100+ Uses and Recipes for Lavender Essential Oil

shutterstock_397041889.jpgLavender essential oil is one of the most versatile of all essential oils. Lavender is widely considered “the universal oil” due to it’s countless and wide-spread uses and benefits. Lavender essential oil can be used in cooking, pest control, first aid, beauty and so much more. We compiled a list of over 100+ uses and recipes for lavender essential oil. Feel free to use the navigation below to jump to your category of interest.

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Hair & Beauty | First Aid | Emotional Benefits | Physical Benefits | Sex |  Around the Home | Cooking | Drinks | Pest Control |

Hair & Beauty

shutterstock_316361192Dandruff Control: Get those pesky white flakes under control with this easy to follow recipe.

  • Use 3-6 drops of lavender
  • 3-6 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil
  • Mix throughly
  • Massage into the scalp

Control Itchy Scalp: Can’t stop scratching your head? Get instantaneous relief with the super simple recipe below.

  • Use 3-6 drops of lavender
  • 1 tsp. jojoba oil
  • Mix throughly
  • Massage into the scalp

Fragrance: smell great, and enjoy the calming in relaxing benefits apply lavender essential oil to your body.

  • Apply 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil to your left palm
  • Swirl the oil with your right hand.
  • Apply the lavender oil on the nape of your neck for a lovely long lasting natural fragrance



Bonus Fragrance Recipe: smell great while looking great at the same time with a diffuser necklace.


Eczema Cream
: Stop that red inflamed itchy arm or leg with lavender essential oil and water.shutterstock_263752067

  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 1 cup of distilled/filtered water
  • Transfer the water oil blend to a glass spray bottle.
  • Swirl bottle
  • Spray on effected area
  • Repeat as needed

shutterstock_165748883

 

Chapped Lips: Soothe your dry, cracked lips, and return them to their vibrant glory with just one drop of lavender essential oil.

  • Apply one drop of lavender essential oil to your finger
  • Massage the oil into your lips
  • Repeat as needed

 

 


DIY Baby Wipes
: Dr. Axe has an excellent recipe for creating a chemical free baby wipe with lavender and chamomile essential oils.

 

Bath Bombs: Enjoy all the healing benefits of Lavender Essential Oils with your own bath bombs. Watch the video below to see how easy it is to make chemical free healing bath bombs:

Shower Bombs: Rejuvenate yourself with a relaxing shower bomb.

  • 30 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 2 tbs distilled/filtered water
  • Mix together in a glass bowl
  • Set aside 2 cups of baking soda in a glass bowl
  • Slowly add the lavender essential oil and water to the baking soda
  • Mix throughly
  • Compress into two balls
  • Let them sit for 12 hours and enjoy

shutterstock_29458198Sugar/Salt Scrub: Unlock the moisturizing properties of lavender essential oil combined with exfoliation of sugar.  Use epsom salt scrub during summer and sugar scrub during winter to support your skin all year long.

  • Combine 1/2 cup coconut oil,
  • 1/4 cup coarse granulated sugar or epsom salt
  • 1/4 tsp of lavender essential oil
  • Store in a glass container

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Lip Exfoliation: The sugar will offer a gentle exfoliation of the lips and the soothing moisturizing properties of lavender essential oil to heal the lips.

  • Combine 1-2 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 1tbs honey
  • 1tbs granulated sugar
  • 1tbs coconut oil
  • Store in glass container
  • Apply to lips as needed

Lotion Bars: We know by now how lavender essential oil can moisturize and soothe skin. This excellent, and easy recipe for Lavender lotion bar will keep your skin craving more and more.

  • Melt over low heat in a double boiler
  • 2 oz Beeswax
  • 2oz Shea Butter
  • 2oz of coconut oil
  • Once liquified, apply 10-20 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Pour the mixture into two silicon molds
  • Allow them to cool before use, up to 12 hours

homemade lavender soap recipe
Soap: HomemadeGiftsMadeEasy.com put together an easy to follow tutorial on a lavender essential oil homemade soap. She even includes a cute templates to print labels for your freshly made bars of soap.

Body Butter: This whipped body butter recipe will keep your skin smelling and feeling great all day long.

  • Melt over low heat in a double-boiler
  • 1/2 cup shea butter
  • 1/2 mango butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of jojoba oil
  • Cool for one hour
  • 10-20 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Whip for 10 minutes with a hand mixer
  • Store in a glass container.

shutterstock_69242062Eyelash Growth: Revitalize old mascara and help grow your lashes by adding one drop of lavender essential oil to your massacre.

Hair Detangler: Get those curls with a mind of their own under control.

  • Combine in a glass spray bottle
  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 1/2 tsp jojoba oil
  • 1/2 tsp vitamin E oil
  • 20-30 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Swirl the mixture together
  • Spray on your hair to keep it shiny, and manageable throughout the day

lavender oil shaving cream

Shaving Cream: The perfect homemade gift. lavender infused shaving cream.

  • Melt over low heat in a glass double-boiler
  • 2/3 cup shea butter
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
  • Once melted add a 1/4 cup grape seed oil
  • 20-30 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Transfer to glass storage container
  • Allow to cool in the fridge for two hours
  • Whip with a hand mixer (5-10 minutes)

lavender oil use deodorantNatural Deodorant: Know your ingredients. Avoid harmful metals and make your own chemical free deodorant.

In a wide mouth glass storage container combine:

  • 1/4 cup of baking soda
  • 20-30 drops of lavender essential
  • Apply in the mornings by sticking your fingers into the powder and tapping into your armpits.
  • Avoid rubbing into skin

Facial Astringent: Clean up those oily pores with this easy to make facial astringent.
In a large glass storage container combine:

  • Full bottle of natural witch hazel
  • 20-30 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Swirl
  • Apply to cotton ball
  • Apply to affected areas

 

Make-up Remover Wipes: Avoid all the harsh chemicals in make remover wipes, and make your own.

shutterstock_391799284In a wide mouth glass jar combine:

  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 4 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1 tbs witch hazel
  • 2 tbs distilled/filtered water
  • 4 round cotton pads
  • Keep the pads in the mixture until throughly soaked
  • Store in a glass container and use as needed

Skin Detoxifier: Remove those surface toxins from your skin, and peel back time.

In a wide mouth glass jar combine:

  • 4 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 4 drops of rose essential oil
  • 2 tbs of coconut oil
  • Massage throughout the body to detoxify the skin

Skin Toner: Clear up your oily dry skin with this simple DIY skin toner recipe.

In glass spray bottle combine:

  • 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1tbs distilled/filtered water
  • 1-5 drops of lavender essential oil

shutterstock_170347388Hair Loss: Thining hair or balding?

In a glass jar combine:

  • 2 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • 2 drops of cedarwood essential oil
  • 2 drops of thyme
  • 2 tbs of jojoba oil
  • Massage into scalp at night daily
  • Keep oils in your hair at least one hour
  • Wash and rinse.

 

Frizz Control: Can't seem to keep those flyaway's at bay? Start taming that mane today.

In a glass spray bottle combine:

  • 2oz of castor oil
  • 5-10 drops of lavender essential
  • 5-10 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • Swirl
  • Spray

 

Diminish Wrinkles: Start moving the clock back on father time with the healing properties of lavender essential oil.

In a small glass jar combine:

  • 1/4 oz jojoba oil
  • 20-30 drops lavender essential oil
  • 20-30 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 20-30 drops pomegranate essential oil
  • Dip your finger in jar and apply to your face at night and in the morning. To revitalize, your skin.

shutterstock_433215526Beard Growth: Tame your beard, give it shine, fill in slow growing areas, and a soft relaxed feel. Sounds impossible? It's not.

In a small glass bottle combine:

  • 1 tbs jojoba oil
  • 20 drops of tea tree oil
  • 5 drops of lavender
  • Swirl it
  • Apply a couple drops to your hands and massage into your beard
  • Repeat daily until as needed

Cradle Cap: Soothe your baby's scalp, and give yourself piece of mind.

In a glass jar combine:

  • 4 tbs baby shampoo
  • 2 drops tea tree oil
  • 2 drops of lavender oil
  • Apply to baby's scalp
  • Wash throughly.

First Aid

Sunburn: Did you get roasted like a marshmallow over an open fire? Put out the burn with this sunburn relief spray.shutterstock_295445759

In a glass spray bottle combine:

  • 1/2 cup aloe vera
  • 1/8 cup fractionated coconut oil
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops of peppermint
  • Swirl the bottle
  • Spray to the affected area

Diaper Rash: Does your baby have a sore, red, and inflamed tush?

In a wide mouth glass jar combine:

  • 4 tbs coconut oil
  • 4 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Apply after every diaper change
  • Repeat until rash subsides

Headache Relief: Melt your tension away by taking a warm bath with 5-10 drops of lavender essential oil added.

