How To Guide: Reusing Young Living Essential Oil Bottles

By now I’m sure you’re quite aware if you follow my Facebook or Instagram that we love our Young Living Essential Oils!  It has been a great investment for our family to help aid in our health and to help bring more natural products into our home while tossing all those harmful chemicals we have under our sinks and in our medicine cabinets.  If you’re anything like me, your heart sinks every time one of those 5 or 15 mL bottles winds up empty.  My heart literally stops for a second and then my mind starts racing wondering how quickly I can order more and just how soon it can be at my doorstep.  I’ve been saving my empty bottles because I just couldn’t bare to toss them but not quite knowing what to do with them yet.  That is until today.  A girlfriend of mine is flying soon and is pretty anxious about it.  I decided to drop off some Valor to her to help overcome her fears and build confidence.  I really wanted to reuse my empty Peppermint Oil bottle and it worked out perfectly. 

 I have outlined my steps for you so you can “Do It Yourself”! 

 
Step 1: Remove the label

Did you know that you can easily remove the label from any Young Living bottle?  One corner on the bottom of the bottle will say, “Pull Here.”  Underneath that you will find the Supplement Facts as well as the ability to see just how much is left in your bottle.  {Maybe I was too excited to notice but I never knew that!}  Carefully peel away the label to reveal the clean amber bottle.

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Step 2: Remove the Cap and Top

Unscrew the cap to your bottle and take off the seal from around the neck of the bottle.  With your fingernail, pop the clear dropper top off your bottle.  Keep these for future use.  If you don’t plan on replacing them right away, throw them in a ziplock type bag and store them for later.

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Step 3: Place bottle and cap pieces in Epsom Salt

This specific bottle smelled strongly of Peppermint and since we know that Peppermint Oil is a very strong oil I needed to figure out how to draw that smell out of the bottle and cap pieces.  Soaking essential oils in Epsom Salt during a bath will help preserve the purity of the oil better than dropping them straight in the water so I decided to utilize this concept to help clean them out.  It was magical!  Shake your oil bottle over the Epsom Salt to release any last drops of oil.  Then place all the pieces of the bottle in a glass jar filled with Epsom Salt and screw a lid on it if you have one.  I let mine sit about 20 minutes while I made lunch making sure to shake it around as often as I could remember to allow it to soak in to as much of the salt as possible.  The result?  Deliciously smelling Peppermint Infused Bath Salts for future use.  Killed two bird with one stone on that one!

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Step 4: Rinse pieces and soak in White Vinegar

After your pieces have set in Epsom Salt for the time you allot, rinse them off with water to get any remaining salt off.  In a dish or container soak all pieces in water and 2-3 Teaspoons of White Vinegar.  Allow them to soak for 2-3 hours.  For best results, soak overnight.  After soaking, remove your Young Living Essential Oils from the water and vinegar mixture.  Inspect your pieces to see if there is any residue from the label that still needs to be wiped away.

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Step 5: Dry

Rinse all pieces one last time in warm water and lay out to dry.

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Step 6: Recycle your clean bottle

Now that your bottle is clean and dry you can reuse it for anything you need.  Maybe you want to use it to pre-dilute some of your essential oils or make your own blends to have readily on hand for topical use.  {Don’t forget the clear dropper top and cap.}  If you would rather make your bottle a roller you can purchase a 10-pack of Young Living AromaGlide Roller Fitments in your Virtual Office or through your distributor.  Keep an eye out for a soon coming video on how to install and remove your roller ball fitments!

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The Finished Product

In the end, I was able to put together this little makeup bag with an “essentials” kit for my girlfriend.  I gave her a small container of Coconut Oil and a small container of Young Living’s V-6 Enhanced Vegetable Oil for easy application.  And I gave her 20 drops of Valor along with a little note telling her how Valor would be of an aid to her and how to apply it.

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*Want to know more about how you can start your journey to an Oil Living life?  Please contact me or the person who referred you to our Oil Living community.

**COPYRIGHT Amy Holmes and Essentially Amy, 2015.  Proper uses of this material include sharing on social media and/or the use of this URL to post onto another website or blog with a link directing back to this website.  Direct copy and paste of information or pictures from this post may not be used without prior contest from author.  All images are available for use on social media as long as no altering of them takes place.  Use of images on other blogs and/or websites are prohibited unless previous consent is made with the author.  Furthermore, this post along with it’s words and/or images may not be used for print and distribution purposes unless prior contest from the author takes place.  Unauthorized use and/or distribution of this material and images is strictly prohibited.  

