are used daily for various things but for the sake of anxiety, along with everything else mentioned above, I use these two every morning. And if you are new to tinctures grab our Complete Guide to Tinctures eBook to help you feel a little more confident.

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4. Smudging. When I feel like I just need a little extra something, I will smudge myself with sage. White sage has spiritual healing properties that will cleanse your soul of all that is negative. It is such an incredible experience but you have to be open and willing to accept its healing powers.

Anxiety is a part of everyones daily life. Mother Nature has provided us with all we need to keep our selves healthy. Allow yourself to be open. Allow yourself to feel what you feel then release that energy as best as possible.

We need to help guide each other out. If you found this post to be helpful, we would love to hear your feedback. If you have any suggestions and want to share how you help your anxiety, please leave a comment below. You can potentially be helping another readers tremendously.

Happy living in peace!

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Homemade Dog Treats

 

Well homemade dog treats is kind of misleading. These dog treats are made out of chicken feet. Wait, let me correct that, they ARE chicken feet. Just dehydrated.

Should I change the title of the post? I mean, they are homemade and they are the perfect treat for dogs.

Ah F it. Homemade dog treats it is.

If y’all didn’t read the last post about our chickens, take a gander. We unfortunately had to get rid of our chickens sooner than expected. These ladies were our first major step towards our homesteading journey and our intention was to love them, allow them to be chickens and then they would provide us with food at the end of their production.

The time had come and even though we tried to chicken out, literally, we stuck to our intention and butchered our first chickens. A more in-depth post on our experience is coming soon I promise. It was nothing like we expected. It was harder than we ever imagined.

But let’s get on with our dog treats shall we. Unfortunately, the only salvageable part of our butchered chickens were their feet. Again, a more in-depth post will come soon.

Their feet, being the only thing we were able to save, were dehydrated and made into perfect dog treats for our pup Angus.

It was super simple to. Ready to hear how to do it?

All you need:

Dehydrator

Chicken feet…….obviously

All you do is:

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  • Soak chicken feet in a bowl of water over night. This helps get all the dirt off their feet.
  • After soaking run under water and scrub feet with a bristle brush. Using soap is not necessary. Be sure to scrub off as much dirt as possible.

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  • Next, you want to clip off their nails.

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  • Bust out that dehydrator of yours and lay the feet on a tray.
  • Now, turn that bad boy on and let it go for about 24-48 hours. Or until they become super crispy. You will know they are ready when you try to bend a toe back and it breaks off without bending. If it bends, even a little, let it keep going. I think ours actually took about 3 days.

***Small tip, plug the dehydrator in the garage if available. Not like the dehydrator is super loud but it can be annoying to listen to after about an hour. In the garage, it’s away doing its bad boy thing.

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That is is y’all. Super easy and your pup gets insanely delicious healthy treats.

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Happy dehydrating!

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Pressure Cooker Beef Stew

Pressure Cooker Beef Stew

Pressure Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

When the slightest bit of cool weather starts to roll in, we get way more excited than we probably should. We live where it is F-ing hot ALL. THE. TIME. Last thanksgiving; you know thanksgiving, a cold holiday that should be filled with sweaters and fireplaces lit, well, we had the air conditioning going. So, needless to say, we get super pumped the moment the temperatures drop to the 70’s.

Anyway, we have been fortunate enough to get a break from the heat. That means, our bellies want comfort food like beef stew and chili.

And tonight we made beef stew. My old recipe called for a cook time of, pretty much, all day. This recipe calls for the same delicious ingredients but a cook time of 45 minutes. How you ask?

Pressure cooker yo!

I’m telling ya, y’all need to get one of these bad boys. They are freaking fantastic. The meat comes out perfect every time.

Y’all ready to do this?

Pressure Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

Pressure Cooker Beef Stew

Don't waste your time in the kitchen cooking stew all day. Throw some goodness in the pressure cooker and it's done in half the time.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Beef Stew, Stew
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Depressurize 15 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Krystal Smith

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Tri Tip
  • 5-6 Carrots
  • 4-5 Celery Sticks
  • 4-5 Red Potatoes
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion
  • 2-3 Zucchini
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves
  • 4 Cups Beef Stock
  • 2 Tbs Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tbs Flour or Corn Starch
  • Olive Oil
  • Seasoning
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2-3 Fresh sprigs of rosemary

Instructions

  1. First thing first, Cut up all your veggies into quarter inch nice size pieces. 

  2. Cut tri tip into about 1/2 inch cubes. Season those bad boys up with all the goodness you can think of. My favorites are porterhouse, TexJoy steak seasoning and Lawry's season salt.

  3. Start the saute button on your pressure cooker. When ready add in your olive oil and brown your onions. Then throw all other veggies in except for the potatoes and cook enough to get the flavors blended together. About 5-7 minutes. 

  4. Next, add in your stock, potatoes, bay leaves and rosemary sprigs.

  5. In a small bowl mix your tomato paste with a small amount of water. Just enough to mix it well. Then add it into your mixture. 

  6. Now, heat a large skillet on high heat. Add some olive oil, bacon grease or butter, whatever tickles your fancy, and brown your meat. This seals in all the flavor and juices so be sure to not skip this part. 

  7. Once brown go ahead and throw them delicious pieces of meat into your even more delicious pot of soon to be stew. 

  8. Last thing, add your flour or corn starch. In a small bowl mix your flour or corn starch with just enough water to mix it. And pour it into your pot.

  9. Slap a lid on this puppy and cook it on high pressure, meat/stew setting for about 35 minutes. Allow the pressure cooker to depressurize naturally. This will add another 15 minutes to the cook time.

  10. Boom son, get ready to enjoy a super delicious bowl of beef stew that will literally melt in your mouth. 

Recipe Notes

Cooking this easy meal on Sunday will allow you to have left overs throughout the week. Making your life so much easier. And if you find yourself not finishing the whole batch even with having left overs, measure out portions and use your Food Saver to package it up and freeze it. On those nights where you can't get your life together, pull a bag or two out of the freezer and heat those bad boys up! Again, making your life so much easier. 

Let me know how this recipe turns out for you. I would love to hear feedback or questions you may have.

Happy stew making!

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