Anti-itch: Do you have an uncontrollable itch? Apply 1-2 drops of essential oil to your palms and rub into affected area. If using on a baby combine with 1 tbs of coconut oil.

Burns: Put the fire out from that burn in matter of seconds.

In a wide mouth glass jar combine:

  • 1 tbs aloe vera
  • 5-10 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Apply to affected area
  • Every time the burn drys up apply more until the affected area heals

Scratches: Clean a fresh cut or scratch by adding 1 drop lavender essential oil to a warm towel. The anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial proprietaries will go right to work on cleaning up that scratch or cut.

bug bite lavender oilInsect Bites: Those pesky mosquitos always seem to get you at just the wrong time. Stop the itching, and swelling by applying a drop of lavender essential oil directly on the skin.

Bruising: Did you bang yourself recently or just prone to bruising? Here's a SUPER easy fix.

  • Fill a glass bowl with warm water
  • 3 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • 2 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 1 drop of geranium essential oil
  • Soak a washcloth in the bowl and apply to the bruised area
  • Prepare a second bowl with cold water
  • Add 3 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • 2 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 1 drop of geranium essential oil
  • Soak a second wash cloth
  • Alternate between the warm and cold wash cloth to your bruised areas

Umbilical Cord Stump: Apply this essential oil blend to soothe umbilical cord stumps.

In a glass bottle combine:

  • 5-10 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 5-10 drops of frankincense essential oil
  • 5-10 drops of myrrh essential oil
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • Apply to umbilical cord daily

Motion Sickness: Can't seem to find your sea legs? Place 1 drop of lavender essential oil in your palm and swirl. With your hands apply the oil behind your ears to ease motion sickness symptoms.

Hay Fever: Apply 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil to a diffuser to alleviate the symptoms of Hay Fever.

Pet & Dust Allergies: lavender essential oil is a natural antihistamine and by inhaling or diffusing can provide you with long term symptomatic relief.

  • Rub 1-2 drops of lavender essential oil into your palms
  • Inhale deeply for 30 seconds
  • Repeat 2-3 times a day

Nosebleeds: Stop those pesky nosebleeds right in there tracks.

  • Apply 1 drop of lavender essential oil to a paper towel.
  • Wrap the paper towel around an ice cube
  • Place under nose as long as comfortable.

Cold Sores: Place 1 drop to lavender essential oil on a cotton tip and apply directly to cold sore. Repeat process daily until cold sore clears up.

Psoriasis: Soothe your skin with this super simple recipe.

In a glass bowl combine:

  • 3 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops of frankincense oil
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • Apply to the affected area
  • Repeat as needed

Cough & Cold Rub: Sleep easy with this at home cough & cold rub.

In a glass jar combine:

  • 1 tbs Coconut oil
  • 5 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 8 drops of eucalyptus oil
  • 2 drops of thyme oil
  • Apply 1 tsp to your chest before bed

lavender essential oil eye pack

Soothing Eye Pack: The gals at PopSugar have put together a tutorial to make your own soothing eye masks. Avoid paying top dollar for specialty masks, and make one from scratch that you can heat and cool.

After Sun Care: Use a cold compress to soothe your freshly tanned skin.

  • Fill a glass bowl with 2 cups of cold water
  • Add 2-5 drops of lavender essential
  • Soak a washcloth
  • Wring the cloth out
  • Apply to the affected area

Bee Stings: Get control of that painful bee sting, and get some instantaneous relief.

In a wide mouth glass jar combine:

  • 1 tbs of coconut oil
  • 2 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1 drop peppermint essential oil
  • 1 drop of german chamomile essential oil
  • Apply the cream to affected area
  • Repeat as needed

Anti-Inflamtory: For adults apply 1-2 drops of lavender essential oil directly to the inflamed area. For babies and children dilute the 1-2 drops of lavender essential oil with 1 tbs coconut oil.

Head Lice: Kill lice and lice eggs.

In a wide mouth glass jar combine:

    • 2-5 drops of lavender
    • 2-5 drops tea tree essential oil
    • 1 tbsp of jojoba oil
    • Massage into the scalp

Watch the video below to see just how effective lavender and tea tree essential oil are at killing lice.

Digestion Aid: Lavender essential oil increases mobility of food in your gut. Thus reducing symptoms of gas, acid reflux, or bloating. Fill an empty capsule with 2-5 drops of lavender essential oil and wash it down with a glass of water.

Bloating: Fill an empty capsule with 2-5 drops of lavender essential oil & 2-5 drops of peppermint oil. Wash it down with a glass of water.

Acid Indigestion: Lavender stimulates gastric juices in the bile, thus aiding in the symptoms of acid indigestion. Fill an empty capsule with 2-5 drops of lavender essential oil and wash it down with a glass of water.

Ear Ache: Ear aches the come and go and every now and again there's that one that just won't leave you alone.

  • Fill a glass bowl with two cups of warm water
  • 2-5 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Soak a washcloth in the warm water and wring it out
  • Apply the lavender hot compress to your ear
  • Repeat as necessary
  • Avoid putting any essential oils in your ear before consulting a physician.

Nail Fungus Removal: Lavender essential oil can be very effective at combatting nail fungus and preventing future infections. Relax and soothe your feet with this lavender and tea tree soak.

  • Fill a stainless steel pot with warm water
  • Add 2-5 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 2-5 drops of Tea Tree oil
  • Soak your feet for 30 minutes
  • Repeat daily until affected area recedes

Healing: Because of the anti-microbrial, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties of lavender, it is largely considered the universal essential oil. Apply 1-2 drops directly to any affected area and repeat as needed until healed. Dilute lavender essential oil with a tbs of coconut oil to use on children and babies

Acne Care: Treat those sore spots with a combination of shea butter and lavender essential oil.

In a glass storage jar combine:

  • 1 tbs of shea butter
  • 2-5 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Apply to face after cleansing before bed.

Ringworm Treatment: Knock the socks off those ringworms with this 1-2 punch of olive oil and lavender essential oil.

In a glass storage container combine:

  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Swirl
  • Apply three times a day to the affected area.

GERD: Start your day with your GERD symptoms under control, and for long lasting symptomatic relief. Drink the recipe below every morning.

In a glass of water combine:

  • 2-3 drops of lemon oil
  • 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Drink every morning.

Teething: Is your baby cutting a new tooth soothe them, and soothe your ears with the recipe below.

In a glass storage container combine:

  • 1 tbs of coconut oil
  • 2-5 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Massage into jaw line
  • Repeat as necessary

Emotional Benefits

Anxiety: To alleviate symptoms of anxiety follow the recipe below. Repeat as needed.

Diffuse:

  • 2-8 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Inhale deeply for 30 seconds
  • Repeat as needed

Depression: The moody blues a great to listen to but emotionally not that enjoyable. Alleviate those symptoms today with an easy to follow diffusing recipe.

Diffuse:

  • 3 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops of chamomile essential oil
  • 3 drops of bergamot essential oil
  • Inhale deeply for 30 seconds
  • Repeat as needed.

Stress Relief: Stress catches us all at one time or another. Quickly get it under control by diffusing lavender essential oil.

Diffuse:

  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Inhale deeply for 30 seconds
  • Repeat as needed

Mood Amplifier: Keep the tempo upbeat throughout the by wearing a diffuser necklace. Apply 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil to your diffuser necklace and receive uplifting aromatherapy from lavender throughout the day.

Calming: Fill a warm bath and add 10-20 drops of lavender essential oil and soak for 30 minutes.

Sleep Aid: Did you stay up late and throw your sleep schedule off? Get back into the rhythm with this natural sleep aid.

In a glass storage jar combine:

  • 1oz of Almond oil
  • 2-5 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Massage on the bottom of feet
  • Behind the ears
  • Up the jawline
  • Repeat nightly as needed

Physical Benefits

Pain Relief: For adults apply 1-3 drops of lavender essential oil in your palms. Rub them together and massage into the afflicted area. For children and babies dilute with a 1 tbs of coconut oil. Repeat as needed.

Muscle Spasms: Playing sports, working out, afternoon runs, and any other physical activity can result in muscle spasms. Keep this recipe in a glass jar to use whenever you need to soothe some muscle pain or spasm.

In a wide mouth glass jar combine:

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2-5 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 2-5 drops marjoram essential oil
  • 2-5 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • Swirl
  • Apply to affected areas as needed

Workout Recovery: Give your muscles the speedy recover they deserve. You ripped them apart now heal them up.

In a glass jar combine:

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2-5 drops of lavender oil
  • 2-5 drops marjoram oil
  • 2-5 drops thyme oil
  • 2-5 drops of peppermint oil
  • Massage into your muscles post workout.

Sex

Aphrodisiac: Spice up your night life by diffusing lavender essential oil in the bedroom. Lavender releases endorphins in the brain and increases blood flow to sexual organs, aaannnnndddd it increases female sensitivity.