***DISCLAIMER The information provided on this website is from my own personal usage and research of Young Living Essential Oils.  The statements made and suggested on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and therefore are not meant to treat, cure, diagnose or prevent any disease.

Homemade Pancakes Sunday

This morning Mr. Man woke up and requested pancakes. I felt terrible because he always asks for pancakes and I just never buy any mix at the store. We aren’t big breakfast people. We enjoy a breakfast out or Papa-made breakfasts but on a daily basis we usually eat toast, bagels, waffles or cereal with fruit. Nothing fancy.

After apologizing to him for awhile and telling him I would add it to my grocery list I decided to just google “Homemade Pancake Recipe”. That’s when I stumbled upon this Martha Stewart Basic Pancake Recipe. After realizing I had all the ingredients I told him we could make our own. He was SO EXCITED. I ran into the kitchen to whip up his brunch as fast as I could.

I am making a declaration right now: I will NEVER buy boxed pancake or waffle mix {unless I’m in a hurry} again! It was so easy! As long as I stay stocked up on my baking supplies I think this could be a very frequent occurrence.

Once I saw that the recipe yielded 12-15 pancakes I decided to stock up and freeze the uneaten ones. As I was going I realized it wasn’t very hard to do so I decided to use up our last egg and our last cup of milk and double the batch. I ended up getting 30 small to medium sized pancakes all together! The kids had 5 between them during the process. That means I was able to pack up and store away 25 pancakes for quick breakfasts in the days to come. I am seriously thinking of making this a monthly occurrence!

Any other suggestions on things I can make ahead of time and freeze for later to make my life easier? I don’t have a ton of space in our freezer but I’m looking for more ideas. Please send them my way {along with your best estimate of how long they will keep}. I can not wait to have our own home someday soon so we can have an extra upright freezer for storage! Our current freezer contents are pork chops, chicken, roast, cookie dough, ice cream, whipped cream and ice cubes. I need more space–especially for those times I find a good deal on our meats at the grocery store!

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Small Business Monday: ILUVMYSKIN

As I get older, I recognize the need to take care of myself and my skin better than I ever had.  I’m also learning the importance of natural and homeopathic remedies and products.  A few months ago, my man and I were out to dinner for my birthday in downtown Novi and spent some time afterward strolling around and window shopping.  We found a health market and spent some time dreaming over all the natural products we would want in our home and daily routine.  We ended up leaving there with a few bars of homemade soap because we fell in love with the tea tree oil scented ones.  He blew through those two bars quickly!  I started to love the smell of them in our bathroom daily and was wondering how I could keep up with that and not break the bank.

Flash forward a few months to the end of summer and I’m sitting at a table at the Woodshop in Clarkston with a great group of ladies who love Jesus and life and one girl that I didn’t know shows up with her basket of homemade soaps!  We sat next to each other and chatted all night about life, love, God, and business.  It was then that I decided she was my go-to soap girl and I am so thankful for her.  Her knowledge about natural living is immense and she’s one of the sweetest, funniest and most beautiful girls that I have ever met.  I am so happy to share her and her shop with you.  She is having an Open House this Friday, October 4th in Clarkston if anyone would like to go with me or have me place an order for you.  I am so excited to spend the evening with her and support her!

1.) Tell us a little about yourself.

{Danielle Whaley; owner and operator of ILUVMYSKIN}

Well, I’m a Capricorn who enjoys misty morning runs and large lattes. I believe in ghosts but I think unicorns are a stretch and I’m not quite sure any of this is real life. Like what if we are all just in the matrix and…I’m totally kidding. I’m actually a thirty-five year old stuck inside a eighteen year old’s body with the mentality of an eighty year old with the spirit of a seven year old. Add and subtract all those numbers together and you get my real age-twenty four. My age explanation can only point out the glaring fact that I am a different individual. And I think this is what drew my husband and I together and what makes him my best friend. We are celebrating one year of marriage this month and we have a beautiful, kind-hearted chocolate lab named Zoe, who is and will always be considered our first born child. I was raised here in Michigan to some of the best looking and most loving parents I have ever met. I have two younger brothers who are growing up to be awesome men right before my eyes. I consider myself a runner but I’m not the greatest and I love all things that are outdoorsy and nothing that is pink.

2.) When did you start your business?

