A Month of Gratitude: When Things Fit Together

Doyletwins Feeding Each Other

Today was hard to narrow down to one thing. So much happened, yet so little happened as well. We cuddled on the couch and watched morning PBS after Tim went to work. I took the twins to our local gym so that I could have a few minutes by the adult-only pool and they could play with the other kids (they love it there). We had a fun lunch where Audrey and David didn’t want to give up their yogurt bowls because they were trying to get every last little drop of yogurt. They had a really terrific nap and woke up happy (and were ok just hanging out quietly for a little while afterwards). We played downstairs happily, and when they were ready for their snack (pretzel sticks), they shared from the same container. Audrey fed David, and David fed Audrey. They had a terrific dinner of avocado, homemade mac and cheese, and meatloaf. All of the Doyles were members of the Clean Plate Club (which is a feat when two are toddlers). David wanted Audrey’s toy, but instead of throwing a fit, our 1 minute warning worked (I’m sure that will be the subject of another #monthofgratitude post). They had a fun bath and went to bed relatively easily. Tim and I were able to cuddle on the couch without any computers and watch some TV together.

You know how some days things just work? When all of those routines and preparation and giving transition warnings just works? Yeah, today was one of those days. Rarely is a day as smooth as this. I don’t expect to see one like it again for a long time. But today I am reveling in it. I am soaking it in. And I am going to go to bed before midnight.

 

A Month of Gratitude - DoyleDispatch.com

 

Do you want to participate in A Month of Gratitude? You can either comment on each post or write something on your own, tagging it with #monthofgratitude. Let’s see if we can start something special!

A Month of Gratitude: Baby/Parent Dates

As a mom of twins, I never was able to go to baby yoga or “playdates” out and about by myself (with them out of the stroller) or baby gymnastics without a second set of hands (thank you Aunt Kat!!!). So Tim and I recently decided that we needed to each take a child and have a Mommy-and-Me or Daddy-and-Me date.

Today was the first day of this. We had errands to run, but we got to do it with just one child. And it was so much fun. Tim went with David to Home Depot (to look at the tractors and get an air filter), Target (to try to find another Percy die-cast train), Toys R Us, and then the grocery store.

I took Audrey to Franklin Goose and Walmart. We all had so much fun! Audy and I held hands, sang to songs we had never heard before as if we knew every word, played with the toys, held every single Sesame Street “friend” in Walmart, and ran up and down the aisles in the cart shouting “wheeeeeeeeee!” This was definitely something we will be repeating.

A Month of Gratitude - DoyleDispatch.com

Do you want to participate in A Month of Gratitude? You can either comment on each post or write something on your own, tagging it with #monthofgratitude. Let’s see if we can start something special!

A Month of Gratitude: Music

How often do we go through life just trying to make it through one day? How many times do we fail to remember and honor the small things, the things that made that day special, the little moments?

We are all guilty of this. As Audrey and David are now 20 months old, we are starting to think about what changes will be happening in the next 4 months and then when they are 2. Potty training… possibly moving to a big boy/girl bed… maybe even turning the car seat to face forward… walking without a stroller all the time. Can my little babies really be getting so big?

So in an effort to really stop and remember, I will be writing about things that I am grateful for. A month of gratitude. My goal is to write each day, even if it’s just a short little post. Let’s see what this month holds.

A Month of Gratitude - DoyleDispatch.com

 

Today I am grateful for music: those who are blessed musicians sharing their music with us, those sweet lullabies (sung by both professionals and Audrey right before she falls asleep), the pitch that David tries to match with the Sesame Street or Thomas songs, classical music which just permeates into your soul… Life is so much more full because of music.

I am writing this because we had the pleasure of having a private family/friends concert with my brother’s favorite band (and who he has been interning with all summer), David Wax Museum. It was a wonderful set, and it was even more special to see Josh and his friend Hannah sing and play along with them, totally where they were meant to be. We then drove home listening to a beautiful new CD of lullabies and classical music, helped with Audrey’s adorable voice trying to match the songs that she had never heard before.

 

Do you want to participate in A Month of Gratitude? You can either comment on each post or write something on your own, tagging it with #monthofgratitude. Let’s see if we can start something special!

