Diffuser Sale

Are you ready for this? Spark Naturals has diffusers on sale this week – 15% off! That’s a pretty nice deal but it gets even better. You can still use a coupon code for another 10% off. That means you get a diffuser for 25% off!

Diffuser Sale

I absolutely love diffusing my oils. Not only does it make the room smell wonderful but you’re breathing in all the wonderful properties of the oils. I diffuse Respire almost every night to help with the snoring coming from the other side of the bed. Sometimes I diffuse Jeddy’s in the school room when we’re having a particularly difficult day. Sometimes I just diffuse something to smell nice – like lemon. Mmmm, love the smell of lemon!

Shop here for diffusers and don’t forget to add coupon code plainjane to get your full 25% off! Also any sale over $55 includes free shipping.


Summer Skin Care Sale

Spark Naturals is returning to Items of the Week. And this week the theme is Summer Skin Care. These are some of my favorite SN products.

Lavender is an all around favorite of mine for calming both mind and body. A fun tip – a drop of lavender in your mascara keeps it free from bacteria and helps it last longer.
Geranium is one I use with argan oil as my moisturizer every single day. My skin is soft with fewer blemishes and wrinkles (and yes, they’re starting).
Rose Water spritz is refreshing each day but especially in the summertime. It’s so cool and makes you feel lovely.
Witch Hazel is what I use as my daily skin toner but I also use it in a lot of first aid for cuts and especially bruises.
Carrot Seed is quickly becoming a favorite of mine for skin care. If I’m being completely honest, I don’t love the carrot smell but I can’t believe the results I’m getting with dry skin. Cookie’s skin has been really dry and though salve has been helping it wasn’t healing very fast. I started adding carrot seed oil and I see improvement every single day! Add a drop or two of carrot seed to a carrier oil or salve and you’ll be amazed at the results.

All of these are 10% off this week and you can get another 10% off with coupon code plainjane.


March Deals of the Month

Spark Naturals’ Deals of the Month for March have been announced and they include many of my favorites!





Eucalyptus Oil: Fantastic for congestion. Did you know that you can make your own VapoRub to use for chest congestion? No petroleum going into your body. I use coconut oil with a couple drops of eucalyptus. This is also a great oil for muscle pain. I use it in my blend for relieving a stiff neck along with rosemary and wintergreen.
Pure Touch: This is a blend of wild lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, fir, naiouli, melaleuca and peppermint essential oils. It was originally designed as a massage oil for relieving stress but can also be diffused to help relieve mental and emotional stress.
Citrus Kit: This kit contains grapefruit, lemon, lime, and wild orange. Citrus oils are some of my favorite oils because they are versatile. You can use them for cleaning your home; as an air freshener; in cooking; in your water to aid in digestion and weight loss. These four oils together in one kit are a great deal.
Rose Water: This is one my favorite beauty products. I spritz rose water on my face and all over daily. I feel like I’m going back to the days of my grandmother and earlier when they would use rose water as a beauty aid and perfume. It’s a delightful smell and always gives me a little pick-me-up.
5pk droppers (5ml size or 15ml size): These droppers are wonderful for being able to get a precise number of drops. Because essential oils are so concentrated, you must remember that less is more. Just a drop or two is enough. Sometimes the orifice that comes on the bottle doesn’t allow for counting drops so these droppers some in very handy. They come in two sizes depending on what size bottle you need them for. Be aware that storing them in the bottles can cause problems.
The Fragrant Mind book: Another excellent book by Valerie Ann Worwood, this one deals with emotional and mental health.

These deals are good for the entire month of March. As always you can get 10% off your entire Spark Naturals’ order with coupon code plainjane.

Master Bedroom – The Wallpaper

The Big Guy and I bought our current home just over 10 years ago. We had plans from the beginning on what changes we might make to the house. Not that it was a fixer-upper. On the contrary, it’s a beautiful home that suits us perfectly. But it’s an older home (over 30 years) and there are some cosmetic changes to be made. Of course right after we moved in, we started our family. It seems like we’d just decide on a project and there’d be a baby instead. So here we are ten years later with my first project still undone.

I loved everything about the house the minute I walked into it except for one thing: the wallpaper in the master suite. It’s not that it’s ugly. It’s just that I hate it. Really, really hate it. After two to three years, we decided to get the wallpaper out of the bathroom. What a project that was! It took forever – probably because I was also pregnant.

When the bathroom was done and I had two children to take care of, the bedroom had to wait. Then baby #3 came along and the bedroom had to wait again. But now! Now, it’s time!

Two days ago, we moved furniture out of the bedroom. Old broken desks – gone. Ugly dresser – gone. Bed – ready to be painted to go with the new room.

Yesterday, the Big Guy rented a steamer for the wallpaper. It took a while to get going but once we did, the wallpaper started peeling right off. It’s taking a little longer than we anticipated – but isn’t that the way it always goes?

Since this is really our first redo, I thought I’d share it with you. I’m excited to get to the end result. Mostly because – until the wallpaper is out and the room is painted – this full-size air mattress is our bed. Not delightful.






Here’s the room before (never mind the clutter, please – we were still sorting things out). Don’t you love the wallpaper?

IMG_4924 IMG_4923





Progress is being made!





