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My Oily Beauty Arsenal: Tales from a Recovering Product Junkie

Baby Steps to Essential Oils - Product Junkie

Having spent the majority of my adult life working in either healthcare or the cosmaceutical industry, I was very intrigued when I sat in on my first oils class and began learning about Young Living.

I thought to myself, ‘If this stuff really delivers, I think I found the answer to the future of health and wellness for our family.’

On the one hand, coming from medicine, I can be somewhat of a skeptic and rely on decades-old medical advice with the best of them; however, the deeper I get into healthcare as a whole, and the more I see trusted brands and ingredients exposed for shoddy quality and long-term detriments, I know that there has to be another way…a better way.

At first, I dabbed a few drops here and there (mostly Lavender…my answer for everything, which is slightly true, but also, it just smells good, y’all), but as we put our oils to the test (for burns, elevated thyroid levels, back pain, sleeplessness, acid reflux, you name it), it was clear that YL oils were legit. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some of the Baby Steps favorites that I read so much about, and start overhauling my entire medicine cabinet.

And then it occurred to me…why stop at the medicine cabinet?

With shelves of beauty products starting at me, ranging in price from $25-$75 a pop, promising to SUPER UBER AWESOMELY treat…one thing or another (the key being one thing), I looked to my oils and resolved to slowly, one product at a time (as existing products ran out, because waste isn’t fun) replace my beauty stash with real, healing, multi-beneficial Young Living Oils!

Here are some of the cocktails currently in full effect in the Gonzalez home…

Day Serum/Spritz: (approx. 2 oz.)

  • 5 drops Joy
  • 10 drops Lavender
  • 1 drop Melrose
  • Grapeseed oilBaby Steps to Essential Oils - DIY Thieves Foaming Hand Soap

Night Cream: (approx. 2 oz.)

  • 5 drops Sacred Frankincense (a.k.a. The Precious)
  • 5 drops Lavender
  • 3 drops Melrose
  • 3 drops Cedarwood
  • Coconut oil
  • a splash of Grapeseed oil

Hand Soap: [BABY STEPS RECIPE!]

  • Castile soap
  • 4 drops Thieves
  • 2 drops Cedarwood (or Lemon for the kitchen)
  • 2 drops Vitamin E oil
  • Filtered water

Body Butter: [BABY STEPS RECIPE!]

Baby Steps to Essential Oils - DIY Whipped Body Butter

  • Shea butter
  • Coconut oil
  • 10 drops Lavender
  • 5 drops Frankincense
  • 5 drops Cedarwood

Deodorant:

  • Cocoa butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Shea butter
  • Beeswax
  • Arrowroot power
  • Baking soda
  • Vitamin E oil
  • Probiotics
  • 2 drops Lavender
  • 2 drops Joy

As my skin and body comes into balance, I’m encouraged more every day at the results our family has seen while using Young Living oils! When you get down to it, it’s a more cost-effective way to protect my skin (and still pursue that youthful glow…let’s not forget that!), and I know that I can trust the source and the process by which the ingredients made their way onto my vanity. Not to mention, I am not only preventing further damage from using…well, chemicals, but I’m helping heal my body from years of exposure to I-don’t-even-know-what!

I love reading all the amazing testimonies out there, both those great and the seemingly-small.

I marvel at the incredible God that we serve, knowing that the cures, remedies, and balms we seek are out there, gifted to us from The Lord Almighty! (Can I get a “Halleluyer!”)

NatalieNatalie Gonzalez resides in Fort Worth, TX with her husband, Michael, and their ginger kitty-son, Scrappy. They’ve been oiling as a family since March 2014, and have yet to look back. They are excited to continue growing in their oily journey, especially as the think about expanding their family (to include non-furry little ones…not that we’d love a hairy baby any less), and love to hear all the sweet testimonies from sharing oils with friends and family. Having been in healthcare since the age of 16, wellness has always been a cause close to Natalie’s heart, and she’s elated to have the tools, support, and passion to shepherd folks to living truly well

If you would like to order oils as a part of Natalie’s team and have all this recovering junkie info right at your fingertips in your very own sponsor, we’ve got you covered here!

Nourishing Her Littles – A Committed Oily Mom

Baby Steps is quite proud to share with you this story of a dedicated mom in our group. We are constantly in awe of these women and the lengths and commitment they pursue to give their children the very best health opportunities. Thank you for sharing, Amanda. We think you’re a super mom!

My story began 3.5 years ago when my now 4 year old was a baby.

He had the normal eczema/milk intolerance issues while nursing but my “normal” kid turned abnormally unhealthy around 9 months after a series of unfortunate events.

His story can be heard here. I’ll never be the same, and although it was a very difficult thing to endure, I have learned so much through it which has been a blessing with my now 2 year old, S., to prevent a potentially similar outcome.

S., although she was an otherwise healthy baby, had the same little patches of skin as a baby so I chose to EBF until she was one and hold off on grains, nuts, dairy (and limited beans) until she’s 2. I only gave her bits of fruits & veggies here and there just for her to try out but when she was one, I decided to introduce her to foods more intentionally.