  • Diffuse 8 drops lavender essential oil

Libido Enhancer: Diffuse lavender and tangerine in the bedroom to increase blood flow to male organs, and release endorphins in the brain for increased pleasure.

Diffuse:

  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops tangerine essential oil

Around the Home

Cat Repellant: Tired of your cats using your favorite piece of furniture as a scratching post?

In a glass spray bottle combine:

  • 2 oz of distilled/filtered water
  • 2-5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2-5 drops orange essential oil
  • 2-5 drops peppermint essential oil
  • Swirl
  • Spray in areas where you want to keep the cats at bay

Linen Spray: Ditch the harmful chemicals in commercial linen sprays and gain control of what you spray into your clothing.

In a glass spray bottle combine:

  • 1oz witch hazel
  • 3oz distilled/filter water
  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Swirl
  • Spray into your clothes as needed

Liquid Laundry Detergent: Shifrah at Apartment Therapy put together a great walkthrough on making your own lavender laundry detergent. Say hello to the chemical free life.

Household Cleaner: Instead of your home smelling like you gave it a bleach bath. Use this natural recipe to fight bacteria, and smell great at the same time.

In a glass spray bottle combine:

  • 2oz of distilled/filtered water
  • 1tbs tea tree essential oil
  • 10 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Swirl
  • Spray and clean

No Chem Dryer Sheet: When you dry your clothes with commercial dryer sheets you inject harmful chemicals into your clothes which is later absorbed through the skin when you wear them. Replace your dryer sheets with wool balls with a couple drops of lavender essential oil. The balls can last up to 600 loads of laundry. Add 2-3 drops of lavender essential to the wool balls every load.

Anti-Bacterial Cream: Brew up your own anti-bacterial cream of cuts, scratches, burns and so much more.

  • Melt down on low heat in a double boiler
  • 4 tbs beeswax
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • Transfer to wide mouth glass storage container
  • Add 15 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Use as needed

Therapeutic Bedrails: Keep your young one's soothed and in their beds.

  • Grab two pool noodles
  • Place a cotton pad in each end
  • Add 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil to each pad
  • Tuck the pool noodles under the fitted sheet
  • Replace the cotton pads as the smell fades

Cat-Box Deodorizer: Keep those harsh fumes permeating throughout your house with a simple combination of baking soda and lavender essential oil.

In a glass bowl combine:

  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 1 drop of lavender essential oil
  • Allow the mixture to sit over night
  • Mix into your cat box
  • Duplicate the recipe for multiple cat boxes.

Room Freshener: Clear up stale smells throughout your home with this sweet lavender room freshener spray.

In a glass spray bottle combine:

  • 3/4 cup distilled/filtered water
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 8 drops peppermint essential oil
  • Swirl and spritz.Lavender essential oil play-dough

Play-Dough: The PinningMama has an excellent DIY Play-Dough walkthrough. Never worry again about chemicals in play dough and provide endless amount of aromatherapy benefits to your little ones.

Candle Melts: Make your own long lasting scented wax melts.

In a glass double boiler combine;

  • 2oz beeswax
  • 2tbs coconut oil
  • Liquify
  • Pour the mixture into a glass bowl.
  • Add 20 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Swirl
  • Pour the mixture into plastic molds
  • Allow them to cool and harden(12 hours).
  • Break away the melts and start diffusing lavender throughout your home.

Lavender Sachet: Not only do these lavender sachets have positive effect on the aroma in your home they double as pest control. Who knew your home could be pest free and smell great at the same time. Essential Health Magazine has an excellent tutorial on making your very own lavender sachets.

Scented Lightbulbs: Make your own at home diffuser.

  • Apply 1-2 drops of lavender essential oil to light bulbs in your house while they are off.
  • Turn them on the heat will slowly diffuse lavender throughout your house.

Mold Spray: Mold shows up at the worst of times, and cleaning with a bleach solution in an unventilated area can really have some negative effects on your body. How about a bleach, and chemical-free spray that will knock the pants right off that mold.

In glass spray bottle combine:

  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 10 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Swirl and spray
  • Wipe after 30 minutes.

Painting: Add 2-5 drops of lavender to your paint to eliminate those nasty fresh paint odors from your home or business. Since essential oils do not contain fatty acids they will not stain your wall.

Cooking

Lavender Infused Jam: Enjoy all the healing properties of lavender infused in your favorite jam. To be enjoyed in the morning, middle of the day, and evening. Table for Two has an excellent recipe that only takes 35 minutes to make!

Sorbet: Delicious sorbet on a hot summer day. Who could ask for more?

Combine in a medium saucepan, over medium heat:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Dissolve sugar
  • Add 5-10 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Bring to a boil for 5 minutes
  • Simmer for 5 minutes
  • Turn the heat off and cover for 5 minutes
  • Strain the syrup
  • Combine in glass storage jar
  • 2 tablespoons of vodka
  • 2.5 tbs lemon juice
  • Place in the freezer
  • After one hour mash it up
  • Freeze again
  • Serve within 3 days.

Shortbread: Want to make shortbread cookies to die for? Have you made cookies with essential oils? This recipe Lavender Lemon Shortbread cookies is simply to die for. Ready in oder 35 minutes. You can prep this dish in a hurry and still serve something delicious. Download the recipe here.

lavender pound cake with lemon glazePound Cake: The women over at RecipeswithEssentialOils put together this fantastic lavender pound cake recipe that tastes so good you'll have everyone coming back for more and more.

Banana Nut Bread: Add 4 drops of lavender essential oil to your favorite banana nut bread recipe for an added twist. Throw in some blueberries to keep your bread moist and delicious.

Lavender Cupcakes: Make great cupcakes by combining 4 drops of lavender essential oil to your favorite cupcake recipe. Making amazing cupcakes by adding dollop of buttercream with a drop of orange for truly unforgettable glaze.

Ice Cream: CookingandBeer.com has an ice cream recipe that is simply to die for. This recipe does require an ice cream maker to prepare. So make sure you have all your materials ready before attempting the recipes. This delicious recipe can be found here. 

Whipped Cream: Lavender infused whipped cream. Ooo la la.

In a small saucepan combine:

  • 1 cup whipped cream
  • 2-5 drops lavender essential oil
  • Bring to a simmer
  • Pour the mixture into a stainless steel mixing bowl
  • Cool for two hours
  • Beat the mixture with 2 tbs of super fine sugar until soft peaks form
  • Use as you see fit.

Softens Citrus Flavor: Add a drop of lavender essential oil to anything with citrus to soften the bite.

Drinks

Lavender Lemonade: On those hot summer days there's nothing quite like a cold glass of lemonade. Couple that with the relaxing properties of lavender oil. Makes this beverage the perfect summer afternoon drink.

  • Mix 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 drops of lavender oil
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 3 cups of sparkling water
  • let it cool, and serve.

Lavender Sweet Tea: Just add 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil to your favorite sweet tea recipe.

Lavender Martini: Spice up an evening with the girls by serving up Lavender Martinis.

  • Add your favorite vodka
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Pour over ice
  • Shake vigorously for 20 seconds
  • add 1 drop of lavender essential oil
  • Swirl and serve

Pest Control

Mosquito Repellant: Say goodbye to those pesky mosquitos and deet with two ingredients lavender and water.

In a glass spray bottle combine:

  • 1 cup of distilled/filtered water
  • 2-5 drops lavender essential oil
  • Spray on your skin
  • Bonus: Use on existing bug bites for relief.

Ant Repellant: In them summer ants reek havoc on unsuspecting homes all over our country.

  • Add 1-3 drops of lavender essential oil to a cotton ball
  • Place it where the ants are coming into your home

Aphid Control: Keep your plants happy all year round with a lavender aphid control solution.

In a glass spray bottle combine:

  • 2 oz of distilled/filtered water
  • 5-10 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Swirl and spray the problem areas up to twice a day
  • Repeat until the aphides subside

Fly Control: Flies are the worst. They torment me regularly and I simply couldn't take it anymore. Then I found this AMAZING recipe for keep flies at bay, outside where they belong.

In a glass jar combine:

  • 1/2 cup witch hazel
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops of citronella essential oil
  • 10 drops of clove essential oil
  • 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil.
  • Swirl
  • Add a washcloth to jar
  • Allow the washcloth 24 hours to absorb the mixture
  • Open the jar where you want to deter flies from visiting
  • Make as many of these jars as you need

Do you have any other uses for lavender essential oil? Let me know in the comments.

