Smelling Freely

“The faculty or power of perceiving odors or scents by means of the organs in the nose,” is one of the many definitions of the word smell. Can you imagine life without being able to smell fresh flowers, your favorite meal, the ocean or even the smell of rain? So then why are we so mean to our sense of smell?

Last week I walked into a store and was immediately taken back on how strong smelling the store was. It smelt like it was filled with one million different types of candles and this was not a candle store. It gave me an instant headache! It was so strong and overpowering that I instantly thought, “what chemicals am I inhaling?” I know we have all been there. Whether it was a candle, perfume, bleach or cleaning supply smell, we all have been taken back from a smell at sometime in our lives.

Before I started using essential oils, I burned candles in my house almost daily, had chemical filled “plug ins” in every room, and sprayed on my perfume like I was a goddess going out on the town. Because I enjoyed these smells, I almost thought they were good for me. Did you know that synthetic air fresheners & candles are known to cause cancer or cause reproductive harm? They contain nasty hormone disrupting phthalates that can do some serious damage to our bodies and especially to young, developing children. All because we buy them because we think they smell good. Most people don’t put odor in a healthy or non-health category but there is definitely a non-healthy category. Did anyone else see the news clip last month of the new mother on maternity leave and her obsession with candles? After a week of burning candles, she started to notice that when she blew her nose, everything coming out was black. After doing some investigation, she realized that the inside of her baby’s nose was black too. She later figured out that it was from the candle’s soot. All I kept thinking about was how many toxins and chemicals this new mom and baby filled their bodies with and I felt horrible for them. I get it, I use to be guilty of doing things like this too but I just got to a point in my life that enough was enough. I don’t want to be a story in the news. I don’t want to die of cancer at a young age. I don’t want my child to develop allergies from breathing in chemicals every day. I want our home to be healthy place and mostly, I want our family to be healthy. I know I can’t control the outside world or air pollution for that matter but what I do know is that I can control my home.

Cancer is lurking everywhere these days and at some point we all might run into it head on but the main questions is, do you want to do everything is your power to protect yourself inside your home? After I did my research, the first thing I did was to detoxify my home of any synthetic smell. Candles, wax cubes & burners, wall plug-ins, all of it is gone or thrown away. I also got rid of my harsh chemical cleaning products and switch to a great alternative Thieves Household cleaner (plus in time it’s cheaper than any nasty chemical filled bottle you buy at the store and it lasts forever!!). I dried my clothes with drier balls (scented with essential oils of course) instead of drier sheets. I stopped wearing perfume and used my favorite essential oil of the week or mixed my own pure scent. You wouldn’t believe how freeing it is and how much better I can smell now. I started to be able to smell the difference between synthetic smells and real smells and it was amazing. Did anyone else have this effect? I smell everything!!! I challenge you to detoxify your home, you’ll be so glad you did. I know sometimes it can seem overwhelming, but start small. Make one change a week if you need too (It can be as simple as switching to a natural deodorant or even throwing your drier sheets away).

If you have any questions on my home detox journey, please comment below and I will answer your questions!

 

Here’s a fresh scent diffuser recipe for you to enjoy!

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Spring Discomforts

Easter weekend was filled with a lot of fun in the Totten household. Friday night we had way too much fun! Anyone else seem to get into trouble with their husbands? Aaron and I ended up staying up until 6am talking and indulging in too many adult beverages!!! SIX A.M! I don’t remember the last time I stayed up until the sun started to come up but it was much needed bonding time with my husband. Saturday we spent the evening with my dad’s side of the family & Sunday we had a lunch date with my parents & siblings.

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Holidays keep getting better and better now that we have a little one. He loved playing with those colorful plastic eggs!

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With spring approaching, we have had some strange weather here in Minnesota. About a month ago we had really warm week, followed by two weeks of cold and snow and today the sun is finally shining again. Talk about spring fever! Since the weather has been funky, my seasonal allergies have been flaring up. One nice day and I’m sneezing and itching my watery eyes out and then it will freeze over night and I am better again. It’s so inconsistent. Today is a bad day so now with April approaching fast, I am going to start taking precautionary steps to ease my seasonal discomforts.

