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It is the height of summer here in Florida, and the mosquitoes are out in full force! At dusk, they seem to hover near our patio door, patiently waiting for anyone who opens the door to step outside! My little guy seems to be their biggest target… his sweet, 2 year old skin seems to be their favorite and tiny mosquito bites appear like chicken pox the second he is outside for more than 2 minutes at that time of day!

To keep those pesky mosquitoes away naturally, I have compiled a list of 3 tips and tricks that we use around our home. I don’t like to spray my children or myself with DEET-based repellents, so have found other, less toxic ways to combat the problem. Here are a few of our favorites!

3 Tips on Keeping Mosquitoes Away Naturally

sand toys image

Eliminate Standing Water Sources

Mosquitoes breed in water, and with heavy rains in FL in the summer, this makes for a terrible combination! If at all possible, drain areas that fill up quickly. Any toys & other items, such as plastic buckets, small wading pools, wagons, etc. should be dumped out at the end of the day after playing so as not to create the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Yes, those sand box & water play table toys are the ideal place for mosquitoes to breed, so remember to dump them out and cover the table or sand box at the end of the day!

Brittanies Thyme Bug Spray

Apply (and Reapply!) a DEET-Free Insect Repellent

Brittanie’s Thyme offers a safe, effective organic bug spray that is derived from essential oils, not toxic chemicals. The Organic Bug Spray provides floral & woodsy scents that create a pleasing aroma for people, yet the bugs hate it! Brittanie’s Thyme does not contain citronella, and will not stain your clothes. They recommend not spraying the bug spray directly on the skin of babies and toddlers under 2 years old. Instead, spray your child’s clothing, stroller, blankets or grass area around them.

white socks

Dress Appropriately

We know it’s hot, but wearing light colored, long-sleeved pants & tops will deter mosquitoes from those areas of your body! Mosquitoes are attracted to dark clothing, so white or other lightly colored clothing are an optimal choice when planning to spend time outdoors hiking, playing and more! In addition, mosquitoes love feet, so opt for socks and shoes whenever possible!

*Brittanie’s Thyme provided samples for review for this article. All thoughts expressed herein are my own.*

Mommy's Bliss_SS productsCreate a peaceful, relaxing nighttime routine for your little ones with the new Sweet Slumber line of products from Mommy’s Bliss! You may have heard of Mommy’s Bliss before, as the company makes a fantastic natural colic remedy for babies. To help to soothe fussy babies even more, the Sweet Slumber line includes a 3-in-1 Baby Wash, a nightly Massage Cream and a calming bedroom Mist. All three of these new products contain essential oils that are historically associated with relaxation and sleep such as English Lavender Oil, German Chamomile Extract and Ylang Ylang Flower Oil, among other natural, soothing botanical ingredients.

Gentle enough for daily use, Sweet Slumber products are all hypoallergenic and contain no artificial fragrances, gluten, soy, alcohol, sulfates, phthalates or parabens.

Mom” loves how creamy and nourishing the Sweet Slumber Massage Cream is when massaging into baby’s skin – it leaves both Mama and wee one feeling relaxed! The Slumber Mist is so light and smells wonderful – you will want to spray it on your linens or in your bedroom, as well!

Mommy’s Bliss Sweet Slumber Baby Wash

The troubles of bath time for mommy can sometimes become a daunting task, especially if their little one is cranky or fussy. The Sweet Slumber Baby Wash combines the benefits of a body wash, shampoo and bubble bath in one convenient bottle, allowing for an easy and soothing bath time before bed. This tear free formula contains no drying agents and won’t irritate sensitive skin.

Mommy’s Bliss Sweet Slumber Massage Cream

A fussy baby before bedtime can be a mommy’s worst nightmare. The Sweet Slumber Massage Cream is a gentle, moisturizing cream used to relax your child while nourishing their delicate skin. This non-greasy cream absorbs quickly into your baby’s sensitive skin without irritation. 

Mommy’s Bliss Sweet Slumber Mist

A peaceful and soothing bedroom is sometimes just what your little one needs to fall asleep smoothly. The Sweet Slumber Mist creates a calm and familiar bedroom environment that prepares your child for a relaxing and easy sleep. This gentle, calming bedroom mist is ideal for your baby’s blanky, pajamas and bed; all without containing any alcohol or artificial fragrances.

Mommy’s Bliss Sweet Slumber products can be purchased at Walgreens, Diapers.com and DrugStore.com. You can learn more about this new line at MommysBliss.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

top three aromatherapy scentsThe Top Three Aromatherapy Scents Used for Stress Relief

What is Aromatherapy?

