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Winter’s shorter days and longer nights can have a significant impact on our sleep patterns. As the seasons change, it’s essential to adjust our routines to ensure we get the rest we need. Let’s explore a few strategies for optimising sleep quality and quantity during the Winter months. From creating a relaxing bedtime routine to establishing a sleep-friendly environment and addressing common sleep issues, these tips will help you achieve restful, rejuvenating sleep all season long.

CREATE A RELAXING BEDTIME ROUTINE

A consistent and calming bedtime routine signals to your body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Incorporate these elements into your nightly ritual to promote relaxation:

SET A CONSISTENT BEDTIME

Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends, helps regulate your body’s internal clock, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up naturally.

UNPLUG FROM ELECTRONICS

The blue light emitted by phones, tablets, and computers can interfere with the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep. Aim to unplug from electronics at least an hour before bedtime. Instead, opt for calming activities like reading a book, journaling, or taking a warm bath.

PRACTICE RELAXATION TECHNIQUES

Incorporate relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or gentle yoga into your bedtime routine. These practices can help calm your mind and prepare your body for a restful night’s sleep.

SIP A HERBAL TEA

Enjoy a cup of caffeine-free herbal tea, such as chamomile, lavender, or valerian root, which are known for their calming and sleep-inducing properties.

ESTABLISH A SLEEP-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENT

Your sleep environment plays a crucial role in the quality of your sleep. Make your bedroom a sanctuary for rest with these tips:

KEEP YOUR BEDROOM DARK

A cool, dark room is conducive to sleep. Aim for a bedroom temperature between 15-19°C. Use blackout curtains to block out external light and consider using an eye mask if needed.

INVEST IN A COMFORTABLE MATTRESS AND PILLOWS

A supportive mattress and pillows tailored to your sleep style can make a significant difference in sleep quality. Take the time to find bedding that provides the right balance of comfort and support.

MINIMISE NOISE

Reduce noise levels in your bedroom by using earplugs or a white noise machine. If outside noises are disruptive, consider using a fan or a white noise app to create a soothing soundscape.

CALMING SCENTS

Aromatherapy can enhance relaxation and improve sleep quality. Use a diffuser with essential oils like lavender, cedarwood, or bergamot to create a calming atmosphere. If you’re feeling blocked in the nose or need support with snoring.. try eucalyptus, thyme or one of my favourite blends, Valor. Rub on the chest, on the tips of the big toes or along the cervical spine.

ADDRESS COMMON SLEEP ISSUES

Winter can bring about specific sleep challenges, such as increased fatigue, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and disruptions in circadian rhythms. Here’s how to tackle these common issues:

COMBAT SEASONAL FATIGUE

Shorter days and reduced sunlight can lead to feelings of fatigue. Spend time outdoors during daylight hours to boost your exposure to natural light. Consider using a light therapy box in the morning to simulate sunlight and help regulate your body’s sleep-wake cycle.

MANAGE SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER (SAD)

Depending on where you live in the world, SAD can affect sleep patterns and mood during the Winter months. In addition to light therapy, maintain a regular exercise routine, eat a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and stay connected with friends and family to help manage symptoms.

BALANCE YOUR CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS

Your body’s internal clock can be disrupted by changes in daylight during Winter. Help balance your circadian rhythm by sticking to a consistent sleep schedule, getting plenty of natural light during the day, and avoiding caffeine and heavy meals close to bedtime.

STAY HYDRATED

Dehydration can interfere with sleep quality. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, but reduce fluid intake in the evening to minimise nighttime awakenings.

How do you feel about these tips?

You probably already do most of them but were there any that surprised you?

Optimising your sleep during the Winter months involves a combination of creating a relaxing bedtime routine, establishing a sleep-friendly environment, and addressing common sleep issues. By incorporating these strategies, you can improve the quality and quantity of your sleep, ensuring you wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated all season long.

Got any specific sleep questions for me? I’d love to help!

Our homes are our sanctuaries, but they can also harbor hidden toxins that impact our health and well-being. From cleaning products to indoor air quality, many factors contribute to the overall healthiness of our living environments. Today we’ll explore practical and effective tips for detoxifying your home. By reducing exposure to toxins, using natural cleaning products, and improving indoor air quality, you can create a healthier, more harmonious space for you and your loved ones.