The Tobacco Protection Act of 2015

As I sit here trying (unsuccessfully) to work (so I can: Pay my debts, recover financially, do good, be productive, and provide for my family) when another plea to sign a critical petition to protect my rights to: (fill in the blank here.) This
time it’s about my right to vape, and to make and sell eLiquid. 3 years ago it was over something totally different and I still haven’t seen the end of the scorched earth of that battle. I keep reinventing myself over and over again, but can’t seem to find a way to survive and provide for self and family that isn’t deemed “illegal” eventually. If it helps people, saves lives, makes too much money or gets too much attention…it’s doomed. But we’ll go there another day…today…it’s all about vaping.
IMG_5121The article and petition that were sent my way are critical and so, my productive workday is once again derailed by my government trying to steal/shut down/cripple my chosen career and industry and so, I have spent an hour (next to Alex who has also spent the past hour copying/pasting & sharing) this plea to sign this petition and this critical informative article. I’m feeling exhausted by the constant mind-fuck of the question that keeps circling around my head and burning my brain:   Do “We the people” even exist anymore? Do “We the People” have to rise up and fight?  I believe the answer to all of those questions is “YES”, We definitely exist…and “YES”,  We must unify and fight for our rights or we simply won’t have them anymore. Our “unalienable” rights seem to be disappearing one by one. I suppose I notice more than most people because of the hell I’ve been walking through for the last 3 years.

I often wonder, if Facebook disappeared, would the masses suddenly
wake up from a dream-like state, look around and get seriously pissed off??  Or, would they go grab popcorn and turn on satellite TV and put it on ignore? Is everyone just numb and choosing distraction over seeing the truth?  I read a brilliant blog post today by Michael Siegel that concluded with:

“…FDA must be out of its mind. These deeming regulations should really be called “The Cigarette Protection Act of 2015.” The regulations are an embarrassment to public health. They create stringent requirements for electronic cigarettes, while allowing the much more toxic real cigarettes to remain on the market, unencumbered and unchallenged by competing products that are much safer and that could have otherwise transformed the nicotine freaking_outmarket away from combustible tobacco products, thus saving thousands of lives.

The regulations will decimate the e-cigarette industry, forcing thousands of small vapor shops and e-cigarette sellers out of business. This will no doubt result in many vapers returning to cigarette smokers and many potential quitters from trying to quit using these products….The regulations will also force e-cigarette companies and businesses to lie about the primary purpose and benefit of their products (an aspect of the regulations that I believe violates the free speech rights of the companies and could be successfully challenged in court).

Finally, the regulations do nothing to directly address the known hazards of electronic cigarettes to users, such as lack of battery safety which has resulted in battery explosions, and the presence of carcinogens like formaldehyde in the vapor which could have been prevented by setting standards for proper regulation of voltage and/or temperature.

I can only hope that the OIRA will disapprove the regulations, requiring major changes in the regulatory approach that bring it in line with the concept of public health. Otherwise, thousands of innocent people are going to be harmed in the short-term, and perhaps millions in the long-term.”

That excerpt comes from the article titled: FDA is Out of Its Mind: Deeming Regulations Should Be Called “The Cigarette Protection Act of 2015”; Regs are an Embarrassment to Public Health and Will Decimate the Vaping Industry Read More


12193875_10207704280105484_1293900565477354404_nWe need 17,00 more signatures on the petition to urge the President to reconsider the proposal being put forward by the FDA.
This “Tobacco Protection Act” will kill vaping as we all know it.
Take action today and sign this petition.
Share it with all your friends and family.
With 9 million vapers in the US alone
It will be no problem gathering 100,000 signatures.

If you have not done so please CLICK HERE and take 2 minutes of your time to sign this petition and share it everywhere.   

Every signature counts whether you vape or not.

Source:

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/urge-fda-re-work-deeming-regs-so-life-saving-vapor-products-can-remain-market

http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2015/11/fda-is-out-of-its-mind-deeming.html?m=1

The World’s Worst Family Tradition

No matter who you are or whether you are an ex-smoker or not,
If you’re in the U.S., over the age of 10 and fogging a mirror…
You’ve heard about this vaping thing.

You may be totally pissed off and judgemental about it (as a non-smoker who is shutterstock_337723556dead-set against anything that even resembles smoking) and I get that. Anytime you are looking in from the outside of another human’s plight (having never walked a mile in their shoes) it’s easy to judge and look down your nose at others reactions, losses and addictions) and just…scoff.

I mean, it’s not hard to understand why non-smokers, and committed smokers alike, would believe the fear propaganda over vaping that the media and Big Tobacco are pumping out into the airwaves these days. It seems like there is another headline story every day about how “vaping kills.” I mean, when the media (funded by Big Tobacco) and your State (again..funded by Big Tobacco) put out these heavy duty “Public Service Announcements” about how bad vaping is…they’re only doing it to protect you right?  shutterstock_262932707

If you are buying into any of this madness and are committed to holding on to those belief systems…we should simply agree to disagree here and now, and then you need to just click the little “x” and be on your way to the next “just say NO to vaping” rally in your area. However, if you smoke or if you or someone you love has a smoking-related illness like cancer or emphysema,  just know that I was just like you and now I don’t smoke cigarettes anymore and I have committedly put a stop to The World’s Worst Family TraditionI can breathe again, I can walk up stairs (without dropping a lung) again, and I can do those things (and more) because I found and chose vaping instead of smoking.  For the first time since I was 12 years old I am nicotine-free.  And because of these gifts, I will do my damnedest to convince you and others of the benefits of vaping over smoking and of the harm-reduction in making the choice to vape instead of smoking tobacco.)  Still, here??

Ok, now that they’re gone…let’s talk seriously about this “vape” thing. I was a nicotine addicted smoker since…well…BIRTH. I pregnant_smoking450came into this world, born of my Mom’s 1968 (totally unaware) nicotine-riddled uterus, into a cloud of Winston smoke and sat there breathing the only “air” I knew exclusively for the first 5 years of my life. It was the late 60’s and early 70’s…(No one knew.) My mom was an amazing mother. She would’ve given her life for me any time…any day. Babies and kids (with GREAT MOM’s) sat in smoke-filled rooms all day every day until they went off to school. I had a few years of clean, fresh air until I hit the ripe old age of  7, when my older, next-door neighbor had me stealing cigarettes out of my parents packs and meeting her and my other neighborhood friends in the woods to smoke.  I WAS 7!!!  I took 2 drags of that nasty thing and was SO sick when I got home that my mom was ready to take me to the Emergency Room! I fessed up (before she got me in the car) crying…begging and promising I would NEVER EVER do it again…and I was sure I was telling the God’s honest-truth. It held all the way up until the next time (I was probably 9.)

Welcome to 1981-82, when kids weren’t cool unless they were smoking.  Back then we could buy smokes at 16 y/o and pass as 16 y/o by the time most of us were 13 y/o and back then… no one was checking ID! It was a totally different world.dawn_smoking_7thgrade

I was fully addicted to smoking by the time I hit High School and I remember being SO psyched that we had a smoker’s patio off the cafeteria! As I said, it was a totally different world back then. Nowadays, we know too much. There’s so much information that we are afraid to eat (most foods), we’re afraid for our kids to go out and play…we’re afraid to (fill in the blank)…it’s a VERY different world we live in now, and some of it I resist and resent…(but gaze right and see me…at age 14, fully and completely addicted to nicotine, smoking a half a pack a day…and you may agree that there’s good reason for at least some of these newly found fears and subsequent changes. When we broach the topic of smoking tobacco, nicotine addiction and the gift of vapor – I’ve got alot of experience with these topics and therefore carry VERY strong, passionate and biased opinions on them. So, pardon me while I step up on my soap box and lift my megaphone.

Here’s why…

RIP RocksBy the time I was 24 years old I had buried both of my Grandmothers, My Grandma’s sister (who helped raise me), and…my Mom. She was only 46. Her dad dropped dead of a massive heart attack in front of her when he was 47…when she was only 12 years old. She, 34 years later, had a massive heart attack in bed next to my dad minutes after she dozed off to sleep. He called me in a state of dread and panic)because well, I was 911.) I was an EMT on Newtown Ambulance and lived 3 mins from their house. I ran out in the snow in bare feet and I will never forget his words: “I can’t wake up mommy and she’s making funny noises.” I called 911 immediately and told them I’d meet them there and literally flew to my parents house, green light flashing, and 6 months pregnant…flying up my parents drive way and up the stairs to her bedroom. I pulled my (blue) mother off of the bed and did CPR til the ambulance arrived. I knew she wasn’t coming back the whole time. The CPR I did was to save my Dad, he needed to know we did all we could (and honestly…so did I). All of the matriarchs in my family were dead by the time I was 24 years old and the were all dead from smoking-related illnesses.