Stress can make an individual ill mentally and physically. It is imperative to find healthy ways to reduce feelings of anxiety. Anxiety causes physical changes such as difficulty breathing, higher blood pressure, insomnia and others. Many individuals have never tried using aromatherapy to relieve stress symptoms. Before there were prescription medications, individuals used natural sources to relieve anxiety. Natural sources included fruits, herbs, flowers, spices and other items. Extracting essential oils from items found in nature provided fragrant essences. These fragrant essences are now used to create aromatherapy massage oils.

The Scent of Peppermint

A fantastic way to relieve stress is by visiting a spa. Day spas are located in small towns and large cities. There are also destination spas in exotic locations all over the world. At a spa, individuals can choose from a selection of fragrances that reduce anxiety. The aestheticians at spas have a variety of products that contain essential oils. While having massage treatments with warmed stones, mud wrapping techniques or other therapies clients can enjoy aromatic scents. A popular fragrance that assists in eliminating stress is peppermint. Individuals have enjoyed this aromatic essential oil for hundreds of years because of its menthol qualities. The fragrance of peppermint can assist with memory functioning, alertness and mood.

Lavender

Lavender Fragrance

The blossoms of the lavender flower offer a strong long lasting scent. Many companies use lavender fragrances in candles, soaps, lotions and aromatherapy massage oils. Individuals can find lavender scented products at many brick-and-mortar and online stores. Clients who visit a spa can have treatments to relieve stress that include lavender essences. Warm footbath treatments with additions of lavender oils can help an individual feel relaxed and contented. Individuals who have difficulties sleeping can place sachets filled with lavender petals under their pillows. The scent of lavender calms anxious feelings while acting as a natural sedative.

The Scent of Vanilla

The aromatic scent derived from vanilla beans is great for enhancing the mood while relieving stress. The essential oils of vanilla are often available for electric diffusers to provide fragrances throughout the home. At a spa, soothing lotions with vanilla essences are applied during therapeutic massages to sore backs, shoulders or necks to assist in relaxation and stress relief. Vanilla scented candles burning at home can help calm nerves after a long day at work. Individuals can purchase aromatherapy massage oils with vanilla essences to use at home on aching feet to assist with relaxation.

A truly delightful experience – every time you wash your hands! Maroma True Lavender Bath Soap contains absolutely no dyes, preservatives or artificial additives! Instead, this 100% natural luxe, silky soap contains botanical extracts, essential oils and natural minerals. “Mom” thinks the scent is just heavenly, as the soap is enriched with Mango Butter, Rosemary Leaf powder, Lavender Oil, Geranium Oil, and Bergamot Oil.

In addition to making the room smell lovely when washing your hands, the soap can be placed in a clothing drawer to make the clothes smell fresh if you wish to wait to use it as soap. That is one of “Mom’s” tricks when she receives an abundance of bar soaps on her birthday or during the holidays!

To learn more about Maroma True Lavender Bath Soap or to order online, visit CrumCreek.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Naturally cleanse the air while energizing the space with healthy, positive ions with a little help from an Aroma Salt Lamp from ShoptobeGreen.com! Made of Himalayan Rock Salt and chiseled in the Himalayans, this unique lamp is the perfect soft lighting addition to any home. Weighing just 2-3 lbs. the Aroma Salt Lamp comes with a glass plate that can be used with essential oils to add any natural aroma you choose, from Lavender to Lemongrass. Just set the glass on top of the Aroma Salt Lamp and add the essential oil of choice to set the mood!

For those sensitive to energy (such as “Mom“), a Himalayan Rock Salt lamp may not be ideal in a place where you intend to rest, such asthe bedroom. An office, living room or family room may be better suited so as not to keep you wired when it is bedtime!

No matter what size Himalayan Rock Salt lamp you choose, they are a gorgeously green addition to the home! “Mom’s” is placed in the living room, and emits a beautiful soft glow, which is especially pretty at dusk and into the evening.