That entire week, her body was covered in hives. So, from my experience with D., I back tracked to mostly EBF, chicken broth and some fruits/veggies until around 15 months at which point, I followed the GAPS diet. It’s been so exciting to see her digestive tract mature and handle things she reacted to before and to see her eczema patches are gone, which is a sign to me her gut is healing!

The other part to her story is her inability to nurse (enter oils). She was an easy, happy baby so it wasn’t until around 3-4 months that, with the help of her pediatrician, I figured out she was only getting around 2-3 ounces per feeding! This explained her low weight.

At that point, in order to keep my supply up and provide her with enough milk, I started exclusively pumping (except for the morning feeding). I soon figured out she had both a tongue and lip tie so we had the procedure done to release those. She nursed like a rock star for 2 weeks at which point, she reverted to old habits.

She was also a very social baby and would rather play than eat, so, since 3 months, I have spent more hours sitting with my pump than I’d like to calculate. Because of her signs of food allergies, I am committed to pumping until 24 months (almost there!). I have had to work very hard to keep my supply up. I have to drink lots of water and work really hard to get plenty of fat in my diet. I joke that I wish I could just hook up to an IV because I am so tired of eating.

For a long time, I took a gazillion capsules of fenugreek and blessed thistle daily which significantly helped my supply. But it was expensive and I was tired of taking so manyBoost Milk Supplycapsules three times a day. So, about 2 months ago, I had the idea to try oils (I don’t know what took me so long!).

I bought a bottle of fennel and happened to have just received my free bottle of basil (score!) and have been thankful to see my supply equal to or slightly greater than when I was on the other herbs.

I put 5-7 drops each of basil and fennel into a 5 ml roller bottle and fill it with grapeseed oil. I apply it on my breasts before I pump and sometimes after. When I apply it, I get a very slight “let down” feeling. I accidentally applied a different oil on my breasts the other day then realized I had grabbed the wrong roller bottle. So, I put on the correct roller bottle and got the let down feeling. It was interesting to see not just any ole’ oil creates that effect. 

I recently dropped from 5 to 4 pumps a day and I hesitate to tell people how old my baby is when the topic of my pumping comes up because I feel like they think I’m crazy. I’m crazy, I know.

But it’s been the biggest blessing to know I’m giving my baby the best start to life and to see her avoid the health difficulties that my middle child experienced.

Amanda ColemanAmanda C. is “Sooner born & Sooner bred” but has lived in Texas with her husband since 2005. She is a full-time mom of 3 precious kids & 8 adorable chickens and dreams of owning a goat & bees someday. She loves sharing her life with others, is a diligent researcher, and counts it a privilege to walk alongside others as they take baby steps towards a healthier lifestyle. Please contact us or order here if you are interested in being a member of her team and receiving her support.

Baby Steps to Essential Oils – 30 Days of Ningxia Red Challenge

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baby-steps-to-essential-oils-young-living-ningxia-red3Baby Steps to Essential Oils - 30 Days of Red Challenge

Mark your calendars and stock up: Announcing the first annual Baby Steps 30 Days of Red Challenge!

The Baby Steps team is declaring war on the “sick season” that hits with school starting and everyone returning to enclosed spaces again. We say down with the runny noses and coughs and up with our immunity! How, you ask? In the most delicious way possible.

Did you know? One ounce of Ningxia Red has the antioxidant power of:
- 4 pounds carrots
- 2 quarts carrot juice
- 8 oranges
- 1 pint orange juice
- 2 pounds beets
- 2 cups beet juice
- 3 cups raspberries
- 2 cups blueberries

- More beta carotene than carrots
- More vitamin C than oranges
- 18 amino acids
- 21 trace minerals
- 6 essential fatty acids
- Vitamin B1, B2, B6
- Vitamin E

Enter the Challenge Here!

As a team we will join up August 15 – September 15 and drink 2 ounces of Ningxia Red daily (bonus points for a minimum of 64 ounces of water).

You’ll be looking for:
- Sustained energy
- Minimized sugar cravings
- Improved vision
- Balanced blood sugar
- Detox
- Weight loss (add a few drops of grapefruit oil to water and each shot of Ningxia for best results)
- An immune boost

You will need: 60 ounces of Ningxia Red to compete (roughly two bottles plus a few pouches [bottles are 25 ounces/each] or a 30-pack of Ningxia Pouches).

Ningxia Red can be purchased as an Essential Rewards Kit with 4-bottles and 30 packets for $1.07/ounce. Consider splitting an ER pack with 2 friends or family members and all of you can share the kit and compete!

Each person who participates in the challenge will be entered in a drawing for a surprise gift! (Hint: rhymes with “shing-sha”)! Get your whole family on board and get everyone’s immune system up to snuff before school launches – earn a raffle entry for each family member who competes! To be enrolled in the drawing a photo of a completed calendar log must be emailed to courtneyandcallie@babystepstoessentialoils.com. Enroll in the Challenge here and we’ll send you reminders and encouragement along the way!

