Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Essential Oils: Healthy Hair Tips

After the birth of my second son, to say I had experienced a bit of hair loss is the understatement of the year. My hair line receded two full inches and it would not stop falling out! I even experienced thinning eyelashes. It's a tough balance, trying to enjoy your new bundle of joy, yet wondering when your hair is going to stop falling out so you can put away the baseball caps. I was afraid to even brush my hair at times, the amount that would fall out was alarming to say the least. I've had some success with essential oils (shocker), so I decided to share what worked for me.

Rosemary Essential OilRosemary oil has a reputation for stimulating hair growth and has been used for centuries by many cultures for this very purpose. Adding Rosemairy Oil to your shampoo bottle can improve hair growth, add to thicker fuller hair. It can be helpful in hindering hair loss, a few drops inside my shampoo bottle helped bring back my thick locks. You can also add a few drops to your tube of mascara for thicker, fuller lashes.

Melaleuca Essential Oil
: Also known as Tea tree oil, Melaleuca has many uses. I use it in my Homemade Toilet Cleaner. It's all natural anti-fungal properties can help with a dry, itchy scalp. In order to promote healthy hair growth you need to get your scalp in good shape. There are many shampoos with tons of chemicals claiming to have tea tree oil in them. Why not go to the source? I add ten to twenty drops in my shampoo bottle depending on ow serious the condition. This can help relieve the side effects of dandruff or psoriasis of the scalp.

You can find out more about these essential oils here.

If you are interested in an Essential Oil Education class, you can attend our online class this Thursday February 26th at 2pm. You can sign on to the webinar by clicking on this link. Hope to see you there!

Essentially Yours,


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Green Planet Festival - Ticket Giveaway!

I'm just coming off of the heels of the #MindBodyExpo, if you follow me on Instagram, then you know you how much fun we had!

It's time to gear up and get ready for the Green Planet Festival! THIS sounds like a really good time! The first of it's kind, the Green Planet Festival is rounding up a ton of local and national eco-friendly vendors with a variety of sustainable goods. Partnerships whose reach go way beyond supply and demand, they invest in a better tomorrow. 

This incredible festival is being held this Saturday, February 28th at the Broward County Convention Center. Doors open at 9am and close at 9pm.

Of course organic food and beverages will be served as you enjoy shopping and experiencing all this event has to offer.

There will be be live performances. I personally am looking forward to the jazz show!

There are a list of over twenty experts on the panel who will be speaking throughout the event. You can check out the schedule of events in all the different classrooms here.

Just when you think you've seen it all at these festivals... There will be a GREEN MARKET available! I'm officially going to be in heaven. I'm convinced they must read my blog and follow me on Facebook and tailored this event to my interests! Only kidding..

I can't wait to attend this event! Annnnnd..... If you need a pair of tickets, then you've come to the right place! Lizzy's Garden, the local homemade baby food company who was featured in last month's Spotlight Series will be there AND is donating two tickets to a lucky winner. All you have to do is enter by clicking the link below, winners will be announced Wednesday, February 25th and tickets will be available at registration.

If you don't win, no worries you can order tickets here. Good Luck! Hope to see you there!

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Essentially Yours,


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Homemade Birthday Breakfast Cupcakes

A new and growing trend online are these "Funfetti Birthday Pancakes" parents are making for their children the morning of their birthday. I'm all for cooking my little guys a special breakfast and indulging a bit on their birthday, like any parent I want to mark the occasion and make them feel as special as possible. Still, I'm having a hard time rationalizing feeding my kids cake batter (essentially) in the morning. 

Perhaps it's because I don't make a habit of filling them with sugar and hydrogenated oils on ANY morning that makes this breakfast hard to swallow (pun totally intended). Maybe it's because I've worked hard to show our children food doesn't come from boxes or cans, and I've tried to instill a real sense of what they are putting into their bodies. I've seen parents go so far as to feed their kids cupcakes first thing in the morning on birthdays. Hey, I'm no party pooper. I love celebrating life as much as the next stay-at-home mom (we really know how to let the freak flag fly, don't let the yoga pants and minivans fool you).

