Thursday, December 31, 2009

Immunity Oils Back in Stock!

A fresh new batch of Immunity of Thieves oils are BACK IN STOCK! This blend of essential oils is highly anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. A GREAT way to guard against colds, flu's and much more!

These sell like hot cakes, so if you are interested, order quickly. I only have a limited number of these available until I blend the next batch!

½ ounce full strength $20
1 ounce pre-diluted $15 (Comes with a glass dropper - not a screw cap as shown)
2 ounce pre-diluted $23.

Wishing you and yours a HAPPY & HEALTHY New Year!!!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New Testimonials Just In!

I was just checking my email before shutting down for our trip to Utah for the holidays, and received an email from a customer and her sister about how well they like my Immunity of Thieves oil and First-Aid Stick. I wanted to get it posted before I head out of town! Here they are:

When I got strep throat my first thoughts were not to use my Immunity of Thieves oil because I wanted something to provide fast relief and I thought an antibiotic would be the best way to get that. Well, I got Strep again not a month later and was taking another antibiotic. Two days into that antibiotic I was still miserable and that's when I thought to call Jen. I had been running a fever and been rotating Tylenol and Ibuprofen every 4 hours for the last 2 days. I dropped the Immunity of Thieves oil right onto my tonsils and it provided some instant relief, almost a numbing effect, and after I never ran a fever again!

I LOVE the First Aid stick. I use it for a number of things but the thing I love it most for is headaches. I have headaches quite a bit and the First Aid stick has really helped. I rub it right on my forehead and it is almost instant relief directly where I rub it and then more relief for the rest of my head within a very short time. I am happy to say I have not taken Tylenol for a headache since I purchased my First Aid stick.

My sister was visiting for the weekend and her daughter had the worst diaper rash I had ever seen. She had been trying different over-the-counter cremes for a week and nothing was helping so I gave her my First Aid stick. She only used it once that night before she left but the next morning she noticed a big improvement!

- McKenna Tanner
This next one came from McKenna's sister:
My daughter had had athlete's foot for about 6 months. We had tried everything. One day she was sick so I started rubbing the Immunity of Thieves oil on her feet to help her get better. I set aside the athlete's foot creme thinking I would deal with that again after I got her feeling better. By the time she was feeling better I noticed her athlete's foot was also better and she has not had it since!! THANKS Jen

- Jennifer
In addition to the Immunity of Thieves oil being highly anti-viral, and anti-bacterial, it is also highly anti-fungal - so no surprise it kicked Jennifer's daughter's athlete's foot out the window! And as for the numbing effect it had on McKenna's throat - we can give the clove oil the credit for that. Clove oil is also wonderful for tooth aches!

Regarding the First-Aid stick for relieving headaches - this was news to me! Who would have though the first-aid stick would whisk away headaches? This must be due to the essential oils of Lavender, Rosewood, Rose, and Bergamot. The Tamanu oil also has anti-inflammatory effects so I'm sure it is helpful as well!

Click here for more testimonials and info on the Immunity of Thieves oil.

What other "non-obvious" ways do you use your Simply Jen products? Would LOVE to know!!

Wishing you all a safe and wonderful Christmas!!


Monday, December 7, 2009

SJ Christmas Sale!

Here are the details on my Christmas sale for those of you who have been waiting! I'm clearing out the last of my stock for the year so there are a limited number of items. All Utah orders can be picked up in Riverton with no shipping costs if ordered by Thursday (12/10)! Idaho orders can be picked up locally in Rupert. I will also ship anywhere else in the US. (Please excuse the lame product snap shot! I still haven't had time to get proper photos taken in the studio!)

Olive Oil lotions: Regularly $14, SALE $11 (13 Available: 5 Lavender, 3 Fresh Scent, 2 Grapefruit, 1 Citrus Burst, 2 Unscented)

Baby Lotions: Regularly $18, SALE $15 (Only 2 Available - HOT ITEM! Lavender or Fresh Scent)

Peppermint Lip Balms: Regularly $4, SALE $3 (Only 8 left!)

Sugar Scrubs (in NEW packaging!!-Old packaging show in photo): Reg $18, SALE $15 (Choose from Citrus Burst, Grapefruit w/ Hibiscus Blossoms, Fresh Scent, Mint, or Lavender)

Foaming Hand Wash: Reg $8, SALE $7 each or 3 for $18 (10 available. Choose from lemon, grapefruit, or mint)

Foaming Baby Wash (not shown): Reg $10, SALE $9 each or 3 for $18 (5 available. Choose from lavender, or unscented)

Spend $50 and I'll throw in a FREE sugar scrub!

Send orders to: shopsimplyjen at gmail dot com (Replace "at" with "@" and "dot" with a period "."). Posting my email address this way keeps spammers from filling my inbox with junk!)



Thursday, December 3, 2009

Immunity of Thieves Oil - Precautions & Tips

My Immunity of Thieves oil has been flying off the shelves this past month - thanks to word-of-mouth advertising. Someone tells a friend or family member how well the oil worked for them, and soon I'm getting a call for another order. I have found that the majority of the people purchasing my oil are new to essential oils and aromatherapy. Because of this I want to offer some precautions and tips.