SWITCH TO NATURAL CLEANING PRODUCTS

Traditional cleaning products often contain harsh chemicals that can irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory system. Switching to natural, eco-friendly cleaning products is an easy and impactful way to reduce your home’s toxic load. Look for products labeled as non-toxic, biodegradable, and free from harmful chemicals like ammonia, bleach, and phthalates. You can also make your own cleaning solutions using simple ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils. I keep it simple in my home with the one and only Thieves Household Cleaner. It’s super versatile, highly concentrated and I love it’s spicy, warm, citrusy smell. Use my referral number here for a huge discount.

DIY ALL PURPOSE CLEANER RECIPE

– 1 cup white vinegar

– 1 cup water

– 10-15 drops of essential oil (like lemon, lavender, or tea tree)

Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle and use it to clean countertops, sinks, and other surfaces.

IMPROVE INDOOR AIR QUALITY

Indoor air pollution can be caused by a variety of sources, including dust, pet dander, mold, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from paint, furniture, and household products. Improving indoor air quality is crucial for a healthier home environment. Here are my favourite tips..

Ventilation

Regularly open windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate and reduce indoor pollutants.

Houseplants

Certain houseplants, such as spider plants, peace lilies, and snake plants, can help purify the air by absorbing toxins. Check they’re ok for your pets!

Air Purifiers

Invest in a high-quality air purifier with a HEPA filter to capture airborne particles and allergens.

Regular Cleaning

Dust and vacuum your home frequently to reduce the buildup of allergens and pollutants.

house plants detox home

CHOOSE NON-TOXIC FURNITURE AND DECOR

Many conventional furniture and decor items contain harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, flame retardants, and VOCs. When shopping for new pieces, opt for non-toxic, sustainably-made items. Look for furniture made from solid wood, natural fibers, and low-VOC finishes.

ELIMINATE PLASTIC

Plastics, especially those containing BPA and phthalates, can leach harmful chemicals into your home environment. Reduce plastic use by choosing glass, stainless steel, or bamboo alternatives for food storage, kitchen utensils, and children’s toys. Additionally, avoid heating food in plastic containers, as this can increase the release of toxins.

USE NATURAL PEST CONTROL

Chemical pesticides can introduce toxins into your home. Instead, use natural pest control methods to keep your home pest-free. Here are some of my favourite tips..

Essential Oils

Use essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, geranium and citronella to deter insects. You can order the same ones I do here. 24-50% discount.

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Sprinkle this non-toxic powder around entry points to kill insects without harmful chemicals.

Borax and Sugar

Mix equal parts borax and sugar and place it in areas where you’ve seen ants to eliminate them naturally.

FILTER YOUR WATER

Tap water can contain contaminants such as chlorine, lead, and pesticides. Using a water filter can reduce these impurities and provide cleaner, safer drinking water for your household. Choose a filter that meets your needs, whether it’s a simple pitcher filter, a faucet-mounted filter, or a whole-house system.  We’ve been loving and using Southern Cross Filters for years. Make sure whichever filter you choose can also remove fluoride.

DECLUTTER AND ORGANISE

A cluttered home can contribute to stress and reduce the overall feeling of well-being. Regularly declutter and organise your living spaces to create a more peaceful and inviting environment. Donate or recycle items you no longer need, and consider adopting a minimalist approach to reduce the accumulation of unnecessary possessions.

Detoxifying your home is an ongoing process that involves making conscious choices about the products you use and the environment you create. By incorporating these tips, you can reduce exposure to harmful toxins, improve indoor air quality, and create a healthier, more harmonious living space. Let’s move towards a detoxified home, and enjoy the benefits of a cleaner, greener, and more vibrant environment for you and your family!

Happy Detoxing!

Electrolytes are minerals that are needed by the body to perform basic life function processes. Two of these functions in particular is to maintain electrical neutrality in the cells and to generate and conduct action potentials in the nerves and muscles.

