Water Glassing Eggs

Those that have chickens know that egg laying is slowed way down in the winter. Some folks add supplemental lighting in the coop to keep egg production up, but we just let nature take its course.

I watched a video from @homesteadingfamily about “water glassing” eggs during the “lockdown” last year, and I decided to try this out!

It’s super simple!! This is what you’re going to need:

  1. Hydrated lime/pickling lime (I found some Mrs. Wages at our local Carlie C’s IGA) you can use food grade Cal Lime too – it’s more economical since it comes in larger quantities at Lowes Home Improvement
  2. Filtered water – we use our @berkey_filters water – but bottled distilled water will work too
  3. Fresh, unwashed eggs (the bloom keeps them “sealed”), and they must be clean – no dirt or other yucky stuff, any bacteria will make the whole batch “bad”!

Put 1 weighed ounce of lime (1 ounce came out to be 4 tablespoons) in a food grade container to one quart of water (I used a ½ gallon Mason jar, but if you have tons of eggs you can use a bigger container). The ratio is always 1:1 no matter how big your batch is!

Mix with a non-metal spoon until all lime is dissolved. Add your eggs. Put all your eggs into your container and then pour the lime and water mixture over the eggs. This amount is perfect for one dozen eggs in a half gallon jar. That’s it!

Keep adding fresh eggs each day. When you need to use them in a few months, be sure to use the eggs on the bottom first, rinse them very well, and if you pull out enough for a few days at a time, keep them refrigerated!

For me, it’s easier to do one dozen eggs per jar and date them and just use the whole jar at a time – be sure to use the oldest jar first!

I can’t wait til winter so we can see how this goes!

The Lowdown on Stomach Acid!

 

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Yep!  That’s right!  All these years I thought I had too MUCH acid in the old tummy!

I’ve been doing some deeper research on this – while learning more about fermented foods – and it seems that our stomach NEEDS acid!  Who knew?

SYMPTOMS

Let’s start off with some of the symptoms of  low stomach acid or in clinical terms, “Hypochlorhydria” …

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I can check off at least HALF of these!  No wonder eating fermented (acidic) foods helps!

 

What CAUSES Low Stomach Acid? 

What are some of the causes of low stomach acid you ask? I was really surprised by some of these…

• Poor diet
• Stress
• Eating too fast
• Zinc/Magnesium deficiency
• Age
• High Sugar Intake
• Antacid medications and prescription drugs
• Food allergies or food sensitivities
• Infection or inflammation
• Chronic illness
• Smoking
• Obesity
• Excessive exercise 

And that’s not all of the possible causes!  I sure wish I had known all of this sooner!

Natural “fixes”

So, how can we increase our stomach acid naturally?   I drink brone broth and kombucha already, so I was tickled to see those two on this list from Dr. Axe – these are some foods that help boost stomach acid – making my shopping list from this graphic!

Foods that improve acid reflux symptoms - Dr. Axe

To help lower your stomach acid try to avoid these things….

  • Alcohol
  • Carbonated beverages, sugary drinks or energy drinks
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Fried foods
  • Spicy foods
  • Processed foods

 

Boosting your stomach acid naturally is easier than you might think!  Here are a few ways you can do that…

♦  Eat fermented foods – Kombucha, kimchi, ACV (apple cider vinegar), sauerkraut, pickles, yogurt, Kefir – anything that is fermented helps boost your gut flora and increase stomach acid.

♦  Take a good probiotic daily.  We take Life 9 Probiotic.  It’s a proprietary, high-potency probiotic that combines 17 billion live cultures from nine beneficial bacteria strains. It helps promote healthy digestion, supports gut health, and helps maintain normal intestinal function for the overall support of a healthy immune system*.   I’d be happy to chat more about our favorite probiotic!

♦  Eat Ginger!  Ginger has great anti-inflammatory properties.  Remember, inflammation is one of the causes of low stomach acid.

♦  Take smaller bites of food and chew slower! This will stimulate your digestive enzymes.