Essential oils were mankind's first medicine. They have been used for thousands of years, and I'm happy to see so many returning to their use today! Essential oils are very diverse in their effects and can perform many different functions. Synthetic chemicals are completely opposite in that they basically have one action. Essential oils are the volatile liquids distilled from plants. Yes, essential oils are natural, but they are also extremely potent and must be used with care.

A few oils can be used neat (undiluted) on the skin. Examples include lavender, sandalwood and tea tree oil. However most essential oils are not suitable for use neat, and can cause irritation. Even the oils mentioned above should only be used diluted if you are not sure how your skin will react to them. Always, always dilute when using them on children. Treat essential oils as medicine and you will be able to enjoy the many benefits they provide.

This next section is regarding the Immunity of Thieves oil specifically.

If you are purchasing or have purchased my undiluted blend of Immunity of Thieves, the following dilution ratios will be helpful.

The safest way to use the oil is by applying it to the bottoms of the feet. The oil is very hot and can cause severe skin sensitivity if used improperly. It must be diluted with a carrier oil (such as olive, sunflower, or almond, etc). Here are a few dilution ratios: (The first number refers to how many parts immunity oil. The second number refers to how many parts carrier oil).

1:4 Ratio (25% dilution)
This ratio is still extremely concentrated but can be tolerated by most on the bottoms of the feet. This ratio is equal to 25 drops immunity to 1 tsp carrier oil. Mix in an amber glass bottle or clear glass container with lid and store in a dark place. Always keep out of the reach of children. Use enough oil to cover the bottom of each foot.

1:10 Ratio (10% dilution)
A 10% dilution is still considered quite concentrated and should be used when aggressive results are desired. Most adults can withstand this dilution on other non-sensitive ares of the body such as the chest, neck, and back. This ratio is equal to 10 drops immunity to 1 tsp carrier oil. The adults in my family use this ratio when we have been around someone who has been sick or if we've already come down with something. It keeps us from getting sick in the first place or if already sick, we usually get well within a day or so.

1:100 Ratio (1% dilution)
This ratio is recommended for use on children, the elderly and those with health concerns. This ratio is equal to 1 drop immunity to 1 tsp carrier oil. Pregnant women shouldn't use more than a 1% dilution of any essential oil and only after consulting a physician.

I use the 1:4 ratio on the bottoms of my kids' feet and they do fine with it. Tony and I also use the 1:4 ratio on our skin on occasion. It's warm and tingly but not uncomfortable for us. The bottom line is to take extreme care until you know how much your family's skin can handle. Using more doesn't necessarily mean better results.

Diffusing Immunity of Thieves
Many of you have purchased my Ultrasonic Diffuser. This cold-air diffuser is a wonderful tool for putting essential oils into the air. When diffused, essential oils provide air purification by removing metallic particles from the air; increasing atmospheric oxygen; increasing ozone and negative ions in the area, which inhibits bacterial growth; destroying odors from mold, cigarettes, and animals; and filling the air with a fresh, aromatic scent.

Another company sells a similar blend using the same oils. They have had their blend tested (hence it's much higher price). Tests have shown that after diffusing the blend of oils for just 12 minutes killed 99.96% of airborne bacteria.

I add just 5 or 6 drops of Immunity of Thieves oil to the water in my diffuser. I run it for 12-30 minutes a day. Running it for longer than 30 minutes isn't recommended as it is a strong oil which can irritate mucous membranes if overused. My home does not have an open floor plan, so I move it from room to room as needed to keep my indoor air clean. I have used this little diffuser in larger homes with open floor plans with excellent results! I would say that the diffuser will cover up to a 1000 sq. ft. of open space.

If you are interested in purchasing Immunity of Thieves oil or a diffuser, click here to visit my online store! If you have any questions, please contact me!

Here are prices:
Ultrasonic Diffuser Pro $85
Ultrasonic Diffuser Simple $55
Immunity of Thieves Oil (.5 oz Undiluted) $20
Immunity of Thieves Oil (1 oz Pre-Diluted 1:4) $15
Immunity of Thieves Oil (2 oz Pre-Diluted 1:4) $23

To your health this winter season!

PS - Click here to learn more about Immunity of Thieves oil or to find out why it has such peculiar name!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Simply Jen Black Friday Sale!

I'm sitting here after an incredible Thanksgiving Day with all of my loved ones. Thanksgiving dinner was delicious, family was full of warmth, love, and excitement! We spent hours together singing together (musical family), playing games, and enjoying every second of each others company! It was really just a wonderful day! Now the day is nearly over, and I'm thinking about all the fun sales going on for "Black Friday" tomorrow. Then it hit me..."I should have a Black Friday sale!!" So, here it is!

For one day only, I am offering a special $10 price for my Simply Jen Sugar Scrubs! (Reg. $18). If you haven't tried them yet, you won't know how wonderful they really are. I use mine in the shower to scrub my entire body. After the sugar is rinsed off, I shave. The oil acts as a lubricant and protectant. You'll get the best shave ever with no more nicks! I usually don't need to use lotion after I've used my sugar scrub in the shower. It's one of my favorite products! So, take advantage of this special, one-day offer to stock up for Christmas gifts or as a great gift for yourself!