I was very broken and shutterstock_296221391very alone (being an only child) in my grief and there was no one left to help this Humpty Dumpty put her pieces back together again from those years of loss after loss.  What I can tell you for sure is, the damage showed up in countless ways over the next 20 years of my life. The other thing I can tell you is, I knew I wanted to put an end to the horrific family tradition of dying very young in front of our children . I didn’t want to drop dead in front of any of my kids in my mid-forties and I most certainly didn’t want to raise them as addicted smokers!

freaking_outFast forward to my 43rd birthday, I’m working from home, stressed out of my mind by a business project that exploded. I’m burning through 2 packs of Newports a day and I look around and see everyone in my house was smoking cigarettes. I stopped in my tracks and just took it all in and I knew it was an epiphany. I needed to
make a change now. I wasn’t doing this to my kids or their kids. I had to stop smoking and I needed help. I didn’t know what to do (because I didn’t know anyone who had successfully quit smoking in my circle of influence, so…I GOOGLED. I had seen and tried an e-cig 6 months prior (my son had brought it home) and although it didn’t work well, I knew I loved the idea and I knew the technology was improving fast. I went looking for reviews and found one that seemed like it had pretty impressive reviews, bought it, tested it out, loved it and that Christmas I bought them for EVERYONE in the house. It was the “ciga-lite” version of vapor – 101 stuff. It wasn’t the end of tobacco for me, but I was down from 30-40 Newports a day…down to only 5 cigarettes a day. It took me over a year to stop.  I probably never would have without stumbling into my first official “vape shutterstock_337032956shop” while we were working a consultancy contract in the Houston area. One of the guys at work over there had a mod set up and took us all down on a field
trip. I walked out with a Vision Spinner and a proper tank and REAL eLiquid (not a pre-filled cartridge with a battery that dies a little more with every drag). I sampled the eliquid and found the flavor that did it for me and the shop owner made sure I walked out with enough nicotine to replace how much I was getting with smoking and I kicked the tobacco habit that very same day.)

Within a month I knew I was going to make it my trade. Why? Because I could truly believe in what I was doing!
Since then (June 2013) my family has been full-time in vapor and eLiquid manufacturing as our life’s work. We walked away from everything we’d ever known and made the decision to re-invent ourselves as vapor professionals. The beautiful community we are now a part of is comprised of a million other stories…just like ours…and it is an industry of passionate believers.

Liam_18
I will be writing more on this topic because I love my family and I know you love yours. I am SO grateful for the invention of vapor and eLiquid and for the people who have worked side by side with us fighting for the salvation of this industry against the powers that be. I am committed to paving the way to a healthier reality for my future generations and for this amazing technology that is saving so many lives and helping the tobacco addicts on this planet to actually QUIT SMOKING. I will fight for this industry and to end the worlds worst family tradition: Tobacco-related Death. 

Thanks for reading, keep on vapin…

"D" for the Hippie "D"iva, Dawn, my nickname "D" and my newest role and title "Didi"

 

 

 

Suggested Reading:

“The academic research and evidence suggesting e-cigarettes are at least 95 percent and as much as 99 percent healthier than combustible cigarettes continues to mount. Despite the potential boon to public health, tax-hungry lawmakers and fraudulent “public health” groups have waged a war on vaping, pushing for excise taxes on the products throughout the U.S.”

https://www.atr.org/new-cdc-data-more-9-million-adults-vape-regularly-united-states

 

 

The Whole 30

I found the Whole30 and it’s been a game-changer for me.

A little history: I have had fibromyalgia that was diagnosed after a battle with Lymes Disease and have fought an uphill battle against severe chronic pain on a daily basis (since 1993) so crippling fatigue added to FMS, Osteoarthritis, TMJ, tendonitis, bursitis and every other “itis” out there…and I came to a place where eating fistfuls of prescription drugs & “dealing with it”/”sucking it up”/”putting it on ignore” inevitably became out of the question.  I was just saying “NO MORE.” No more to all of the meds…NO MORE to all of the little black pieces of tape stuck over the oil light on my body’s dashboard! I have embarked on the pharmaceutical journey through hell of long-term chronic pain management twice and had to go off said long-term pain management twice and it has totally sucked both times. I have also gone off Depo Provera twice and gained 30lbs in less than 6 weeks both times (which also sucked…but in a radically different way) and after a life time of doctors and prescriptions that led to more doctors and prescriptions – I’ve taken a different route.  The other one was way to cyclical for me.  I’m not into the “side effects include death” option unless it’s my last option anymore.

Over the past couple of years I have gone on Master Cleanse repeatedly and every time I did, I felt better when I didn’t eat
any food (but I was starving and nutritionally depriving my body repeatedly – which I knew I couldn’t sustain.) But knowing I felt better without food led me to the conclusion that at least a significant portion of my problems were directly related to food.

Let’s call them allergies for now. I’m not totally sure what these reactions were to (yet), but what I can say is, I was medication-free and pain-free in Asia for over a year. I lived primarily on the Candida diet over there…and consumed no dairy to speak of (because they don’t really have dairy in Asia, nor do they offer dairy substitutes.)  I still experienced serious GI reactions to foods on a semi-regular basis but had no method of figuring out which ones because when a plate of food was served to me in different countries, I simply ate it. Alex and I would watch my gut expand like I had a bicycle pump blowing air up my ass (I wish I was kidding), many times after I would eat a meal I would waddle out of there looking 7 months pregnant and have to wait for the mega-bloat to dissipate over the next several hours, but we didn’t get what was causing it.  Because my pain was totally in-check, we simply chalked it up to a laughable phenomena and w
nt about our daily routine…and avoided anything that required deep breaths for the rest of that day.

I went off of Depo Provera permanently (finally) last August (2014) and for the second time in my life (unrelated to Nothing_tastes_as_Good_as_Skinny_Feelspregnancy) I blew up 30 lbs in under 6 weeks time doing so.  Everything is simply more challenging at 47 than it ever was ta 27…so, by the time I was tilting the scale at 185.7 I was freaking out.  I gave birth to my daughters at that weight…and I wasn’t toting any other human beings around in my belly this time. I am not a major primper (duh), but I do care enough about my health, physical appearance and the stress on my joints and the systems of my body (which have enough  to deal with) that I do not wish to add obesity to my laundry list of health-related issues.  So, when my dear friend (and massage therapist) Sarah asked me if I’d seen or read anything about “The Whole 30” and my answer was “No. What is it?” She explained it was an elimination diet and that she knew a lot of people were loving it and that she thought it could really help me out.  I hopped off her table and went right to my iPhone and googled, Pinterested and then subsequently “Amazoned” 🙂 and I found more and more information on this program and I was all in!  I broke down, grabbed my kindle and bought the ebook and I spent the day reading up on what the Whole 30 actually was.

No_This_Yes_That_Whole30It’s Paleo minus: corn, grains, sugar, any form of sweetner, legumes, peanuts, soy, MSG, carrageenan and lectin(and a few
other things I might be missing so I will defer to their site for details) and what I found was nothing short of a miracle.  I got it! I’ve been doing it with my new grandson Liam whose system is pure – introducing new foods to him one at a time and watching for reactions. This is exactly the same concept for adults.  First, purify the system (get rid of all of it) – clean slate.  Then…add things back (one at a time in isolated fashion) to figure out
what DOESN’T work for YOU!
I know…it sounds tough – but I was committed.  If you think it’s too hard for you…let me help with this fantastic quote I read in their book’s intro:

“This is not hard.  Beating cancer is hard.  Losing a child is hard.  This…is NOT hard.”  

They were right.  I can do anything for 30 days.  The most amazing thing was, I dropped 10lbs in the first week. (Not allowed to look at the scale…I cheated and started back on Day 1) I could taste food again.  I tasted the natural sugar in Raw Organic Cashew nuts.  It was crazy.

I’ve lost 30+lbs since I started eating this way and Alex has lost 35+ and we’re going strong. I couldn’t have done it without Pintrest.

Check out my Whole30 board for recipes (I literally add more daily): Follow Dawn’s board Whole 30 Recipes on Pinterest.
And get the book – I downloaded their recommended ebook for kindle It Starts with Food  and I was off and running shopping the lists at the grocery store.

The plateaus and cravings can be tough to get through some days – I won’t lie to you…some days are a real bitch!
ex-whole-30-day-5But we’ve been on the Whole30 (for like a whole 90+) and just keep starting over again on Day 1.  A few times were because of little things like; finding out we were taking a supplement whose capsule was made from rice flour instead of gelatin – or not checking one mustard label (which contained added sugar) which has been very frustrating at times…but…results are often harsh…and ALWAYS fair and this food is nourishing and healthy AND our bodies are dumping toxins and melting excess FAT – SO…if it’s the Whole 120, the Whole 365 or the Whole REST OF MY LIFE, as long as it works…I’m in!  (Before and Afters to follow – soon) 🙂

 

Peace…xo

"D" for the Hippie "D"iva, Dawn, my nickname "D" and my newest role and title "Didi"

Little Rock Farmer’s Market

We made a trip to opening day of the Little Rock Farmer’s Market on Saturday May 2nd.  We did so after talking about it for over 5 years and now that Alex and I are eating Paleo and are both on the Whole30, we are eating ultimately more fresh veggies than we can keep in stock, our garden was just planted and D_Alex_LR_050215we committedly support local. I totally miscalculated our morning and family obligations (typical) so, we got there around 2:45pm and found out it “closes” at 3 (not 5pm as I had estimated.) so we only did a portion of the market – however, what we got to see was chock full of fabulous!

