Storing Essential Oils for Longevity + A GIVEAWAY!

All my oily friends, it's time to up your game when it comes to storing your precious oils. You've spent a ton of money on your stash, so you might as well protect it.

Facial products that are infused with essential oils should be stored in glass jars or glass bottles. Proper storage in a dark, airtight glass bottle gives you a longer shelf life and sustained quality on. If I'm putting an essential oil infused product on my face, especially if they are homemade, I want to make sure they last a long time and don't degrade.

The two things that cause a natural product (like essential oils and food) to degrade quickly are air and light. This isn't news. The ancient Egyptians invented deep violet glass thousands of years ago and preserved precious oils and herbs for centuries in tombs. This is the philosophy behind storing essential oils in amber glass bottles. We have great glass storage solutions available to us, guys!


Infinity Jars' special pigmented glass is thicker and more durable than your standard glass; it is smell-proof, blocks harmful UV light and is visually discreet. These glass jars can actually slow down the decaying process of organic matter while maintaining the freshness of whatever is inside. The jar lid systems, the screw-top and glass-on-glass lid, are completely airtight.

What sets Infinity Jars apart from all other glass jars is that it blocks out all harmful visible light rays while selectively allowing infrared and UVA rays.


I made my own facial toner in a 30mL glass spray bottle, a facial serum in a 50mL push pump glass bottle, and an essential oil perfume in a 15mL steel roller bottle. The recipes require some basic, affordable Young Living essential oils that most oilers have in their stash.

Facial Toner
3 drops Lavender
2 drops Frankencense
1 tsp. V6 Carrier Oil
Witch Hazel (choose the alcohol free with aloe type)
30mL glass spray bottle

Directions: Put the essential oils and V6 Carrier Oil in the spray bottle first, then fill the rest of the way up with Witch Hazel. Place the sprayer on top, and enjoy! Shake gently before each use.

Facial Serum
20 drops Lavender
20 drops Frankincense
10 drops Geranium
approx. 2 T. V6 Carrier Oil, or another carrier oil of your choice (some like sweet almond or jojoba)
50mL push pump glass bottle

Directions: Put the essential oils in the pump bottle first, then fill the rest of the way up with your carrier oil. Place the pump on the bottle, and enjoy! You should apply this serum to a clean face. I apply this at night after washing my face, and sometimes it can double as a moisturizer. Just shake gently before each use.

If you use a different size pump bottle than the one I recommend, you'll have to adjust the essential oil-to-carrier oil ratio as to not have too much carrier oil.

"Walk in the Woods" perfume
5 drops Lavender
4 drops Lemon
3 drops Vetiver
V6 Carrier Oil
15mL steel roller bottle

Directions: Put the essential oils in the roller bottle first, then fill the rest of the way up with V6 Carrier Oil. Place the steel roller ball on top, and enjoy!

When Tania sent my Infinity Jars, they shipped USPS Priority 2-Day and she provided a tracking number via email. My package was impeccably packaged (it's the little things, guys!): Hand labeled and with sturdy shipping materials. Although, I do wish the shipping materials were compostable instead of plastic.

When browsing their site, I became particularly interested in the Variety Packs. These are packages  that make sense in terms of variety of styles and sizes, with an additional savings to reward customers for buying multiple products at one time.

You can win a $30 credit to spend on any of the Infinity Jars products by leaving a comment below. We'll randomly select a winner on April 20th, 2017.

Have you used an essential oil infused facial product? Do you have a favorite 'recipe' or blend? Leave a comment!

Ready to get oily? 
Well, first I'd recommend learning more about the Young Living Wholesale Membership. If you're going to invest in some oils, you might as well get them at the wholesale price (24% off retail!). To set up your wholesale account, all you need to do is:

1. Go here to enter in your informationEnter this Sponsor/Enroller ID number1880846
2. Choose a starter kit. (When I started, I bought the Premium Starter Kit and am SO happy I did!)
3. Optional: Sign up for Essential Rewards, which is a monthly auto-ship program. This is totally optional, and you can choose to sign up for the monthly auto-ship later, if you want.
4. Once you enter your payment for your starter kit, you're set! Just sit back and relax until your kit is delivered.

