Not another Essential Oil Mother??

I can hear you saying it LOUD and CLEAR! And aren’t we seeing so many more people, particularly mothers making the change. Swapping for the natural, low tox life style. Through chatting with friends and mothers groups, I noticed a wave of people really starting to think about how they ‘did life’ in the home.

I’m often asked why I chose the low tox lifestyle? To me it’s a no brainer. But it did take time. Time to rewire my brain. To understand and realise what was in my household cleaning items and why things had to change!

My transition into this beautiful, clean lifestyle has been somewhat of a journey when I look back. I didn’t mean for anything to happen the way it did. It came about organically. As you know, the more we educate ourselves the more we make changes to our lives along the way. Whether it be spiritual, physical, mental, wholistic, it’s all about learning and growing. Changing one step at a time no matter how small the step. It’s still in the right direction.

Keeping that in mind- my first step was almost 9 years ago. I was expecting my first child and I kept thinking about the idea of my baby being perfectly safe inside my belly. Bringing him into a world where nothing is perfect. In fact far from it. I had this obsession with creating a safety for him where he felt he was still in the womb. Safe and unharmed. That meant dressing him in a soft and gentle way. The best way that I could possibly do this was to create my own laundry wash and use that on my clothing. That way I was in control of what touched his skin. I wanted to keep my sons baby skin as pure as possible. Over the years I tried a few different ways of making my own low tox laundry wash. It was only this year that I found what I believe is far better than store bought. And really, it only takes me less than five minutes to make two litres of Laundry Wash and Fabric Softener.

But that’s as far as I went for some years. I still used chemicals everyday for everything else.

All this time I was so close yet so far! In my home I loved the beauty in knowing I had never cooked a packet meal ever for my family. I was buying organic meats, washing my fruit and veg (blah, blah… this isn’t a post on food. I have plenty of those already 😉. However I will say here, I promise you reader you can always find a super quick and fast alternative. If I can do it as a busy mum, anyone can do it.)

And so on my journey I truly believed eating a whole foods diet of simple, clean foods that God has put on this earth was all you needed. And it’s by far the greatest thing you can do for yourself and your family and friends.

However, in 2014 I was sitting in church listening to our pastor speak on the gifts Jesus was given at His birth. He read aloud the gifts of ‘Frankincense’ and ‘Myrrh.’ Explaining how these precious items were worth more than gold!

At this point all I can say is I’m glad we were sitting in the back row. I pulled my phone out of my bag… and simply googled just exactly what Frankincense and Myrrh was and why they were considered to be of great value. I was ASTONISHED(!!!) at the information on the health and wellness these resins carry. I couldn’t stop reading and soaking it all in.

From there I stumbled across DōTERRA and let me tell you, that was a whole new level. The HUGE range of 100% unadulterated oils. Frankincense and Myrrh were just two of many. I learnt about the transparency of doTERRA and their indepth testing of their products. I wanted so much to implement this into my family’s life. We were healthy (Praise God), we exercised and now… now I wanted to be free from chemicals in my home. I wanted to know that if one of my children accidentally grabbed hold of my toilet cleaner or surface spray and they sucked on the bottle there would be no fear. I wanted to use products that are natural and from the earths rich resources. In reading and understanding the oils it lead to further questions, how are they derived and who does DōTERRA support? I wanted ethically produced oils.

I soon discovered the sourcing model has made sure they look after their growers and the people on the ground level in all these countries they source from.

Through their Source To You model they are/have cultivated partnerships with artisans, small-scale growers and distilleries. By forming cooperatives with the growers, that means they have had the opportunity to create more jobs and improve income and livelihood for farmers around the world.

My process was slow. In hind sight too slow. I’ve been using essential oils for close to four years now and to be honest I bought whatever oils were the cheapest. I made the mistake of thinking all oils are of the same quality and level. I was so very wrong. And that’s ok. We live and learn. As I kept discovering I couldn’t deny the findings. I couldn’t deny the product testing by third party testers. I strongly felt now was the time for me to take action in my household. Now was the time to create a low tox culture and ditch those chemicals! I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t buy second best. You can’t ‘unknow’ once you know!

My mind went into overdrive. If I could make my own detergents in a matter of minutes how hard would it be to swap all my daily products over?

