DIY Clay Diffuser Necklace

Recently a fellow colleague and I held a clay diffuser necklace make&take class on essential oils. We had a blast! It is so healing to get you hands dirty and really work and create something with your own hands. And, since the clay used is air dry it's not difficult at all!
There are so many benefits to essential oils and with this method we are able to take advantage of the aromatic benefits. Not only are there emotional pros (mood elevation, calming, etc) certain oils can also purify the air and kill air borne pathogens. Why wouldn't everyone want a diffuser necklace, right?
I know I am loving using mine! My children wore them with a drop of the calming blend on a family outing and what a wonderful difference! I wore mine to work with the purifying blend to help with the aroma my office has from a recent flood...and I would much rather be smelling my necklace that's for sure!
So, here's what we did:
Air dry terra cotta clay
Cording for finish necklaces
Various small cookie cutters
Old spice jars ( they acted as mini rolling pins)
Parchment paper (helped keep the table clean)
Stamps (for imprinting designs)
Straws and skewers ( to make hole for cording and make designs in the clay)

How To-
Let your creativity flow! There is no "right" shape. We all made different but beautiful creations, even clay beads...the possibilities are limitless. Once complete let the "charms" dry completely (mine took about two days but this may range with size) add cording and a single drop of the oil you've chosen (rubbed to the surface of your necklace). Enjoy the effects of your oil!
WARNING: don't be alarmed if others ask about your aroma, the olfactory system is an amazing thing:-)

I hope you'll enjoy some photos of our groups great creations and be inspired to attempt this on your own. For any inquiries or for more information on essential oils feel free to message me or visit my website, www.mydoterra.com/simplyeco
Essential Oils have changed our family and our health for the better and sharing is always so fulfilling.


Who wouldn't love deep dish pasta?

I created a delicious dish last night with almost all farmers market, local, organic ingredients... Best of all? Everyone loved it!
My eldest helped choose many of the ingredients at the market so she was very proud to have contributed. It's so rewarding to find those teachable moments in everyday life. And it's totally worth it to give up a little control (ie she chose a different fresh pasta than I would have) to see that confident smile! 
My hubby named it since he said it had the complex and delicious flavors of deep dish without all the fat and carbs.

So, here's the recipe: 
*BONUS: it's WAY healthier than deep dish* 
Olive Oil, 2 Tbsp
Crushed organic garlic, 2 cloves
Dried organic oregano, 1 tsp
Organic Large Onion, 1/2, diced
River Valley Kitchens baby portabello, about ten, diced
Organic yellow bell pepper, diced
Kinnikinnick Farms Italian ground Berkshire pork, cooked & crumbled
1/2 jar 365 organic Italian seasoned pasta sauce

Pasta Puttana, seasonal herb pasta (parsley and ramps I believe), 1 package ( says enough for 2 adults but was plenty for our family of four with this hearty yet light sauce) 

Lake Breeze Organics Arugula, to top

Add oil and garlic to medium size sauté pan over medium heat. Keep garlic moving, you don't want to burn it! Once garlic is realizing that wonderful, slightly nutty aroma add onion, pepper, portabellos and oregano. Sauté low and slow for about ten to twenty minutes to really develop the flavor. Add sausage, sauté a bit longer. Add sauce, reduce to simmer and let flavors blend as salted pasta water comes to a roaring boil. Cook pasta for 45 seconds (the joy of fresh pasta!), remove from water. Remove sauce from heat. Plate! For us we divided two kids portions and two adult portions, topped with sauce and arugula and a lite dusting of Parmesano Regiano. Bon Appetit! 

Side note: this would be delicious as a vegetarian dish as well, just leave out the pork. 


Green Festival - Chicago 2013

Since college I have wanted to attend the green festival, but, alas, I did not live near a large enough city. So I was SUPER STOKED to be able to attend this year now that we are in a host city!
I was not disappointed! We made a family event of it, enjoying some delicious vegan food too! For those of you in the Chicagoland area I highly recommend both Chicago Diner and B' Gabs Goodies. The table favorite (even with my 2 year old) was B'Gabs raw taco...yum!
All of the many vendors had lots to share and sample. Free Dr. Bronner Soaps and Vegetarian Times magazine?! This green family was in heaven! It was also a great teaching moment for my 4 year old about the attempt to make as little waste possible at the festival by the way they had the waste areas set. There was a compost, recycle and landfill bin and she was fascinated to see so many things that could be composted. (I feel a future family project coming on...)
Ford was a sponsor as well and they had and electric hybrid demoed. I just loved the visual of all the products the car door is made from...yet another teaching moment:-)
Oh! And I discovered ORETHICS brand: menstruation products, cloth diapers, swim diapers, etc. please check out and support this business. Her products are not only green, they are crazy cute too! Feminine hygiene is an area that really needs greening and I'll back her for making a step in the right direction. But hygiene is a post all it's own...we'll get there!

So, if you are ever in the Chicago area, or any of the Green Festival locations, check it out! It's well worth it and great for the family:-)