Choose from:

Grapefruit w/ Hibiscus Flowers
Citrus Burst
Fresh Mint
Fresh Scent

Send your order to before midnight November, 27, 2009!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving too!


Friday, November 20, 2009

Using Aromatherapy to prevent the Flu, H1N1, and Colds

Since I released my newest product, "Immunity of Thieves Essential Oil Blend", there has been a flurry of miraculous results. My family and I have used essential oils for years, with wonderful results. In fact, I attribute our lack for the need of antibiotics for over 14 years to our use of essential oils and other holistic methods.

Over the past three weeks, this incredible oil has been used by people who normally use conventional means of treatment (antibiotics, and over-the-counter medicine) during a bout of flu or respiratory infection. These people have used my new product with stunning results!

Nicole's story:

I LOVE your Immunity of Thieves! As you know, I am a skeptic and so the thought of rubbing some oil on my feet for a healthier life... seemed futile. About over a month ago, 3 of my kids were so sick, (coughing, runny noses, fevers, sore throats, etc.) I was certain that they would all need antibiotics. My father-in-law is a doctor and so getting a visit or a prescription is super easy. Last winter it seemed like one of us were always on some medication. So when my kids were sick and you suggested I give Immunity of Thieves a try, I thought to myself "what the heck, it won't hurt." I faithfully rubbed them with the oil every day (sometimes throughout the day for coughing), and I am so happy to tell you that we are all so healthy and I am a happy mom!!! NONE of us needed a doctor visit. I use it every day and I love the smell. I can't thank you enough for introducing me to this product. It has been life-changing.

Nicole Wayment - Rupert, Idaho
Torie's story:
I am becoming a firm believer of Simply Jen's Immunity of Thieves oil. My 7-year-old has been getting croup ever since he was an infant and when he has it... he is sick! He gets a fever and is very wheezy. Well, my mother-in-law happened to have some Immunity of Thieves on hand when she heard my son had come down with croup (the croup came in the middle of the night). She hurried over in the morning with some oil for me to try on him. I wanted to try anything, knowing a fun holiday was coming up that he did not want to miss. I was amazed! He looked and felt better in hours. I rubbed the soles of his feet, and his neck and chest 3 times that day and repeated the doses the next day. He never even coughed the night of the first three applications (which is usually a really bad night for him), he woke in the morning a little congested, we repeated the doses....croup never returned and a fever never came. WOW! Thanks Simply Jen!!!

Torie Lugo - Riverton, Utah
McKenna's story:
When I got strep throat my first thoughts were not to use my Immunity of Thieves oil because I wanted something to provide fast relief and I thought an antibiotic would be the best way to get that. Well, I got Strep again not a month later and was taking another antibiotic. Two days into that antibiotic I was still miserable and that's when I thought to call Jen. I had been running a fever and been rotating Tylenol and Ibuprofen every 4 hours for the last 2 days. I dropped the Immunity of Thieves oil right onto my tonsils and it provided some instant relief, almost a numbing effect, and after I never ran a fever again!

McKenna Tanner, Rupert, Idaho
Jennifer's Story:
My daughter had had athlete's foot for about 6 months. We had tried everything. One day she was sick so I started rubbing the Immunity of Thieves oil on her feet to help her get better. I set aside the athlete's foot creme thinking I would deal with that again after I got her feeling better. By the time she was feeling better I noticed her athlete's foot was also better and she has not had it since!! THANKS Jen

Jennifer, Southern Idaho

So, what is Immunity of Thieves Oil?
It is an essential oil blend of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary.

The highly anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antiseptic properties of the single oils contained in this blend help protect the body from the onset of flu, candida, colds, etc. It may also help with sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, coughs, strep, sore throats, gum disease, teething, cold sores, canker sores, bruises, cuts, infection, slivers and splinters (pulls to the surface). It is considered anti-plague as it was used by thieves in England to protect them from the plague when stealing from the sick and dying. (Now you know why it has such a peculiar name!)

The full strength blend must be diluted before applying to the skin. I recommend diluting 25 drops of Immunity of Thieves with 1 tsp carrier oil (like Olive Oil) and applying to the bottoms of the feet as a daily ritual to keep from getting sick.

For those who are already sick, I recommend diluting the full strength blend even more (especially for those with sensitive skin) before applying to the chest, and down the spine. 10 drops to 1 tsp of carrier oil is a good dilution for this application.

When using on young children and babies, dilute 1-2 drops of Immunity of Thieves Oil with 1 tsp. carrier oil.

You can experiment with the dilution ratios after you become familiar with what strengths your family's skin can handle. The cinnamon makes it a hot oil, so care should be taken. If in doubt - the bottoms of the feet are always the safest place to apply it.

I'm so excited about this blend an am grateful to be able to offer it to my friends and family (strangers too!) at a fraction of the cost of other similar blends out there. Another company sells their 1/2 ounce blend of these oils for nearly $42! I am offering mine for less than half that amount!