Surviving Toddler Allergy Testing

Well, we did it! David survived his marathon of allergy testing today. I was so proud of my 20-month-old baby boy. He did so well through all of it! Here’s some background:

David and Audrey were exclusively breastfed from birth until about 4-5 months old. I got sick around this time with a stomach bug, and my supply seriously dwindled, so we started supplementing with formula once every few days, only as needed. We found that this did a number on A & D’s stomachs when we didn’t have a regular routine with the formula, so after a few months, we did one bottle of formula a day, while still breastfeeding the rest of the time. We also introduced solid foods at 4 months old, per the suggestion of our pediatrician.

Around this time, we also started to see some rough skin patches on David. It wasn’t a lot, but it definitely was noticeable. We treated it with lotion, and we kept it contained, but it didn’t totally go away.

Last fall (about a year old), we noticed that David was scratching his ankles to the point of bleeding, and so we used lots and lots of creams, lotions, and even some steroid cream to treat it. It would go away temporarily, but it never fully healed.

Fast forward to this summer (about 18 months old). We started seeing that rough skin in more places along his legs, especially the ankles, back of his knees, and inside his elbows. We wondered if it was heat rash, but our pediatrician thought it was just eczema (keep it moist with lotions and the rest).

Then, just about a week ago, his legs erupted and were completely covered in red, raw, irritated inflammation. It was on his back and stomach too. He itched everywhere. He scratched so hard on his chest that he has a scar along his sternum. When it only seemed to be getting worse over the weekend, we went back to the doctor. When the pediatrician took one look at him, she recommended that we get allergy testing.

That was Monday. I was able to get an appointment for two days later… today.

IMG_5025

So, this morning at 7 AM, David and I left for our 7:15 appointment (Ok, well, if I’m going to be real, we left at 7:10 and got there at 7:20). This would be the longest amount of time that David and Audrey have ever been separated. I was actually more worried about that than the testing itself.

IMG_5033

Once we got there and got David’s height (33 inches) and weight (26 lbs), we met with the allergist, a sweet woman who used to be a pediatrician (great bedside manner). Side note: David fell in love and cried when she left the room. In talking to her, we came up with the list of what we would test (55 different possibilities). We gathered our gear and went to the testing room, where I took his shirt off and put on a baby gown with the Looney Toon characters.


IMG_5037

 

David was not a fan, and we ended up letting him go shirtless.

Once they had prepped the test, they came in and drew on his back. I had the iPad going with The Muppets, so he only squirmed from the tickle of the pen once.

IMG_5040

Then, when we were ready to begin, I sat on the table, he sat in my lap facing me, and we had two helpers: 1 on each side holding an arm and leg each. I have never seen someone poke someone so fast. Over 55 “scratches” on the back in under 2 minutes.

IMG_5045

David cried, but he didn’t thrash his head around or move at all. He was such a trooper. And when it was over, we had to wait for 20 minutes. My instructions were to make sure he didn’t touch or scratch his back.

IMG_5061

So we watched The Muppets. And then the nurse brought in a popsicle for David (his first since all the many I had while I was pregnant with him). He LOVED it, and we quickly got the second half. Even if it was loaded with sugar, he deserved such a treat.

IMG_5050

He scratched his chest constantly, but I figured it was better that he do that than try to scratch his back.

IMG_5051

After 5 minutes

 

Then after 20 minutes, we got the results. The baseline was a good strong measurement, so they were happy that the results would be accurate.

David is allergic to watermelon and mushroom (two plusses on the sheet).

He also shows signs of being allergic to coconut, turkey, peanuts, soybeans, grass mix, and weed mix.

When we finally were able to meet with the doctor again, she said, “Well I hope that this gives you some answers.” But it didn’t. I felt just as stuck. I mean, out of that list, he hasn’t eaten any of that in the past couple weeks. At least, not that I thought. I was convinced that it would be milk (he has really upped his milk and yogurt intake in the last month).

