Musings On Motherhood and (Hopefully Helpful) Aromatherapy Tips

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Baby Kate Phillips, Still Missing


4-month-old Katherine Phillips has been missing for one week today. I believe with all my heart that she is alive and being cared for, but she needs to be back home where she belongs. Please, everyone, wherever you are, get the word out, and pass her story and photo to everyone you can. We’re all with you in spirit, little one, wherever you are.

Katherine is 4 1/2 months old. She is 2 feet tall and weighs 12 pounds. She has blue eyes and may be dressed as a boy, so keep an eye out. She was last seen in Ludington, MI.

I would also like to say Rest In Peace to little Caylee Anthony, who was failed by so many people. I know you’re somewhere beautiful and full of love little Caylee, and I am so sorry your short life was so full of pain.

Let’s bring Kate home.


Missing–4-month-old Katherine Phillips

Katherine Phillips

This beautiful baby girl is Katherine Phillips. Baby Kate was abducted by her father, 21-year-old Sean Michael Phillips, on June 29th. 2011, and although he has since been apprehended, he refuses to tell authorities her whereabouts, though he has indicated that she is still alive.


I would like as many people as possible to stop and look at her sweet, smiling face. She was last seen in Ludington, Michigan, but she could possibly be anywhere, so it is EXTREMELY important to keep your eyes open, wherever you may be. Remember that whoever has her could be dressing her as a boy. The clothes she was wearing when her mother last saw her have since been recovered, but sweet baby Kate is still missing. I have faith that she is alive, and some well-meaning but misguided person is caring for her. Kate is 2 feet tall, weighs 12 pounds, has blue eyes and light brown hair. Anyone who has any information is urged to call 231-843-3425, or 911, immediately.

As a mother, this case saddens and terrifies me. I cannot imagine the anguish Kate’s family is feeling right now, the horror of not knowing. This little girl needs to be back in her mommy’s arms as soon as possible, and I know that with the help of caring people we can make that happen. Please keep your eyes open.

You can join some of the Facebook groups here to get updated info:

Amber Alert | Katherine Phillips (MI)
Katherine Shelbie Elizabeth Phillips-Missing in Michigan

Thank you for reading, and don’t forget to pass it along.














Bugs In The Garden–Snuff Them Out With Essential Oils


I love gardening, but I have been engaged in an epic battle with bugs–they want to eat my lovely plants, and I’d really rather they didn’t. But I have discovered through trial and error and exhaustive Google searches, the secret to getting rid of those evil little creepy crawlies seeking to devour my greenery: lemongrass and peppermint oils.

Put a liberal amount of both in a spray bottle with water and mist the everloving crap out of your plants. Almost every bug that likes to munch then will be killed or repelled. Reapply as often as necessary, and feel good about not soaking your entire yard in toxic chemicals.

Bonus: lemongrass kills mosquitos on contact. I usually have no problem with bugs, except ants when they’re attacking my baby, but I HATE mosquitos with an all-consuming passion.

Hopefully this helps you guys…I forgot about my roses when I was vigorously defending my veggie garden this year, and they have green leaves that have been chewed until they resemble doilies. Sigh.

Love you, internet people!


Essential Oil Safety

I’m a firm believer in researching everything to death. I make no important decisions, especially about my family’s health, without reading everything I can find on the subject. I encourage everyone else to do so as well, but many people just take the information they are given from a single (sometimes biased, sometimes simply ill-informed) source, and believe it as 100% truth. This leads to misinformation spreading, and when it comes to your health, the results could be disastrous.

I love essential oils–the way they smell, the way they can sooth my stress. I’m going to tell you a little story about how I’m an idiot. DON’T BE ME.

Pictured: an accident waiting to happen.

For me, there are few things more relaxing than a hot, hot, SUPER HOT bath. And some Peace and Calming oil, which is both peaceful AND calming, so whoo hoo, win, win and triple win.

So I gleefully spiked my bath with a liberal amount of the oil and hopped in. All was blissful until I noticed my skin was…burning…just a bit. Then a bit more…I got out of the tub to find that I was covered in red splotches. Yup, I had overdone it with the oil, which contains both orange and tangerine oils (which are a bit acid-y, hmm?). The proper response to this situation is to rub yourself down with a carrier oil (V-6, in my case) and hope for the best. I did, and all was well.

If you believe something has the power to help you, you must also believe it has the power to hurt you (I read that somewhere, it’s a quote from someone smarter than me, although I can’t remember who), so for the love of your baby-soft skin, be careful and know what you’re doing.