I feel bad for the children, really. I couldn't imagine being able to function properly after dumping that into my stomach. Let alone a developing brain trying to cope with a "sugar coma." Sure they get a moment of pleasure off of this sugar high, which also sends them spiraling into a terrible sugar crash. As always, I was on the hunt for an alternative to this "dessert-fast." 

I usually do not have to stray very far when looking for creative and fun ways to keep our kids interested in food. Weelicious has a ton of awesome recipes for kids and toddlers. Sure enough I came across this wonderful recipe for Breakfast Cupcakes. These cupcakes are "pancake fluffy" AND made using actual ingredients. I personally substituted the cream cheese with plain greek yogurt and I used applesauce instead of sugar and.... Voila! Birthday Breakfast Cupcakes for my boys and I to enjoy!

What's your favorite birthday recipe?

Essentially Yours,


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Spotlight on Malu Organic

This week's spotlight  is on a new favorite Etsy shop, MALU ORGANIC. I've long been obsessed with sustainable clothing and I've finally found my go-to for stylish toddler duds that I'm in love with!

A friend of mine recently brought back some awesome patchwork harem pants straight from Bali (yes, she met Ketut!), and I absolutely adore them. I wear them EVERY chance I get. When I found these adorable toddler harem pants, I just about died!

Mali & Kalen Allmandinger, stole my heart as  former NYC residents turned California transplants. MALU Organic was born shortly after the birth of their daughter Marnie.
She wanted to create baby/toddler apparel that would convey their laid back Malibu beach lifestyle with a free-spirit undertone. They hit it right on the money, my son not only felt incredibly comfortable (I've seriously never felt a softer, more breathable fabric), but it had plenty of give allowing him to "fly free."

If you follow my blog you know that I try my best to be a conscious buyer and sustainable wear has long been on my radar for my boys. It can be tough with how much wear and tear they put on clothes and how active they are.  Malu Organic's 100% organic fair trade cotton isn't only the softest cotton I've ever felt but it will surely stand the test of time. It's #ToddlerApproved! I couldn't feel better knowing that this sustainable wear isn't wreaking havoc on our planet and it was made by workers who are treated well and paid fair wages. #IntentionIsEverything

In their own words:

We’ve created an ethical brand that is fully eco-friendly, using the softest, most comfortable fair-trade organic cotton and hemp fabrics, and environmentally friendly, solvent-free inks and natural dyes. We strive to be sustainable and to have a small footprint, sourcing our materials from as close to home as possible. The creative part is done in Malibu. We design and print everything in our home and then we manufacture in downtown LA, using fabrics made in the USA.

As if it couldn't get any better,  5% of every purchase is donated to the "Every Mother Counts" organization. An incredible program providing transportation, education and supplies to pregnant mothers in need all over the world.

You can follow MALU Organic on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. When ordering don't forget to use coupon code ESSENTIALLYORGANIC for 10% off!

Be Well, Be Green, Be Malu!

Essentially Yours,


Disclosure: Essentially Erika was provided with complimentary apparel featured in this article in exchange for a product review. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the sponsor.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mind Body Expo 2015

What are you up to this weekend?

Why don't you stop by the Mind Body Expo Sunday, February 22nd at the Delray Beach Marketplace from 10am - 6pm. Mind Body Expo, is a grassroots event founded by Holistic Health Coach and Social Entrepreneur Sandra Tribioli. The event will feature local conscious vendors and a panel of industry experts, all with a common goal of the ultimate mind-body connection and creating a positive impact in our community. The even is set to facilitate great opportunities and valuable connections, providing break-through education and information on the importance of connection, self-care, nutrition, physical activity and living a sustainable lifestyle.

A portion of the proceeds will fund Local Public School's enrichment programs and Caring Centers. With an all-star lineup of doctors, energy consultants, and local medium Sunnie Brooks taking the stage as expert speakers. Click here to view the event schedule. You don't want to miss this! Attendees will be given the opportunity to enhance their experience with VIP Passes that can be purchased here.