Then, as we talked, she explained that soy is in so much food. Even just a slight irritation to it could trigger something like what we are seeing with David. So it’s entirely possible that the soy did the trick. Also, the grass and weed mixes could come into play (we didn’t test all of the environmental allergens, as we wanted to focus on the food and dog/cat). Then, I had been using a homemade lotion with coconut oil in it. Typically, we should be able to use something topically if he is allergic to it (since these showed up as minor allergies), but with that on top of a reaction already, it probably did worsen everything.

So now comes the elimination. For the next 10 days, we don’t eat any of those. We have a special lotion and cream. He will have a steroid for the worst skin spots. He will be on an allergy medication. Honestly, it’s everything my crunchy and natural-mindedness is against. But I also know that we need to figure this out. So we will follow this advice, try it out, and then we can go from there once we see if this helps. After 10 days of elimination, we will have 4 days of a binge (or as much as we can have a picky toddler binge on certain foods).

After I got home, we looked through the pantry. We had armful after armful of food that contained soy. The bread that he eats every day (and has recently started craving) has soy in it. Two brands of his favorite crackers. The mac and cheese that he gobbles up. It started making sense. FINALLY I felt like we have figured it out.

So now we just wait and see. And thankfully Cheerios are still on the “can have” list.

Thank you so much to ALL of our friends and family who have offered supports and love and thoughts. I can’t tell you how much it means to us. We have been so blessed to have such healthy children, and this is truly the first “big” thing that we’ve had to go through. Thankfully, I’ve been through allergy testing, so I knew what to expect, and David handled it like a champ. He was so happy and cute and talkative and easy-going. He loved his mommy-David morning, despite the 2 minutes of pain. I was so proud of my big “baby boy.”

And just to see how quickly he bounced back, here is a video of him after we got back home.

How to Have a Successful Yard Sale

YARD SALE Tips and Tricks - DoyleDispatch.com

 

Spring and summer is the prime time in our family to clean our our closets, shelves, and garage. And that means YARD SALE! Normally, our neighborhood will have a multi-family sale which usually brings in lots of traffic. We weren’t able to participate this year, but we still decided to hold our own sale. Here are some tips that we have learned from years of organizing and selling at yard sales:

Family Yard Sale No Address

1. Advertisement: Make sure to advertise far and wide. Take out an ad in your paper, put a notice up on Craigslist, talk it up on your local buy/sell groups, and plaster it on Facebook. Then, put up a sign (or a few, depending on where you live) in front of your neighborhood at least 4 days prior to the yard sale, but no more than 6 days (you don’t want them to think that it is a leftover sign from last week’s sales). We created this little ad to post on social media outlets without our address (people sent a message if they needed it), and then we had one with our address for a few select places.

2. Start cleaning out early: Don’t wait until the last minute to get and sort through your things. Sure there will be a lot of piles and boxes for a couple of weeks, but it will make for a successful and much less hectic yard sale. As a rule, anything that isn’t set out in our garage the night before the yard sale (at the latest) doesn’t go into the sale.

3. Organize into categories: We like to organize into the following categories:

  • Men Clothes (and type)
  • Women Clothes (and type)
  • Baby Clothes (and sizes/season)
  • Appliances
  • Electronics
  • Furniture
  • Housewares
  • DIY and crafts
  • Toys and stuffed animals
  • …you get the idea

4. Hang up clothes: While it may be a hassle to get everything hung up, it is the ONLY way to sell clothes. If you put clothes on tables (even if you neatly fold them), the first person that visits the sale will mess up your organization, and no one will touch the clothes from then on. I speak from experience.

5. Get things off the ground: The only things that should be on the ground are furniture. Everything else needs to be on tables (tray tables or fold-up tables work great for yard sales). If it’s on the ground, no one will want to bend down to look closely. Put it on a table, and it’s much more convenient to shop.

6. List prices: Either have a poster board with prices or have everything labeled. Sure, people won’t look and will still ask the price, but that way you can refer to it and they know that you didn’t pick the price out of thin air. It also helps you feel more organized and ready to sell.

7. Be willing to sell for cheap: Make sure to see my welcome phrase in #9, but it’s important that you are willing to sell for cheap. If you won’t, be ok with it not selling.

