Summer Make & Take Recipes – including sunscreen and bath diffusers!

Dear tribe,

Periodically, we host a “make & take” for our tribe [our community of family members connected by a love of healing and encouraging each other in everything from drinking bone broth to loading the dishwasher], where oilers, new and experienced alike, gather together and combine knowledge, skills and ingredients to make a menu of essential oil-infused items. There is usually a theme, such as Pregnancy and Childbirth or Home Cleaning Closet, and it is always an educational and lively experience with lots of food and good company!

Sometimes we get a little TOO lively, but we always make it home safely at the end of the day.

This recipe folder is from my summer-themed event and includes an allergy roller, bath diffusers, sunscreen and a new variation of that beloved summer body lotion – as well as The Base!

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Download the Summer Make & Take recipe file here
Find resource links for all the ingredients and tools used in the recipes

Detoxifying Bath Diffusers
from the Summer Make & Take

Customize your bath diffuser based on your need! A few variations are suggested below. These also make great foot-soak bombs! 

Makes 12 bath diffusers

3 cups baking soda
1 to 1-½ cups filtered water
6 drops each of preferred essential oils (see below)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin cups with foil liners.

  1. Measure the baking soda into a bowl, and slowly whisk in water to make a thick paste. Divide evenly into cupcake liners.
  2. Bake for 20 minutes; alternatively, let them air-dry overnight. Once they are finished baking, remove paper-lined discs from the pan and set on a cooling rack.
  3. Once they are cooled, distribute essential oils drops across the top. Remove from paper liners and store in an airtight glass container.
  4. To use: set a disc on the floor of the shower out of the shower’s spray, or drop one in the tub.

Allergy Soother: 6 drops each of lavender, peppermint and lemon
Morning Refresher: 6 drops each of Citrus Fresh and grapefruit
Weight Loss Trio: 6 drops each of peppermint, lemon and grapefruit
Sleep Aid: 6 drops each Peace & Calming, lavender and cedarwood
The following are recommended for shower diffusing only
Respiratory Relief: 6 drops each of R.C. and lavender
Virus Purge: 6 drops each of Thieves and lemon
Sore Muscles and Congestion Relief: 6 drops Panaway and copaiba

Download the Summer Make & Take recipe file here
Find resource links for all the ingredients and tools used in the recipes

Watch the video! That’s right, even at nine months pregnant I’m something of a movie star. Watch me prepare everything from the recipe file in 25 minutes.

If you’re using your starter kit (see the P.S. at the end of the blog) and you aren’t familiar with how to use the wonderful oils that come in the kit, here’s another graphic made by a friend of mine to help you get started. Use this to customize your bath diffusers or lotions based on your individual needs.

To better living without chemicals!

Mrs H

P.S. As always, if you haven’t gotten started on your own journey of healing with essential oils, I would love to welcome you to the oil tribe and get you connected to your own starter kit. Follow the link here and use PIN 4321 so I can provide customer care for you, and we’ll begin something great together! Connecting you to a sponsor is Young Living’s way of ensuring everybody gets their kit with information and individualized oil love, so if you want, we’ll connect to talk about what you really need to get out of your oils. 

It brings me to tears to see the revolutionary changes these oils are bringing about in people’s lives around me, especially in my own family. I enjoy every moment of learning with them. Come to the tribe! We’re ready for you. 

Ordering Details: I began by ordering the Premium Starter Kit – it includes a wholesale membership to all of Young Living’s products, so you can purchase anything else at a discount immediately by clicking “view more products”. 

Start a Home Yoga Practice Today (with progress pictures! I am NOT naturally flexible!)

Dear Healthy,

After I posted the story and photos of my radical journey to health with the help of yoga, I received many e-mails from my beloved readers. Many were inspired to get a grip on their body and start a healthy practice of nurturing and physical fitness immediately – but where to begin?

Find a studio … My first and strongest recommendation is always find a wonderful studio close to home you can connect with – the community and support you will gain from this circle of trusted fellow practitioners cannot be underestimated! Also it is rare, but I am more and more frequently seeing studios that offer childcare for one or all classes.

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What if the studio can’t happen? For a military parent far from family babysitters, or somebody on a restricted budget with enough funds to visit the studio maybe once a week or once a month, or for some of my intrepid readers who live in fairly remote areas and have no studios within reasonable driving distance – what then? Just between us: If you are shy about practicing around other people or self-conscious about your weight and that is the only thing keeping you home, please do make an effort to go visit a studio anyway! Bring a friend who feels as inept as you, if that helps! We all start clumsy, awkward and confused, and we all “get it” when somebody walks in feeling the same way, and we’re all there to support you as you blossom into a confident practitioner. And there are a lot of fit people in yoga, yes, but that is going to be you, next – you can’t begin this healthy lifestyle for long without seeing some physical changes! 