ELECTROLYTE IMBALANCE

When electrolyte levels in the blood become too high or too low, it can cause an imbalance, which in turn can lead to issues such as:

  • irregular heartbeat
  • muscle weakness or spasms
  • bone disorders
  • convulsions and/or seizures
  • confusion
  • numbness
  • excessive tiredness
  • nervous system disorders
  • change in blood pressure

CAUSES OF IMBALANCE

  • poor diet and severe dehydration
  • prolonged vomiting or diarrhoea
  • loss of electrolytes and hydration after exercise
  • acidosis/alkalosis (imbalance of blood pH)
  • diuretics and other drugs
  • congestive heart failure
  • cancer treatment

ELECTROLYTE DRINKS

Most electrolyte drinks that you will find on supermarket shelves (and even some from healthy places like sports nutrition stores) contain ingredients that are far from being beneficial to the body. High levels of sugar, sodium, food dyes, chemical sweeteners and other additives found in these drinks contribute to health problems. Many popular electrolyte drinks, when consumed regularly, have the potential to lead to diabetes, kidney damage, tooth enamel erosion and weight gain.

Clearly it’s best to avoid this ‘health’ drink and stick to a natural source of rehydration of electrolytes.

HOMEMADE AND HEALTHY ELECTROLYTE DRINK RECIPE

  • 1/2 cup of fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups of raw coconut water
  • 2 tbl organic raw honey or organic maple syrup
  • 2 pinches of Himalayan salt

METHOD

  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend well.
  2. Bottle in glass and refrigerate.
  3. Best served on ice.

For a nice change, substitute the orange juice for 1/4 cup of lime juice!

Have you used one of these before?

Linen sprays are designed to freshen up sheets and sometimes clothing between washes.

You might be thinking you don’t really need one because your fabric softener leaves a pretty smell on your clothes and bed linen, but I’m here to let you know that those aromas are doing more harm then good!

I talk a bit more about it over here on this post, but any ‘fragrance’ you come across these days is more likely to be a cocktail of hundreds of synthetic ingredients that are linked to all kinds of illness and disease.

Not too long ago, all fragrances came from pure extracts of plants, aka essential oils. For most big companies, it’s a lot cheaper to fabricate scent in a laboratory.

I don’t know about you, but I’m all about quality and not compromising my health.

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils have become quite popular these days but they really aren’t a new thing.

Their use dates back to thousands of years ago where they were used not only to heal and nurture the body, but to anoint it in spiritual practice, embalm the deceased, protect from illness and disease and to simply fragrance the environment and home.

Because of their comeback, many companies have jumped on the ‘oily’ bandwagon purely for profit and so there are a lot of ‘essential oils’ out there that simply are not true, authentic extracts from the plant.

Then there is the issue of how they are farmed, distilled and tested..

but that’s another story for another day!

Essential oils, if pure and unadulterated can bring a lot of joy and healing to your life. Plus they are really handy for all your DIY creations.

Here’s a very simple linen spray that you can use to freshen up your towels and sheets.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • 10 – 20 drops of essential oil
  • 70 mL distilled or filtered water
  • 30 mL vodka
  • 100 mL glass spray bottle

METHOD

  1. Add essential oils to 100 mL glass spray bottle.
  2. Add water and vodka.
  3. Gently invert to mix.
  4. Lightly spray from a distance on sheets and other household linen.

Fragrances to try:

Bergamot, Lavender, Geranium (fresh floral and citrus scent)

Lavender, Cedarwood, Frankincense (great for sleep)

Orange, Patchouli, Ylang Ylang (sensual and intimate)

NEW TO OILS?

I have a free Essential Oils Course that goes through the basics of essential oils, how to use them safely, how to save money and everyday uses for your home, beauty, health and more!

I also have a discount code for you if you’d like to try the same superior quality essential oils that I use.

Living a low tox life means avoiding as many toxins as possible in our household and personal care products and one of the places we need to evaluate is our laundry.

I always say, you are the gatekeeper in your home. That means you get to choose what products you use and what products you feel comfortable allowing into your home.

Many products out there that are designed to whiten and brighten, contain ingredients that ‘trick the eye’ into thinking they look cleaner and some whiteners can cause developmental and reproductive effects.