 

This quote from Tribali Foods Blog really made me think…

“Doctors prescribe acid-suppressants and because those medications “put out the fire” by neutralizing gastric acid and create a more alkaline environment, which relieves the pain. But as we know, heartburn, indigestion, and acid reflux result from too little stomach acid rather than too much.

Until you address the problem of low stomach acid, you might rely on acid-suppressing drugs that only mask your symptoms. Again, you experience reflux and indigestion not because of too much acid, but because of misplaced acid that has found its way past the lower esophageal sphincter.”

WOW !!!!!  That’s like putting a band-aid on the problem instead of focusing in on correcting it!  I took PPIs (proton pump inhibitors)  for years!  Little did I know that they can actually do more harm than good and may even contribute to digestive system cancers with long term use!

Personally, I will never take any type of antacids again!  Here’s a short list of side effects from Antacids – OTC and prescription from Dr. Axe

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That’s just wayyyyyy too many side effects for me!!  I’ll stick to DiGize Essential Oil roll-on and using some of the suggestion above!

Stay healthy until next time !

 

 

 

Blessings ~

Heather

 

 

 

 

 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Young Living products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Curry Chicken!

One of the healthiest, most delicious dishes that my husband prepares! I could eat this every single night! Do you like Curry Chicken too?

Who wants the recipe?

Here it is!

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CURRY CHICKEN

Ingredients:

1 to 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 stick of butter

Cayenne pepper

Curry powder

2 to 3 medium onions

2 to 3 pods of garlic (optional)

6 to 8 Roma tomatoes

2 lemons

1 cup of Basmati rice

2 cups of water

Prep:

Cut chicken into bite-size pieces (1 inch cubes).

Put butter into 13 x 9 baking dish.

Dice onion into bite-size pieces.

Mince garlic.

Dice tomatoes into bite-size pieces.

Juice both lemons (include pulp, discard seeds)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°. While oven is preheating, place baking dish with butter into oven.

When the butter has melted, remove dish and stir chicken chunks in the butter.

Sprinkle Cayenne pepper to taste and then generously sprinkle Curry powder over chicken, and then place baking dish back into oven (by this time the oven should be preheated. Let chicken cook for 20 minutes, and then remove dish from oven.

Add the onions and garlic to dish and stir well. Spread ingredients out in the pan, and then generously sprinkle Curry powder a second time as before. Place dish back into the oven and let it cook for 25 minutes, and then remove dish from oven.

Add the tomatoes and lemon juice to dish and stir well. Again, spread ingredients out in the pan, and then generously sprinkle Curry powder a third time as before. Place dish back into the oven and let it cook for 25 minutes, and then remove dish from oven. While dish is on its last 25 minutes, pour the water into a 3 quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the rice. Stir to ensure that all of the rice has been covered water. Place lid on saucepan and let simmer for 20 minutes. Don’t stir or bother the rice for the full 20 minutes.

Remove saucepan from heat and set aside (do not remove lid).

Let dish rest for 5 minutes, and then serve over rice.

Enjoy!

Garden – Year 1

 

This is our first year of a full garden!  Full for us anyway.  Let me start at the beginning…

When we had to rehome our precious hens last year after the hurricane, our first thought was to sell the 2 pens we had put together as our enclosure for the chickens and their coops.  But winter came, time slipped away and then I had an epiphany!!!

Since we have 3 small dogs that would absolutely destroy a garden, I thought it would be a perfect place to put our very first “in-ground” garden!  I had done some container gardening up to this point, so I was really excited!!!!  The big bonus was the shade covers over the entire 30 x 10 area – the birds wouldn’t be able to swoop in for a fruit or veggie snack!

When our farmer market open this spring, I went to check it out…and there were starter plants!!!  Not knowing exactly what I was getting myself into, I got 4 containers of each of these plants:  Watermelon, Squash, Cucumbers, Bell Peppers, and Tomatoes!  I had already gotten 5 Strawberry plants from another homesteader friend.

I got the ground ready, and planted my little starter plants.  They were so cute!  I only used 2/3 of the area I had, but I soon realized that I was going to have to move some of those running plants!!!  I had NO idea how quickly they spread!