The first thing I did this morning was start diffusing because I am pretty sure little Jase also suffers from the seasonal itchy, runny and sneezes. I added three drops of each Lemon, Lavender and Peppermint oil to my diffuser and am letting it run all day.

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Next I pulled out my vegetable cables and made myself a little LLP Bomb! I am going to start taking these daily until summer. If I need a little extra bang, I add Copaiba.

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Tip for easy use: Since you can use these oils topically, you can also make a relief roller with these oils. Add 20 drops of each oil to a roller bottle (Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint & Copaiba) and top off with carrier oil. I prefer YL’s V6 oil because it’s non-scented. You can then roll this mixture on the bottle of your feet and the back of your neck for relief.

Happy Monday!

Thanks for reading,

Jenna

((Feel free to Pin these recipes to your Pinterest page!))

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ONE

I received Jase’s one year old pictures in the mail this week and I just had to share them. Let’s just say, he was not impressed to take these. He’s so busy that it was hard to get him to even sit still for more than 2 seconds. I was sweating 10 minutes into it from chasing him around the studio. I’m sure other mothers can agree with me, when they are this age the don’t do anything that they don’t want to do. The world is too new still and exploring (and tasting everything) is way more fun. When Jase was 10 days old we had newborn photos taken. We were there for almost 3 1/2 hours and he slept for the first 3 of them. It wasn’t until she wanted a few photos of Jase and I that he woke up! Probably because he smelt me and his milk. Let’s face it, I was a mess and still recuperating from his birth and the sleepless week I just endured. I probably reeked of baby throw up!!! At 8 months, we went back and took other photos outside and he loves being outside so he was so good at just sitting in whatever position we put him in. Now at a year, he never stops. My point is, he is growing up way too fast for my liking. He has been so sweet the last week and coming up to me and cuddling with me on the couch. He use to do this all the time and we did a lot of cuddling in the middle of the night (he didn’t sleep through the night until was almost one!) and in this last month and a half it seemed like he was over cuddling with his mom. I’m hoping it was just a phase because I just love his snuggles. I know he won’t want his mom forever (dad is becoming a lot cooler these days..), so I will soak it up every chance I get.

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So here’s a photo of him “not impressed.” HAHA! I can only imagine what he’s thinking..probably something on the lines of “Mom, your peek a boo is not funny anymore” or “Why don’t I have a shirt on?” or “I’m never doing this again.”

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And of course his mommy’s boy photos.

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I hope everyone has a great weekend and you’re able to spend it with your love ones. I am so lucky I get to spend it with mine.

Xoxo,

Jenna

Pain Cream Recipe

Pain, pain, pain! Lately my back feels like it is about to break! Maybe it’s because I have been working out more heavily trying to lose some of this postpartum baby weight I am still carrying around or the fact that I just weighed my little munchkin today and he is 29lbs. He is a mommy’s boy so if I am doing anything that is not at his eye level, he wants to be held. His new favorite thing is to point at things that he wants or point where he wants to go and I feel like half of his game has to take place when he is in my arms. Today I am sharing with you my favorite natural recipe for pain. It is so easy to make! My husband swears by this cream to help his fingers not feel so stiff. He has me massage it on his hands every night before bed and occasionally I have to rub it on his back, elbows, and knees. He wishes I would rub it on his feet but I’m not a big fan of giving feet rubs unless I am getting mine rubbed in return!

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For this recipe you’ll need:

*1 glass container

*10 drops of each Young Living oil: PanAway, Peppermint, Valor, Lemongrass & Copaiba

*1/4 cup coconut oil

*Some type of kitchen mixer for a soft cream OR heat source for a hard rub

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Quick Steps:

  • Add ¼ cup of coconut oil in a glass mixing bowl
  • Use a kitchen mixer to soften the coconut oil. I use my Kitchen Aid mixer because I like my cream to be soft and easy to apply. If you don’t have a Kitchen Aid or hand mixer, you can still make the cream it just will be a little harder to apply and you’ll have to heat the coconut oil up by using a double boil method. You just need to warm the coconut oil up enough to make it into a liquid form, no need to overheat or boil.
  • Once your coconut oil is prepared to your liking, add 10 drops of each oil.
  • Mix! Mix! Mix!
  • Put mixture into glass jar
  • Enjoy for all your pain needs!