Immunity of Thieves Oil, Full Strength - ½ oz - $20.00
Immunity of Thieves Oil, Pre-diluted - 1 oz - $15.00 (Glass dropper included)
Immunity of Thieves Oil, Pre-diluted - 2 oz - $23.00 (Glass dropper included)

(My pre-diluted oils are in a base of sunflower oil, as it is a light oil that absorbs quickly, and is wonderful for the skin!)

In my opinion, this is a great alternative to doctor visits, copays, antibiotics, or other expensive prescriptions, and provides fast relief from the discomforts of being sick!


And now for the disclaimer:
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

To your health!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Simply Jen Products - Price List

(Click image to enlarge)

Since I started my line of handmade natural bath and body products, I have been asked on numerous occasions if I have a website. (No surprise, of course!) I'm a graphic designer and create websites for other people all the time - so why isn't MY website up and running? Good question. And until I think of a good answer...

Here is my price list (at least!). Orders can be placed by sending an email with your name, address, phone number, and desired products to: I will reply with a link to my paypal payment page. Soon, I will have a beautiful, fully-functioning, up-with-the-times, e-commerce website from which you can browse and shop to your heart's content!

Thanks for your patience, and most of all...your support!!


Friday, September 18, 2009

My Famous Zucchini Bread Recipe!

Hi Friends!

I know it's been a while since you've seen anything from me. And while I still don't have much time, I just wanted to share with you one of my favorite recipes for this time of year! If you have a garden overflowing with zucchini (like me) you'll appreciate this recipe even more!

This is my famous yummy recipe for zucchini bread. It's sweet like a cake, so don't expect this to be a super healthy. Sometimes I reduce the sugar by ¼ cup depending on the day. If you're wanting something more healthy, you can reduce the sugar even more, or substitute agave nectar, honey or molasses for the sugar. You can even add a cup of chopped nuts if you like.

This bread freezes extremely well, so you can use up all that zucchini in your garden and enjoy the bread for months! I also like to make muffins instead of a loaf for grab and go convenience (as well as to ration portions for my kids!)

* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 3 eggs
* 1 cup vegetable oil (I use Olive)
* 2 1/4 cups white sugar
* 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 2 cups grated zucchini


1. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.

3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.

4. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Tip: If you want to make this recipe to give as Christmas gifts, you can grate and freeze your zucchini until you're ready to start baking for the holidays!



Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Power of "Thank You"

About a month ago I became a little out of balance, which resulted in some negativity. Usually when I fall into an occasional rut of negativity, I don't really notice how negative I am. I usually try to stay conscious of my self and what my thoughts are. I've never wanted to be one of those people who are unaware of their unawareness. (Give that one some thought).

Recently I've come back to using the power of "thank you" to turn my negativity back around. Instead of being frustrated with my children for not doing what I ask, I've been intently watching for opportunities to thank them when they do something right. It feels so much better than yelling and being unhappy with motherhood.

I have found that thanking adult friends and family members also has the same effect. People love feeling appreciated. When they feel appreciated, they want to continue doing things that make them feel good.

Sometimes a simple, "thank you" is all that is needed. Other times I find it more impactful to fortify the words with something more heartfelt, like, "Thank you so much for taking the trash out! It's one of my least favorite things to do, so when you do it for me, I really feel loved." I like to look my children in the eyes and fortify it even further with a hug. (This combines "words of affirmation" with "physical touch" - see my post about love languages).

If there is something that bothers you about someone, resist the urge to talk about them to others that share your annoyance, or anyone else for that matter. Instead, see if you can inspire a change in a subtle way by using thanking techniques. Afterall, if you really do love someone, wouldn't it make sense to protect their reputation by helping them to improve?

And lastly, always be the type of person worthy of being thanked. Give others a reason to thank you! Be considerate. Be courteous. In an everyday setting, see a need and fill it. In a group setting, if you see that a dirty plate needs to be removed from the living room after a party - put it in the sink. If you see that a mother has her hands full with her children - offer to hold the baby while she tends to the other children's immediate needs.

I know that in my life, by taking the time to give thanks and praise those around me as well as being willing to offer a helping hand, my positive energy increases and I feel happier inside. And in my experience, the happier I feel inside, the more happiness I attract to me. Like attracts like, so choose to attract happiness and beauty in your life today, starting with gratitude and graciousness!

In the spirit of gratitude, it only makes sense to let my readers know how thankful I am for you! Sure, writing is theraputic for me, so without readers I would still receive some benefit. However, receiving comments, and hearing that I have something to offer someone else is what really makes it worthwhile to me!


My Naturopathic Medicine Cabinet

I'm a big believer in natural health. I love being able to keep my family healthy and treat illness using gentle, natural, methods. I myself haven't used antibiotics for over 14 years. Antibiotics kill the bad and good bacteria, weakening the immune system. Antibiotics do have their place and I am grateful we have access to them when needed.

I also give birth to my children at home using hypnosis (it really works!). Of course I'm always accompanied by a skilled midwife & naturopathic doctor. Dr. Brenda Grogan, ND, of The Healthy Way is wonderful. Over the years she has taught me a lot about healing naturally. She's a wonderful educator and loves sharing her knowledge. (If you have a health question, you can ask her via her website under "Ask Dr. Brenda").