 

Now we have TONS of cucumbers, a good amount of squash, several nice sized watermelons developing – on in a hammock hanging from the fence (his fence mate fell off – I was wondering if it would hold or not – so he got his own hammock to finish growing!

Watermelon Hammock

The tomato plants are HUGE and producing very well, the bell peppers are delicious and sort of at a standstill right now after picking all the mature “bells”.  I definitely need to do more research on the strawberries…they are a confusing bunch for me.

 

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All in all, it’s been a good season so far – we can’t wait for those melons to ripen!  But, I have alot of studying to do for next year!!  I’m thinking about some raised beds too, adding jalapeños, beans, onions, and we might try some potatoes!

At least now I know how much room all those vining plants need!!!!!!

Until next time…

Blessings ~

Heather

 

 

It’s time to LOSE some weight!

Actually, it’s way past time to lose it!  For those that don’t know, here’s the condensed back story…

In July of 2004 I had Gastric Bypass Surgery.  I weighed in at 308 pounds, had severe sleep apnea, was taking anti-inflammitories daily, and two types of blood pressure medication.  I was only 46 years old.  My second grandchild {my first granddaughter} was to be born in 2 months – my grandson was 13 months old.  I wanted to be able to play with them, carry them around for more than 5 minutes, and most of all…be alive to see them grow up!

 

The surgery was a HUGE success – no pun intended (well ok, maybe a little).  Over the next 11 months I lost 157 pounds – I was down to 151 and tickled pink!  I had fun playing and keeping up with my two grandbabies, and then 3 more grands after that!

2008

 

After 5 years or so, I got complacent.  I started to allow myself to do things I wasn’t supposed to do after having weight loss surgery.  I was drinking diet drinks, sometimes with a little “adult additives” (which brought about snacking on sweets), I was smoking again, and drinking caffeine…lots of it!  All the time know that these things were on my pre-surgical “no-no” list from day one.

NO…

  • Carbonation
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes
  • Sweets

 

Fast forward to today…I am 67 pounds, SIXTY SEVEN, heavier than my lowest post-surgical weight!  That’s totally unacceptable and inexcusable!

2019

 

So….yesterday, I started Intermittent Fasting!!!

I’m trying to work my way into it slowly.  If you know me, you know I LOVE my McDonald’s coffee in the morning – WITH cream and Splenda!

For now, until I can ditch the cream (ditched the Spenda today!!!),

I am drinking “dirty” coffee in my fasting window – but I figured at least it’s a start!!  My eating “window” is 12 noon – 8pm each day!

I’ll be updating my progress here to keep myself accountable.

If you have any tips, tricks, or advice drop them in the comments below!

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Until the next update….

 

Blessings ~

Heather

 

“You Are What You Eat”

Our health is determined by what we put IN our bodies (genetics too…but we have control of what we ingest)

As I have gotten older, I soooo wish I had actually CARED about nutrition and natural health when I was raising my girls (please forgive me Melanie, Melissa, and Melinda!!!)

Getting older doesn’t have to stink. BUT…if you are like me and didn’t pay attention to – or cared – what you put in your body up til this point, getting older will definitely make you re-think EVERY food choice…and also every choice about medications {or not}, natural choices, and toxic chemicals.

I am ready to meet Jesus and when He calls me home, I’m out! BUT…until then, I want to live a happy and healthier life – I wanna hang around as long as I can and spend time with my loved ones!

If this resonates with you…check out Dr. Hyman…click on his podcasts, read his articles, learn about health and the Gut-Brain connection!!!

Don’t wait til your old like me!

Blessings ~

 

Heather

What’s all this about “IF”?

 

 

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I have been curious about Intermittent Fasting (“IF” for short) for awhile now.  Several of my friends are doing it and have raved about how they feel great, have more energy, and just generally feel better physically and emotionally!!  Who doesn’t want that?  So, I’ve done some research and was planning to write a blog article about it until I got this AWESOME email from The Daniel Plan today!  I could not possibly add anything better to this so here it is, sharing from their website!  Check out the entire post here.

What are some health benefits of IF?