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As a teacher who hears this excuse on an almost daily basis, this has got to be my favorite yoga meme of all time! If that fear, which can be paralyzing, had kept me from my first yoga class – then I would STILL be inflexible!

Backbend Progress: It doesn’t happen overnight, but it happens. The first picture is how my back-bend looked about 1.5 years in to practice in April 2011 – foolishly, I was too embarrassed to take progress pictures earlier, or you could have seen me standing straight up, staring at the ceiling!
Backbend April 2011

Backbend February 2012: There are periods of practice where change seems to leap forward exponentially! One year later, my back bend had advanced dramatically. This took continuous practice, not wishful thinking or natural flexibility. (For what it’s worth, I had also lost some extra pounds during this year. In the second photo, I am 20 weeks pregnant!)

Backbend Feb 2012

Crow Pose Progress: In March 2011, this was where my Crow Pose was. A few months later, I had wobbled on to my head without knees on elbows.

Andrea_Crow on head_March 2, 2011

Crow Progress April 2014, waiting at the pier for my husband’s Navy carrier to dock (OpLove photo by Sami Roy Photography).  I now find it very easy to slide gracefully up into a steady headstand, and easily come back down in to crow or, from headstand, shoot my legs back into chaturanga.

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Even in heeled boots, on a painful pebbly surface, and those exhaustingly tight size too-tiny jeans!

Just waiting at the gate for my plane to board!

Just waiting at the gate for my plane to board! I didn’t know it here, but I was already pregnant with #2.

Bird of Paradise, 2011: This is about how far I could get in Bird of Paradise, a gorgeous pose that I couldn’t believe the people around me were actually doing. Sometimes I could hop my one foot up off the floor a little! I kept working at it.

Set 3 Pics by Amanda mid to late Feb (9)

Bird of Paradise, August 2014: To work on my fluidity and sequencing as a teacher, I started recording my own practice on the cellphone camera. I had been practicing without a mirror for so long I had no idea what my Bird of Paradise looked like, and I was shocked when I saw what had happened to the pose over the years of work! Years of work, not days of magical potions – it took a lot of effort for me to get this far, and I still have so far to go.

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Upward Facing Bow Progress, Spring 2011: I loved this pose, sometimes called Wheel (it’s not really Wheel – in wheel, you actually roll! Yeah, that’s cray, too.).

Andrea_Wheel_aMarch 2, 2011

May 2012: My upward facing bow had undergone some serious work by the time professional Matt Palalay took this photo in my 38th week of pregnancy. In the winter of 2013 it reached a new level when I achieved smooth and unassisted drop-backs and recovery (entering the pose from a standing position, and returning to standing immediately). I had a really cool video of that on my cellphone, but the phone was stolen and I cannot share it with you now!

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All of my poses have worlds of expansion and improvement yet to go, but I hope you are encouraged by seeing how I started out – clueless, inflexible and as unsteady as a drunken sailor on leave!

Start your practice today with the home practice!

I practice daily at home, and supplement that practice by taking group classes at my local studio. At home, I sometimes practice my own routines, testing out new playlists, new sequences, trying on new poses. And sometimes – and this seems to be more true during pregnancy – I just want to follow the words of an experienced teacher and not have to think! That is when yoga classes online come in handy.

Online yoga classes – where to find them? To start your home practice immediately, there are a number of options! You can find some of my favorite DVDs (see the list at the end of the post), or subscribe to YogaGlo or another online yoga studio for a minimal cost. I love YogaGlo for their simple layout, the way you can track and save your favorite classes or set a weekly practice goal, and all the master yoga teachers they have on their roster – Tiffany Cruikshank, Dice Iida-Klein, AmyIppoliti and many other names that are well-known in the yoga, sports, therapy and Instagram worlds.

Or, you can find some favorite videos on YouTube! There are a lot of yoga classes available on YouTube, and some of them are insanely annoying while others are delightful treasures. Here are a few of my favorites.

Prenatal Yoga with Lara Dutta


You don’t have to be pregnant to practice prenatal yoga, and in fact, if you are just a beginner, they are perfect for you: the poses are fluid and languid, and the pace will be even and usually more slow than a normal class. I find it very pleasant at the end that she doesn’t take you out of savasana – you can stay as long as you like as the movie fades out! Lara Dutta is an Indian actress and supermodel, and the Miss Universe of 2000. She and her teacher Tonia Clark put together this sequence for prenatal practice, which they made into a DVD for all pregnancy practitioners at home. Here, they wear very elegant designer clothes and have glasses of berry-infused water close at hand, as they discuss the advantages and reasons for practicing during prenatal yoga. If you are pregnant, I strongly recommend watching the video before embarking in a prenatal practice, especially if you don’t currently practice yoga.