A few points:

  • Dilute every oil in a carrier oil–I use V-6 oil, but olive oil or sweet almond oil work well. Only a few gentle oils such as chamomile and lavender should be used directly on skin, although obviously if you’ve been using oils for a long time and are used to them, you may find several that you can just slather on without a problem.
  • Check for allergic reactions by mixing a single drop of the oil with a carrier oil and rubbing it into your skin. Let it sit for about 24 hours and check for any kind of reaction–red, itchy bumps, hives, etc. Better to find out with a tiny bit of oil and a mild reaction than to go around pouring it over yourself with abandon and having your entire head swell up until it’s the size of a prize-winning pumpkin (that’s how allergies work, right?).
  • You only need a drop or two, mixed with a carrier oil, to see results. Essential oils are highly concentrated, and using only a tiny bit blended with a carrier is the safest way to use them and saves you money. I like to use Young Living’s V-6 carrier oil and put several drops of each oil I want to use right in the V-6 bottle to make custom massage oils.
  • Keep them out of your eyes. Seriously.
  • Use common sense when deciding if you should ingest an oil. A couple drops of orange or lemon oil in your tea? Sure. A little cinnamon bark in your coffee? Absolutely. Eucalyptus? No way–it can be toxic if taken internally. There are people who swallow oils all willy-nilly and never have a problem, but I prefer caution, because when you’re taking something for your health, it really sucks if it kills you. When in doubt, take a second to look it up online, or call  your doctor.
  • I use lavender oil on my whole family, as I’ve mentioned, but don’t just start using your kids as Mommy’s Little Oil Tester. Every good mother wants what’s best for her children, but many people make the mistake of thinking that natural equals safe. Please remember: If you are going to use essential oils for their medicinal properties, or for any reason, you MUST TREAT THEM AS MEDICINE, and remember that they have risks.
  • If you have certain conditions, such as asthma, epilepsy, or heart problems, consult your health care provider before using the oils.
  • Keep your oils away from open flames, and never burn pure essential oils.

I believe in the power of essential oils 100%, and I also believe that when used properly they can enhance your life greatly. I hope you all have wonderful experiences with them, and I hope that perhaps I’ve helped to clear up some of the questions you might have.

Have a beautiful day all,


Museum of Mankind


My daughter’s third grade class did a little showcase of famous historical people today, and she decided to be Anne Frank. She gave an extremely well-written (if a tad quiet) speech when I walked up, and all the kids did an amazing job. Just thought I’d share 🙂

Spring, Sunshine & Citrus

I’ve always been a night person. I love the moon and the stars, the sound of the frogs and the crickets, the feeling of having everything to myself while the rest of the world (well, the rest of my personal world anyway) sleeps. But sunshine…there’s nothing quite like the warmth and energy of a sunny day–flopping down in the cool green grass with a glass of lemonade while the sun’s rays warm your body and spirit. Also, citrus fruits, which can make me feel sunny even on a cloudy day. The scent is uplifting and energizing, and it can help chase away the (metaphorical) clouds and make you feel bright and shiny again.


 Young Living makes an oil blend called Citrus Fresh, which contains lemon, tangerine, orange, grapefruit and spearmint, and smells like a bottle full of awesome. The recipe to make a yummy smelling household cleaner is very similar to the lavender/ peppermint spray:

Mix everything together in your spray bottle by capping tightly and shaking well. Now you have a wonderful, scented cleaner that is chemical-free and completely safe to use around your pets and children.

It's citrusy...and fresh. The name says it all.

You can also make a great wood polish, if your kids have not yet completely trashed your expensive oak furniture:

  • 15-20 drops of lemon oil
  • 1 pint of mineral oil
  • A clean container to put it all in

Use a clean, soft cloth to apply to the wood, let it sit for a few minutes, and wipe off with another clean, soft cloth. Yay!

Since my older two are in school, they suck up germs like grubby little sponges and bring them home to me, because as a good mother, I taught them how to share. I somehow manage to get sick more often than anyone else (although my husband, Captain Hypochondriac, would tell you otherwise–if the man gets the sniffles he thinks he’s on his deathbed), and for some reason it’s almost always a sore throat and a case of the vicious snufflies. Something that ALWAYS soothes my throat is a nice hot blend of green tea (steeped as strong as you like it) a couple drops of lemon oil, and as much honey as you like. Remember that babies under 1 year should never be given honey, but for toddlers on up, honey is a wonderful natural remedy for colds.