(SOURCE: this is straight from the blog post from The Daniel Plan linked above)

1. Lowers cancer risk.

Multiple studies have shown a link between intermittent fasting and a reduced risk of breast cancer.

2. Enhances heart health.

Intermittent fasting is thought to lower heart disease risk due to its ability to lower triglycerides and blood pressure and raise beneficial HDL cholesterol.

3. Improves autoimmune conditions.

A fasting-mimicking diet under 1,000 calories a day for three-day cycles has been shown to improve symptoms associated with autoimmune conditions like multiple sclerosis as well as lupus.

4. Improves blood sugar.

When it comes to managing blood sugar, intermittent fasting takes center stage. With its proven ability to lower insulin resistance and increase metabolism, it’s one of my favorite tools to recommend to patients with blood sugar problems.

5. Encourages weight loss.

Weight-loss resistance can often be due to an underlying hormone imbalance. Leptin resistance occurs when your brain stops recognizing leptin’s signals to use your body’s fat stores for energy. This causes your body to continually store fat instead of using it. Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve chronic inflammation that can dull the brain’s leptin receptor sites.

6. Curbs cravings.

If you’re worried you’ll be starving while fasting, you’ll be pleasantly surprised! Intermittent fasting decreases your hunger hormone ghrelin, which in turn can increase dopamine levels in the brain. (Just another example of the gut-brain axis at work.) Fasting can also help free people from emotional eating and kill cravings by transitioning your metabolism from unstable sugar-burning to steady fat-burning.

7. Increases cognitive function.

Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can improve degenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

8. Improves lung health.

One study showed intermittent fasting’s ability to decrease asthma symptoms as well as reduce oxidative stress.

9. Helps heal the gut 

Lowering inflammation in the gut with intermittent fasting improves inflammatory gut problems such as IBS, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease.

While the idea of fasting can be overwhelming, especially if you haven’t done it before, intermittent fasting can actually be a lot easier than many other types of eating plans. Since you are fasting for a good chunk of the day, you’ll be eating less food, which eliminates a lot of the stress around having to meal prep. When you are eating, you’ll still want to focus mainly on healthy fats, clean protein, and carbohydrates from whole food sources—but this isn’t an excuse to hit the drive-thru and load up on sugar the rest of the time!

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I trust The Daniel Plan to give us the best info possible and not lead us astray!  There is a ton more info over at their Blog, so hop on over there to find out how IF works, some great recipe suggestions, and more!

If you are one of those that is doing IF, drop me a comment below and tell us what you think about it and how it makes you feel!  I’d love to hear from all the IF-ers out there!

Until next time…

Blessings ~

Heather

 

 

 

How to Brew Kombucha at Home

Brewing Kombucha at Home

Makes approx. 1 gallon

You will need…

  • 3 1/2 quarts water
  • 1 cup of sugar (regular white “table” sugar is fine)
  • 8 bags black tea (or 2 tablespoons loose tea)
  • 2 cups of starter tea from last batch of kombucha or from a friend
  • 1 SCOBY for each jar (a SCOBY is NOT a must – the starter tea IS!)
  • Stovetop pot to make the tea
  • 1-gallon glass jar (I use old 1 gallon pickle jars…wash them well and let them air out for about a week before)
  • Tightly woven cloth (like clean cloth napkins or towels), coffee filters, or paper towels to cover the jar (I use a rubber band to keep my coffee filters/paper towels in place)
  • Bottles for the “booch” when it is done brewing – I use wide mouth Mason Jars (for everything!) I normally use (3) one-quart jars (you’ll need to save 2 cups for the next batch)
  • Small funnel (optional, good is you use smaller neck bottles)
  • Large stainless steel strainer (optional – I strain my kombucha when I bottle it and when I pour a glass!)

 

Instructions

*** Avoid contact between #allthingsmetal and your kombucha during and after brewing. It could affect the flavor of your kombucha.