8. Be ok with negotiating: This is my favorite part of yard sales, both from a buyer and seller’s perspective. This is where the fun comes in, and if you negotiate with a smile on your face, your customer will leave feeling like they got a good deal and you will have a little extra cash in your pocket.

9. Have fun: Whenever someone walked up to our yard sale, I greeted them with a big “Hi!” and followed that with saying, “Everything has to go one way or another! If it doesn’t go home with you, then we will be taking it to Goodwill. It doesn’t come back in the house.” Sometimes I would add, “We love to bundle, and the fun of yard sales is haggling. So let’s have some fun!” I always got smiles, and it let them know that we weren’t too set on any prices.

10. Stand up for your stuff: There will be some potential customers that come and either take things (Seriously, you can’t pay $1 for that Polo shirt?), want to be jerks about offering $2 total for 25 items (and pushy when you try to negotiate), or put their hands on EVERYTHING. Know your limits and where you feel comfortable going with this. Here are some stories from the yard sale trenches:

  • A man came and wanted to purchase 4 things, which we had $1 listed on each of them. He offered us $0.50. One of the items was a new-in-box wrist guard (that he was trying to hide under his other things), so I told him that I would go to $1.50, but that was it. He said, “No, 50 cents.” But I stood firm and told him that he had quite a lot there, including that wrist guard (which I pulled from the bottom of his pile so he knew that I saw his trickery.” I won out, and he got a great deal at $1.50.
  • There was a woman who grabbed about 40items of clothes (I kid you not). We put a flat price of $3 for each item of adult clothes and $5 for each jacket or coat. She had well over $300 of items if they were new. She offered $50, and I told her that according to our prices, it would be $150. We settled on $80. She got a great bargain, and I knew that if I didn’t sell to her, it was late enough in the day that they would go to Goodwill. Win for everyone.
  • Our first customers of the day were 2 mothers and 2 kids. The kids (about 8 years old) ran over to the toys and immediately wanted two things on the table and started playing. We settled on a price, and the daughter ran off to the car with the toy in her hand. I called after her, asking her to bring back the toys until they were paid for. One of the women started flailing her arms and complaining and threw the toy on the table and they stormed off. I was sorry for the woman’s reaction, but how did I know that they wouldn’t just leave without paying? Those toys later sold to a very sweet family.
  • While I was talking to a very kind family about some baby items and toys (who had a slight Spanish accent), a woman came over to us to look at the table. She started talking in a very loud voice about how they probably didn’t know what a dollar was and couldn’t understand me. How absolutely rude and uncalled for. Needless to say, I didn’t sell her anything (I would rather lose a sale than to acknowledge that type of behavior).
  • A young couple arrived at the yard sale about 35 minutes after we opened. They saw our patio set and loved it. We originally had a price of $40 for the table, chairs, and umbrella (what a bargain!). They just stood and stared at it for a good 10 minutes while we helped other customers. When we had a few minutes to chat with them, they told us that they only had $20 on them, but they could run to the bank and get $10 more, but that was as much as they could afford. We knew they wanted it, and we were more than thrilled to give it to them for $30. In fact, we would probably have settled for $10 just because of how much they wanted it (but we didn’t let them know that).
  • And although this happened years ago (at our first yard sale), I still think of this young man fondly, so I must include it in this post. When Tim and I were in college, our first “big purchase” together was a Nintendo NES game system and about 20 games. When we bought our house, we hadn’t used this system for 2 or 3 years, so we decided it was time for it to find a new home. A young man about 18 or 19 came by and just was drooling over this system. He couldn’t afford the price we put on it, but he showed us the money he had in his wallet and asked if he could get it for that. One look between Tim and me, and we knew that he was the right owner for this system. For us, yard sales are a great way of making money, but they are an even better way of connecting to people.

So, did we miss any tips that you think are important for yard sales?

Tips for Using and Broadcasting on Periscope

Periscope. Have you heard of this great new tool for sharing a part of your life live with the world? It is nothing short of addicting, and so relevant for small business owners, travelers, reviewers, DIYers, and even moms wanting to show off their kids. It has live broadcasts that allow you to tune in and watch, and if you are following the broadcaster, you can also watch their old videos afterwards (for a limited time).