Yours truly will be there with an Essential Oil Education booth offering some Aromatherapy and an assortment of essential oil blends for purchase, so stop by and see us!  Come and join the fun, join the movement. I hope you'll join us, in Planting Seeds of Greatness...
For more information on the Mind Body Expo you can visit their website. Hope to see you there!

Essentially Yours,


Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine's Day Crafts: Love Is In The Air

Valentine's Day is here and the crafting has just begun! I haven't really been big on this (consumer driven) holiday for quite some time now. All the hustle and bustle to get a reservation at your favorite restaurant, only to drive in traffic and sit in a crowded restaurant waiting far too long for food that is way overpriced in a lot of cases. We celebrated quite a few quiet romantic dinners at home over the past couple of years seeing as how the boys were so young and to be honest, we enjoyed it a lot more.

This year, we decided to forego the busy restaurants and order out, take our favorite food and have ourselves a romantic beach picnic dinner (in case you were looking for any ideas). After all, we just want some time alone to enjoy each others company. 

Having kids has changed this holiday quite a bit for us. Not only is it difficult to find a good sitter on V-Day, but it's become more of a celebration leading up to the actual day. We start the month off with a calendar countdown until the big day. Each week we find new and interesting crafts to do with each other, and this week was no exception. If you've read our "No Toy Gift Guide" then you know we forego the gimmicky shiny distractions (gifts) and prefer to spend our time and money on more open ended play. Our art station is well stocked to say the least, ready at a moments' notice to get down to business. The business of PLAY that is...

As always I kick off the celebration with some fun printables courtesy of Gift of Curiosity

This usually allows me to get started on the Homemade Play Dough while keeping them busy for a few moments. Pink was the color chosen for Valentine's Day and I must admit it smelled yummy! A few of my laminated printables were perfect for incorporating our play dough. 
Gotta love the toddler fingers hard at play
NEVER underestimate the power of play dough people.. I had so much more planned this week, but play dough took center stage and never really left. I didn't seem to mind, I love following their lead when it comes to this kind of play. It never ceases to amaze me how many different scenarios they can come up with while dwelling in the sweet simple joys of childhood. So we tried our hands at Love Bugs, this wasn't much of a hit last year, but they were interested in adding "googley eyes" to the mix so I went with it!
I'd say it was a success!
There he goes again..
After the play dough started being thrown around the kitchen ( a clear sign that play dough time is coming to an end), it was time to switch gears a bit. We got to work on our heart garland we plan on decorating for their annual Valentine's Day date with Nana! We cut strips of construction paper and glued them together for our heart garland, this will help set the stage for their awesome date with their beloved Nana. Every year we make cards for her and some sort of treat for them to share. This year we are working on the Weelicious Raspberry Cream Cheese Heart Tarts. We've made these before and they are so good, figured they'd be perfect for V-Day!
Sea of Love...
As usual plans get pushed aside and we follow the flow of the craft and see where it leads us, this time it led to plenty of laughs...
My Funny Valentine...
Essentially Yours,


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Spotlight On: Stumpy Brothers

This week's spotlight is on Stumpy Brothers! An Etsy shop I stumbled upon recently and fell in love. Stumpy Brothers offers fine hand crafted wood products perfect as corporate or personalized gifts.
So Cute!

Of course you know I was was interested in their wooden essential oil key chain diffuser! This is perfect on-the-go Aromatherapy for you avid oil users like myself.

It provides just the right amount of Aromatherapy to get me through the day. I especially enjoy diffusing in the car while driving. I use a mixture of Balance and Bergamot oil (both grounding oils) to help me work through whatever road rage I may be experiencing. It's easy to use and effective!
So Easy!

It's simple yet classic look is timeless and it fits easily on my key chain. They offer a wide range of premium quality gifts that can suit all your needs. You can check out their Etsy shop here.

Guess what?

Stumpy Brothers was kind enough to offer a FREE key chain diffuser to one of my oil junkies! If you aren't an oil addict (like myself), then you will be with this awesome diffuser! I will personally include a free bottle of essential oil in case the winner doesn't have one to start with.

