The danger of dryer sheets! Weekly highlight

This week’s highlight is on DRYER SHEETS. So step into the laundry room with me and lets take a peek at these little sheets and decide if this commonly used product is really worth using… 😉

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Ok, here we are in your cozy little laundry room… Now take a deep breath and smell that clean laundry drying. Mmmm.. If you are like me and hate doing laundry, clean laundry  is one of the most amazing scents ever haha it is quite an accomplishment to keep up on laundry! However, I learned in an essential oil class recently by Covenant essentials that dryer sheets and fabric softeners contain the MOST harmful toxic chemicals found in most homes. What!? Those amazing smelling little cloths really contain that many harmful chemicals? YIKES! This is because the scented film left behind on clothing absorbs into our skin and infiltrates our body. This can lead to many issues for our systems, including long term illness and cancers. WOW. This seriously was a shocker to me….I can’t believe the chemicals so commonly used on these little dryer sheets are rated as so dangerous! Ok…I may have thrown away my dryer sheets after that class haha. I knew harsh chemicals really cling to fabrics and are absorbed into our skin when we wore them and had been wanting to start using something more natural for a long time and that class gave me the incentive to make the switch…fast! But I love my laundry smelling good ad fresh. Lets step back into the laundry room and imagine breathing in the scent of…nothing *gasp* haha its totally fine not to use anything but if you are like me and like your clothes to smell fresh and clean, there are safe alternatives! I love honest company’s dryer sheets! They work great and smell amazing! Buying them can get pricey though. So my very favorite are wool dryer balls! These little babies can last for quite a long time (mine last for a year or so) and keep laundry static free. I love putting a couple drops of my favorite essential oils on the balls to give my clothes an amazing (and chemical free) scent! Thieves oil is one of my favorite to add to dryer balls! But I also like using citrus oils like orange, lemon, & grapefruit to freshen up my laundry!

Here are awesome wool dryer balls on amazon:

Thanks for listening! As always, I’d love your input :)

 

Sienna Carlton

*this webpage contains an affiliate link at no extra charge to you.

Weekly highlight – Thieves

Howdy!

I am SO excited to be writing my first weekly highlight post. Choosing a subject was so difficult as there are so many things I want to share with you all! But, for my very first post, I chose to highlight the essential oil THIEVES. :)

2017-03-26 19.35.29I’d like to start by saying that I am not writing this to push you into buying essential oils. But, if you have thieves or are interested in essential oils, this post is for you! Also, make sure you use essential oils safely. To read more about how to use oils safely click here. Do not begin using oils until you know how to use them safely.

I LOVE thieves. It is one of my favorite and most used oils. Let me tell you why!

  1.  It boosts immunities. We love to keep it diffusing in our home to boost our immunities, especially during sickness season!! 
  2. It kills germs & fights sickness. When illness strikes we rub it on the bottom of our feet and chest or add it to a roller bottle. Also, it works wonders for sore throats. My husband gargled a couple drops in warm water when he had mono and it significantly reduced the pain and boosted healing. 
  3. It works as a great cleaner. I love putting thieves in my homemade household cleaners :)
  4. It smells AMAZING. We love to diffuse it in place of candles and other chemical ridden scents often used in the home. 

If you are just beginning to learn about essential oils and want more information, I taught a class on the subject for My Homemaking Mentor, and online training academy chalk full of amazing information! CLICK HERE to check out the academy! Or read my review on it. :) They are adding a bunch of classes and doing a super sale starting tomorrow!

Also, Gentle Babies is a fantastic book full of recipes and information on how to use essential oils safely for pregnancy, babies, and children. I highly recommend it!

What is YOUR favorite way to use thieves?? 

I’d love to learn some new recipes and ways to use this awesome oil!

 

<3 Sienna Carlton

*this webpage contains an affiliate link at no extra charge to you.

 

Essential Oils. Why I recommend them and how to use them safely!