We were there til well-after 5pm (because as anyone with a booth-based sidewalk/festival business knows…you don’t close til the last people leave if you want to make extra money.  As Alex and I were jewelry and craft vendors for many years, we often made the most money during the last hour of the last day (when everyone else was closed)…because people come late or wait to make purchases to see everything before they buy “something” and if you are the last booth standing – your something is simply the something they’re buying!  We IMG_1320stumbled upon a few amazing and very cool vendors with super high-quality stuff for great (last hour of the market) prices.

We bought our veggies first and then headed down to the top hippie attraction of the day; Mr Bamboo.  This guy quite literally taught us everything we ever wanted to know about bamboo and then some. We’re getting in touch with him this week to schedule a time to wander a bamboo forest and learn exponentially more.  Our fascination with bamboo came from Bali Indonesia where it grows in major abundance and people are building actual full-on homes out of the amazing (constantly self-replenishing) grass.  It’s brilliant stuff.  You can eat it, build your house with it, landscape with it…the uses are endless…and it’s a grass so you can cut it down and it grows right back!

IMG_1256We walked to Riverfront Steak House (after yelping and finding Whole30 compliant meals we opted for steak and after choking on some of the prices, some of the steakhouses were asking – $60+ for a ribeye?? Please!) We found our location over the river bridge – with AMAZING service, great steak and a totally accommodating staff for our dietary restrictions. The best part of our chosen dinner (time and location) was the walk back over the Arkansas River bridge.

It was one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve experienced in a very long time. Td_sunset_best_LR050215here were a ton of fantastic quotes in the movie “Wild” with Reese Witherspoon but this one strikes me for the moment:

‘There’s a sunrise and a sunset every day, and you can choose to be there for it — you can put yourself in the way of beauty.”  

I find myself getting lost in sunsets again.  There’s nothing like letting myself get drawn into their beauty, and up and out of my mitote (me-toe-tay: Described in The Four Agreements as the cacophony of voices in your head. See below.) Alex and I have a pinky-swear agreement to stop everything we’re doing and take the time to be with each other (whether we are together or apart physically), in totally zen space, watching it set.

I am also very grateful to sunset for the gift of being able to dump my baggage (on one of life’s less than perfect days) into that big ball of fire at the end of each day and watch it extinguish into darkness. I often hear the voice of one of my very dear friends (that I haven’t had the honor of speaking to in far too longsaying “When you have a truly lousy day D, just remember…you’ll never have to live through that one again.”

Back to Little Rock…

d_LR_templeguardiand_HULee_exitWe decided to find some good live music, so we googled what was happening and found what we were looking for at Club Rev, so we walked back over the bridge, feeling nourished, relaxed and happy.  We stumbled on a very cool garden space that reminded us of Thailand on our way to the music.  It was a groovy little space that was well-thought-out and felt totally zen and isolated from the hustle and bustle on the city street right beyond it’s very cool, authentic gate.

Until next time,  Peace…xo  

 

 

 

The Dawn of the Dread

392272_4383437664571_537099055_nIn 2007 Alex & I took off on an adventure. I had ALWAYS wanted to back pack the planet and the kids were with their dad, so for the first time in 19 years I had the ability to do it and took the opportunity. It was the most spectacular 2 years of my entire life.  I have way more to see and pray that another (possibly longer) tour is in my cards.  Fingers and toes crossed.

When we traveled, the way WE liked to do it was to pick a place and stay as long as we liked. We hit places on the way to and from one destination to the next, that sounded cool or that caught our eye on the road. We had the best experience that way. We either slept or rested up or stayed awhile, depending on the vibe and surroundings. Sometimes it was just over night, others (like in the Transkei of South Africal at the Backpackers called Amapondo or at the Sanctuary on Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand it was a full 6 weeks. We spent 12 weeks living in the rice paddies in Ubud, Bali Indonesia doing detox and cleanses and touring the island. Our last stop was Kathmandu Nepal, where we lived (and worked) for 8 solid months. 223291_1055492588024_6070_nMore on that later. There were a ton of amazing people and places in between and it was during those 2 years I increased the ink art on my skin and fell in love with dreads.

In my experience some of the most conscious, intelligent and unique people I’ve met in the world to date (aka., many of the people I want to be more like) were dreadies. Beyond the fact that I find them to be utterly beautiful, I found that most of the dreadie women that I met possessed so many beautiful and attractive qualities; they eminated the kindest and humblest juju, operated in both patience and wisdom…and confidence exuded from them as if simply knew who they were in the room and in the world.  That doesn’t mean that I didn’t meet amazing people without dreads.  I did.  I met brilliant, beautiful souls that taught me incredible things that I will cherish for eternity…in every body style, fashion sense, culture, gender, race, creed, color and sexual orientation. However, I didn’t want to become one of them…I wanted to become a dreadie.  I wanted to gain access and acceptance into the dread community and to experience the process, and the freedom. I wanted what they had and there was only one way to get it.

Follow Dawn Wright-deBrantes’s board Dreads on Pinterest.

Fast-forward 7 years, into and through returning to the US, my “come-back” in the business realm, my fall in said realm and the transformative process of scorched-earth days, 3 years of (the other kind of) dread, and a total annihilation of life-as-I-knew it. Gone was my liberty, money, home, car, pretty much everything I’ve worked for for 25 years including the respect I’d earned among my peers…poof…gone. (More on that later) Suffice it to say that I prayed (and still pray) for the wisdom, patience, strength, courage and well…a deeper connection to God & Mother Earth to get through it all, because it’s not even close to done yet. All of the hammering (by self and others) had left me with a desperate need to feel connected to the earth, those women, the travelers and the other side of the planet (where my spirit and body healed once) and I simply could not/cannot/choose not to go there physically at this time without paying a price I’m simply not willing to pay. I longed/long 554761_3566823729733_1364221945_nfor; the drums and wildlife of Africa and the seas, pirates and islands of Thailand, the volcanoes and rice paddies of Bali and the healing waters, fire and freedom of them all. However, I needed them delivered to my landlocked doorstep right here in Arkansas. I wanted dreads. I needed them.  I needed to do this for all of the reasons above.
But, (yep, there wasn’t just one “but”… there was a huge list of them…which was why I hadn’t done it in years 1 through 7!) I had grown up a hair bear since birth and have toted long, silky hair most of my life…so my pull to tangle it all into individualized “rat’s nests” and the knowledge that I would either have to cut or endlessly untangle them if I didn’t like them was terrifying.  I wrestled with myself over the decision (I decided to get married without blinking…but THIS? This was my HAIR! 🙂 (get the picture?) So, I made the jump…with both feet…after torturing myself over it for a solid 7 years. 🙂

I am happy to say that I am finally a full-fledged dread-head. At 18 months into the process I have gone through every emotional response I can have to them.  I have experienced triumph, exhilaration, frustration, pain, relief…and many more (some all of the above in a single day.) I talk to them and refer to them like they are living, breathing entities with mind of their own (notice the use of “them” instead of “it” which is how I used to refer to my hair.) This is a totally accurate pronoun however, because they are alive and have a serious mind of their own!10404664_10203735268042663_333818943_o

