“Why Don’t You Just Distill Your Own?” Essential Oils and Permaculture

Some things you ought to know about us: We’re avid gardeners and DIY enthusiasts. I pride myself on my wardrobe being almost entirely second-hand. My husband is permaculture-certified, and I’m trained as a Texas Master Naturalist. Despite being hopeless foodies, we’re not big on consumer culture!

That said, a question I get asked a lot is,

“Why don’t you just distill your own essential oils? You grow many of the plants already. Why buy essential oils from a flashy MLM company like dōTERRA?”

I think people must assume that because we are into DIY, sustainability, and lowering our consumer impact, that buying lovely little bottles from dōTERRA doesn’t fit in with our values. Continue reading

Gardening: The Lazy Way. Quick Tips to Grow Food Naturally

Gardening is at the core of our lifestyle. It’s health and hobby in one…but I seem to be a specialist in #NeglectGardening!

I forget to water. I miss the planting windows. I hardly ever weed.

And YET – we have consistent yields of wild, incredible abundance even from our “flawed” efforts. Gardening is a beautiful lesson-in-motion, that proves if something is worth doing at all, it’s worth doing badly.

Here’s some of my best quick tips to grow food and start gardening, even if you’ve never grown a houseplant.

All links in this post go to TheHomestead.Guru, a fantastic homesteading blog that I used to write for regularly!

//  We plant using companion relationships – such as tomatoes, carrots and basil; or the “three sisters”, corn, beans, and squash. It might sound funny, but some plants are “companions” – they do better when grown next to each other. Then again, other plants don’t get on as well…for example, tomatoes hate cucumbers! Continue reading

Essential Oil Ethics: Are they Sustainable?

Is it Irresponsible to use Essential Oils?? Hardly. 

Occasionally I’ll hear someone on a rant about how ALL corporations are evil – and ANY essential oils being marketed today are unethical to purchase and use.

They say that essential oil production is exploitative – little more than greenwashed consumerism! Continue reading

doTERRA’s testing on foreskin?? Here’s the deal.

It’s time to make something clear about doTERRA’s testing practices. I’m seeing half a story being passed around, and people are jumping to vilify doTERRA before they consider all the facts.

Recently, this study on Frankincense essential oil and this one on Lemongrass essential oil were released, and the ‘crunchy’ part of the internet got outraged.

They say doTERRA’s testing their essential oils on discarded foreskins from infant circumcisions! GROSS, right?

People are up in arms, saying doTERRA’s in the pocket of big pharma, and that they’re profiting off circumcision.

They’re even saying doTERRA is a pro-circumcision corporation.

To all of that, I call bullshit.

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The Zombie Apocalypse Is Already Happening

I wrote this in a dark mood at 4am…but I think the analogy holds true. 

We are currently in the midst of the biggest zombie apocalypse–it’s already happening, but most people are completely unaware of it.

Zombies are little more than purposeless bodies, devoid of soul. They’re reanimated corpses, aimlessly wandering and destroying all life they come across.

Think all those zombie movies were just entertainment? Think again.

Now, think critically and realize that this is exactly what we’re seeing every Black Friday–people who have willingly given up their humanity to the God of Shopping. We live in a society where people are willing to wait in line for six hours to buy the latest iPhone.

The masses are infected.

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Can you Unschool a Toddler?

Is unschooling just for younger kids?

It might seem that way to some folks.. There’s lots of people I meet who have a toddler and an infant, or perhaps a 3.5 yr old child, who are interested in unschooling–which is fantastic!

I’m always really glad to see parents of younger kids who are already questioning the status quo.

Maybe they’re even ruffling a few feathers in their social circles because their kiddo’s not on a waitlist for daycare, or registered for soccer, ballet, and three other kinds of lessons/classes/activities.

I think many folks approach unschooling from the attachment parenting perspective, where you’re listening to your child’s cues and looking for opportunities to invite them to try new things, instead of forcing independence on them like a shoe that doesn’t quite fit yet.

I’ve seen parents of 18-month olds saying, we’re unschooling!

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Raising Kids Beyond Religion: A Booklist

Yes, I said “beyond” religion. I am not a fan of the concept that there is only one right way, which is central to so many major religions.

I’m very much a freethinker in that regard, and I raise my kids to be freethinkers as well.

As a parent and as a homeschooler, I don’t want to shield them from the world–or religion. We approach religions of all sorts from a place of finding the commonalities, instead of focusing on the differences.

I also want to offer my kids the opportunity to be culturally literate in terms of religion–to think critically about the information they get from the world.

Most importantly, I want them to be in touch with what they feel in their hearts, and whether any form of organized religion speaks to them. I don’t view beliefs as something external that one should try to conform to, but rather, something that is already inside oneself, waiting to be discovered and given words to.

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