All you have to do is enter the raffle below, a winner will be announced Thursday, February 19th. Enter Now!

Good Luck!
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Essentially Yours,


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

All Natural Essential Skin Care

Did you know that your skin is the largest organ in your body? Like anything else it needs love and attention, all natural preferably. Organic, natural living doesn't stop in the kitchen. When we decided to rid our home / bodies from chemicals it included our skin care regimen. Did you know that anything your skin absorbs goes directly into your blood stream? What difference does it make watching what were eating if we put poison on our face? Not only do I want to be able to pronounce all the ingredients in my food, but I'd like to be be able to understand everything I put on my skin as well.

I get a lot of questions about all natural skin care tips, so I decided to put together a list of all of the "products" I use / make for my face. We all know I love a reason to make homemade ANYTHING!

Tip #1: Utilize Nature's Gift!

Seriously, I use coconut oil for EVERYTHING! Coconut oil is not only healthy for cooking, its possibilities are endless. You can use it in your hair as a conditioning treatment (I do it overnight), it's great for oral health (oil pulling), skin care is no exception. I start with coconut oil as my all natural make-up remover (yup, even eye make-up). A teaspoon will usually do the trick. I rub it all over my face and concentrate on the eyes, then wipe with a warm wash cloth and watch in amazement. Eyes are clean and most importantly hydrated! I also use this as my night time moisturizer with a drop of Frankincense essential oil. Frankincense has long been known as a healing oil, I add this as a scar / wrinkle reducer. My skin looks refreshed, and I'm glowing in the morning.

Tip #2: Exfoliation is Key

Baking soda is so versatile, I use it in my homemade air freshener and mattress cleaner as well as an all natural face scrub. I create a paste using only baking soda and water until its the perfect consistency for exfoliating my skin. Then I add a drop of Geranium essential oil, but only one drop as geranium is very strong. This is great at absorbing any oils. Rub in circular motions until you've covered your entire face and rinse thoroughly with warm water. For problematic skin that may need a deeper scrub you can make the Himalayan salt scrub. Mix together grated Pink Himalayan salt with equal parts coconut oil with a few drops of geranium essential oil. Use the same application process.

Tip #3: Pores are not your Friend

Astringent's are known for being filled with harsh chemicals that can strip your face of natural oils it may need. Witch Hazel is an excellent natural alternative to astringent, you can find some at your local whole foods. You can also make your own astringent using equal parts Organic Apple Cider Vinegar and water, then spray onto a cotton ball and wipe thoroughly. I also add Lavender essential oil to for its soothing effects and to hide the smell of the vinegar (it works). Follow up with moisturizer.

These three steps can help keep your skin looking fresh and clean as naturally as possible.

Share your favorite homemade skin care remedy!

Essentially Yours,


Monday, February 2, 2015

Essential Giveaways: Ticket's to Miami's Ultimate Baby Affair (MUBA 2015)

The hottest show in Miami is back in town and I've got tickets to give away! I've been waiting for this even all year! This is Miami's Premier Event for couples planning to conceive, expecting moms and new parents.  This is the place to be for all things baby & child related, leaders in the industry will be presenting Infant / Baby / Toddler products that parents will love. Not to mention the list of celebrity parenting experts in attendance.

BONUS: The proceeds from this event will go to the Ronald McDonald House charity of South Florida and the Kristi House.

The generous folks at Tutti Bambini have gifted me with a pair of tickets for one of my lucky readers!

All you have to do to qualify is tag a friend on our Instagram page or invite a friend to like our Facebook page. The winner will receive two free Premium tickets to Miami's Ultimate Baby Affair taking place this Friday at 6pm at the Miami Airport Convention Center! 

No worries if you don't win and you'd like to purchase tickets, Tutti Bambini has something for EVERYONE. Visit Tutti Bambini online and enter coupon code "ESSENTIALLY" for 15% off your tickets!

The winner will be displayed on Friday morning, Good Luck!

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