If a wholesale account isn't for you, and you just want to order a few oils to get started, just go here to set up your retail account, then feel free to browse the products. Just be sure to enter in this ID number when you set up your retail account: 1880846

Urban Homestead Meal Plan - Week of 4/3

In this week's meal plan (which is sometimes a photo of our menu board in our kitchen, sometimes a screenshot of my Real Plans, sometimes a simple list with links to recipes), you'll find several homegrown or local item from our urban homestead. Of course, there will be a few repeats throughout the week since we try to eat in-season and lots of leftovers for lunch. Breakfast is usually a smoothie or steel cut oats; something that can be prepared quickly in the morning. 

Monday - Pork chops and mushrooms in a coconut sauce
Tuesday - Spinach salad with veggies, nuts, artichokes
Wednesday - Slow cooker chicken and vegetable soup
Thursday - Spicy African kale with chicken 
Friday - Beef marinara over quinoa and steamed broccoli
Saturday - Breakfast for dinner!
Sunday - Chicken meatballs and whatever vegetables I can salvage from the fridge

It might seem complicating to eat locally and in season, but we actually get the bulk of our meal plan ideas from Real Plans. You can go here to learn more!



Amp Up Movement, Slow Down the Mind.

Living a balanced, healthy lifestyle has been challenging. John and I have lost some weight, but we're definitely far from perfect when it comes to our diets. We workout often and track our activity with a Fitbit, but we still haven't found the perfect way to stay active.

Last June, right after a stressful school year ended, I was seeking at at-home yoga practice. Specifically, I was looking for something that I could follow at my own pace and still reap all of the health benefits of a solid yoga program. My sister-in-law owns a yoga studio, but the 30 minute drive was challenging for me to swing twice a week (or more). I just needed something I could do at home. Amping up my movement, while slowing down my mind was my intention. 

I stumbled across, and subscribed to their YouTube channel and some of their Challenge playlists. It seemed I found a Golden Ticket! After about a week of daily yoga practice, which consisted of a 10- to 25-minute lesson or flow and a guided meditation, I started to notice a few things:
  • My flexibility was greatly improving. I wasn't able to do a backbend, a handstand, or twist into a pretzel, but I was able to get into the moves quickly and without pain. 
  • After about 2 weeks, I was attempting harder poses like The Crow, with a modification of course. I cannot even tell you what this was doing for my self-esteem.

  • I was sore! But it it was a different type of sore than I'd experienced with other types of workouts. I think this is because yoga is low impact, but I can't be sure. 
  • Focusing on my breathing and clearing my mind became easier. As a result, at the end of a workout I felt physically stronger and mentally clear. Sometimes while I'm working out at the gym it's easy to check my phone, read emails, make mental to-do lists, and basically keep 'working'. Yoga forced me to quiet the noise in my head. 
To accelerate my yoga practice, I also talked with Heidi, a Beachbody Coach, and she hooked with up with a PiYo program. This program is also low impact and uses so many of the moves that I've learned over the last 8 months during my in-home yoga practice. I sweat more and get my heart rate up faster with PiYo, and it's a nice switch on occasion from my regular yoga practice. 

You'll remember that about 8 weeks ago I joined the Iowa Food and Family Project's blogger team for the annual Live Healthy Iowa Challenge. This is my second year on the IFFP team, but I have participated in the challenge with some teacher friends at a school where I used to teach. Our IFFP team consists of a bunch of my blogger friends. This accountability throughout the Challenge has helped me be mindful of wearing my Fitbit (the steps sync automatically to my Live Healthy Iowa Dashboard!) and the power of a team. 

Right now my girls Ally, and Katy, and Stephanie are crushing it with their level of activity! Please check out each of their blogs; you're going to love these women. 

What do you do to stay active? Have you tried yoga? 

I have a $25 Scheels gift card to give away to one lucky reader, courtesy of Iowa Food and Family Project! Just leave a comment and you're entered to win. I will draw a winner on the last day of our 10-week challenge, March 31st.

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