Benjamin’s We’re Making Class

Benjamin wanted to do some videos to show you how easy it is to bring DoTERRA essential oils into your life. This page will bring them together for you.

The first in our series is 2 simple roller balls for kids. One for when they are angry and one for when they need to calm down. For this you will need

2 x 10 ml Roller Bottles

Carrier Oil

DoTERRA Lavender, Frankincense and Balance oils

Cooling Spray

How are you finding this weather? We have made this great cooling spray to keep us cool why not have a go and let me know in the comments how you get on?

For this recpie you need

1 tsp witch hazel

50ml boiled water

DoTERRA peppermint oil

Green Cleaning and Toxins

Did you know that the average person puts over 500 chemicals into their bodies on any given day? From the washing liquid you use to the pesticides in your food we are bombarded with so many toxins our bodies are struggling to cope.

Wondering what you can do?

If you are thinking about reducing these toxins then essential oils can be a good starting point. It can be overwhelming I know when we first start to look. So let me guide you on your way.

How did I start?

I have used essential oils for many years for their aroma, but I had no idea of their other uses (there are tonnes!). When I was first introduced to DoTERRA someone suggested using a drop of lemon oil to get the sticky labels off things. Well I tell you I could not believe that the label on a jar I had been trying to get off for week almost fell off. This lead me to wonder what else could they do? So I started to look into it. And experiment, the first product I bought was the concentrated cleaning solution. This is a fab non toxic cleaning solution with the proprietary OnGuard blend. It is slowly replacing almost every cleaning product in my cupboard.

Home made dishwasher tablets

Do you know what I like most about it?

It’s not that the instructions say ‘if infested, dilute be drinking water’ (which they do). Or that it is allowing me to cut the number of toxins in my house (which it does), it’s not even that instead of 25 different cleaners I basically have 1! It’s that it’s so frickin good! It cuts through grease and grime in the bathroom, makes the taps sparkle, cleanse stuck on grease of the cooker and can be used as washing up liquid!

I still use some other products in my cleaning, but they are pretty much all ‘food grade’ like bicarbonate of soda, white vinegar and citric acid! Cleaning with natural ingredients (and of course essential oils) the house smells great!

Want to know more? Sign up to my newsletter in July for a more in-depth look at ways to clean your home in more green ways! (We will be looking at hair care in August). Or sign up for one of my free online classes for even more information

Sleep stress and starting fresh.

I have a 4 year old, you may have noticed, he is an adorable, loveable easy going child most of the time. But he has not been a good sleeper and he is quite empathetic. Over the course of the last few months as we have navigated moving him to a full sized bed, no nursery, grandparents or friends, we have reached time and again to our oils to help us.

Essential oils are well known for their mood boosting properties. The connection from our sense of smell to our limbus brain is strong, evocative and quick. When you get a smell that reminds you of something it almost takes you back there. Adam only believes he is on holiday when he can smell coconut and hot tarmac!

Some Essential oils don’t just work because of their smell but work within your bodies to support your mood. Not only this but the act of stopping to take a moment in your day to take some time for you can be really important. Just like on an airplane if you can’t breath (even if that is more figuratively than literally) you can’t help others. I have found by taking more time out for me I am actually able to be more there for B.

Because I trust in DoTERRA oils I have no problem in using them on and around B. He had several of his own roller bottles which he helped to make and had input into. The story and conversation around them helps because when we do have the inevitable melt downs (he is 4 after all). Then we have ways to deal with it. We are still working on language around this as it’s so hard to understand emotions when you are in your 30’s let alone a preschooler. But having the tools to calm in times of stress, ground when anger strikes, wind down at bed time, deal with growing pains or alleviate constipation all go a long way to helping deal with what is going on in the world today.

Last week my 2 year contract at the National Trust ended. I have loved working at Clumber Park and have had so many amazing experiences, but it is now allowing me to concentrate on this and give much more time to it. If you are wondering what oils I’m reaching for at the moment I am currently using a lot of Wild Orange and Adaptive (a new blend released next month!). They are helping me to be more flexible and cope with the ever changing world. As always frankincense and lavender are still big players as is my recent addition of copiaba to my bedtime routine.

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Rowan Bay Basswood

I was offered the opportunity to try this beautiful Tussah Silk wrap. It is from the Wild Wood Collection by Rowen Bay and is called Basswood. It is an un-dyed Ecru Wrap with burgundy Tussah weft. This is the first time I have tried a Tussah silk, so I was interested to try it. The pattern is based on a Tilia tree or Basswood.