In order to use it and get the most from it, there is definitely a learning curve. I have picked up a few tips from Alana Bookhout (@OilTheTime), other intro videos, blogs, my own experience, and some other research. I hope this can help you get started!

Tips and Tricks for Using and Broadcasting Periscope DoyleDispatch.com

For All Users:

Profile: Put a profile picture up and make sure to have a catchy description. This is especially important if you want to have followers.

Sharing a Video: Swipe to the right to share (Apple). Swipe up if you have an Android.

Showing Love: Tap the screen for hearts. It’s like “social currency” to give support the video that you are watching. The color of your heart corresponds to the shade of your profile picture. It is a new color for every broadcast. Those hearts give credibility and status for the broadcaster.

Comments: Comments scroll quickly. If you have a question that you want answered, copy it before you send it, so you can paste it if the broadcaster doesn’t answer it.

Want More? If you like the broadcaster, you can swipe the screen during a broadcast to follow that person.

Miss a Video? You can always watch the video after the fact with replays!

Hosting a Broadcast:

Titling: Make sure that you have a catchy title (with emoticons). You want to draw in potential viewers to your video.

Share Right Away: Click the Twitter bird so Twitter followers will see that you are doing a broadcast. You can also post on Facebook and other social media ahead of a broadcast if you don’t have a lot of followers right away.

Thumbnail Image: The first 1-2 seconds will be your thumbnail. Make it catchy. It automatically shows the back side of the camera, so you may want to have an image ready for it to focus on.

Centering the Screen: Make sure your head it focused on the top half of the screen. If it is on the lower half, your face will be covered with comments and hearts.

Engagement: Engage fairly quickly for replay viewers. Make sure that you have relevant info, engaging content, and is overall entertaining. You can block or limit comments either on the original video or on the replay. You may also want to give a call to action at the end of your broadcast.

Keep It Steady: Use a phone stand (either one that you can purchase or just something to prop up the phone) so that your phone doesn’t shake too much.

Got Trolls? You can click on a nasty comment and block that person.

Gain Followers: Ask people to follow and share during your broadcast. Explain how to do that for those that are new to Periscope.

Fun: Make jokes. Have fun. Make it a great experience for everyone and they will come back.

Timing: In my opinion short and sweet is better than long and winded. That’s hard for someone like me who loves to talk, but I know that I can watch at most 10-20 minutes. Any longer than that and I can’t get through the whole video in one sitting (and Periscope doesn’t allow you to jump around the video).

Flipping the Camera: If you flip the camera, there will be a delay with the microphone. Pause for that.

 

Did you like these tips? Please follow me on Periscope @dorydoyle. You can also check out my Periscope video here for a few days:

https://www.periscope.tv/w/aHMawDU3ODk0Mjl8Mzg5MTUwMDPSdGwzN_84qWqCBgew6nXwV9AxAVe-0RSZdd8uKVFG5A==

or the permanent video on YouTube:

 

Tips for a Successful First Birthday Party

Tips for a Successful 1st Birthday Party

Well, we made it through the first year! We did it with a few bumps, a couple bruises, and lots of laughs along the way.

As we started planning the twins’ first birthday when they were 8.5 months old (yes, I started early), I knew that I wanted a big shin-dig (after all, I turned the big 3-0 just two days before), but I also didn’t want to upset our wonderful rhythm of the day that we had established.

Here are some tips that I would recommend to anyone planning a first birthday party:

THEME: For the theme, we were going back and forth with so many different themes, and nothing seemed perfect. But then I came across the Up theme on Pinterest, and it just stuck. We had a sketch drawn of our house and people have added their thumbprints to it to look like balloons when they were at my showers or came to visit the babies, and so it just seemed too perfect. From there, I went a little crazy. You can see our entire birthday party featured on The Wise Baby (Up-Themed Birthday Party)

Adventure is Out There - DoyleDispatch.com

PHOTOGRAPHY: My biggest advice is to have a photographer come in for it (if you can put it in the budget). Even if it’s just a student photographer, it is worth it to not have to worry about taking pictures (or have family take pictures). That way, everyone can enjoy and someone else captures the memories… while YOU get to EXPERIENCE them!