This is what I always keep in my Naturopathic medicine cabinet:

(DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor and offer this information only as an example of what I have found to be useful, natural methods of healing. Please seek advice from a qualified health practitioner if you are experiencing any health issues).

  • Immunity of Thieves Oil (Purchase Here)
    A highly anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal blend of essential oils. As a preventative measure, I apply it full strength or diluted to the bottoms of the feet as a bedtime ritual. At the first sign of illness, I increase application to 3x daily and rub it (diluted) on the chest and back. This usually stops an illness in its tracks especially if I catch it early. (We also use this daily to brush our teeth!)

  • Tea Tree Oil (Purchase Here)
    An antiseptic and anti-fungal. At the first sign of illness (2-3 times daily), I rub full-strength tea tree oil down the spine, behind the ears and on the bottoms of feet. It has always either prevented the illness from progressing or shortened the life of the illness. While the Immunity of Thieves oil is my first choice, I'll sometime alternate between the two. Tea Tree on the body, Immunity on the feet, and visa versa.

  • Lavender Oil (Purchase Here)
    An antiseptic. This oil is great for burns and cuts. I burned my finger badly on some hot glue during a craft project I was working on for the Southern Idaho Living Magazine. I immediately rubbed lavender oil on the burn. The pain went away within seconds, and the next day you couldn't tell when the burn had been. I also use it to relieve braxton-hicks contractions during pregnancy, and tension headaches. Besides, it smells sooo good!

  • Colloidal Silver
    Colloidal silver is a natural antibiotic. I have found it completely successful at healing ear and eye infections. When sprayed or dripped into the nostrils, it has healed sore throats and sinus infections.

  • Echinacea/Goldenseal (I like Nature's Way brand)
    Also a natural antibiotic. I use this at the first sign of illness along with the tea tree oil. It takes longer that conventional antibiotics, but is much more gentle on the system.

  • Liquid Chlorophyll (I like mine with mint)
    When taken (2 Tbsp.) twice daily, I have found chlorophyll to be an effective deodorizer. Whan I take it on a regular basis, I find that I don't need to use underarm deodorant - and no more matches in the bathroom! :)

  • St. John's Wort (I like liquid/tincture form)
    This has been an absolute LIFESAVER for me after having my children. I experience terrible postpartum depression and this is like putting on rose colored glasses! We buy this in bulk! It is wonderful during times of stress and also relieves symtoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

  • Rescue Remedy by Bach Flower
    This is another good one for stress and anxiety. I keep it in my purse or diaper bag - just in case. Works very fast.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar (I like Bragg's brand)
    This stuff is good for everything - seriously. I'll have to write an entirely separate post on the benefits of apple cider vinegar. In short, it's great for arthritis, yeast, fungus, bronchitis, skin conditions, body odor, and much more. It is a natural antibiotic and antiseptic. I take 2 tablespoons of ACV in warm water with a tablespoon of honey and sip twice daily.

  • Epsom Salts (Available at your local drug store)
    Soaking in epsom salt draws inflammation and infection from the body. It's great for aches, pains and sore muscles. When my children are sick, they enjoy soaking in a warm tub of epsom salts. They always seem to feel much better afterwards.

  • Lobelia Tincture (I like Dr. Christopher's Brand)
    Lobelia is a bronchial dilator, expectorant and emetic. You can use it to expel thick mucous from the bronchial tubes and lungs. I recently had a bout with bronchitis. My lungs were tight and I couldn't clear them. About an hour after taking 10 drops of lobelia tincture in water, my lungs had loosened greatly and I was able to clear things out.
What do you keep in your naturopathic medicine chest?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Using Safe, Natural Bath & Body Products

Some of you my be aware that I formulate and make my own natural bath & body/skincare products and have asked how this came to be.

It all started when I was pregnant with my third baby. I was concerned about the ingredients in the baby shampoo and baby lotion I was using on my two other young children. This concern led me to investigate online. (It's a little-known fact that one of my nicknames is "Sherlock Jen". I can find info on just about anything within minutes online.)

I was simply appalled by what I learned about the ingredients in the products I was using on my children! This information came from many sources, however, the best source of information was found at SkinDeep - a cosmetic safety database. They provide safety ratings for over 42,000 products that we use on our bodies. They rate products on a hazard scale from 0 to 10, 10 being of the highest toxicity level. Imagine my surprise to find that my baby lotion was rated an 8. EIGHT! On my BABY!! The baby shampoo was not much better, at a 5.

I admit it. I'm a purist and an idealist. I want the products I use to be completely natural, non-toxic, and free of chemicals. COMPLETELY. I want the products I use to rate ZERO on the hazard scale. And honestly, that's really hard to find. And when you find it, it comes with some controversy. ("How could a product rated zero be controversial?" you ask? More about the controversy later.) So here I was, about to give birth to this completely pure, natural, untouched, perfect little baby and I didn't want to slather him in chemicals that would affect his health down the road. I had to do something. And that's what led me to start making my own bath and body products.