Rowan Bay is a small British wrap maker that is very conscious of environmental impact and ethical sourcing. Have a read of owner Larissa’s blog post on her use of silk here.  (And keep an eye on the page for some more geekery coming from me.)

My first impressions of this wrap are that the nubs of silk make it have a beautifully textured look. When I opened it, B was adamant he was not going up in it and I was out for the evening so it was a couple of days before I got to play properly (although I do have to admit that I did have a play with a demo doll!). My first walk is an evening stroll in the early summer sun. The sun really catches the light on this wrap and it is truly a beautiful wrap.

It is a sturdy wrap, it is quite a heavy wrap for this time of year, but because of the silk it does not feel too hot. It is not at all diggy on my shoulders, but on the several walks I have done I have found that I need to re-tie more often than with some of my other wraps. This could be as it is not fully broken in (or just my poor wrapping ability coupled with an extremely wriggly toddler), but it is easy to tie off and worth the effort of the re-tie!

Overall, I think this would be the perfect autumn wrap. I could see beautiful woodland walks in the early evening sun in Autumn being particularly stunning. The softness combined with the sturdiness of it also make for a great toddler wrap and while I think it would be beautiful with a new-born I tend to shy away from anything hand wash for new-borns given the propensity of them to explode in one way or another!

Woven Wing Snowdon size 3

The next in my series of firsts is another beauty from the lovely ladies at Woven Wings. Snowdon is a Yak blend wrap. Yak is often suggested for winter and heavier children as it is warm and strong. But is still remarkably soft.

Snowdon is a giant Geo pattern, with a purple and brown colourway. On one side the colourway has a hashed appearance, this is the side I have predominantly been using. Snowdon belongs to Amy of The Carrying Works, and she kindly lent it to me over Christmas.

A day out at The Yorkshire Wildlife Park seemed like a good place to start (no yaks there, sorry). We let B run around and wear himself out, and then after lunch I scooped him up in a ruck with a candy cane chest belt.

This wrap is sturdy, it stays where you put it, I did have to readjust, but that was through B relaxing in and then falling asleep. I could not quite believe how supportive it felt. I only had a single layer and carried B for a couple of hours and there was no digging. We were also toasty warm despite the wind.

B obviously approved as he had a good long nap. I think a shorty is a great option in this wrap as it is so supportive and soft, that you can do a single layer. But it is also quite bulky, compare it to other wraps.

I have not played much with a size 3, and this wrap would definitely make me feel more inclined towards them, which is no bad thing because I have just won a size 3 Didymos wrap (review to follow)

Wings, Josephine Rabbit Size 4

Amy and I were sent the lovely Josephine Rabbit to play with for a sling social we ran at the end of last year. Before we sent it traveling, I thought I would give it a good play.

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Josephine is a natural linen and pale blue geo wrap. The subtleties of the colourway are beautiful. Being natural linen it is light weight, but this bunny has definitely been broken in. She is soft and moldable.

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I have reached for this wrap on several occasions over the week or so that I have had it and it has come with sleepy dust in droves, almost every time B has gone in it he has been fast asleep in no time.

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It is a sturdy wrap and feels really secure once up. It does have a certain amount of grip meaning that you do have to take your time getting a good wrap job, I don’t think it is one for sloppy wrapping, but then again I find that 4’s need a good wrap job more often than not anyway!

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I have also found that this wrap makes the perfect scarf. Because it is reasonably thin, it does not seem too heavy to use a size 4 as a scarf. Which makes it perfect to take out when you are unsure if you will need to carry, but it is really cold.

Wrapahula Opulance

I was invited to join a blogger’s tour for a brand new Wraphahula wrap. The one I was sent was from the opulence range. It is a blend of 50% combed cotton, 32% silk and baby camel blended yarn (50% of each) and 18% combed cotton. It feels really soft and not at all prickly.

March 503My first impression was just how much light and reflection there was. B needed a nap so I put him up in a Double Hammock with a chest belt. (There is no middle marker on this wrap so partly it was this carry because I misjudged the centre!). I was surprised just how supportive and how little movement there is. I feel like this is one of the best double hammock jobs I have ever done!

I’ve used it a few times now, it has needs to be carefully tightened, as it does dig in if it is not a neat job. But when you get it right it makes for a dream.