Ok…honestly I was a little skeptical of essential oils when I first heard about them a couple years ago but I did some research (and being the health nerd that I am) decided to give them a try! Oh my goodness, I am so glad I did! I have been using them for over 2 years now and they have been truly amazing! Now do I think they are NECESSARY for every homemaker…a MUST HAVE? No. If you don’t feel like you have the finances to invest in some right now that is completely ok, you’re not going to die. 😉

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Oils have been so very helpful to me as a homemaker. I love how they help me avoid and treat sickness for my family, keep a clean home, and keep everything smelling amazing WITHOUT using harmful chemicals. They are expensive, but they last a long time. They are also so useful since they can be used for so many things! They can be used in cleaners, bug repellent, sunscreen, skin care, to help with mood, energy, sickness, pain relief and the list goes on and on! So they really end up being worth the price in the long run. I don’t claim to know all there is to know about oils but I have learned a ton from the time that I have been using them. It is extremely important that you choose oil brands that are pure and high quality. After all, the whole reason we are using them is to avoid using harmful chemicals on our bodies and to help keep our homes and families healthy! I am confident that both Young Living and Doterra have high standards and are considered pure and safe to use. I am also just starting to use Plant Therapy oils! I am continuing to research them, but so far they have proved to be high quality and are much more affordable 😉

There are 3 ways to use essential oils – topical application, diffusing, and ingesting them.

Now it is important to note that not ALL oils can be taken internally! So be sure to read the oils bottle instructions before ingesting it. Also, once you know if an oil is safe to ingest always follow safety procedures when taking it. For example, mix it with a carrier oil and be sure to know how many drops are safe to take with how much carrier oil etc. Personally, I am very cautious when it comes to ingesting oils. Essential oils are very potent and you just never know what reaction your body will have. I have ingested before, but it has been very rare. When I did take some oils internally, I used a vegetable capsule and mixed the oils with fractionated coconut oil and froze them. Taking a frozen oil pill allows the oil to slowly be dispersed into your system as it melts. So, it is really up to you if you want to take the oils internally, but I would encourage you to do a lot of research before you do and then decide what you feel is safest and best for your family. Every person has a different idea about what is safe or not and you really need to just do some research and decide what YOU are comfortable with!
Topical use – Topical use is extremely effective! Before using an oil test out your skin and systems sensitivity to it by placing a drop on your inner forearm. And wait to see how your skin and system respond to it…I have never responded badly to an oil, but everyone is different! To dilute the potency of the oil first apply a carrier oil – some examples of carrier oils are coconut, olive, sweet almond oil, olive oil etc. I personally use coconut oil. I love the fractionated coconut oil from plant therapy for mixing in roller bottles or quickly applying to skin before other oil. This one would also work great.

Diffuse – I love diffusing oils! There are many different types. Simply follow the directions to fill the diffuser with lukewarm water. Make sure the water isn’t hot, as heat damages the properties of the oil. Then you simply drop 4-8 drops of oil in and diffuse! The amount you put in varies based on how big of a room you are in and how strong you want it to be. I usually use about 6-8 drops in my kitchen and 4-6 drops in my bedroom. And then you turn it on and inhale these fantastic oils as you go throughout your day. I love that many of the oils kill the germs in the air and boost your immunities.

I hope this post helped you learn a little bit about how to use oils safely and why I love them so much! :)

 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT ESSENTIAL OILS!? I’d love to hear from your experience.

 

~ Sienna Carlton

*this webpage contains an affiliate link at no extra charge to you.

Announcing new Weekly highlight

Hi!

I am extremely excited to announce that Homemaking From Scratch is going to start a weekly highlight post! We will be highlighting a natural product once a week and will cover some essential oils, cooking oils, herbs, etc. We will also be highlighting some dangerous products that are typically used every day in the average American household. It is easy to simply keep using what we are used to and often we don’t realize how harmful these commonly used products are. But we need to STOP!

I am so looking forward to discussing these natural do’s and don’ts with you all! I am so thankful when a friend makes me aware of a natural remedy or informs me that I should stop using something.. It is difficult to stay up to date on all the natural do’s and don’ts on our own. We need community! So stay tuned each week for my friendly highlights! And please leave comments. I would love to know your thoughts and opinions. There is always something to be learned an I’d love any natural knowledge you can throw my way 😉

Also, I did a course on natural living for My Homemaking Mentor an online training academy with awesome courses. This program is an excellent tool for learning more about natural living as well as growing Spiritually. AND I just found out that it is going on sale March 27 – April 3. So be sure to check that out :)

As an added bonus they are offering this free e-course! And it looks awesome.

I will try to get each highlight up by Monday. I am eagerly looking forward to chatting with you each week!

~Sienna Carltton

Boy oh boy BABY is here! When your birth plan goes amiss…

Here we are in the midst of the holiday season and I NEVER posted an official baby announcement.! Yikes, I’m behind. I took a 3 month maternity leave from any online work, but it is good to be back.

ZADEN PAUL CARLTON was born August 31 at 5:05pm. He was 5lb 8oz. We are so in love with our little man!