After a 13-month period of extensive research online, I feel like I have received a college education in cosmetic chemistry. It's quite exhilarating to me, and the more I learn...the more I want to learn. There have been MANY evenings of study that have continued into the wee hours of the morning. (I LOVE this stuff!) After all I have learned about the negative effects of many ingredients found in products we apply to our skin everyday - I want to share what I have learned with everyone I know!

Several months ago I decided I wanted to make my safe, natural products available to those who have the same concerns I have. I've created some lotions and sugar scrubs that are so delicious to my skin, and I know they are filled with healthy, nutritious ingredients which feed and soothe my skin. (Family and friends have admitted they don't want to use anything else on their skin after using mine! Yay!)

I had all this excitement built up and it escalated when I was offered an opportunity to expose a large group of people to some samples an an opportunity to purchase! This was it! My chance to go for it! I already had some incredible formulas, and being a graphic artist, I had already designed my look. I just needed to order my packaging and my labels, and then get "cooking". But the excitement faded when I realized I finally had to face the issue of choosing a preservative. (Insert pouty face here) :)

Back to the controversy I mentioned earlier: The controversy that comes with a lotion rated a zero on the hazard scale is because it probably doesn't contain a broad-spectrum preservative. Products containing water need a preservative to keep them from becoming infested with harmful bacteria. The lotions I make for my family are made without preservatives because they are used before they have a chance to go bad. In an ideal world, everyone would make and use their own lotions, doing away with the need for preservatives. Unfortunately most people either aren't interested in making their own, or just don't have the time.

So the research continues...this time it is concentrated on preservatives. If I can't create safe products with the inclusion of a preservative, then I'll continue to make them without preservatives for the use of my own family. I do believe there is a solution, and I intend to find it!

Check back soon for all my findings!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Reader Question: Where are you?

I just get started enjoying your blog and now you've disappeared from the blog-o-sphere! Where are you?? Stamptastic
My deepest apologies for not posting this update sooner! My sweet little computer went in to see the doctor and ended up needing some major surgery. She was in the hospital for two weeks. Just as she was being released, we took off on a much needed family vacation. Now that we're back in the swing of things, and Talullah has a clean bill of health, I need a couple of days to load her back up with all the software she needs to feel like herself again.

Please stay tuned! I'll be posting a couple of fun craft projects soon!


Monday, June 15, 2009

Comments People! Comments!

Blogging is great fun, but do you know what makes it really fun and fulfilling? READER COMMENTS!! Whenever someone posts a comment, I get giddy with excitement. (Okay, so it doesn't take much to please me...) So do me a favor and let me know you've been here! If you've tried commenting in the past without success, you'll be glad to know I recently changed the commenting requirements so it's much easier now! (Click on the word "comments" if you don't already see the comment box below).

On the other hand - if you have any questions regarding interior design, graphic design, natural health, or need help coming up with creative ideas (birthday themes, cheap anniversary plans, gift ideas, business marketing, etc), give me a holler! Your question may even get the spotlight right here! (Email:

Come on...turn my frown upside down. You know you wanna share the love, and make my day - right? ;)

Jen (xo)

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Right White (in a Spray Can)

If you love a soft white with, barely-there yellow undertones, I have the PERFECT white spray paint for you!

Krylon Fusion for Plastic is not just for plastic but is great for painting wood, metal, ceramic and lots of other surfaces. It's great because it eliminates the two really annoying steps of sanding and priming! (How simple is that?) It also dries in less than 15 minutes! Oooh...loving it more every second!

Look for the sticker on the back that reads: 2422 Satin Dover White. You're going to LOVE it!

So far, I've painted an old, gold frame and am hopelessly completely in love with this paint! Next, I'll be painting some beat-up, plastic, Adirondack chairs I snagged for only $5 each at a thrift shop! (Stay tuned for the total transformation!)

My list of items to paint is getting longer every day! It's truly amazing what a little paint and some creativity can accomplish!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Summer Retreat: Found!

Have you ever completely and utterly overlooked the potential of something (or someone) only to find at some point down the road, that you've had a priceless gem sitting right under your nose?

Well, this past weekend, I took a little gander into my own backyard. We have an old shed back there which has been housing a bunch of our junk from when we moved in three years ago. The junk got stacked out there, was covered with a tarp, and hasn't been looked through (or needed) since. I think that's a pretty good indication it's time to declutter! (I'd say a garage sale is in order!)

Once I got past the true junk, I noticed a few items that were left behind from the previous owners. In fact, they look so wonderfully old, that they may be items left from even the original owners! (Our house is 89 years old).

First I found this shabby old table under a bunch of boxes and tires. I think it could be quite (shabby)chic. It has old layers of paint in cool hues of beachy blue, green and rust.

Next I spotted this completely awesome old wire basket in that same blue-green color. I can imagine the owners 89 years ago collecting their eggs in this basket and toting them into the house. This is by far my favorite piece.

Do you think this bucket could have really been used to wring out their laundry? This makes me really thankful for the spin cycle!

Look at this charming little rooster bell! I wonder what it was used for. Any ideas?