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I am even lucky enough to be sent it just in time for my grandma’s 90th Birthday party. It is the perfect wrap as it matches my outfit. Unsurprisingly, I got lots of comments about how beautiful it is. Other than the lack of middle marker I do find this wrap easy to wrap with, if you take your time and get it right it will pay you back.

Traveling with a sling

You may be thinking January is an odd time to write about travel, but I love traveling.  January is often a time we start to think about holidays. Over the years Adam and I have come to realise that we cannot give up our holiday as it is really bad for our mental health.  Of course traveling with  baby or toddler is a different proposition but we were keen to still go on holiday.  Our first holiday was a trip to Filey in North Yorkshire for a week.  My parents came for the weekend too.  B was 4 months old at the time.  Our next trip was to Turkey when B was 6 months old having been given the confidence that we could manage the trip.  This year we decided off the bat to have two holidays again.  We went to Greece  at the start of the summer (B was 16 months) and Italy at the end (B was 18 months).  The trip to Italy had been planned for quite a while as it was our 10th Wedding Anniversary and we wanted to go back to where we got married.

Collage Filey 2016
So that gives you an idea of the background for this article.  We would not have been able to do this without slings!  When we went to Filey, I had just learnt to wrap, we went in the car and did take the pushchair, we didn’t use it once!  I took several wraps and also a buckle carrier with us to Filey, and I used them all.  It was great to be mobile, and be able to get up to places and around.  We went for walks on the beach (it was a windy week, so being wrapped up and carrying B helped keep me warm).  We walked up to the Abbey in Whitby and in and around the town which is not somewhere I would have even considered with a pushchair.   It was great to be able to sit down for a meal while he napped and share experiences with him.  In all just enjoy a week of time with him with very few restrictions.

Collage Turkey 2016 Solar Weave

Our trip to Turkey involved an aeroplane.  We were worried about this.  We used a buckle carrier (Connecta Solar Weave) through the airport and it made life so easy.  We flew from Doncaster, which is a tiny airport, and found that the whole experience was really easy.  We did take a pushchair, but left it with our cases when we checked in.  So we were free to wander around the airport, have coffee and relax/entertain B.  For the flight I had decided to use a Ring Sling.  This was the perfect option as it is easy to have on loosely when he was just on my lap and tighten it when he fell asleep.  He was great on the plane and we even had comments on both our flights about how good he was.  We had selected the slings we took with us for heat.  The Solar Weave is a great option for summer wearing and was what Adam would use when he carried.  The Ring sling was  Soul linen borrowed from the Carrying Works along with a Wrapsody Bali Breeze.  I found the wrap much more comfortable for using for any length of time and we used that on our day trips.  The ring sling was good for going down to dinner as it was lightweight and also good for discreet feeding.  Being able to feed in the wraps made a lot of difference for me with my hungry boy!  All in all it was a great trip.  We did use the pushchair around the pool, so when B napped he could go in that and we could sunbathe.

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For our trips this year we have taken the JPMBB physio carrier which I reviewed here.  This is a great option for a slightly bigger child, as I tend to find the Solar Weave a little diggy now.  We again used this through the airport on both trips and he needed it on the way home on both!  Our trip to Greece was to Corfu, which has the worst airport I have ever been to.  We were in queue after queue and it was literally straight onto the plane once we finally got through security.  B was very unhappy, but then fell asleep on my back and slept through most of the process.  On the way back from Italy, he was asleep through security and because there was no metal on the carrier I was able to go through without waking him up.  This seems to be up to the airport or even the guard at the time whether they make you take the sling off, but it is a reason not to use a ring sling through the airport.

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We also predominately used the JPMBB for most of our day out use.  This was because I did not want to carry extra stuff with us and we wanted to share the carrying.  Adam does not wrap so although I did take a wrap on both trips and did use it a little, it was not nearly as much as the year before as B is much more independent and now wants to walk much more.  We were out and about a lot on both of these holidays, and we even managed to add some extra countries in (Albania and San Marino).  The carrier enabled us to climb stairs (A LOT OF STAIRS), go into cities and be free to not worry.  We did use the pushchair more in Italy as we were eating out every night and would take B in that, and he would invariably fall asleep in it at some point.   But on the whole the carrier gave us the freedom and confidence to be able to do a lot more.