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I wrote a blog post about my gestational diabetes and how perfectly normal/healthy people can get it. Having diabetes while pregnant definitely was not in my “pregnancy plans” but it was the first step in God teaching me to become more trusting of HIS plans for me. Motherhood has already taught me so much — to let go of my perfect plans and my anxiety about the future and to place my trust in my all-knowing, sovereign God! I know I will probably be taught this lesson again and again through the years.

And Gestational Diabetes was only the first deviation from my plans…

My goal was to have my baby at a birth center as naturally as possible! I have always been interested in having a home birth, but my husband and I decided it would be better to have my first at a birth center in Sacramento in case anything went wrong *rolls eyes* I was pretty darn certain nothing would, my mom had 7 healthy pregnancies and births and her last one was in her 40’s! So, pshh I mean…come on, I’m only 24. What could go wrong? Surely I was in for a smooth natural pregnancy and delivery! I was so excited for a quiet, intimate birth with just the midwife, my husband, and mom. :)

So, first the news came that I had gestational diabetes… I was shocked! Honestly, I had never even heard of it. Thankfully, I was able to control it with dietary changes and so the midwife still felt comfortable with me having my baby there. That was util around 36 weeks when I was at a checkup and the midwife gave me a funny look after taking my blood pressure. She proceeded to take my blood pressure multiple times. She told me my blood pressure was elevated – but not to the point that I would need to be hospitalized. However, it continued to go up no matter how much I tried to “take it easy.” I was taken to the hospital and was there most of the night being tested and monitored and was finally sent home — conclusion = I didn’t have preeclampsia but I did have gestational hypertension. The next day I was sent in again (this time to a different hospital) and they concluded that the best thing for my baby and I was to get him out pf there. They also concluded that I did have preeclampsia (I was told so many different things, I’m not sure if I really did have it or not haha).

They were going to induce me.

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And that’s when I had to fully surrender my plans to the Lord. Here I was surrounded by strange doctors and med students, hooked up to a blood pressure monitor and IV, getting prepped for my induction… They laughed at the idea that I didn’t want an epidural and told me I needed magnesium or I my blood pressure would spike too high from the petocin and I could have a seizure…. after discussing (more like arguing) with all the different doctors, I was left with multiple stressful decisions that I wasn’t prepared to make. I am just so thankful I had my faithful husband by my side, supporting me and taking the lead with communicating with the doctors. I could not have gone through the birth without him, my labor delivery nurse friend, and my mom. They were an awesome team!

The labor was VERY painful, as the baby was face up, and being induced is no fun. But 13 hours later my tiny little boy was born!

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So that’s my story. Thankfully, nothing major did go wrong and I was still able to have a natural birth (besides the petocin). I was able to give birth to a beautiful, healthy son! And I know many people have scarier, more devastating birth stories than I do… Oh how my heart aches for them! And…oh my goodness did I learn why some people choose to get an epidural…OUCH 😉 there is absolutely no judgement on my part if you chose to get one haha. I felt led to share my story to encourage women to always hold their plans and desires with open hands. YES – it is still good to plan and dream. And yes, I still think natural birth is the best option. HOWEVER, things don’t always go as we plan and we have to be ok with that. We must have more trust and faith in God’s plan than our own.

What do I want you to take away from this?

  1. Hold onto your plans  and desires with open hands
  2. Trust your heavenly Father
  3. Don’t judge other. Everyone has a story and we don’t know it. So, before we proceed to inform someone that natural birth is best, listen to their story – be understanding – be loving.  

 

There is a time and place to gently encourage and help one another understand the benefits of a natural birth, but this must be done in a such a gentle way. As sister’s in Christ, our first priority should be to listen to each other and encourage one another as we all learn to trust the Lord with the future and live out our role as mothers – with all the crazy plan changes and stressful decision making that entails.

Thank you for listening. I’d love to hear your birth story!

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Sienna

My Home Making Mentor Review. What it’s all about and why it’s a must have for every woman!

A brand new online academy was recently launched called “My Homemaking Mentor.” In a world where mentorship is so important and often hard to find, this program is much needed.

Do you often find yourself wishing you had the time & money to take cooking classes, so that you could better prepare meals for your family and guests? And while you were at it, wish someone would help you learn to better meal plan and budget? Do you want to create a healthier, natural, home but feel overwhelmed by the task of researching natural remedies, finding natural resources that are affordable (i.e. cleaning supplies, herbs, essential oils, etc.), as well as learning how to use these safely and effectively? Maybe you aren’t much of a cleaner or organizer and wish you had someone to come along side you and help refine these skills. Or maybe you simply long to have someone impart wisdom to you on how to better love your husband and improve your marriage or give you tips on how you can become more spiritually disciplined but you are too timid to ask?!

