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Saturday, September 13, 2014

5 Things you need to look for before you buy Essential Oils

The healing benefits of essential oils have been revered for thousands of years for both the physical and emotional well-being they can deliver. Discover the positive influence these powerful oils will bring to your life and home in their purest form. Today’s market is very different from what it once was, with a multitude of companies influencing your decision. Take a look for these five things before making your decision to buy essential oils. These crucial items to consider will be instrumental in helping you invest in the right oils for you.

How are the Oils Distilled?

There are a number of different ways essential oil companies choose to distill their oils, each method claiming to be the most effective in delivering the most pure and beneficial oil. Avoid the essential oil companies that claim to only use the first batch of essential oils during the distillation process. While this batch produces the most fragrant oil, it lacks other elements needed for these essential oils to be as beneficial as possible. During the second batch of distillation, sesquiterpenes are brought into the product. These molecules contain many of the healing benefits. Companies that only use the oil produced from the first batch of distillation are not delivering all the benefits essential oils can hold.

Where are their Plant Sources?

While some essential oil companies grow and harvest their own plants for production, others do not, or do not clearly indicate where their plant sources are coming from. When you buy essential oils, ensure the company you are buying from is upfront about the botanicals they use, and provide at least some information on the process. The best essential oil companies will have their own farms where they can monitor and keep watch over the production.

Where and How are their Plant Sources Grown?

We have already established that the best essential oil companies produce their own botanicals for their products, but it is also crucial to look at where these plants are grown. These farms will likely be spread all around the world, giving the plants the chance to grow in their natural climate to reach their full healing power. Make sure the company you buy essential oils from is transparent on where their oils are derived, and their role in production.

Are the Products Natural?

This seems like a question that wouldn’t need to be asked, but some essential oil companies use other synthetic materials in addition to the natural plants. There are an alarming number of products that use low quality oils or even oils that have been chemically altered in the production process. Avoid these essential oils at all costs, instead selecting those products that are naturally healing.

What are You Looking for in Essential Oils?

There are many different benefits from essential oils, each one fulfilling a different purpose. There are oils for the home, your own physical wellness, some for beauty, mental health, and emotional wellness. Consider your reasons for using essential oils and buy from the company that produces the right essential oils for your situation. Each of these should be natural, grown by the company, and distilled properly to bring the best benefits to you.

Before you buy essential oils, ask yourself these five questions. Find the company that fits these requirements to help you choose the most effective products out there.  

Author Bio:
Jessica Leilani has been in the health and fitness industry for over four years and loves every second! Jessica has always led an active lifestyle. Her background is diverse: she's a personal trainer, group exercise instructor, Pilates instructor, and weight loss expert. With a B.S. in Exercise Science, Jessica is now going down the essential oils path and wants to help other people along the way with choosing essential oils.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Candy Apple Cookies and Cider

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

Fall has arrived! Well, maybe not officially, but the weather here in North Dakota has decided that it's time for fall. I'm not complaining though. I love fall. Most especially though, I love apples - apple cider, candy apples, applesauce, bobbing for apples, picking apples, and basically all apple recipes. It's not really fall without all these goodies. 

#FlavorofFall #shop #CollectiveBias

Probably my absolute favorite way to spend a chilly fall day is curled up by a fire, with a cup of hot cider, a plate of cookies within reach, and a good book. In order to get this ideal scene though I've got to do a little bit of work. I WISH I could go to an apple orchard and pick my own apples, but as far as I've been able to find, there aren't any near me - for that matter I don't see any in the whole state. So since I can't get my apples fresh off the tree personally, I do the next best thing - I grab some apple products from Walmart.

Motts and M&Ms at Walmart #FlavorofFall #shop #CollectiveBias

Yes, we sure did find some Candy Apple m&m's. These became the inspiration behind the Candy Apple Cookies made with Motts Natural Apple Sauce. We also picked up some of Motts Apple Juice to create a quick and easy Cider. Enjoy the #FlavorofFall with the following recipes.

#FlavorofFall #shop #CollectiveBias

Quick and Easy Apple Cider
64oz Motts Apple Juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
15 whole Allspice
1/2 tsp grated lemon peel
1/2 tsp grated orange peel

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil, serve warm with Candy Apple Cookies!

#CollectiveBias #FlavorofFall #shop

Candy Apple Cookies

2 3/4 All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup Motts Natural Apple Sauce
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 tsp apple pie spice
1 cup Candy Apple M&Ms
1/2 cup Peanut Butter M&Ms, crushed

Preheat oven to 375 F
Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, apple sauce, shortening, eggs, and spice.
#FlavorofFall #shop #CollectiveBias

Mix well and fold in the Candy Apple M&M's.
#FlavorofFall #shop #CollectiveBias

Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Cool completely.
Meanwhile, soften up the caramel sauce and crush the peanut butter M&M's. Dip half of each cookie in the caramel, and roll through the crushed M&M's.
Candy Apple Cookies #FlavorofFall #shop #CollectiveBias

Now if you are making these with your kids and an electric mixer, remember one thing - make sure it's off before you plug it in. Or you might end up like this
#FlavorofFall #shop #CollectiveBias

Oh these cookies and cider were so good. The kids especially thought it was fun dipping cookies into caramel. It adds a fun little mix to regular old cookies, and they are packed full of fall flavors.

I can't let the school kids miss out too much though, so I picked up some small juice drinks to pack in their lunches as well. Got to get them enjoying the new season as well. 

#FlavorofFall #shop #CollectiveBias


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Foodie Friday is now Weekend Bites

Hello and Welcome! After some thought, Diane and I have decided to change Foodie Friday to Weekend Bites. If you'd like you can grab the temporary image above, but fingers crossed, we'll have the new logo next week. I'm really excited for this change. It's been somewhere around 3 years Foodie Friday has been growing. We hope this name change won't confuse you, but rather bring you back for more goodness, and invite you to stay awhile longer. 

On to the goodies now!  Did you see these delightful looking recipes at last weeks party?

Apple and Cheddar Quick Bread from Annies Home


Blueberry Pie with sweet potato and walnut crust from My Sisters Pantry

Homemade Pizza Sauce | cookingwithcurls.com

Homemade Pizza Sauce from Cooking with Curls

Peanut Butter Pork Tenderloin from The Pin Junkie

Have a Fabulous Weekend everyone!


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