Friends, I couldn’t believe it. I spent maybe 20 minutes of my day (whilst breastfeeding… look at that multitasking 😂) understanding how to make hand soaps, surfaces sprays, fly spray, toilet cleaner, shampoos, body lotions. You name it, there is a easy low tox alternative for it.

This transition is not hard. Don’t allow it to be. I’ve tried to summarise the easiest way to transition below.

My 5 top tips on Transitioning to Low Tox;

1. Research and understand what your top items are that you need for your low tox life.

You will need:

Pump foaming containers (for hand soaps)

Glass Spray Bottles and nozzles

Rollers

Glass jars and bottles.(for detergents and laundry wash)

Your Essential Oils

Dr Brenner Castile Soap

Bi Carb Soda

Vinegar

Filtered water

*Give or take you’ll need a few extra things. These are always at the top of my list.

2. Don’t try to change everything at once. Wait until your store bought item is finished and then simply replace it. That way you have plenty of time, be it of an evening or weekend to make a note on what you need so you’re ready for the easy transition.

3. Keep your favourite DIY recipes close by and saved. It’s a great idea to pop over to my Instagram page or search my blog under the search bar for anything you’re looking for.

4. Enjoy the process. Find a small moment to read up on your oils. Keep a file on your laptop of all the information you learn along the way. Make learning fun and be creative. Using your oils for beauty products and perfumes become stunning, personal gift ideas.

5. Don’t be afraid to share your love. Often I find in chats with friends or on social media people will mention a struggle either with themselves or someone they love. And that struggle will tend to be physical or mental. Don’t be afraid to offer an idea or even a small house made gift to show you care. You’re listening and also being proactive in your friendship. There’s nothing wrong with ever saying ‘hey, after last weeks chat I thought this roller bottle might help with…’

Too often I get met with comments about it all being so overwhelming and too much effort. Please be encouraged, friend. It really isn’t. ONE STEP AT A TIME. One small purchase at a time.

The low tox life chose me, I promise. And it will chose you.

It’s time you allowed it.

Come and chat with me anytime. I’m here to answer your questions. Or sign up and create your own wholesale account through me.

Let’s do this. Together.

Low Tox Living.

BODY. MIND. HEART. SPIRIT

*The Healing Hands Foundation that doTERRA created is also an incredible organisation, bringing refuge, hope and light to so many less fortunate lives around the world.

http://sourcetoyou.com

Stuffed Pumpkin

Well Christmas is done and dusted… I’m living in a little bubble over here. Wishing it was Christmas everyday- reliving every moment in my mind. But alas, only 362 more day to go 😢 😆

So it got me thinking, what better way to relive Christmas than to share one of my classic side dishes. This one is almost more of a stand out than my Turkey.

Ingredients:

1 whole Jap Pumpkin

6 slices of stale white bread (blended into breadcrumbs)

1 leek

3 cloves of garlic finely diced

4 slices of fresh organic ham cubed

1/4 roughly chopped Roasted Almonds

1/4 cup dried Cranberries

Small carton of Full Cream

150g grated Gyerue Cheese

2 tbsp of Chives chopped finely

3 sprigs of fresh Thyme

2 drops of Rosemary Oil

Method:

Cut a round top off your pumpkin and keep it for later.

Scoop out the seeds leaving a neat deep hollow to place the delicious stuffing.

On a medium heat add butter and oil to the pan.

Place the thinly sliced leek to the pan and sauté until soft.

Add garlic and cook for a further minute.

Add ham, fresh herbs, nuts and cranberries, cook for a further 2 minutes.

Turn off the heat. Add the breadcrumbs, Rosemary Oil and grated cheese. Stir to combine.

Stuff the pumpkin, leaving room for the lid to slide back. Do not jam the stuffing in. You’ll need room for the cream to pour through.

Pour cream over. Use a fork to help distribute it to the bottom and evenly.

Place lid on top.

Oil 2 large sheets of foil.

Wrap the pumpkin in them and place on a tray.

Bake for 2-3 hours (depends on the size of the pumpkin).

Just keep checking.

Serve immediately.

Jennifer X

* note: any left over stuffing just place into a casserole and bake seperate. It will no doubt be gobbled up and serves as a back up!