I have to say that without a few killer YouTube tutorials and Pintrest pics that gave me a tip or ten – and ALOT of Tiger Balm for my tendonitis and arthritis 🙂 – I would’ve given up.  I read somewhere that baby and toddler dreads under 2 years old were just that…”unruly toddlers.” I want whoever wrote that to know that THAT one statement actually supported me in keeping them and sticking it out.  I am closing in on the 2 year mark and sincerely look forward to it.  I (more than anything) look forward to my super long 8yr dreads that I can pile up perfectly without so much tucking.
When I began on this journey, I thought “piece of cake” – but the first year was a TON of work.  I don’t have a head of hair that simply tangled and said “oh hey…no problem” when I teased it. I have a head of SUPER healthy, shiny, beautiful hair that many people ooo’d and aaaahhhh’d over so it was resistant (and still can be) to simply staying put. I enjoy not HAVING to wash it all the time – but when I do…I look like Garfield coming out of the fluff cycle of a tumble dryer. 🙂 Thank you layers and breakage.  I color my hair every 4-6 weeks with a temporary color because I hate the big line of regrowth – but I could 2014-08-23 17.46.24use the damage (damaged hair dreads easier) so it’s a lot of learning to think differently.  I think the most significant thing I’ve realized about dreading my hair was the attachments and projections that OTHER people had/have to my hair and that so MANY people react to them – either positively…or negatively.
I once had a man I’d never met call me a rooster and tell me I look stupid.  I had to refrain from my NY Italian hot-bloodedness taking over and DIDN’T tell him that “at least I can fix my hair” with the seething up and down look thing. (See Exhibit A. Growth) 🙂  I DID however question why what I chose to do with my hair (being a woman he didn’t know and has no relationship to whatsoever) bothered him so much that he would socially accost and demean another human being with the desire to make them feel bad?  I mean seriously…why would he care?  I then realized that he ALSO had an ego SO BIG that he felt that somehow I would care enough to change my hair for HIM.  LOL People can be really silly.
Then there was family.  Alex and I have one rule really.  It’s “I go…You go.” So, I asked if he would go with me, he said “sure” and he did.  3 weeks later he had taken every last dread out of his head.  He hated them in every way. I was on my own.  My hair was almost touching my ass and that left me humbled and begging for the support of my family (and specifically Alex)2014-03-23 17.18.27 when I knew that each one took at LEAST an hour to just get SORTA done. One of my daughters resisted me fully.  I have pictures of her resting “I’m so pissed I’m doing this” face.  See Exhibit B  on the right (gulp).
My Cancerian daughter (who despises change) was really angry with me over it 18 months ago…but seemingly (hopefully)
loves them as much as I do now.  (I don’t actually know that, because I’m afraid to ask).  Sometimes I find it’s simply easier
not to ask and assume the positive feedback exists silently (the alternative is that I would have to not care which I’m certain is more in-line with the point of dreads.). My other two off-spring decided it was cool in a hot second and I’m SO grateful for all of my family’s support because they and “they” mean the world to me.
On the flip side of the resistance of others, other dreadies, and people who understand fully the commitment they are and what it means internally to dread ones hair, are insta-family. 🙂 That part truly rocks. My first first experience of it what when I was 6 months in.  I was extending them so I didn’t look ridiculous for my son’s wedding and I had business to look semi-professional for.  Enter this guy on a massive fork-lift at a vape event in Las Vegas. I hear a booming “YO DREADIE SISTAH!!” and I look up 40ft up and there is a beautiful dreadie male of some SouthEast Asian heritage who pounds his fist to his heart twice and yells; “RESPECT on the dreads!” I beamed like sunshine the rest of the day.  I never got a chance to thank him.
I suppose that’s where a great deal of the growth and spirituality inherent in this process comes from. There is little understanding out there in the first world about dreads.  People thought I’d be dirty, that I wouldn’t care anymore about my appearance and that I would be the apology they’d have to make at the next dinner party. Some of the members of my family thought I had done lost my mind.  My BFF who own a salon in CT (who I count on for support on all of my “looking good” stuff) also thought it was a terrible idea. She simply didn’t like dreads. So those things made the decision to take the plunge ALL about ME.  What did I want and what did I think?  I wanted dreads.  I knew why.  I thought they’d look awesome and Gypsy HippieDivathat I could totally pull them off.  Fashion + spirituality.  I’ve never had my HAIR actually MEAN something until now.
I’ve never really been the fitting-in type.  I’m more of a “step-up and stand out” personality, so I want everything about me to be unique and to represent who I am, and who I intend to be.  I find conformity deadly to creativity and believe FULLY in self-expression through every available channel which for me, includes my accessories. It’s a true state of beingness.  So for me…this an extremely worthy process to undergo.
To the countless women (and quite a few men) who have walked up to me and marveled, touched and communicated how much they love my dreads and want them themselves, thank you.  Thank you for being my “feel good”, balcony people.  They get me through the maintenance days and the times I want to cry over not having thought through the water-jet head massage. 🙂 They keep me going…really.
I will do my best to offer advice on dread products, how to dread, dread maintenance, dread frizz and dread resources…as an ongoing series and as I have it – it will be yours.  I commit to do my very best to save you some of the headaches (both literally and figuratively) that come flying solo with this process, by writing about what I have found did and did NOT work for me in upcoming posts (pinky swear). However, I’m saving that for another day and another post. It’s time to water our BRAND NEW GARDEN!! (Thanks to Carrie Delaney – Pintrest cdelaney77) for all of her amazing tips and her leading me to: How to use pallets (instead of tilling!!) Woooo Hoooo! My Whole30 just got $600 a month cheaper :).
Always remember to love yourself unconditionally.
Once you can do that, you can unconditionally love others.
We all have our own shit to deal with, it goes with the territory.
Learn the lesson. Put the hammer down.
Ignore the haters.
Learn to hear and accept solid feedback given in safe space with humility and gratitude.
There’s a big difference between the two.
Know who you are.  If you don’t…go figure it out.
Choose to be comfortable in your own skin.  It’s yours…you may as well wear it with confidence.
If you don’t like something…change it.  You created it and you can eliminate it.
The choice is ALWAYS YOURS.
That’s it for now,
I’m outta here! Peace…xo

Starting Fresh

Hi everyone. It’s good to be back at my keyboard. I’ve missed it alot. Pardon the minimal site features and anything that’s not buil10335551_10203644749739762_1595284601_ot yet. I’m taking that part in pieces…(because my need to write is overpowering my OCD currently) :).

If you’ve ever read my blog before you will notice everything up until this point is missing. I worked for a few days trying to get all of my old stuff into here and then realized – sometimes…it’s about “letting the old stuff go and starting fresh” 🙂 I am clear that my inability to retrieve my “old stuff” was a direct and clear message from Source that I’m supposed to let the past stay in the past and to just start new.  So, I’m going to take some tips from our friend the snake…and shed my old skin.

I’m still the HippieDiva…I’m keeping that one permanently.  It’s tattooed on my ankle in Nepali for goodness sake…and afterall…even when a snake sheds it’s skin, it’s still undoubtedly called a snake.

I’ve been reading a lot about animal totems this week -because I’m getting my family tree tattooed on my arm and my family is going to be represented through animals :). What I learned is, snakes represent pretty powerful juju. When they show up in your life (or mine) it’s for a distinct purpose and we have a great deal to learn from them. Here’s a quick excerpt from just one of the sites that delve into such matters:

“The snake animal meaning is powerfully connected to life force and primal energy. In many cultures, it is revered as a powerful totem representing the source of life. When the snake spirit animal appears in your life, it likely means that healing opportunities, change, important transitions, and increased energy are manifesting.

What is the meaning of the snake spirit animal?

When the snake shows up as your spirit animal, it generally means:

  • Snake spirit animals represent healing
  • Transformation, life changes
  • The spirit of the snake is connected to life force, primal energy
  • A meaning for the snake spirit animal is spiritual guidance

The snake as a spirit animal can be to provide guidance about life changes and transitions, whether they are happening at the physical, emotional or spiritual level.” (read more)

I’ve read about a BUNCH of them – and will share the tat and the totems and their meetings just around the bend here.

This blog is going to cover a great deal, because I’ve got a great deal going on and my mind is chock full of stuff it wants to put down (that will hopefully benefit others).  So, I’ll see you all again really soon.  I’m committed to writing 30 posts in 30 days to get into the habit.  It’s a lofty goal but I’m on the Whole30, so I figured it was in alignment. (More on that later too)

We are off to opening day at the Farmers Market today and it’s a beautiful day…so I have to run.  I’ll bring pics and a story back with me. Have a wonderful day filled to the brim with love.  xod

"D" for the Hippie "D"iva, Dawn, my nickname "D" and my newest role and title "Didi"

The HippieDiva Returns

Last week, I recommitting to writing.  I have been stuck on it in my head for months – but just didn’t know what to write about – until Alex told me about the practice of “free-writing” which is simply – just write.  Write about anything you want.  Just let it flow.  So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m praying I don’t bore the living shit out of my readers – but at the same time…this is way more for me than anyone else.

I have found over the past few years that I’m more stifled then ever.  Lot’s of “can’ts” have entered my realm (and I don’t believe in “can’t” so it’s been a helluva process.)  They aren’t really “can’ts” as much as they are topics and opinions riddled with consequences that aren’t worth the “sense” of freedom the discussions would offer (although there have been many days I would have argued that point.) 🙂 I’ve learned to bite my tongue in my fifth decade on earth. Miracles will never cease.

2012-10-08 09.56.45

As a woman of 47 (gulp) I have the honor of looking back AND forward on my life now. I do so with a great deal of intrigue and with what i like to think of as some semblance of wisdom.  The problems with gaining wisdom (for me at least) is the shit I had to go through to gain it.  It’s not like it’s available in a book.  That’s purely knowledge.  Wisdom is different.  Wisdom (for me) has alway come through grief, loss, strife, pain, death & what the Tibetan’s call bardo (1).  I’m learning a lot about bardo by living in this often torturous space of “in between” I’m currently residing in.  It can be a real bitch.  Whether one believes in reincarnation or not – I see life, death and rebirth cycles inside this journey playing themselves out over and over.  I don’t necessarily LIKE that very much – but that’s irrelevant.  It simply “IS” so attaching an opinion other than acceptance to it is a waste of energy right?  So why do I do it?  lol who knows?  I find myself wasting a great deal of my energy and qi (life force) on incessant questioning and total resistance over what “is” these past few years.