 

Easy peasy! I recommend trying to keep this is a cool place. When coconut oil is warmer than 75 degrees or so, it tends to liquefy. It always seems to surprise me when we are camping on a hot summer day and I open and spill the jar all over me! You think I would be use to it now. I hope you enjoy this all natural recipe!

Once you make your own pain cream, you’ll have to let me know what you think! How do you use your pain cream?

About Me!

My first blog post EKK! All so exciting and nerve racking at the same time. Where do I start? Who’s going to read this? What do I talk about? Many thoughts have been going through my mind as I have been trying to find the right things to say. I guess I will start off by saying WELCOME to my page and hello!

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My name is Jenna Totten, I am 27 years old and my roots are currently planted in a small town in Central Minnesota. I am married to a wonderful man named Aaron and am a stay at home mommy to our sweet baby Jase and fur baby Allie. After high school graduation, I ventured off to the University of Minnesota Duluth. I graduated with a Psychology degree while working full time at Grandma’s Sport Garden. If anyone has been to Duluth, they know Grandma’s is the place to eat in Canal Park and to dance on a Saturday night. Duluth will always have a special place in my heart as it holds many wonderful memories of my first adventure as an adult. Little did I know a man living 1,082 miles away, growing a business in seismic, would some day be my husband and be my next greatest (lifetime) adventure.

At the time, my roommate’s boyfriend got a job working for Aaron and those stinkers did everything in their power to hook us up. Apparently all it took was a fun night out on the town with my roommate and BOOM! Aaron and I were Facebook friends and soon to be texting, calling and Skyping at all hours of the day/night. I use to stay up when I got home from work at 4am so I could catch him before he went to work in the morning. One month after talking, us girls flew out to Pennsylvania to meet the guys and the rest is history. I remember crying all the way home, knowing that he “was the one.” He even told his friends that he was going to marry me before he even met me. I guess we both knew we were destined to be together. We were engaged within 7 months and married just over two years later.

Aaron and I spent a lot of time traveling. As we were on a business trip to Houston, Texas we decided or I should say Aaron decided, that we would buy a puppy named Allie. She was so cute, it was hard to say no but what puppy isn’t cute? A week before we were scheduled to go pick her up from the breeder, I found out I was pregnant. After going to the doctors, we figured out that my conception date was the SAME day that Allie was born! Houston, I blame you!!! Kidding of course, but we were both in shock. It’s such a strange feeling to know that soon your life will be changed forever (but for the better).

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February 2nd, 2015, my life suddenly had a lot more meaning to it. I was a mother. No one prepares you for the overwhelming feelings when you know that baby lying in your arms in yours forever. There is no greater feeling of love. That sweet 9 ½ lb baby boy of mine was the best thing I have ever done. My pregnancy was horrible, I was sick EVERY day, I labored and pushed for hours, I just wanted him out of me! And now he is here walking and babbling around like a crazy man, ONE. Where did that first year of sleepless nights go? I am not sure but I would do it over again in a heartbeat. Everyone mentions that kids grow up fast and they were not lying about that. I wish he would just stay little forever and always want to cuddle with his mom and give me kisses. I already get sad thinking about the day that he won’t want to anymore!

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Fortunately, I am able to be a stay at home mom to raise Jase. I am so grateful for everything my husband does for me and our family. Not a lot of people can afford to stay home to watch their kids grow up and I am so lucky that I get to. With my background in Psychology and my passion for helping others, I started to share my love for Young Living essential oils. One never forgets their first experience with essential oils because these little bottles of gold are absolutely amazing. While being a stay at home mom is awesome, it can sometimes get a little lonely so I decided I really wanted to continue helping others by creating this blog. I created Where Gratitude Grows so I can share my personal experience with essential oils & DIY recipes. Since I first found out I was pregnant I began to research about all the nasty chemicals that we touch every day without even knowing it. It really started to bother me so I started making my own EVERYTHING. I hope this blog finds you when you need a little extra push to make that first step to live a healthier lifestyle or a smile or even if you need some healthy vibes thrown your way! Thank you for joining me on my journey to health, happiness & natural living!

8474926462_7360c4645a_o.jpgFor more information on essential oils, please check out my website: www.jennatotten.com

If you have any questions please let me know!