You can use these oils in small amounts to flavor foods and drinks–a few drops in a glass of ice water is incredibly refreshing (and calorie-free) on a hot day. One of the great things about oils is that they are always available and the oil doesn’t go bad when you don’t use it right away. If you’re making a vanilla milkshake, put in a few drops of orange oil–it tastes so amazing my kids dance around freaking out while I make it, and whine loudly enough to make your ears bleed when I try to taste it before them. Spoiled? Not MY precious monsters, and yes, they can be both precious and monsters simultaneously. You should hear my littlest guy growl. If you heard that coming from your closet at night you’d run away screaming in your jammies.

Well, I guess I didn’t realize what time it is because my 6-year-old just threw open the door and announced he was home from school (“MOMMY I’M HERE!!!” every day, it’s adorable), and I need to feed him before he starts eating everything that’s not nailed down–I’m amazed at how much that 55 pound boy can ingest in one sitting. Too late, he’s shoveling daddy’s pretzels in his mouth….

SMELL THE CITRUS INTERNET! Have a beautiful day 🙂


Lavender: A Love Story

Do you smell that? It's the smell of...relaxation.

My darling Internet, let me introduce you, if you haven’t already met, to Lavender. I have rows of it planted outside my back door, and bottles of the oil all over my house. My children love it, and it smells fresh and clean. I love lavender, and I am going to share with you some uses for it, this incredibly versatile oil.Most oils need a carrier oil (such as vegetable oil, or V6) but lavender is gentle on even little babies. You can definitely use a carrier, though, and make a light, soothing massage oil. Research has confirmed that lavender produces slight calming, soothing, and sedative effects when its scent is inhaled. PLEASE check with your doctor and do your research before using ANYTHING on your children.

As I’ve mentioned, I have 3 children that are, at any given moment, ganging up on me as I try to do literally anything that doesn’t revolve around all of them simultaneously, and I can only write this at this moment because 2 of them are at school and the other is napping. They have elevated the spazz attack to an art form and a spectator sport (which is especially fun at the grocery store, when you know everyone is watching and judging the hell out of your parenting). The solution to this? Well, beyond the usual “make sure they are fed, rested, and dressed comfortably before unleashing them on the world”, I rub lavender oil on their adorable little bellies. The scent is calming, relaxing, and helps to nip those bouncing-off-the-walls-in-public-oh-crap-GET-BACK-HERE-THIS-INSTANT moments in the bud. I say “helps” because it’s not quite magic, and that toy over there would make my kid flip out even if he was fully sedated.

All right guys, simmer down.

After you get home from your stress-free trip to the store, put a few drops of the oil on your precious baby’s pillowcase (or on a handkerchief tucked into the pillowcase) to help lull the little angel into dreamland.

Then you can draw yourself a nice bath (I enjoy them so hot I look like a lobster coming out, but whatever your personal preference is fine :P), and of course add a few drops to the running water so you can literally soak in the relaxation. I would suggest a glass of blackberry wine and a good book as well, but whatever floats your boat. Lavender soaps, scented with 100% therapeutic grade oils? Fabulous.

Other wonderful uses for lavender:

  • Use it to help lessen the effects of insomnia, anxiety and depression (and of course talk to your doctor if these conditions are severe)
  • It is EXCELLENT for treating burns. But you know the drill–ANY SEVERE BURN REQUIRES A TRIP TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM
  • As a gentle antiseptic to treat small cuts and scrapes (I keep a bottle in my first aid kit and purse for such occasions)
  • For treatment of skin irritations such as windburn
  • Insect bites (Yup, go to the doctor if the insect is of the “OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT I’M GOING TO DIE” variety, or if an allergic reaction to the bite occurs)
  • On the chest to ease congestion due to colds or allergies
  • As a massage for muscle pain
  • On pimples (I know, eww)
  • Toss it at irritable people like holy water on a vampire. (I am not responsible for any legal problems this may cause you–your results may vary)

To sum this up, I believe that everyone should carry this oil with them at all times. It’s like the Swiss Army Knife of oils–when in doubt, dump some lavender on it. Also remember to check for an allergic reaction when using any oils, though with lavender this is pretty unlikely, and TALK TO YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER IF YOU’RE PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING BEFORE USING ANYTHING NEW, YES I WILL KEEP REPEATING THIS BECAUSE IT’S IMPORTANT. I love you, Internet people, and I want you to be careful and stay safe.

Have a wonderful, beautiful, peaceful day everyone,

Loretta ❤