To view a variety of sizes & styles of Himalayan Rock Salt Lamps, from the Globe Salt Lamp to the Aroma Salt Lamp, visit ShoptobeGreen.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

The flavors of chocolate, orange and lavender come together beautifully in this recipe. It’s the perfect ending or beginning to a romantic evening. The original recipe comes from a wonderful cookbook, Staff Meals at Chanterelle’s. Chef Kate McAloon has added her own twists and thinks you’ll really enjoy them! The lavender is optional, but try it because it adds a depth of flavor to the cake. Please use organic ingredients whenever possible. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Chocolate Lavender Orange Cake

Ingredients

1 Pound semisweet chocolate (chopped or chocolate chips)

1 Cup butter

9 Large eggs (separated)

¾ Cup sugar (for egg yolks)

2 Tablespoons sugar (for egg whites)

1 Teaspoon orange juice

1 Teaspoon orange zest

1 Teaspoon culinary lavender (ground)

Powdered sugar (to decorate)

Lavender sprigs (optional for garnish)

Raspberries and blackberries (or other fruits in season for serving)

Whipped cream (for serving)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9 inch round spring form pan (or choose a heart- shaped spring form pan or 4 small pans. It’s great for setting a romantic scene!) with organic non-stick spray. Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave or use a double boiler. Remove from heat and set aside. Then beat the egg yolks with an electric mixer until very thick. Then gently add the egg yolks to the chocolate mixture and combine well. Beat the egg white and 2 Tablespoons of sugar until they form soft peaks. Then gently fold the egg whites into the mixture. Add the orange juice, orange zest and culinary lavender. Mix gently until well mixed. Pour mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until edges are firm but the center still jiggles. Cool the cake on a wire rack. Remove the sides of the pan. Dust the cake with powdered sugar mixed with a little ground culinary lavender. Garnish with berries, whipped cream and a sprig of lavender.

Visit Chef Kate’s website www.chefkatealiveandcooking.com and the Kora Organics Blog (under Chef Kate) for more healthy organic recipes and articles.

*Organic culinary lavender and other products available at www.keyscreeklavenderfarm.com.

Another great find from Earth Friendly Products – Eco Breeze™, an all-natural fabric refreshener featuring the lovely combination of lavender and mint! For those who like to refresh and spritz new life into the fabric of pillows, blankets, carpets, clothing, bedding, and more, Eco Breeze makes an excellent choice for those choosing to use more planet-friendly products around the home. This all-natural formula clears away any odors and leaves the home smelling delightfully fresh! In addition to Lavender Mint, Eco Breeze™ is also available in Citrus and Lemongrass, for those who desire a different aromatherapeutic scent.

To learn more about Earth Friendly Products and their commitment to the environment, click here.

To purchase Eco Breeze™ Fabric Refreshener, please visit www.ecos.com.

*Company provided a sample, images, and information for this review.*

Mom” at Tiny Green Mom has a new favorite when it comes to baby wipes! Bum Boosa™ Natural Bamboo Baby Wipes are 100% biodegradable AND sensitive on baby’s tender skin! Using the sustainable and regenerative bamboo, these high-quality, eco-friendly wipes contain purified water, Vitamin E, Organic Aloe, and both Lavender and Sweet Orange Essential Oils. In addition, for each package of 80 natural wipes sold, Bum Boosa™ will plant a tree! To order these and other Bum Boosa™ products, visit BumBoosa.com.

*Company sent a sample and provided information for this review.*

Today’s illuminating article is written by Nancy Zazzaro, mom-extraordinaire and creator of Monster Spray and Storm Squasher. Nancy has developed these two aromatherapeutic products to help little ones fight their fears – naturally! For more information, check out her new website, www.braveryinabottle.com/.

HOW TO CONQUER CHILDHOOD FEARS

by Nancy Zazzaro

Fears are very common in children between the ages of three and eight. They can be triggered by anything from hearing a scary story, seeing scary images, or the fact that children are becoming aware of death and their vulnerability.

Children tend to feel small and often powerless. The world can seem big, frightening, and confusing. Vivid imaginations contribute to their fears. The symbol for the things children find scary and feel might harm them, manifests itself in the form of “monsters.”

The best way to solve childhood fears is to give children the feeling of control and power over what is frightening to them. An excellent way to overcome these fears is to tell the child a story about a protective monster that watches over them. In addition, a picture of a friendly monster is superb in helping them frighten away the “bad” monsters. Aromatherapy sprays with essential oils, such as lavender, create an actual soothing effect. Give them “bravery in a bottle”. Empowering children is key to overcoming their fears. With creativity, love, and support children can conquer their fears.

Looking for unique eco-friendly and educational toys for your tots? Then check out Rosie Hippo, a super cool mom-owned retailer of everything from toys and games to furniture and decor that are planet-friendly! Rosie, the mascot, is pretty special herself! Filled with lavender, Rosie can be gently microwaved for soothing your little one to sleep with the aromatherapeutic scent. Stop on by to visit Rosie and her collection of fantastic items that are meant to inspire creativity and spark imaginative play! www.rosiehippo.com

*Company sent sample and images for this review.*