Yoga Routine with Lara Dutta

This is a non-prenatal routine! You’ll notice that I prefer dubbed classes, where the teacher is not narrating the class while doing the classes. Sometimes the mic rubbing on t-shirt or hair, wind breezing by, panting and gasping all get a little annoying. I also get bothered by fuzzy audio and garbled music in the background – when you watch a video over and over and over (and I recommend doing the same favorite class over and over again as it will grow natural for you, and you’ll improve, just like with a dance), you really start to notice every annoying quirk!

Ashtanga Primary Series for Beginners 

This class is led by a man, and also dubbed with a crisp, clean audio. There’s no extraneous chatter, and I like that he uses the blocks. Achievable and challenging, this is a a great class, and at one hour it is the longest on my playlist.

Soothing Background Music


If you have your own routine or you’re following one from a book or magazine, this two-and-a-half-hour set of background music is a nice set to have streaming while you go through poses. It’s geared towards more of a relaxing, soothing class.

Best of luck on your yoga journey, and if you know of any great yoga videos or have one of your own, please share it in the comments so we can all benefit!

Mrs H
Facely yours
Not your Gram’s Insta

Yoga DVDs as promised

You can find so many great DVDs on Amazon or at the bookstore, and I usually check them out from the library first or watch the teacher on YouTube to see if I enjoy their style. These are my favorites!

Candlelight Yoga: Excellent for beginners, and I enjoy doing this class in the morning to wake up. There’s a reason Sarah Ivanhoe has gone on to become a master yoga teacher, and well-known in the community.

Prenatal Yoga with Lara Dutta: You are now familiar with Lara, and this is her DVD.

Journey into Power: Power Vinyasa Yoga, Level 1: Appropriate for beginners and advanced students; there is a Level 2 DVD as well, but to be honest, you could spend a lifetime on this one and still have years to go.

Kenyan-Style Chai Masala: how to welcome an honored guest

Welcome to my first instructional cooking video!  
Advice and pro tips? Leave me your thoughts in the comments below! 

Hodi hodi marafiki zangu, hello dear friends!

I am blessed to have two beautiful Kenyan women as neighbors, one across the street and another down the road. We all share children, dinners, stories with each other and combine our cultures and tribal knowledge. My African sisters taught me that every welcoming and gracious home in Kenya has a pot of hot chai masala on the stove, ready to serve an honored guest at the drop of a Masai headdress. I posted about this hospitable tradition on my Instagram account and it got a lot of feedback there and on Facebook – it’s hard to say what my muzungu friends were more excited about: the recipe for chai masala, or the thought of dropping in on friends, unexpected!

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There are 1,001 ways to make chai masala, and they are all right. There are millions of different spice blends, milks and creams and bases, and every one is unique and delicious!

Kenyan-Style Chai Masala

Watch the instructional video, and read and download the recipe below!

Download recipe PDF here

Chai spices*
Loose or bagged black tea, about 3 teaspoons per half-gallon
Milk**, water, cream or a combination of any of these
Honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, sucanat or another sweetener to taste

The goal is to heat the liquid, and get the tea and spices to soak in this liquid for about ten minutes, and sweeten the tea. You can do this many different ways.

Method 1: Fill the pot with liquid. Sprinkle in tea and spices – you’ll find that preferences vary, but I like a few teaspoons’ amount of each.  Turn to medium heat and slowly warm for about ten to fifteen minutes, to just below simmering. Strain out spices and tea leaves; add sweetener and whisk briskly. Serve hot or cold!

Method 2: Fill the pot with liquid. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat; sprinkle in spices and tea and let steep for ten minutes. Pour through a strainer; add sweetener, stirring to dissolve. Serve to a lucky guest!

A note on straining: You can strain through a fine mesh sieve, or layer cheesecloth in it to really get out the tiny grit. I find I prefer it to be very finely strained!

*A note on chai spices: I love the Kenyan blend that my sisters bring back from Africa, but you can also find beautiful blends from India, other countries and also in the US. I’ve found some wonderfully fresh and fragrant blends from the high-quality spice purveyor www.marketspice.com in my native Seattle. Yes, you can order online! The Spicy Seattle Chai is outstanding. Look for blends that are just pure spices, no added flavorings, sugars, or other non-essential ingredients. Some spice blends are ground very fine; others are coarse or may have whole coriander, cloves et cetera. Explore with abandon!  Invent your own!

**A note on milk: You can use just milk. Just water. A mixture; almond milk, coconut milk, goat’s milk. I use raw cow’s milk most of the time, and mix it with up to 50% water. It depends on what’s available! Slightly sour milk is perfect.

Download recipe PDF here

How do you welcome guests into your home?  Do you enjoy unexpected drop-ins?

Mrs H
Killin time on Instagram – it’s a slow death
Fresh faces on Facebook. Are you a bookie, too?

As seen on The Prairie Homestead Round-Up