Among all the interesting things I found inside the shed...the most exciting discovery was the shed itself! Remember my post on really craving an outdoor space to enjoy this summer? Well, I've decided to transform the largest section of the shed into an outdoor room! Here are a few inspiration photos:

You can see from my inspiration photos that I'm going for a Shabby Chic look in hues of blue and green (inspired by my old table and basket) along with a soft white and some rustic woods (old crates) to ground the space. I'll be painting the old paneled walls (aren't they great?), and the (not-so-great) concrete floor.

Here is the tin roof from inside. To paint or not to paint - that is the question. Can you see the old original electrical wiring?

My goal is to finish this room on a thrift-store budget using as many items that I already own as I can. I already have a table for dining, dining chairs, a chandelier, and decor for the walls. I just need to find some really comfy seating - perhaps even a daybed, long with a few other items.

What do you think? Am I crazy, or do you think this could actually be a great outdoor space?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

How to Transform a Frame with Paint!

This old, gold frame was desperately in need of some love. Krylon Fusion for Plastics in Satin Dover White wrapped its loving arms around it and transformed the ugly duckling frame into a beautiful, jaw-dropping swan - fit to frame a masterpiece.

Always clean your surface to remove all dirt and debris and allow to dry completely. Use painters tape to mask any areas of your item that you don't want painted. (Our frame had a beautiful linen border. We taped it off with blue painter's tape and trimmed it with an xacto knife.)

Choose a well-ventilated area, preferably outside. When using spray paint, the overspray can really travel, so always protect surfaces by putting down newspaper or drop cloths. Fortunately we had a spot in the back of our property that didn't need protecting.

For best results, read and follow the directions on the back of the can. Shake the can vigorously before application. Spray a thin coat of paint onto the surface in a sweeping motion. If paint is running, you're spraying too close and too heavy. You can wipe the running paint quickly with a paper towel before continuing. Continue applying thin coats of paint until the entire surface is evenly coated.

I have found better results with removing the painter's tape immediately after painting and before the paint dries.

Allow the paint to dry completely in an area away from any dust that may blow onto the surface.

If you haven't used all of the paint in the can, you'll want to clear the nozzle for next time! You can do this by turning the can upside down and spray for about 5 second. This will keep the nozzle from clogging, so it's ready to go next time you are!

Take a look at the incredible transformation!

PS - I love this nautical scene that was painted in oils by a wonderful artist, Geraldine. Lucky me, I'm her daughter! The walls of my home are graced with her beautiful works of art. If you are interested in her art, leave a comment and I will send you her contact information.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What's that Smell?!

Apparently, if you break apart a head of garlic and throw the cloves in a pretty, airtight, glass container and stash it in your spice cabinet, and then forget about it until you smell something really'll have a little surprise!

Yes, I'm a sucker for glass containers. I thought, "Oh! I'll just stash my garlic in this cute little glass container. That will look cute!" Then one day, I smelled this really pungent, sour smell. I followed my nose to my spice cabinet and found this...

The little darlings had sprouted! (And BOY did they want the world to know! Pugh!) I guess that airtight seal created the perfect, moist environment for the cloves to sprout.

So, I buried one little clove in a plastic cup filled with dirt. Can hardly wait to transplant it in my new, first-time-ever garden! I'll be filling you in on that little adventure soon! And of course I'll keep you posted on Stinky's progress...

What about you? I'd love for you to spill the "beans" on your gardening adventures by posting a comment below!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Double-Duty: Watkins Vanilla

I love, love, love finding items that serve more than one purpose. This is especially great for those living a green lifestyle.

My latest find is Watkins Pure Vanilla extract. (I found it at Walmart for about $4). It comes in this adorable, four-inch tall, vintage-like glass bottle. When you've used up all the delicious contents, instead of tossing the bottle in the trash or recycling bin - use it as a sweet little bud vase! They make an even bigger statement when several of them are grouped together! Could you see five of these little babies lined up on a sun-drenched window sill?

What items do double-duty in your home or garden?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Are you Immune to your Home's Eyesores?

I love having family and friends who are willing to give honest feedback about my home.

This past weekend, while tidying up for company to arrive, my mom (who was helping me) asked, "what is that doing there"? She was referring to an old, ugly, metal ladder which had taken up permanent residence in my baby's small nursery. I had gotten so used to seeing it there that I had become "immune" to what an eyesore it was. It had been there for months!

I then begged her to go from room to room with me to point out any other eyesores I had become immune to. She was hesitant (I'm sure she didn't want to hurt my feelings) but once she realized I sincerely wanted her feedback, she agreed.

We found a tabletop baby swing leaning against the crib which looked much better under the skirted crib. There were a couple of wooden TV trays leaning against the brick surrounding the fireplace, and a vacuum tucked next to the TV armoire. I had some major paper clutter going on in my kitchen problem spot (you know...the spot where clutter seems to magically gather overnight). Once we cleared everything out, my house magically had a "sparkle" to it!

So, to add instant sparkle to your home, do a walk-through with a friend or family member whose opinion you trust (and who also does not live with you). You can also do this yourself if you just shift your perspective to see your home the way others may see it if they were entering it for the first time. This technique is an absolute MUST if you are planning on selling your home.

How many eyesores can you find?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

When you know you've done something right...

When attending my son Riley's preschool graduation yesterday, one of the other mothers approached me. She told me something her daughter had said to her one day. She'd said, "Mom, sometimes kids at preschool are mean...but Riley's NEVER mean."