My Christmas Eve lunch. We cooked the Turducken (Turkey stuffed with Chicken, stuffed with Duck) on the spit. It was moist and sensational! We have a glazed organic ham. The sides were my lovely stuffed pumpkin. Sweet potato casserole, carrot and corn bake, duck fat potatoes and sautéed Brussel Sprouts and peas. This was cooked to feed just our family of 7. It has given us leftovers for days.
I simply reheated the leftovers to serve on Christmas Day to accompany my Seafood.

Egg Nog Cocktail

Have you ever gone to a Christmas Cocktail party? Or maybe you just want something that will start off the celebrations with a BANG!

What I love about this cocktail is that I make it for a dessert. Which means no cooking for me (besides toasting a marshmallow 😉). It’s creamy and has those Christmasy elements. Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Butterscotch! It’s really delicious.

Ingredients:

1 drop of Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil

1 shot of Baileys

1 shot of Butterscotch Schnapps

Egg Nog

1 Toasted Marshmallow for Garnish

Grated Nutmeg

Method:

Place the oil in the bottom of your cocktail glass

Add your shots

Top with Eggnog

Place Marshmallow on top carefully. Then garnish with the Nutmeg.

Watch your guests be totally wowed!

Jennifer X

Mama C’s Spaghetti Bolognese

It’s about time I posted this goodie! There’s isn’t a kid I know that doesn’t like Spaghetti…. however once you try mine I can guarantee you would of spoilt them and they will never like anyone else’s.

Keeping things as authentic as I can, this recipe tasted just like the Bolognese I ate throughout Italy.

My secret is in my own sauce. Don’t go buying jars of it if you can. I make mine in bulk and freeze it up for whenever I need.

Ingredients:

* 1 brown Onion

* 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

* 3 Garlic Cloves finely diced

* 1 cup of my sauce or 2 Tbsp of Tomato Paste

* 3 drops Rosemary Essential Oil

* 1 Carrot Grated

* 500g good organic Beef Mince

* 1 whole pack of Italian Spaghetti Pasta (or housemade)

* Good Pinch of Paprika

* Salt and Pepper to taste

* Parmesan Block to grate

* Fresh Parsley

Method:

Cook pasta to your liking.

Fry onion in Olive Oil for 3 minutes until soft.

Add garlic and continue on a medium heat for 2 minutes.

Add carrot for another minute.

Now add your mince, allow to brown. add Rosemary Oil, Paprika, Salt and Pepper.

Once the meat is browned add in one cup of my tomato sauce or if you don’t have any 2 Tbsp of tomato paste.

Allow to simmer to reduce the sauce down. Once it’s reduce ladle about 1- 1 1/2 cups of the pasta water into the sauce.

Continue to simmer for 20 minutes up to 1 hour with the lid on.

Toss some of the sauce through the pasta. Plate up in a huge bowl or platter.

Ladle more Bolognese on top.

Grate cheese and chop Parsley to scatter on top.

A small drizzle of Olive Oil never hurt anyone.

Serve with sourdough and a bottle of your best red!

This meal will serve 10-12 people.

Enjoy

Jennifer X

My 12 Days of Christmas Workshops – Essential Oil Addition

I’ve been working on for a little while now, I’m putting together my first  ‘Christmas Essentials Workshop.’ 

I want to take the stress out of all your gift giving planning. I have created 12 simple recipes and prepared a list of ingredients you’ll need for each one. You now have a whole month to get any little things you might need- oils, jars, moulds. Get all your bits and pieces together now and on December the 1st I’ll be releasing one recipe a day for 12 days! Be sure to SUBSCRIBE TO MY EMAIL LIST for the recipe cards and other such info!!!!

Also, Be sure to follow along on my Instagram @essentially_focused_ in the lead up and for all my low tox, oily ideas. Let’s get into the Christmas Spirit together. 

The recipe booklet is ready for you! Just SUBSCRIBE for the RECIPE CARDS to be sent to your inbox!!!!!

Take a sneak peak at what we will be creating this Christmas as our gift ideas!

Raspberry Ride

HAPPY HOUR (with essential oils……what??)

Oh yes! The Hubs made this one yesterday. One thing you need to know about me is I will never post anything food or beverage related unless it’s outstanding….. and this truly is!

  • 40ml Gin
  • 2 Drops of dōterra Lime Oil
  • 10ml of Raspberry Syrup (we use fresh or frozen berries stew over the stove with 1tbsp sugar and water melted down)
  • 20ml of Apple and Raspberry Juice
  1. Shake well in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Pour into your Martini glasses
  3. Top with Ginger Beer and garnish with a lime wheel and 2 raspberries.