TIMING: Ours was from 12-2. The twins woke up from naps at 11, they got milk, got dressed, and then took family pictures at about 11:45. We kept them on their normal lunch schedule (they ate in front of everyone), because we didn’t want them to be cranky or hungry. Then they weren’t starving for the cake smash (I didn’t want them to have too much sugar anyway). Before the cake, we told everyone thanks for coming, and we also said that if anyone wanted us to open presents in front of them, we would be happy to do that, but otherwise we would open them privately. When they got tired, they went down for a nap and we could then visit and be baby free. It was perfect because we didn’t get them out of their schedule.

OPENING PRESENTS: Do yourself (and your family/friends) a favor. Don’t open presents at the party. As I said before, if someone wants you to open their present during the party, go for it! But no one needs to sit through opening gift after gift… and your 1-year-old doesn’t either! Just make sure to keep a good list and write a nice thank you note afterwards.

Yes, I am aware that our twins are now 19 months old, but I thought these were good tips, despite them being not totally applicable for us at this point. But now that we are on the other side of 1.5 years, we will be reusing these tips for the 2nd birthday party!

The Juice Jar in Corolla, NC

The Juice Jar Review - DoyleDispatch.com

When you go on a beach vacation, what type of food do you usually get? If you are like our family, it probably involves hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, BBQ, and other delicious (yet not-quite-great-for-you) foods. So, on our recent family vacation to Corolla, NC, we found the newly-opened Juice Jar. And we fell in love. And I want to tell the whole world about it.

Photo Courtesy of Juice Jar's Facebook Page

Photo Courtesy of Juice Jar’s Facebook Page

We got there during its second week open, when they were still trying to figure out the best times to be open. But one thing they had already figured out? Their recipes!

They have everything you could want in a juice restaurant bar: fresh juices, smoothies, wraps, salads, and acai bowls. To top it off, everything is local and/or comes from their garden out back. They also have a great add-on menu with bee pollen and other healthy additives!

And the location? It’s beautifully situated in the historic Corolla Village, close to the lighthouse. It is right near a yoga studio and Corolla Village BBQ. They have a great walk-up deck where you order, and then you can enjoy the lush, green grass, picnic bench, or swing while waiting for your order.

The Juice Jar Review - Acai Bowl - By DoyleDispatch.com

The food? I can’t say that I tried too many different items, as once I ordered the Morning Glory Acai Bowl, I kept getting it. I absolutely loved the base of the bowl (much like a smoothie), but what made it so delicious was the coconut chips, granola, bananas, and strawberries on top. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. But my family loved everything they got (even Audrey enjoyed her beet, apple, celery, and cucumber juice). After discovering it on the 5th day of our trip, we went back every day because we couldn’t get enough (even the morning we had to leave).

So if you are heading out to Corolla (or even Duck), make sure you stop in to check it out and get something a little redeeming. As we joked, we enjoyed our Juice Jar because it allowed us to “detox in order to retox.”

Guest Post: DIY Wood Furniture and Floor Polish with Essential Oils

The following is a guest post by Anna A: 

DIY Wood Furniture & Floor Polish

It is important to take care of your wood furniture and floors because they are a huge investment. Unfortunately, regular dusting and mopping aren’t as efficient in keeping the surfaces shiny as using wood polish. Although you have to polish your flooring and wood furniture from time to time, it never hurts to prepare your own polish and store it in cool, dry place to have handy at all times. Here we offer one simple and time-effective recipe for wood furniture and floor polish, which uses essential oils. Take a look.

Recipe

Here is what you need:

  • Clean spray bottle
  • 10-15 drops of essential oils of your choosing
  • ¼ cup of distilled white vinegar*
  • ¼ cup of olive oil (carrier oil)

*You can also use apple cider vinegar

Directions

Start by pouring essential oils in a clean spray bottle. Shake the bottle. Add vinegar and olive oil and shake again. The mixture can be used as a floor polish and wood furniture. Store in cool and dry place. Before you use the mixture, always shake the spray bottle.  You should sweep the floor first and then apply the polish. Simply spray on the floor and wipe with a cloth or mop. It is advisable to polish your wood furniture and floors every three to four months.