It's amazing how that simple, honest statement from a 5-year-old girl (relayed through her mother) could fill me with such pride. You always hope your kids behave well when they are away from you, so to know that my son treats other children well when I'm not's a real testament to me that I must have done something right. And that feels so good!

When have you known you've done something right with your children?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Drinking Green Boosts Immune System

A few weeks ago, my 2-year-old daughter was sick. Again. She is so unlike my 5 year old boy who very seldom ever gets sick, and when he does he's over it within 24 hours. This was the third time in the last few months she had been sick. First with the flu, then with a head and chest cold, and then with a fever, swollen gums, sore mouth and sore throat. UNCLE!!!! (This last one is called the, ahem..."Coxsackie virus". Hehehe!)

This got me thinking about the immune system and how to strengthen it.

Greens provide vast amounts of nutrition and help to strengthen the immune system. Unfortunately, my kids aren't keen on nibbling rabbit food... so, I googled "green drink recipe for kids" and it came up with Dr. Oz's (as seen on Oprah) Green Drink Recipe.

Knowing my daughter's finicky taste buds, I altered the recipe in hopes that she would actually drink it! Here is my recipe...
  • 2 apples, cored
  • 2 big handfuls of spinach
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 1 thumbnail length of ginger root, peeled
  • 1 lemon - juice only (use peel slice for zest)
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 ripe banana
  • Handful of strawberries
  • 8 oz container of strawberry banana yogurt
I tossed the ingredients in a blender, added a handful of ice cubes, then pureed quickly for one minute.

Well, unfortunately, she took one sip, said "Mmmmm!!" and then she was done. Yep, one sip. And the, "Mmmmmm!" must have been just to make me feel good. What a nice little girl.

So, with all the delicious green puree still sitting in the blender, I got an "ah-ha!' moment and filled my popsicle molds up and threw them in the freezer! Guess what? She likes green popsicles! Yaaaaaay!

What about you?? Do you have a great green drink recipe you would like to share? How do you help strengthen your kid's immune systems? And for Heaven's do you get your kids to eat their greens?!!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Herbal Mother's Day!

Okay...for those of you that know me, I'm all about natural healing. It just goes to figure that I love herbs. Herbs for healing, herbs for eating and...

Herbs for Gifting!!!!

This Mother's Day, I decided to give my wonderful mother her own indoor herb garden. Check out this high-style herb garden I put together myself with a few plants, glass containers, gravel, textured wallpaper, twine, and metal tags.

If you want to gift an awesome indoor herb garden like this one - or make one for yourself, follow these easy instructions:

You'll need:

Potting soil
Gravel (for drainage)
Glass containers
Plants (I used basil, rosemary, thyme, and stevia)
Heavy paper (scrapbook paper, handmade paper, or wallpaper)
Tags (for identification)

Step 1)
Put a layer of gravel at the bottom of your glass container.

Step 2)
Plant your herb in the container. Water well.

Step 3)
Wrap your container with your choice of decorative paper. Overlap the edges and secure with a small piece of clear tape.

Step 4)
Write the name of the herb on a pretty tag.

Step 4)
Wrap a length of twine around the glass container three times. Place the end of the twine through the tag and tie in a knot.

Ta-da!!! Beautiful!

Happy Mother's Day!!

What are you giving your mom for Mother's Day? Are you opting for handmade or store bought?

Monday, May 4, 2009

What's Your Love Language?

Have you noticed that people show their love in different ways? I've always known this, but what I didn't realize was this: When expressing love to someone in your own love language and not theirs - they might not get the message. This can become a BIG problem in marriages.

Several years ago, and before I had children, I read the book, "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. Recently, I picked it up and read it again. Now that I've been married for eight years and have three children - it had much more of an impact on me.

Dr. Gary Chapman points out and expounds on the five love languages which are:

Quality Time • Words of Affirmation • Gifts • Acts of Service • Physical Touch

I've learned that my husband's primary love languages are Words of Affirmation, and Acts of Service. When I give my husband a gift, he certainly appreciates it, but it doesn't send him the message that I really love him. Yet, when I tell him what a great job he's doing as a husband and father, he beams - he feels loved. And when he comes home from work and sees that the house is sparkling and that it smells good - he beams again!

My five-year-old son's primary love language is Quality Time. I can tell him what a good boy he is, and I can buy him toys. But when I ask him what makes him feel really loved he always tells me it is when I play with him and spend time with him. (Dr. Chapman points out that parents should express love to their small children in all five languages for the best effect).

Making an effort to speak the love languages of the people I care about has made a big difference in my life and in theirs! It is one of the simplest ways I have found to have harmony in my life. Try it!

What's your love language? Can you guess mine? (I have two).

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Gotta Love a Rain Storm

Right now I'm enjoying a magnificent rain storm! The rain is slapping down hard. It's bouncing noisily off the windows. The sky is gray with billowing clouds with rays of light shining through behind them. The sky is booming with thunder. And the smell is heaven. Best smell on Earth.

This is one of those simple moments I love to relish in...

What simple moments do you love best?
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