 

d_noclueI find the resistance mantras and confounding, unanswerable questions like to rear their ugly heads and hijack my day. Every time I see tragedy or come up against an injustice I’m going: “It’s not RIGHT!”, “HOW can this be?”, “WHY??!!!”, “How did I create this?” running laps in my monkey-mind like a junkie trying to solve a damn rubix cube!  What if…I didn’t “create” this thing this time? What IF there actually is a bigger game board and sometimes I’m not the one in control?  What if there are major reasons (like really big GOOD ones) that I’m (we’re) walking through darkness and I just can’t see the end game? What if I have lived my life with integrity and purpose and listened well to my inner self and to the divine guidance I’ve received and have been operating in dharma and light and love and I can put the hammer down? What if this shit heap I’m sitting in (and working to actively dig out of) is simply a critical place with mission critical lessons I MUST walk through for my highest and
best wisdom?  (Ugh…there it is again – the big “W” – wisdom is only gained through trials and tribulations…blah blah blah.  Can you tell that really pisses me off?)

The thing is…I DO know in the place of my knowing (based on my journey) is that there isn’t one singular belief system that sums it all up for me.  That’s the illusion I 2012-10-11 01.41.49keep building my foundation on time and time again…and I’m 90% sure that’s why the earth shatters every decade or so. I keep trying to pigeon-hole my core belief systems into being “right” and comprehensible with my current mind/knowledge/understanding and then I look around and the “I’m right and You’re wrong” of organized religion doesn’t flesh out. I bump into the same truth/message/mindfuck again and again. Expand your consciousness further. If God knows “everything” and I’m created in His image (for the sake of comfortable terminology – feel free to fill in the blanks that suit you there). Every time I open up…I smack my face into the same wall of “ah HA!” (There is NO SPOON Neo!:)) – and then I am not sure but I think I must chicken out (or my old taught comfort zone programs kick in) or something…because I go looking for THE (singular) answer (that someone else already figured out and lots of people believe in) again.

What if it’s not JUST “To think is to create” and it’s not JUST pre-destination and it’s not JUST the holy trinity or Godhead or Goddess and what if it’s not JUST karma and dharma?  What if it’s all of it and more?

2013-01-15 16.24.51
A gold spray painted cow patty that hangs on my wall. It reminds me of when I am in my shit. That no matter how I may try to cover up my shit…it’s still shit at the end of the day. And last, that EVERYONE gets into and has their own shit to deal with. 🙂

Being a mother and grandmother and walking through some of the stuff I’ve been walking through the past few years – I am questioning literally EVERYTHING. Here’s my spin on the “Believe THIS WAY or you will GO TO HELL power and damnation thing; knowing and coming from the pure and unconditional love (and total instant forgiveness) I have for my family (my 3 children, and my grand child especially) I just can’t fathom that the Creator, (composed of pure spirit, love and light) Source of all of humanity has set us all (or at least a large chunk of us) up to fail and fall in our most intimate relationship and space.  If we are created beings that were created with minds that are built to differ, question and manifest (with countless other functions we have yet to scratch the surface of), and then we were parked (scattered) in totally different places, with different faces,

cultures and spiritual leaders…all over the world, how could a loving entity with exponentially more love, unconditionality, diversity and power than I possess ever love or accept their “children”/creations less than I do? It simply makes no sense to me. That would be like my putting my 3 children into 3 different schools, 3 totally different churches in 3 different countries/climates/cultures and speaking 3 different languages to them individually – and then telling each of them they were the only one who was correct. Who would do that? So, I don’t choose to believe that story.   Liam_d_hand

 

What I believe in (so far) is:  Beginninglessness.  Endlessness. Agape Love. Compassion. Forgiveness. Kindness. Giving. Receiving. I believe
in gentle acceptance of our own and other’s humanity (which is often a supreme effort for me).  The journey to enlightenment and the realization of our unlimited potential (whatever that may be for each and every one of us). Seeking the face of God in ordinary, every day things as well as during meditation and prayer (and that the smell of a puppies breath, a river, an ocean and the wind carry as much spiritual healing power as any doctor or church.) I believe in practicing dharma every single day.  I believe in karma (both good and bad.)  I believe we need both sun…and rain, to grow.

 

2012-11-09 19.42.16I have lived what seems like many lives already inside this earthly body’s journey, and I believe they will continue long after it’s gone to dust. Most of the lives I’ve lived, I’ve cherished. All of them taught me a great deal and are why I am who I am today.  I have been divorced and both times those ten year marriages were utterly destroyed by the time they finally ended. I take my share of the responsibility for that.  Those failures taught me a great deal. They taught me compromise and unconditionality. They taught me to cherish every moment and to be very careful to honor my tribe, my partner and my life as I know it.

 

I’m the best of friends with Jeff (the father of my 3 kids) today, he and my husband/life/business partner Alex (left) are also the best of friends. We have a truly beautiful and amazing combined family. It took a long time, a lot of work and the elimination of all other toxic relationships to our combined top priority (maintaining the closeness of our family) for us to transition into what we  are now…but damn…it was worth it on every level.

 

I can’t write about my beliefs without diving into “To think is to create” and a bit of my current conundrum.  My “I am” has quite honestly sucked for a couple of years. I have allowed external influences, situations and other people’s beliefs ABOUT me, in and as one of the closest people to me so eloquently pointed out to me recently, I’ve been consciously and unconsciously projecting myself into happenings and situations that haven’t even happened. (Yep…I heard you Mike 🙂 thanks for always having my back and knowing just what to say for me to hear the audible “clunk” so quickly.)

 

Aka., My mind is giving me a world of shit and I see it. I’m gonna chop that toxic thinking down like a tree.

 

29912_1489653321771_2808912_nOne of my lifelong, best friends told me that I had turned into a negative person a couple of months ago. That’s what best friends are for right? 🙂 It pissed me off beyond belief, and…well..I was totally in my shit about it. I let it eat and me and justified all of my totally good reasons I had for talking from such a negative place. I was back home to help a friend bury her daughter at the time, so it was a very hard couple of weeks…I was physically and mentally exhausted and I’m facing some heavy duty stuff with terrifying possible worst-case scenarios.  I’m the matriarch in my family – aka “the glue” – aka “Didi” – aka “mentor” and business mind and and and… so my mommy, wife, money, emotional, spiritual, physical concerns and burdens are running high…and my fears admittedly consume me at times.  She was correct in her assessment because I absolutely was letting my thoughts dive into to the darkness and worst case scenarios. In truth, I have been sitting on a fence.  The two sides of this particular fence are:
 Side 1 = Faith/To THINK is to CREATE vs. Side 2 = Prepare for the worst/Hope for the best.
I always say: “When you sit on the fence…all you get is splinters up your ass.” Thanks Bean…Love you. 🙂


I have been totally and completely double-minded over my own outcome
for way too long now and I’m done with it.  470-LI see my miracle every single day. I live it. I’ve lived freer than most human beings on this planet and I cherish that freedom every single day of my life.  I don’t take it for granted. I see myself walking holding hands with Liam (my first grand baby) as a toddler in the sunshine with his brown full head of hair…picking flowers for his mom next year (and for many years to come) and fishing with him in my favorite river on earth the second he can hold a pole.  I see myself at my daughter Suzi’s and Emily’s weddings and at the birth of their babies.  I see myself backpacking and camping with Alex again. I see myself with Emily at her grand opening of her first business and at Suzi’s grand opening of her first professional theater production.  I see tons of kids and love and my family surrounding me long into the future…every vision I have.

I have chosen to “see” both sides of this fence for what they are (glimpses) because when I was only seeing one outcome as “good” and everything else as “bad”, I was absolutely terrified every single day and fear focused all of my power to manifest on the very thing I don’t want. So now, I have chosen to focus my energy and intention on everything good, that is and that the rest of my life is going to being amazing. I am choosing to eat healthy (stay tuned for my upcoming post on The Whole 30) and to get strong again physically, so I can live out the rest of my life with a strong healthy body, liberty, power and goodness, surrounded by my beautiful family, with my husband by my side til death do us part.  And so it is.

I’m walking the path focused on light, love and family, and working diligently to take control of my my mind every minute.

“The phoenix hope, can wing her way through the desert skies, and still defying fortune’s spite; revive from ashes and rise.” Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Join me. 🙂 xo

"D" for the Hippie "D"iva, Dawn, my nickname "D" and my newest role and title "Didi"

 

(1) (bardo |ˈbärˌdō| noun

(in Tibetan Buddhism) a state of existence between death and rebirth, varying in length according to a person’s conduct in life and manner of, or age at, death.• an indeterminate, transitional state:wandering adrift in a bardo of intense negativity, blame, disappointment, criticism, and denial.ORIGIN Tibetan bár-do, from bar ‘interval’ + do ‘two.’)