Monday, June 21, 2010

Sunburn Rescue!

Today is the official first day of Summer (yay!!!), and already I've heard of several cases of sunburn, on Facebook alone! I myself was caught off-guard by unexpected sunshine last weekend and have a bit of a sunburned shoulder. Luckily, I didn't suffer long! And neither will you, if you follow my tips for sunburn rescue!

My preferred method of sunburn prevention is to avoid being in the sun during peak hours (10am-4pm), and to wear protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses. When I do need to wear sunscreen, I prefer physical sunscreens to the toxic, chemical-laden variety. ;)

So, while prevention is always the best cure, things don't always work out perfectly. And when they don't, you've gotta keep a smile on your face and go with plan B!

Lavender Essential Oil - a Summer Staple!

Lavender essential oil really is amazing for any kind of burn! It will ease the pain, heal the skin faster, and prevent scarring. It also helps unhealthy skin cells die off instead of mutating into cancer cells (healthy cell renewal). Good stuff!

Lavender EO can be applied neat (undiluted) for most individuals. The simplest way to use Lavender is to apply it directly to the burn using a cotton ball. Continue reading for more ways to use this summer staple!

Lavender Mist
Fill a spray bottle with about 10-20 drops of Lavender essential oil and 1/2 cup of water ( I like distilled, but tap water will do). Shake well before each use and spray the affected area. This is very soothing and cooling. You can substitute the water for Aloe Vera juice, but be sure to keep it refrigerated.

Lavender & Oatmeal Bath
Oatmeal is very healing and soothing. It holds moisture and has a high silica content, making it an ideal skin soother. A lavender and oatmeal bath soothes dry, itchy or irritated skin. Lavender and oatmeal baths are perfect for children with mild sunburn.

Grind 2-4 cups of dry oats into a fine powder using a blender. Add to lukewarm bath water along with 10 drops of lavender essential oil. Soak for 15-30 minutes. Gently pat dry. The oatmeal will form a thin, protective layer on the skin. (Don't wash off).

Lavender & Oatmeal Paste
If your sunburn is only on a small area of your body, you can use a lavender & oatmeal paste instead of a bath. Add 5 drops of lavender essential oil to 1 cup of finely ground oats. Add enough water or aloe juice to create a paste. Apply to sunburn and leave for 15 minutes. Remove gently with a wet washcloth, or rinse off over a sink and pat dry. Afterward, apply a layer of lavender essential oil using a cotton ball.

Peppermint Compress
Peppermint essential oil is known for it's cooling properties and is also anti-inflammatory (as well as anti-carcinogenic). Fill a sink or basin with cool water. Add 5 drops of peppermint essential oil to the water. The essential oil will float on top of the water. Place a clean washcloth on top of the water and let it soak up the infusion. Wring out and apply to the burn. Repeat several times (without adding additional essential oil).

Apple Cider Vinegar
To prevent blistering and peeling, apply apple cider vinegar to the burn with a cotton ball. I prefer Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother, which can be found inexpensively at your local health food store.

Sunburn-healing Supplements You can speed the healing of a sunburn internally as well! Take the following supplements for a few days following a sunburn:

1,000 mg of vitamin C
400 I.U. of vitamin E
15 mg of beta carotene
1-2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil (an essential fatty acid)

So, the next time outdoor activities result in an unwelcome sunburn, you can smile and say..."I have a cure for that!!" Have a GREAT summer!!!


PS - My Lavender Olive Oil Lotion, or Lavender Baby Lotion are both wonderful for sunburns, as is my First-Aid Stick which contains Lavender Essential Oil! The oils in the lotions are high in Omega Fatty Acids which help heal and regenerate skin cells, and protect from aging and sun damage. My First-Aid Stick does all of those things and then some! It has extreme benefits for severe burns, and is wonderful for bug bites - another "gift" of summer!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

UPDATE on Nick!

If you have been following Nick's touching story - I have an amazing update for you!

Nick went in for open-heart surgery today to have a large tumor inside his heart removed! I am pleased (or should I say GIDDY!!) to announce that the surgery was SUCCESSFUL!

They were able to remove the tumor and the doctors report that he is doing very well! Below is a photo of the tumor.

Can you believe this thing was inside his heart?!!