I technically started my business in January of 2012 when I moved back home after a crushing attempt at living on my own in the Boston area near my alma mater. I was working in an office and I was already bored after two weeks of work and I started to wonder what are some other things I could pursue with my extra free time and extra cash now that I’m living at home (thanks mom and dad!) I started talking with my mom about the soap she used to make when I was growing up and the more I looked into it and researched the benefits, the more I knew I had a thing for soap. I began ordering supplies and making it at home, all with the help of my mom, and selling it to people at church and friends. I will say that finding the right combination in suds and lather along with hardness and a lasting bar only came from the brilliant mind of my mom. My mom actually started making this soap when I was about ten years old. She and I went to a soap making demonstration and she then tweaked the formula that she was given until she came up with what I use today. It sounds a lot easier than it really is. Because this soap is made from scratch, you have to have the perfect balance of oils and butters to have a nice firm bar while it still being moisturizing and sudsy. I’m not bragging but this is the best natural bar I’ve tried. And let me tell you, there has been a lot! I was all excited about my new venture and my ideas for marketing this already awesome product when, BOOM! I fell in love with this cutie (my husband, in case you got worried for a second) and he lived two hours north of me. Needless to say, I chose love and a DIY wedding over the soap passion for a bit. But around January of this year I actually got serious about the soap business and it’s been growing steadily ever since.

3.) What drives you to want to make homemade soaps?

I had terrible eczema when I was a kid and nothing helped it. It was all over my face and upper arms. It wasn’t until I used my mom’s soap that it went away. I also struggled with acne in high school. I gave into the temptation of these acne commercials for “clear skin”, but all I got was a super dry face with painful acne. It wasn’t until I put down the chemical filled face washes and stuck with my mom’s wondrous balance of cleanliness and moisture that I felt good in my own skin. My mom and I are also very sensitive to lotions and fragrance oils, since this soap doesn’t contain any of that, we fell head over heals for it’s natural essential oil smell. I personally make it to make a difference. I believe my homemade, natural soap is better for the environment, better for your health, and a more holistic way of thinking.

4.) What are the benefits or features of your homemade soaps?

Where to begin! Fragrance oil soap (any commercially made soap out there today) have carcinogens in them, THAT CAUSES CANCER. They have all these chemicals in them to keep the bar from breaking down when used so it has a longer shelf life. So if you are using something on your face that doesn’t have a normal life cycle and an expiration date, how good for you can it be? Not too mention the chemicals that are used in lotions to give you that “soft” feel. It’s basically just an additive to make your hands addicted to it so you will use it more so you will buy more. A smart move on the big soap business’s end but it’s not what I’m going for. Any soap out there today strips your skin of it’s own natural oils that help you defend against sickness and dryness. My soap puts that oil back into your skin. Now, I know all we ever hear is “oil-free” this and “oil-free” that. The oils I used are meant for your body to absorb so it won’t clog your pores like you’re thinking. It’s all plant based oils, so your body can easily absorb them and use them to stay moisturized. And don’t even get me started on the effect other soaps have on our planet. Those products are not made with plant material, they are made with chemicals, so they can’t coexist peacefully when they get washed down the drain. All of my ingredients are made of nature, so it’s great to wash down the drain!

5.) What is your process when making the soaps?

There are many different processes out there for making soap but it’s important to know what’s what. I couldn’t tell you how the heck commercially made soap is made. Frankly, I don’t know if I want to know. It’s kind of like McDonald’s chicken nuggets, they say it’s chicken but is it really? As far as natural soap goes, there is hot-process and cold-process. And true home-made soap is done through a process of saponification, which is a chemical reaction between and acid (oils i.e. oil oil, vegetable oil) and a base (sodium hydroxide). With hot-processed soap the “cook” can watch the reaction right in front of them, making sure it is fully reacted and safe for use before it is poured into it’s respected mold. Cold-processed soap is essentially all the same ingredients mixed together and put into a mold and then it “cures” for weeks at a time. I actually have no experience making cold-processed soap and therefore can’t even begin to know how it’s managed. I use hot-processed. It’s a hot and dangerous hour long process done on my stove with a double-boiler and a hand mixer. I have my secret formula that i melt down, add in the sodium hydroxide (or lye as some might know it as) and mix it, for an hour. Yep. Then I add my scent and any little add in for that given scent (i.e. lavender flowers in lavender, coffee grinds in my vanilla latte soap). I then pour it into a mold where I let it cool for at least 18 hours and then cut it into bar sizes.

6.) How did you come up with your name and adorable packaging?

I was brainstorming with my mom last year for a name for my new and upcoming soap company. We had some crazy and silly names, some that sounded a little racy too. But then it dawned on me, what does this soap do for me? It makes me love my skin! I love my skin! Yeah! My dear friend Kevin from Boston actually designed the logo for me (thanks Kev!) and the packaging is a combination of my mom’s original idea and my need for a bigger label surface to put my stamp or my logo. I’m big into burlap and if I could I would wrap it in that but simple brown paper will have to do for now.