How to make the tea…     

 **(if you are a southerner, you already know how to do this!)

Bring the water to a boil. Take the water off the heat and add the sugar, stir until it dissolves. Drop in the tea (bags or loose) and allow it to steep until the water cools. When the tea has cooled off, remove the tea bags or strain the loose tea from the pot, pour the sweet tea in your gallon jar, and then stir in the starter tea – be sure to use a wooden spoon (plastic will work but I prefer wooden when stirring Kombucha😉 )

booch1Adding the SCOBY: Pick up the SCOBY (use CLEAN hands to avoid any bad bacteria getting in your tea – yeah…it’s slimy too so don’t drop it!) and gently slide it into the jar. Cover the mouth of the jar with a few layers of tightly-woven cloth, coffee filters, or paper towels and secure it with a rubber band. I have found that coffee filters work best – especially when I write the start date of the brew on the filter!

 booch2

 

Fermentation time!

Keep the jar at room temperature (in the winter time you can buy flat heat strips or use a small string of non-LED clear lights – it needs to stay between 70-80 degrees), out of direct sunlight, and where it won’t get bumped.  Let it ferment for 7 to 10 days, checking the taste daily starting about day 6 (you can lift the “lid” and sneak a straw under the SCOBY and pull out a little “booch” in the straw to taste it)

 

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It’s not unusual for the SCOBY to float at the top, bottom, or even sideways during fermentation. A new transparent looking layer of SCOBY should start forming on the surface of the Kombucha in a few days. It usually attaches itself to the old SCOBY, but if it doesn’t it’s ok!!! You may also see brown stringy “tentacles” floating under the SCOBY, or some collecting at the bottom of your jar, and bubbles collecting around the SCOBY. These are all signs that the fermentation is happening and it’s perfectly normal.

 

Bottling Time!

Wash your hands thoroughly and then lift the SCOBY out of the kombucha and put it on a clean plate. If it is getting too thick, you can pull the bottom layer (or two) off.

 

booch4

 

Using a glass measuring cup, pour 2 cups of kombucha into glass bowl or Mason Jar to save for your next batch.  The rest of the “booch” you can strain (you don’t have to if you don’t mind the “sediment”) into glass bottles or jars for storage (again, I use wide mouth mason jars).  **Note:  never use plastic bottles to brew or store your Kombucha!

 

booch5

Putting your Kombucha in the fridge at this point stops any more fermentation.  You should have a little bit of fizz from this 1st fermentation and if you are going to flavor and do a second fermentation, do not refrigerate! Your bottled and refrigerated Kombucha is good for about a month or so in the fridge.

With your reserved starter tea, start the process all over again to you’re your next batch of Kombucha Tea!!!!

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And there you have it…Home Brewed Kombucha!  Enjoy !!!

 

Until next time…

Blessings,

~ Heather

 

 

 

 

Diets, oh my!!!!

I truly think that diets are the new craze!  There are TONS of diets floating around out there – which one do we choose?  Are any of them the “right” diet?

I don’t think that these “new” diets are really dieting…they are more of an eating habit than a diet, which in itself is a good thing!  We could all probably stand to change our eating habits to a healthier lifestyle!  Check out some of the “eating lifestyles” we have to choose from today…

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There is seriously a “Hay Diet”???  And what in the world would you eat on a Prison Loaf diet?  Or do I really want to know?

What do we do with all of this indecisive diet planning – do I eat meat or do I not eat meat?  Do I eat fat, or not eat fat?  Do I eat lots of protein, or just a little protein?  Do I…you get my drift.

So, I have come up with the Oily Homestead Diet!  Our meals “normally” consist of healthier foods – no fried food, minimal salt, good fats, veggies, tuna (hubby doesn’t like fish but I could eat fish daily!), organic/free range chicken, grassfed/organic beef on occasion, and fruits, especially the berry family fruits – although I have been “addicted” to oranges recently!

We have cut back on the amount of gluten and sugar we eat because I do believe that gut health determines your overall physical and emotional wellness!  Gluten and sugar are not “gut friendly” so therefore we (we in this case means more “I” than “we”) try to stay away from both as much as possible.  My dear hubby is diabetic so he already eats a {mostly} sugar free diet.