His family expresses their deepest gratitude to all who have donated auction items or cookies for the fundraiser and for all those who have given cash donations! And thanks to all of you who have purchased Simply Jen products this past week. A portion of the proceeds have been donated to the family! Further donations are still appreciated and can be given by clicking here.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Nick's Fundraiser UPDATE

My family and I attended the "We{Heart}Nick" fundraiser last Thursday. The food was delicious, the entertainment was fantastic, and the overall feeling of love was overwhelming. Here is a photo recap!

Me and Darla (Nick's mom and my best friend since we were toddlers!

"A Touch of Class" singing. Most or all are relatives of Nick.

Tony Garcia (my husband!!) performing with the band.

Nick with my daughter Ellie

Little Nick made his appearance, and everyone was armed with their hand sanitizer (to prevent Nick from catching anything before his big day) and eager to greet, hug, and high-five him. He was all smiles.

Potato bar with all the trimmings! Yum!

Hundreds of people came to support Nick by purchasing dinner (all funds donated) and by bidding on nearly 100 donated items in a silent auction. Overall, the fund-raising event was a success! The funds raised will help pay for part of the family's expenses related to Nick's surgery.

On the door was this adorable poster created by Nick himself, which reads "Thank You!!"

If you would still like to donate, please do so!

Nick's surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, June 15, 2010. Please stay tuned for an update!

Thank you for all your support! This little boy is worth every penny and every prayer!


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Close to My Heart!

Hello friends! Here is a story that is very close to my heart. I hope you will take a moment to read it!

My dear friend Darla and I have been the best of friends since we were small children. We grew up next door to each other from the time we were babies. We now have children of our own and though we are miles apart, we are still knit together in a way that can't be explained. She is a woman I absolutely love and adore!

Darla's second child, Nick, was born in 2004 - with a tumor. The tumor was located INSIDE of Nick's heart, inter-twined around the septum and invading all 4 chambers of the heart.

(The above photo was taken of Darla and me [Darla is holding my oldest child, Riley who is only 4 months older than Nick] at the Ronald McDonald House in Salt Lake City during one of Nick's visits to Primary Children's Medical Center. Darla has always kept a smile on her face, and has exhibited more strength than I ever thought possible for a mother in her situation).

At just 5 months of age, significant growth of the tumor caused the several cardiologists at PCMC to recommend open-heart surgery immediately to attempt removing some of this growth and to at minimum gather a biopsy to determine the type of tumor they were dealing with. Surgery was performed immediately, but with little success. The tumor appeared to be inoperable. They determined that the tumor classification was of the FIBROMA family. Fibromas tend to grow sometimes. Nicholas was put on serious heart medicine. His heart managed to compensate in some way for the tumors growth and the space it took up. He was still monitored by Primary Children's Medical Center on a very regular basis.

At just 3-1/2 years old, little Nick underwent a 10-hour surgery to have an ICD (pacemaker /defibrillator) implanted. Before this, Nick's heart had begun fibrillating - causing him to pass out. For 2-1/2 years, the ICD has paced Nick's heart 15% of the time and has defibrillated him approximately 6 times!

Nick is now 6-years-old. Recently, his heart has not been responding to the defibrillation as quickly as it needs to and has required more than one "therapy shock" to snap out of its fatal ventricular tachycardia rhythm. Many times this rhythm reaches 300 to 400 beats per minute.

Due to this problem, his pediatric cardiologists now recommend re-opening the heart and attempting once again to remove the tumor.

This procedure has not been done before because there has not been a case quite like Nick's. There is great risk in not taking steps at this time to correct the problems he is experiencing, but also risk in performing this major operation. He will be seen by a specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota on June 15, 2010 to attempt this feat.

In an effort to help with the cost of this surgery, a fundraiser has been organized for Thursday, June 10th, at the Shelley High School in Idaho Falls, Idaho. More info here

If you are unable to attend, there are other ways you can help!

Make a cash donation to the "We {Heart} Nick" Foundation

It's easy and only takes a credit/debit card and a couple of minutes! Service provided by PayPal.

Purchase Simply Jen products
Make an online purchase between June 1st and June 10th and
20% of the profits will be donated to the We {Heart} Nick Foundation! I will also be attending the fundraiser and donating Simply Jen products for the fund-raising auction and raffle!

Either way, please give what you can. This is a very special little boy with a very special family and your support/donation/purchase regardless of the amount would make such a difference!

Thank you in advance for your generosity in helping a family I love so very much!

Lots of love, (many x's & o's!)
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