7.) How should the soap be stored after use?

It’s best to let the soap dry in between uses on a slotted soap dish. Basically don’t let it sit in water. But you can let it sit out in your house until you use it. The essential oils are great aromatherapy.

8.) Where can we find your soaps?

Well, I live in the Clarkston area and I am having an open house on October 4th. It’s open to anyone and can be found on my Facebook page. It’s just a nice way to share my joy of soap making and for anyone to try out some samples and to dialog about this great product as well as some other things I make like face scrubs and masks:)

9.) Where can we find you online?

I can be reached through email at iluvmyskin.naturalsoap@gmail.com or you can find my shop on etsy.  I also sell my soaps in a store called Scandia Home in Birmingham and I’m looking for other stores to sell to as well. I also choose about one craft show every other month and I think the next one will be the Clarkston Craft Show this fall.

10.) Do you ship out of state?

I do ship out of state! All of those options are listed in my etsy store or by emailing me for prices.

11.) Do you have any advice for any other small business owners or those who want to make something/start a business?

The only advice I can give at this stage of my humble little business is start today. I kept putting it off and putting it off. I know the timing will all work out in the end but procrastination is not a good habit to get into when you want to start your own business. That and plan on making sacrifices to make your dream happen. There will be late nights, messy kitchens, frustration, but if you really believe in your product and yourself then it’s worth it.

Fresh Lavender Essential Oil Vegan Moisturizing Bar Soap

 

Dinner Menu: Tuesday “Chicken Pasta Stir Fry”

Tonight’s dinner was another product of “What does Amy want to eat together tonight”. And let me tell you–my taste buds have never steered me wrong!

We get so tired of the same old thing all the time so I like to mix things up often. Even if it’s only one or two different ingredients sometimes it can make it seem like a whole new dish.

Tonight’s dish I am calling “Chicken Pasta Stir Fry” because it was simply that. Chicken, pasta and a whole bunch of vegetables.

Again, I don’t measure out my ingredients per say and we make according to our taste buds. Here is what we did tonight:

6-8 chicken thin cut tenderloins cut into small cubes
Angel hair pasta
Zucchini
Red Bell Pepper
Mushrooms
Onion
Garlic cloves
Lime
Olive oil
Butter
Salt
Ground black pepper
Garlic salt
Parmesan Cheese

In a large skillet drizzle olive oil in the pan and add chicken. Cook on medium heat about 5 minutes or until they are no longer pink.

Add chopped zucchini, red bell pepper, mushrooms, onion, fresh garlic (3 or 4), 1 tsp butter, salt, pepper and garlic salt to taste.

Squeeze half a lime over the entire mix. Stir the dish, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes on medium heat.

Cook pasta accordingly.

Drain pasta, serve the chicken vegetable stir fry over and add a few sprinkles of Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

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Dinner Menu: Wednesday

Tonight’s dinner is a recipe I made up myself. I’m the type of person that likes to look at dishes at restaurants or other people’s houses and think about how I could make it at home. Often my cooking ends up being more of a “what do I want to eat and how could I put that all together?” kind of cooking. My husband always applauds my creations even though I know he can do exactly the same if he tried. He says he can never think of what would be good together.

Our favorite creation of mine this summer is something I’ll call my Summer Vegetable Pasta.

{Note: I never measure my ingredients or spices. I make all my own creations by taste and quantity of eaters.}

For this recipe you will need:
Asparagus
Zucchini
Red peppers
*Chicken or shrimp*
Butter
Oil
Garlic salt
Black pepper
Angel hair pasta

In a large skillet add some olive oil and a small dollop of butter over medium heat. Chop the asparagus, zucchini and red pepper into small pieces. {I’ve learned that the smaller the pieces the softer they are; the larger the pieces the crunchier they are}. When the butter and oil is melted add the vegetables, sprinkle Garlic Salt and Black pepper over and stir. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes on medium heat {cook a few minutes longer than 10 if you prefer softer pieces of vegetables.}

Meanwhile, cook pasta as normal in a separate pan. Stir the vegetables a few times throughout the course of time and add seasoning if needed. By the end, the juices from the vegetables themselves help add to the flavor and “sauce” of this dish. Strain pasta. Pour vegetables over pasta on dish and enjoy!

*Add chicken or shrimp that has been cooked thoroughly and chopped into small pieces with the vegetables as they simmer for extra flavor!

I tend to enjoy and can tolerate spices better than most of my dinner guests so I LOVE to add the black pepper a few times throughout.

Let me know if you try this quick and easy summer recipe. Please feel free to share your favorite quick and easy recipes with me too!

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