My Dreams are made with Lavender

closeup lavender

I have always loved Lavender. My whole life. I have been drawn to the vibrant color and intoxicating aroma of this flowering herb.  One of my earliest memories with Lavender is from my childhood.  In my hometown of Nevada City, CA there is a toy store (yes it is STILL there!) that had a full bush-hedge of Lavender under their front window. I can remember the blooms being taller than I was and they hummed from the swarming bees. Simply thinking about that place in time makes me feel better, makes me feel calm and happy. And maybe just a little nostalgic.

As an adult, Lavender and I didn’t really have a strong relationship, despite such a wonderful, loving start. I was drawn more to the dried flower then (what I thought of then) to the smell of “Lavender” in lotions, mists, and perfumes.  And then I received Lavender essential oil.

At first, I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the way it smelled. It was just too strong.

I wanted to like it though. I wanted to reap the benefits associated with Lavender, particularly the increase in restful sleep. You see, I have struggled with insomnia my whole life.  Sleeping through the whole night is not something that happens to me on a regular basis – in fact it is typically something that I celebrate, it happens so infrequently.  So, I tried to put lavender on my feet. No. I tried to put lavender on my pillow and on my neck. No. The smell was so overwhelming to me that it actually made my insomnia worse!

Then I received my diffuser. It is a very simple diffuser that was given to me as a gift. It is simply a stone bowl that sits atop a stone holder that houses a tea light candle.

It is very similar to this one:


The I said to myself, Self, we have got to do something about this sleeping thing. Lets try diffusing Lavender. And diffuse I did.

The first night I tried it, I slept. I slept hard. Not long, but not once did I wake. But I thought it might have been one of those fluke nights when I would actually sleep. The next few nights I didn’t diffuse and, lo and behold! I didn’t sleep.  Now, I am a full-time student, I work part-time, and I commute ~40min one way to said University and job.  I need my sleep. So after not sleeping for a few nights, I reached for my sleeping pills (OTC generic Benadryl really) but thought, just for shits and gigs, let’s try the lavender again. And I slept. Hard. Not long, but I was fully rested.  I average about 5-6 hours of sleep per night. This might not sound like a lot (because it isn’t I suppose) but I wake up before my alarm clock 9/10 times and I feel happy, rested, and ready to rule the world! Ok, maybe not rule the world, but at the very least I don’t feel like the world is ruling me.

Now, my nightly routine includes lighting my diffuser and placing my oil in the waiting stone bowl.  While Lavender isn’t always my go to, it is a major contender.  I also diffuse Balance regularly.  I usually will do a check in with myself to see what I need most.  Both are calming, but Balance is a grounding blend that makes me feel solid and safe. I know it sounds like a lot of hooey, but for me it works and I’m not about to argue with that (also I’m a bit of an earth child…).

It is never too late…

I started this blog to coincide my decision to start my own small “business.”  I say “business” because I can’t really decide if it is just a hobby that makes me happy and a little bit of money, or if this is going to be something more.  For those of you that have already purchased and tried my products, THANK YOU! Your support fills my soul with joy and happiness.

About 6 months ago I made the conscious decision to try and eliminate chemicals from my life. I started by making my own deodorant.  I’m still using it to this day (and it’s more effective than any other deodorant that I have EVER used!).  At the time, I already ate a lot of organic products, but I made a push to buy even more when and where I could.  But I also recognize that being a full time student and making $8.50/hr at my part time job doesn’t always afford the “luxury” of purchasing everything organic.

Then I started really thinking about everything that I put in AND on my body.  I made a change to all mineral makeup. I even switched to Trader Joes face lotion (that still has things in it that I can’t pronounce), but I felt better about that then I did about all the other stuff that I had been using.  So I did what any normal person would do: I hit Pinterest. Hard. Really hard – trying to find a DIY for anything I could.

Shortly after making my deodorant I decided to try using coconut oil (which is the base for my deodorant) as a deep conditioning hair treatment. I feel in love from that moment on.  I started using plain coconut oil on my face to remove my makeup; on my hands when they were particularly dry, and in my food in place of the olive oil and avocado oil that I was already using.  Then I noticed something happening to my face – my eyes started to look amazing and feel amazing.  All the little lines that were starting to appear (because I am getting “old”) were gone. Gone. Not only was coconut oil taking off my mascara better than soap and water, but my skin felt and looked amazing!

Then in January, I got sick. It was stress and school related.  I am counting down the weeks until I (finally) have my BA degree, and in the fall I was applying to graduate schools while simultaneously being surrounded by sick people. My sister came to my rescue.  She brought me a an essential oil kit with Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint.

She also brought me a TON (ok 8) different sample bottles with specific directions on how to take care of myself and help with my sickness. I would like to report that I followed directions just as instructed and found myself feeling much better in just a matter of days. However…I’m not one to always listen to sound advice, BUT I did do a little of what she told me to do and I did start feeling better sooner than everyone around me.

It was also during this time that I decided that I was going to make my own lotion. I felt that I had done enough research on Pinterest (all good research starts there) and gathered my ingredients.  The results were phenomenal.  I was SO excited that I had produced something in my own kitchen that I loved and made my skin feel and look amazing.  But I kept it to myself.

About a month later (after I was ordering more oils because I was HOOKED!) my sister gave me a small candle powered diffuser.  I started using this diffuser often at bedtime with lavender hoping that it would help alleviate my life long battle with insomnia. It helped a little, but then I started diffusing other oil blends. I have never slept so good in my life (but I’ll save all that for another post).

Also during this time, I started quilting. I have always had a fascination (bordering on obsession) with quilting and I wanted to make a quilt.  I was also getting rejection letter after rejection letter…so I thought producing something with my hands would make me feel less like a failure and more like I was actually useful as a human being. So I started to make a quilt, in the middle of a VERY busy and stressful quarter at a major California University. After finishing the quilt (which turned out pretty freaking awesome if you ask me and all my friends) I felt calm. While making the quilt I felt happy, content, and useful. I found sewing to be very therapeutic.

This made me think, Hey, self, we could do this. We could make stuff and sell it. Research Etsy! And research I did/do. While I am not quite there yet, I feel like I am getting one step closer each day.  Support that I get from my family, friends, and Facebook strangers helps me to believe in the reality of selling goods that I made with my own two hands.

I welcome you to come along this journey with me.  I hope that I can inspire you to take stock in what you use everyday that might be causing more damage than it should. I hope to teach you about the things that I have become passionate about and perhaps instill that same passion in you!

I also want to be clear that as of right now, I receive no monetary support from this blog. While I do hope that one (or maybe a few more of you) might be inspired to purchase my own goods or become involved with essential oils (in what ever form feels most comfortable), I do not receive compensation for linking to other blogs or information.  I believe in what I do.  It’s as simple as that. I want to share what I have learned and what I am continuing to learn. I hope you enjoy the ride!