Well…all of this AND MORE is addressed in the new online academy My Home Making Mentor! SERIOUSLY! This mentorship program provides 50+ videos for you to view or listen to in the car or while you are working (I listened to a course while folding laundry. 😉 Several Godly women came together and made courses to help teach and mentor other women in areas they where they feel skilled/knowledgable. What an awesome program, right!? AND it is on SALE this week!

I had the incredible privilege of participating in this academy as one of the mentors and I did a course on “An intro to a natural healthy home.” I was able to share some of my experience with essential oils and natural remedies as well as point out where I buy many of my favorite natural products! One of my favorite courses so far was “100 ways to love your husband” by Lisa Jacobson (blogger at Club 31 Women & author of an awesome marriage book). What an encouraging, God-centered, practical course! Jami Balmet (blogger at Young Wife’s Guide) also did incredible courses on hospitality and spiritual discipline.

I CANNOT say enough good things about these courses! Instead of just taking my word for it, check it out yourself!

CLICK HERE to check out the academy!

*this webpage contains an affiliate link at no extra charge to you.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Looking for a healthy pizza recipe? I love pizza and have had fun trying many different homemade doughs. Dealing with gestational diabetes this pregnancy though, I needed something low-carb and delicious to help with that pizza craving. 😉 I just tried this recipe for CAULIFLOWER CRUST PIZZA and I loved it! It did take me a little bit of work to get the cauliflower shredded up and squeezed out, but it was worth it (and hey, I got an excellent hand workout in the midst of it haha). I got the recipe from: justjessieb.com/2014/04/cauliflower-pizza-crust-paleo.html. She really nailed the recipe! Did I mention how delicious it was??? I was skeptical before trying it, but my pizza craving forced me to give it a try. 😉 I changed the recipe a little (mostly because I had almond flour on hand, not cocoanut flour).  And I wanted to throw in a few extra seasonings and cheese. So, here is my version of a cauliflower crust pizza that is to-die for! It makes one small pizza, so I like to double it and freeze one of the pizzas. To freeze, after topping the pizza, wrap pan in tinfoil and freeze. Thaw before baking!

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cauliflower (I shredded mine in my vitamix, a food processor would also work great!)
  • 1 egg
  • 2TBsp almond flour
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF
  2. Cook shredded cauliflower in large bowl in microwave for 6 minutes (or for a healthier option: bake in oven on baking sheet till fully cooked).
  3. Once the cauliflower has cooled down – put it in a cheese cloth and squeeze, squeeze, SQUEEZE, until you get most of the liquid out. (Now is the time to get those hands toned 😉
  4. Put the cauliflower mash into a bowl and add the egg, almond flour, cheese, and spices. Stir well.
  5. Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet (or pizza pan) lined with parchment paper and spread into a thin crust. Pinch the corners up.
  6. Bake at 425ºF for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. (Mmmm can you smell it!? This is the point where I started getting excited hehe).
  7. Top the pizza with your desired toppings (sauce, cheese, veggies, fully cooked meat).
  8. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.
  9. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

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Here is a picture I proudly snapchatted to my family 😉 and I realized I forgot to take any other pictures haha so this is the best I have for now. When I pull out my frozen one, I will add more pictures.

 

LET ME LNOW HOW YOUR PIZZA TURNED OUT! What were your favorite toppings? :)

Gestational diabetes…yikes!

As you know, I am into healthy living – which includes a healthy diet and exercise. So when I went into the doctor to find out the results to my blood test I really wasn’t worried. However I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes…yikes! I really had no idea what that meant…I just knew diabetes seems serious and I would need to be on a strict diet if I didn’t want insulin shots. I was baffled by the fact that I at 23, on my first pregnancy was diagnosed with it! Was I actually not as healthy as I thought? I felt pretty terrible….and went straight home to dig into some serious research!

So if you are like me and have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes or know someone who has, or are simply interested in learning more about the subject this post is for you! I will discuss what I have learned about the cause and ways it can be treated. If you happen to know a lot more than I do about the subject, please leave a comment! I am always interested in learning more from other people’s research and experience.

So at 28 weeks pregnant I found out I have gestational diabetes. The first thing I wanted to know was…

WHY?

Did I cause it!? The answer is NO. Although there are things that can make people more likely candidate’s for it – obesity, having diabetes before pregnancy, having had gestational diabetes during a different pregnancy etc. Nevertheless, there are many cases that seem unexplainable and are simply genetic. You can be in great shape and eat a fantastic diet and still get gestational diabetes because you are simply wired to get it. So if you have been diagnosed and feel terrible about yourself – don’t. You didn’t necessarily cause it!