Image result for gut health

Basically, we try to eat healthy foods.  Foods that are low in “bad” fats, low in sugar, minimal gluten, and mostly lean protein.  We don’t drink milk {we just don’t like it} but we do eat yogurt, cottage cheese, and a lot of “real” cheese, so we are obviously not “dairy free”! That’s pretty much our “diet”!  Personally, I honestly believe that we need to take care of the temple God gave us, but being obsessed about what goes IN to our body is, in my opinion, unhealthy.  We need “treats” sometimes, we need to be able to eat that piece of cake at a birthday party and not beat ourselves up about it for days, we should be able to splurge now and then by getting dessert on date night.  We need to actually enjoy life while we are here, while at the same time, eating healthy foods so we can hang out here a little longer than if we didn’t eat those healthy foods!  Does that make sense?

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For a little extra gut boost, we take a really good probiotic, I drink kombucha first thing in the morning before anything else goes in my gut (fermented foods are an excellent natural probiotic !), we stay away from taking any antibiotics unless it’s a life threatening necessity!  We do also eat prebotic foods like onions, garlic, and oatmeal, apples and  bananas.

I’d love to hear about YOUR eating plan!!!  I’m always up for new and better ideas!

Until next time…

~ Blessings

Heather

 

Why are Plant-based Cleaners the Best?

 

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Here are 5 reasons that Plant-based Cleaners are Best for Your Family…

Safety

Have you read the label on the back of a commercial cleaner? Warning! Flammable! Do not ingest! Keep out of reach of children! Many chemicals used in household cleaners have not been tested for safety. Household cleaning supplies are one of the top five substance classes accounting for calls to the National Poison Control Center. Many commercial cleaners contain ingredients that are endocrine disrupting chemicals, carcinogens, or neurotoxins. Kids, babies, and pets are even more vulnerable to chemical exposure because they are smaller and cannot get rid of toxins as easily as adults. It is definitely worth ditching harsh chemicals for a cleaner with plant- and mineral-based ingredients.

Air Quality

Did you know that indoor air is 5–7 times more polluted than outdoor air? Most cleaning products contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which have been associated with many health problems, including damage to the liver, kidneys, and the central nervous system. They have also been shown to harm our lungs and cause throat irritations and headaches. VOCs are released when products are used and can linger in the air long after we clean. When we breathe, we inhale the air—as well as whatever is in the air.

Environmental Impact

Harsh chemicals found in cleaners are not only harmful to our bodies, but they also have a major impact on the environment and are huge contributors to environmental pollution. Some conventional cleaning products contain ingredients that are toxic, non-biodegradable, and from non-renewable resources like petroleum, so they harm the Earth’s ecosystems. Harsh chemicals may contaminate the water through rivers, streams, and lakes, which affects wildlife, plants, trees, and us! Plus, there are thousands of chemicals that are in cleaning products that have never been tested for safety.

Convenience

It’s much easier to clean with a few products that take care of all your cleaning needs, rather than a having whole arsenal of toxic products under your sink and in your bathrooms. With Thieves® Household Cleaner, you can tackle multiple cleaning jobs in your home without switching products as you clean! It cleans countertops, windows, mirrors, floors, toilets, showers, and pretty much everything else. Plus, you don’t have to worry about getting bleach stains on your clothes or accidentally mixing dangerous chemicals together. It’s worth a try for the convenience alone.

Cost

The cost of buying cleaners is expensive, especially if you have to buy multiple different cleaners. Thieves Household Cleaner is very cost effective, and it comes in a concentrated form. There are approximately 60 capfuls of the cleaner in a 14.4-ounce bottle. Using the medium degreasing ratio, you can get about 29 16-ounce cleaners. That’s less than $1 a bottle!

Why worry about all the what if’s? Be empowered and take charge of your chores by using a cleaner with plant-based ingredients.
**  These 5 reasons to use plant based cleaners was too go not to share…I got this straight from Young Living’s Training and Education Facebook page!!!!  Yep…I borrowed it 😉  Check it out here.

I would LOVE to help you clean up your house (pun totally intended) of all those toxic cleaners!  Contact me for all the deets or check out my “official” oily website here for tons of great info!

Until next time…

Blessings,

~Heather