Enjoy!
Jennifer X

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The Best Lasagna You Will Ever Make!

Boy oh boy I sure do love a good lasagna. the classic beef, chicken, vegetarian and one of the most decadent to date was Jamie Oliver’s Duck Lasagna! It was everything warming, silky smooth and the flavours were off the charts good. BUT it takes 4 hours to make! Something I’ve made only twice as a special celabratory meal. In 2010 I had the brilliant opportunity to travel through Italy with my girlfriend. We ate our way around the country for 3 weeks. And my goodness we came rolling home a little wiser on the culinary delights of Italian cooking. So I started cooking the Romans famously known lasagna, however I was still adding the classic Aussie beef. Fast forward a few years later and I met James, he was working with a lovely Italian lady. She invited us over for a party and naturally served us huge lasagna’s. They tasted just like the ones back in Tuscany. Light and delicate. How is a good lasagna supposed to look on a plate? Actually like a hot mess! Not thick and clumpy, not hard. Oozy and once it hits your mouth it’s almost as if you don’t need to even chew. Different parts of Italy make lasagna slightly differently. But in my humble opinion the way I’ve perfected mine is the best (like most nonnas ha!).
If you want the best lasagna you need to make your own lasagna sheets. Now, please don’t be scared! We’ve shown quite a few people how to make pasta now and they are surprised at how simple it really is!

So folks, this is as authentic as an Italian Lasagna can get (except I’m a mother so I add as many vegetables as possible and broth…. I love watching my children chow down on veggies they normally don’t eat).

Ingredients:

  • 800g grass fed, free range any red mince meat. Pork, Veal.
  • 800g grass fed, free range beef mince.
  • 5 Garlic cloves. (only buy fresh garlic thats Australian grown. Why? (Click here and see why…)
  • 2 onions.
  • 2 carrots.
  • 2 zucchini’s.
  • 2 Celery Stalks
  • (Now add anything else that might be about to turn or you’ve been dying to feed your kids… eggplant, broccoli, mushrooms etc)
  • 4 cans of Italian crushed Tomatoes (buy the ones from Italy)
  • 1/2 bottle of red wine
  • 2 Tbsp of dried Italian herbs
  • 2 cups of my housemade broth
  • A generous handful of fresh herbs;
    • Basil, Thyme, Rosemary
  • ALTERNATIVELY: If you can’t find any of these fresh herbs or they aren’t in season and a little pricey, you can use your oils.
    • 2 drops of Oregano
    • 2 drops of Basil
    • 2-3 drops of Rosemary
  • 150g Pitted Olives
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Salt and Pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees.
  2. Blitz the veggies to almost a pulp except the onion.
  3. Dice the onions.
  4. Add a tablespoon of butter and Olive Oil to a large saucepan. Allow to melt.
  5. Add Onions and cook until transparent. 
  6. Add the crushed garlic, cook for 2 minutes. 
  7. Add the blitzed up veggies and cook until darkened in colour.
  8. Place the meat into the saucepan. Allow to brown. 
  9. Now add the tins of Italian Tomatoes, Broth, Red wine, Fresh Herbs, Dried herbs, Olives and the juice if you are using them. 
  10. Bring to the boil.
  11. Season well.
  12. Bring it back, cover and simmer for 3 hour hours.
  13. Once cooled add a little more fresh herbs so keep it vibrant in colours. 
  14. This is now ready to use for Bolognese or Lasagna. It makes a huge quantity for the freezer.
  15. Bechamél Sauce is the easiest thing in the world to make. Really you can find any easy recipe anywhere. James is a wizz at making the stuff. He says the perfect amount of nutmeg makes for a brilliant lasagna!
  16. To layer the lasagna use any size tray, we like to use lots of the disposable foil trays so it’s portioned perfectly and an easy pre made meal for those who are in need! No washing up necessary. 
  17. What you want to do is begin with a layer of meat sauce, pasta sheet, Béchamel and a good grating of cheddar and Parmesan Reggiano. Layer 3 times and top with the cheeses.
  18. Cook until golden and bubbly on the outside.

* note: this will make you multiple lasagnas. They freeze brilliantly for someone in need of for those busy sports evenings 😉

Jennifer X

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