Second, I wanted to understand what gestational diabetes really was.

WHAT IS IT?

Gestational diabetes is heightened blood sugar in a woman who is pregnant and did not have diabetes before pregnancy. The placenta can create hormones that heighten the amount of sugar in your blood and if your pancreas cannot handle the amount of sugar you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

Ok, so now we know what it is and why it is caused but the most important things I wanted to know were – what effect does this have on my baby and what can I do about it.

RISK?

If my body isn’t able to process all that heightened sugar in my blood then it can go to my baby, causing his poor little pancreas to work extra hard to create insulin to process it. After he is born his body will be used to producing more insulin than it needs. All of this can cause your baby to be more likely to develop diabetes in his/her lifetime. Also, doctors worry about the baby being too big and possibly getting stuck in the birth canal. Obviously, this causes trauma for both the mother and baby! So…those are a few of the major risks involved with gestational diabetes. What can you do to avoid this!? MANY mothers with gestational diabetes have given birth to happy, healthy babies. So please don’t let the risk overwhelm you as I did at first!

TREATMENT:

Since I am careful about remaining as natural in my healthcare as I can (especially while pregnant) I was hoping there was something that could be done besides insulin shots to help me control my blood sugar during this pregnancy. Thankfully, I have a very naturally minded and supportive midwife who has lots of experience with helping women control their gestational diabetes through diet and exercise!

  1. 20160709_161055So I picked up a glucometer at my local pharmacy and began taking a home blood sugar test 4 times a day – once when I first woke up (fasting level), and 1 hour after breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I recorded everything I ate for each meal and wrote down my blood sugar numbers. This helped me figure out what foods could be triggering my blood sugar to spike, and which foods were safe. Obviously simple carbohydrates and sugars are what is going to trigger elevated blood sugar. By using the glucometer, I figured out what grains or carbs were safe for me to eat (sourdough bread is very low in sugar, so as long as I ate it with protein my sugar levels were fine!). Every person’s body is different, so take some time to experiment with different foods! I found it best to always eat some sort of protein with any carb or fruit that I ate. Doing this, as well as cutting out almost all processed carbs and sugars, I was able to keep my blood sugar levels in a healthy range! I was told a healthy range is considered under 95 for fasting and under 130 1 hour after a meal.
  2. Exercise! This helps your body process the sugar better and is of course great for keeping your lungs and heart in shape during the pregnancy! I love going on walks!
  3. Don’t stress if you cannot get your blood sugar levels down even after changing o=your diet and exercise. There have been many VERY healthy people I know (and I mean marathon runner, never eat processed sugar types) who simply had bad cases of the gestational diabetes and needed to be on insulin shots. Ultimately, if this is what is best for your baby then you need to do it. God is in control of the outcome! :) Do not blame yourself for not being “healthy” enough!! PLEASE!

I hope my experience and tips will help you stay calm, trust the Lord, and help you better understand and manage your gestational diabetes. Please feel free to leave comments. I’d love to hear about what has helped you or answer any questions. God bless <3

Welcome!

WELCOME to Homemaking From Scratch! I am so excited that you are here. 

To learn more about who I am and what I love go to my About Me page.

I think it is so important to have a place where women can encourage & help each other in whatever roll God has called them too – single women with a heart for ministry, wives-to-be, wives, mothers, grandmothers, and yes…even men or husbands who share my heart for healthy living! This blog is for you!

There is so much to be learned and shared about health and making our homes a place where our families can thrive! Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and so we are called to take care of them to the best of our ability. I will be sharing what I am learning about taking care of my family and different tips and tricks for making it fun & affordable! I will also be sharing my heart for homemaking and I hope it encourages you. I am looking forward to hearing your comments as we help each other on this journey. :)

Why did I start Homemaking From Scratch? I have a passion for homemaking, living healthy, and serving the Lord! I know that as women, we have a responsibility to manage and look after our households and I desire to do that well!

We are called to provide our families with a healthy environment. And I think it is never too early for girls to begin learning these skills! So this blog is for single women, wives, & mothers! Anyone with a heart for keeping the home and a desire to learn and share with me in this journey!

Thankfully, leaning how to make things naturally can be a lot of fun! I really enjoy leaning with my family (my dad is a bit of a health nut as well) 😉 So, see if you can find a sister, mother, or friend to learn with or just dive right into it yourself! I pray that this blog blesses you and aids you in your journey to becoming an efficient homemaker from scratch!