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Tips

The weather conditions – look for a carrier with Mesh or a thin light weight for hot countries there are some great options out there.
The wearer – if there are two or more of you, make sure you take what will work for you both (That may mean more than one) but if you plan on sharing the carrier make sure that you have both tried it before you go.
HIRE – you don’t need to buy a sling for holiday.  If you are only going to use it a few weeks a year hire it from your local library, but remember to talk to them in advance to ensure they keep it booked for when you need it.
Don’t Hate your pushchair – It could be really useful, we found ours really handy around the pool etc.  but did not take our good one, and in Italy we hired one.
Use it at the airport (Check your Pushchair) – Not sure this needs saying but it gives real peace of mind for a bigger kid when the airport can be a busy hectic place, and can be great when you are pointing at planes together.

Prototype (Goodnight Moon)

My first play with this is with Bert. He is a demo doll who is approx 6 month size. I decided to do a Front Wrap Cross Carry, followed by a Poppins variation. The reason I was doing this with Bert and not B was that he was asleep and I was excited! This is the first wrap I have been given to test as part of my new role as a #wingsambassador this is something I am very humbled and excited about.

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So, the wrap. It is a tri-blend of cotton, merino and bourette, not something I have tried before. It is a navy and cream colourway and a new pattern for Woven Wings as it is a dashed lines going both vertically and horizontally. It can be worn either to be predominantly navy or predominantly cream. This is a prototype and the soon to be released Goodnight Moon will be 40% cotton, 33% Silk and 27% Marino.

I followed up the play with Bert with a short walk round the block (about 1.5k). I put B in a Ruck tied date night which, if you have followed me, is a favourite of mine! It was a relatively quick wrap job so not perfect, but this is a grippy and forgiving wrap. Perfect for winter, as it feels like it is snuggly and warm. It may well work in summer too, but I have not had an opportunity to play in warm weather!

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I have used this wrap almost exclusively for the last month (Yes, I have been lucky enough to have it for that long!).  I have tried so many carries with it, from short quick ups to long walks, that I know I have given it a really good work out.  I can honestly say I am in love and I am not the only one.  B is slightly obsessed with it.  He will stroke it and say “back” or “wrap” to tell me he wants to go up and the most unexpected times.  He also cuddles up with it regularly.

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In describing this wrap it is possible that I may use too many superlatives, so if I do I apologise.  This wrap is not the cushiest wrap to stroke but once you wrap with it, you will be blown away.  It combines all of the great qualities I love about Woven Wings, (great aesthetics, simple lines, great wrapping qualities and consistency) with everything that is amazing about a pocket weave.  You get a much thinner wrap for your comfort.  This is really hard to explain without getting too geeky, but a pocket weave is where two layers of fabric are woven together by the pattern, in this case the stitching.  I don’t know why, but this creates a much stronger fabric which despite its relative thickness is incredibly supportive.   It is like wrapping with a bandage, and is very forgiving of a poor wrap job, but also easy to wrap with.  Rob (Amy of The Carrying Works husband) had a play and told Amy she did not need to, because he knew (Rightly) that she would be in love with it if she did!

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This is now at the top of my Desperately In Search Of List.  Do you think they would notice if it never made it’s way back!?

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Woven Wings The Peacock size 7

This is the last review of the year! I was lucky enough to be sent this beautiful wrap to play with for a couple of weeks. It is a quad blend, 57% cotton, 20% linen, 15% merino and 8% silk. It is in the iconic droplets range and is the first one I have tried for any length of time.

Straight out of the bag I am in love with the colours. One side is very black with the colour popping out, the other is a beautiful shimmery green. Perfect for the run up to Christmas!

It arrives just in time for a day with Amy of The Carrying Works (photos by the lovely Rob AKA Mr Carrying Works). Amy has Singin’ In The Rain (SITR), probably the most famous droplets, so I thought some comparison shots would be good! There is a wider range of colours in SITR, but much more shimmer in The Peacock, it is also thinner.

So off we go to enjoy the wraps and lunch! I find it really easy to wrap with, even for a squirmy toddler, trying to get him to leave soft play!

A couple of days later, we had the switch on of our local Christmas tree lights, which I had been involved in planning. We went off to the event with B walking for a bit, but I had The Peacock ready for when his little legs got tired. I then threw him up in a double hammock for over an hour, it was super comfortable. (We even got asked to be in some photos by one of the sponsors!)

Overall this is a sturdy wrap considering how thin it feels. The shimmer makes you feel special even on a dreary day!

Merry Christmas and a Happy NewYear. I will be back in January!