This is an easy and simple recipe. It takes a few minutes and the mixture has a long shelf life if kept in cool place. Not to mention, it is frugal.

What Young Living Essential Oils to Use

  • Lemon essential oil: Lemons have that fresh smell you want to linger in the air longer after you have tossed the polish into the pantry. In addition to this, lemon essential oils have therapeutic and cleaning properties.
  • Cinnamon oil: It not only smells wonderful, it promotes a healthy immune response when used topically and aromatically. Your wood furniture and floors will be shiny, smell delicious, and clean.
  • Tea tree oil: It has often been used in natural cleaning products for an added boost or by itself as well.
  • Rosemary oil: It smells great (lightly minty) and will be a great addition to any cleaner for smell and cleaning properties.
  • Lavender oil: It’s so soothing that you will want to use it over and over again. Lavender oil can help with immune boosting, soothing, mood, and overall wellness (that is why it’s called “the Swiss Army Knife of essential oils”). It’s a great pick when it comes to homemade wood polish.
  • Clove oil: One of the main ingredients in the Thieves blend to boost your immune system, this would be a great addition for its cleaning properties and smell.

Almost all essential oils can be used in cleaning. Additionally, essential oils lubricate wood, which is why they make wonderful wood and furniture polishes. Young Living essential oils also do not expire, until they are mixed with carrier oils, water, or other mixtures. The best carrier oils to use are jojoba and olive oil because they have the longest shelf life.

Why Use Homemade Polish?

Most conventional wood polishes can actually damage your wood. They may look good at first but after a couple of days the results will fade. Store-bought wood polishes contain solvents, artificial fragrances and petroleum distillates that are harsh on wood. Even worse, they can be highly toxic to people and pets. They can cause a variety of health problems with your nervous system, lungs, and skin. Not to mention, the pungent smell can linger for weeks after use.

Considering all this, homemade polishes are completely harmless for you and your family. This recipe contains white vinegar, olive oil, and essential oils, which are non-toxic and biodegradable. White vinegar removes dust and dirt, whereas the other two ingredients lubricate wood. No other recipe is as simple as that. Make sure to try it out the next time you want to polish your wood furniture and floors. And please, feel free to share whether it worked in the comments below. We hope this wood polish recipe helps all of you to keep your wooden surfaces looking shiny at all times.

Anna Aamone is from London Floor Cleaners. You can find out more information about their business by clicking on the link. 


If you are interested in learning more about essential oils or purchasing a Premium Starter Kit with Young Living, contact Dory at healthieroilthethyme *at* gmail.com or visit her website www.healthieroilthethyme.com.

Adventures in Cloth Diapering: Our Setup

Adventures in Cloth Diapering- Our Setup

Now that we have a routine with our cloth diapers, I feel comfortable enough sharing what we do.

Every morning, Tim brings down the newly-cleaned diapers in the laundry bag. When I get downstairs, I put them away on our shelf.

And usually the twins help me to unload the diapers onto the ground at some point during the day.

During diaper changes, I will grab the two clean diapers that we need. I take the old diaper off (saying “Bye bye poo poo/pee pee!” if I’m changing Audrey, because she likes to say it with me) and put it aside. I then wipe (either with our homemade spray and cloth wipes or our disposable wipes. The dirty wipes go in a little trash bin on top of the changing table (if disposable) or in with the dirty diapers (if cloth). We might use our Grovia Magic Stick for some added help if diaper rashes are an issue. Then we put on the clean diaper and clothes, and we are good to go!

If there is a “poo poo,” we put it in the little trash bin with the disposable wipes. If it’s just urine, we just drop it in the dry
diaper pail.

At night, we take the diapers upstairs and load up the washer. As long as we start them when we put the twins to bed, we can change it over to the dryer, and we will be ready with clean diaper in the morning. We also wash their clothes at this time as well, so we always have their favorite clothes to wear. We also make sure to clear out the changing table trash bin each night too… that way we don’t have it get too full or stinky.

So there is our setup. Nothing groundbreaking, but it works for us.

Is there anything else you are wondering about how we make cloth diapering work day to day?