If you are unable to compete in the Red Challenge, then join us in the Water Challenge – our goal is 64 ounces/day (does not include juice/tea/coffee – just pure, clean, H2O!)

Baby Steps Into the Kitchen – with Highest Potential

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Freezer-InventorySo, Sunday afternoon while daddy was napping and the kids were miraculously occupied, I got after it in the kitchen with a pen and three printables:

Freezer Inventory

Pantry Inventory
Monthly Menu Planner

I’ve been in a cooking slump for far too long, falling back on staples like breakfast for dinner, beef burritos, black beans, and breakfast for dinner. Not to mention the thousand of little baggies and mysterious containers of who knows what that are cluttering up the pantry and freezer. So, I got the diffuser going with Highest Potential and threw open all the doors and began to list out every package/container/baggie that I found.

against-all-grain-chocolate-chip-cookiesAdmittedly, I do purge the pantry every now and then, so it wasn’t as daunting it could have been but I did find a few forgotten gems (like an entire 6-pack of Wild Planet Tuna, five pounds of brown rice and five pounds of cashews – don’t judge). Then out to the garage to inventory the chest freezer. Once my list was made, I plopped on the couch with one of these chocolate chip cookies and popped open Pinterest.

And all of a sudden, the magic began to happen.

I typed in “peas” – lo and behold, a thousand colorful and delicious-looking recipes filled my screen. Do you have frozen peas you don’t know what to do with?! Here’s what’s on my list:

Coconut Brown Rice with Peas, Cashews, & Arugula (which I’ll sub with spinach)
Parmesan Peas – who would have thought?! I’m not this creative in the kitchen.

peas-brown-riceAfter the unromantic “peas,” I moved on to “quinoa.” I go through these kicks every now and then where I refine our eating habits, try grain free or gluten free or go Whole30 – kind of just for fun – I’m a health nerd (much to my husband’s chagrin). I love reading about the health benefits that go along with making diet changes and we have taken significant steps towards clean eating. That’s why you’ll find quinoa in my pantry. And coconut milk. And five pounds of cashews.

Our family doesn’t struggle with some of the health challenges that many do, so we aren’t exclusively grain/gluten free. But, I try to significantly limit and rotate our grains. We try to eat real food – foods that our great grandparents would have recognized, that you find on the perimeter of the grocery store (produce, meat, raw dairy). No refined sugar (if a recipe calls for sugar, I’ll substitute raw honey or coconut sugar), and a fun challenge is to not buy any packaged food that has more than 5 ingredients listed on the label (if you want to learn more, I really love the book, “Real Food” by Nina Planck).

quinoa tacosBack to “quinoa.” If you’re curious, it’s a grain, a complete protein and similar to rice. And pretty delicious – there are all sorts of quinoa salads and dishes that look amazing. Search it on Pinterest, I dare you, and be awestruck.

And while I’m on this beautiful meal-planning reformation, I decided to cash in a Christmas gift card on Etsy and got some absolutely fun and beautiful letterpress recipe cards and dividers – reserved for the tried-and-true, pass-me-down-to-your-children recipes. They’re from the absolute coolest shop called 1Canoe2 and if you find that my walls become covered in their prints and I end up with ALL of their calendars, you’ll know why.
OneCanoeTwo-Letterpress-Recipe-Box
So, what I discovered, and what is ridiculous and wonderful is that unbeknownst to me, between my fridge and pantry, I have the ingredients waiting for ALL OF THE RECIPES BELOW. I added a couple of random things to my grocery list like capers and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, but for the most part these meals are virtually “free” this month! Love that we’ll be using up good food that’s just been sitting around without a purpose! If you’d like to check out everything that’s on my recipe board, you can do so here.

And all the while, that good ‘ol diffuser cranking out some Highest Potential – yeah, baby. Here’s to reaching your highest potential, oh food-in-my-freezer.

- Callie

One Year Anniversary – Thank You to Our Readers!

We had an amazing experience last week at our first convention. It was the first convention for anyone on the Baby Steps team and to say we were amazed, encouraged, and a bit overwhelmed is an understatement. One of my favorite things about the convention was hearing from all of you, our readers. On the final day there at the farm, we wore our Baby Steps t-shirts and I completely lost track of how many times I was stopped and hugged by one of you just saying thanks for the site, webinars, FB page, graphics, and information. It was truly humbling, and I found myself quite emotional over where God has brought is in exactly one year with this site. What a way to spend our one-year anniversary, surrounded by oily friends!

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We take very seriously that you trust us with your time and hope to continue providing you with testimonies and the results of our use of oils. We pray that your families are full of health, freedom, and walk in faith using these tools God has given us.

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If you would like to hear our thoughts on YL Convention 2014, here is our recap call. We had a great time sharing pics and new products with our team. Baby Steps can’t wait to be one of the teams welcoming you to our home metroplex in 2015 for the convention in Grapevine, TX!

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Cheers to another great year for Baby Steps to Essential Oils! THANK YOU to our readers and to our amazing team! None of this would be possible without you!