Sadly, most products on the market contain synthetic and harmful ingredients that pose a risk to you and your family’s health and have no place in a healthy home.

I talk a little more about this over on this post.

So what can we do?

Well, you can spend some time looking for a company/brand that is committed to only using safe, beneficial ingredients or you can make your own.

I tend to do a mix of both.

There are some things that I love making myself and there are other things that I leave up to the experts and buy from my favourite online brand.

Here’s a super simple stain stick recipe that has worked for me.

It uses a combo of basic raw ingredients with things I always have at home.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED

  • 2 drops Thieves Dish Soap
  • 5 drops Lemon essential oil
  • Hydrogen Peroxide

METHOD

  1. Add the dish soap and essential oil to a 10 – 15 mL glass roller bottle.
  2. Top up with hydrogen peroxide.
  3. Apply to stains before washing.

SUPPLIES

The hydrogen peroxide you can usually find at your local health food shop or discount chemist.

I order my essential oils from Young Living as they work well, are the best value and are free from contaminants and adulteration. (I’ve spent years researching and trying loads of brands)

The Thieves dish soap I get from Young Living too because again, no nasties or hidden ingredients.

Use my referral number as a discount code if you’d like to try these too!

Did you know that fabric softener is one of the most toxic household products you can have in your home?

Apart from crazy ingredients like methylisothiazolinone , a potent skin allergen and glutaral, known to trigger asthma and skin allergies, they also contain synthetic fragrances.

Synthetic fragrances have been linked to cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions and they are in almost everything you can think of!

READ YOUR LABELS

When you start to look around your house and read the labels of your favourite products, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of chemical nasties, but do not fear. I always encourage people to take one step at a time.

Choose one room, one cupboard or one product, and switch it out for a safe, all natural product instead. Just be on the look out for greenwashing!!

What is greenwashing? This post explains it.

MAKE YOUR OWN

The beauty of making your own products is that usually they are very cost effective PLUS you know exactly what is in there. No hidden nasties.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED

  • 1 tbl of your favourite organic/chemical free conditioner
  • 10 – 20 drops of essential oil of your choice
  • 1 cup of distilled vinegar
  • 1 cup of warm water

METHOD

  1. Add all ingredients to a 500 mL glass jar or bottle and mix gently.
  2. Add a small amount to your wash as you normally would to soften clothes, towels and sheets.

DON’T HAVE TIME FOR DIY?

Here’s where I shop for all my family’s favourite personal care and household cleaning products. I’ve read the labels and they are 100% safe, effective and the company aligns with my values.

They also deliver to my door!

Use my referral code (1706951) for a 24% discount and go here if you want to learn more about how essential oils can bring so much beauty and good health to your life.

Greenwashing:

Greenwashing, also called “green sheen”, is a form of marketing spin in which green PR and green marketing are deceptively used to persuade the public that an organization’s products, aims and policies are environmentally friendly.

Yikes! Thanks Wikepedia.

I wish I knew about this 25 years ago when I had my first baby.

I eventually figured it out, but it wasn’t because somebody told me.

So here I am today to let you know, just in case you’ve never heard of it!

GREENWASHING

Greenwashing has been around probably as long as we’ve had people waking up and realising that the products they were putting on their family weren’t really that nice.

Companies recognised a trend that mummas and care-givers were looking for natural solutions and environmentally friendly products, especially those with little ones that were struggling with conditions like asthma and eczema. So they rebranded their products, or came up with some new ones, that would be more appealing and sell well in the market.

Sadly, greenwashing is a ploy to make you think you’re doing the right thing, using “natural” products, but when you dig a little deeper and research the ingredient list, you find out that what you thought you were putting on your brand new baby, isn’t “organic” at all and it’s actually really bad for the environment.

Yep, that was me. I trusted the company and brand because the label said things like “100% pure” and “organic”. It had a pretty picture of a cute baby and a serene earth and I thought, this HAS to be natural.

I was horrified to discover that what I was putting on my little one had ingredients that were linked to infertility, hormone disruption, asthma, neurological problems and skin allergies.

From that moment on I decided to always look closer and make sure the company truly delivers a product that is safe and beneficial to me, my family and the planet.

So how do you feel about greenwashing?

Let me know down below.

Once upon a time we didn’t call food organic or non-organic, it was just food.

Can we all just go back to that please?

It bothers me that organic farmers have to prove their organic-ness and pay for organic accreditation just so we, the consumers, know their food is just as nature intended. Shouldn’t it be the other way round?

I’m not an agricultural expert by any means but I have grown my own and know all too well the effort it takes to produce a crop without the use of synthetic pesticides.

And that’s just for my little backyard garden!

So, why do we want to avoid these nasty chemicals in the first place?

Pesticides are toxic chemicals designed to kill agricultural pests and unfortunately when consumed by humans have been linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, ADHD and even birth defects.

THE DIRTY DOZEN AND CLEAN 15

The EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ (aka Dirty Dozen and Clean 15) is updated each year and ranks pesticide contamination on 47 popular fruits and vegetables.

While this isn’t Aussie specific, it does give you a very good indication of the types of fruits and vegetables that are the most hard hit.

We don’t want to avoid any fruits and vegetables, so if you can’t buy local and organic, opt for an all natural fruit and veggie wash like the Thieves Fruit and Veggie Soak as a great alternative.

We actually use it even on our organic bought produce and it’s surprising to see what’s left in the water and the difference it makes to the longevity of our fresh food.

SUPPORTING LOCAL FARMERS

Many local farmers grow their crops using all or mostly organic practices but aren’t big enough, or simply choose not to, pay for accreditation. It makes sense to get to know them and ask them how they do things so that you can happily buy their produce and feel good knowing you are not only supporting them but also giving your family high quality and nutrient dense local foods.

Do you know where your local organic market is?

Or are you growing your own!

Let me know in the comments.

Nourishing your skin can be so simple using pure ingredients that promote a natural, healthy glow.

In this recipe we will be using a selection of the finest quality essential oils to moisturise and tend to the delicate needs of your facial skin and décolletage area while making you feel a million dollars.

Creating your own spa treatments at home can be so simple and affordable.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops Manuka essential oil
  • 2 drops Frankincense essential oil
  • 2 drops Geranium essential oil
  • 2 drops Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood essential oil
  • 60 mL pure Jojoba oil

METHOD

  1. Add all essential oils to a 60 mL glass dropper bottle.
  2. Top up with jojoba oil.
  3. Carefully invert back and forth to mix all ingredients.
  4. Use a small amount day and night after cleansing skin.
  5. Can be used on its own or before your favourite organic moisturiser.

NEW TO ESSENTIAL OILS?

Use my discount code 1706951 here.

And be sure to check out my free Essential Oils Course that goes through the basics of essential oils, how to use them safely, how to save money and everyday uses for your home, beauty, health and more!

Washing your hair after a hectic day is extremely satisfying and can even be part of your self-care practice. However washing too often can leave it prone to dryness and breakage. Have you ever experienced this?

Greasy or dirty hair never feels nice, so a great alternative in between washes is dry shampoo.

DID YOU KNOW?

Most conventional dry shampoo brands contain toxic ingredients that can cause allergic reactions, fertility problems and even cancer. This is another product on the shelves that needs to be avoided but thankfully you can make your own!

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:

  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 2 drops Cedarwood essential oil
  • 2 drops Rosemary essential oil
  • 1 drop Tea Tree essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cacao powder (for dark hair only)

METHOD:

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl, adding the cacao powder one tablespoon at a time until desired colour is reached.
  • Put in a container of your choice and apply with a makeup brush.
  • Leave for 2–3 minutes to absorb hair’s natural oils.
  • Brush through hair and style as desired.

Dry shampoo adds texture and keeps your hair feeling fresh for longer. It can even be used to help style your hair and give it some lift when it’s feeling a little flat.

Have you tried dried shampoo before?

Let me know if you try this recipe!

NEW TO ESSENTIAL OILS?

Use my discount code 1706951 here.

And be sure to check out my free Essential Oils Course that goes through the basics of essential oils, how to use them safely, how to save money and everyday uses for your home, beauty, health and more!

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