Today we’re getting the carpet cleaned. Hallelujah!

More updates to come.

February Deals of the Month

Here’s another reason that I love Spark Naturals. For some time now, they have had special Item of the Week deals. Always fantastic but I can’t afford to place an order every week to take advantage of the deals. Well, I’m happy to announce that Spark Naturals will now be offering Deals of the Month. For an entire month, there are a number of specials – not just one.

For the month of February, here are the deals.
SN Feb 2015 DOTM




The Aromatic Kit This kit contains some the best aromatherapy oils and blends:
Wild Orange
White Fir
Ylang Ylang

Hemp Seed Oil is available in a 4oz bottle and an 8 oz pump bottle. This is one of my favorite carrier oils.

Lemongrass Oil is available in 5ml and 15ml bottles.

Amend + is an oil blend that is wonderful for muscle pain. This is a new blend for SN that’s similar to their original Amend blend but, whereas that blend is for soothing sore muscles, Amend + relieves pain. Caution: Amend + contains birch so if you are allergic to aspirin or are pregnant, you will want to avoid this blend.

Organic Body Care Recipes  I don’t have this book…yet. But it looks like a great place to start if you want to make your own skin care products.

Last but definitely not least, SN is introducing a new diffuser and it’s included in the deals of the month. This is seriously gorgeous and I want it. Zaq Bamboo diffuser holds more water and lasts anywhere from 6-12 hours depending on which mode you use.

I am so excited about the new Deals of the Month. It will be so much easier to put together a single order for the month and take advantage of the wonderful deals and products that Spark Naturals has to offer.

As always, get 10% off your entire order (whether it contains any of the deals or not) with coupon code plainjane.

Food Allergies, Part 1

When Cookie was about nine months old, she developed food allergies. At least, that’s when we figured it out.

Cookie 9mos

It all began so innocently. She was just starting to eat solid foods and doing really well. We went to a family birthday party and she got to have a few bites of birthday cake. All was fine. We went home and when I took her out of the car, I noticed her face was quite red. It was August so I didn’t worry much about it – assuming it was from the heat. In fact that entire incident would never have been remembered except that a few weeks later, I decided to let her try a bit of scrambled egg.

My older girls love to eat scrambled eggs and I was looking forward to fixing a non-yogurt breakfast for a change. One bite of egg and she seemed to like it. I turned from Cookie to put another bite on the fork and when I turned back to her, her face was red around her mouth and cheeks. Hmm…was her face red before? (Hey, I am NOT a morning person. Sometimes those details elude me.) So I put the next bite in her mouth and turned to fork up another bit. Upon turning back to her, I saw my sweetie’s now bright red face completely covered in hives.

Of course, I immediately threw the spoon down, scooped her up and washed her face and hands off and then called the pediatrician. We were referred to an allergist who performed the standard skin test. All that appeared on that test was egg, peanut, and wheat.

We knew about egg, of course. She had just begun having some wheat (goldfish crackers and that sort of thing) and we didn’t notice any problems. She had never been exposed to peanut so we weren’t sure if that was a true allergy or not. (As we were told at the time by the allergist, you must have a positive reaction to the test and a positive reaction to the food in order to really call it an allergy.) We came away from that appointment with instructions to use Benadryl and/or an EpiPen for allergic reactions. I was terrified to give her anything to eat.

Well a couple of months later, Cookie found some peanut butter and managed to touch it before I could stop her. That was all it took for her entire body to explode in hives. I put her in the bathtub, washed her clothes and wiped down anything and everything she might have touched and then promptly threw all peanut products away.

That left wheat. The allergist suggested we leave wheat out of her diet for three weeks and then try adding it back in. If there were no problems adding it back, then the test was probably a false positive. So we left out wheat for three weeks and when we added it back I never saw hives so I assumed she was fine. A food allergy always shows up in the skin, right? Except that wheat (which has always been her biggest skin-test reaction), unbeknownst to me, creates a different problem for her.

In the meantime, her skin was a mess and so we were given the usual lotions and prescription strength steroid ointments to heal it. Nothing worked.

Cookie 13 mo

(You can see how red her cheeks were. I couldn’t bring myself to take pictures of her feet, legs and arms.)

At about age 13 months, she suddenly stopped sleeping through the night. 2am to 4am religiously every night, she was UP! She’d scream and cry…and we didn’t know why. Then she wanted to play, talk, do anything but sleep. And there’s nothing you could do to get her to go back to sleep. I should also mention at this point that she had chronic constipation (which I’m sure played into the screaming at night). After about three months of this new nighttime routine and increasingly worsening constipation bouts, we decided to go gluten-free for her in addition to avoiding egg and peanut.

And when did we think would be a good time to start this experiment? Why, our first day of a 10-day vacation, naturally! Man, were we crazy! But we were also successful. I carefully researched restaurants in each town we stopped to find someplace with a gluten-free menu and then worked with the staff to customize a meal for her. Or, if we couldn’t find someplace, we’d find a grocery store and buy some yogurt. Wasn’t always easy but it worked! After about three or four days of being gluten-free, her constipation went away and she was regular for the first time since starting solid foods. This is when it dawned on me that she IS in fact allergic to wheat (and subsequently tested positive for barley and rye as well) but her allergic reaction is in her gut not her skin.

Of course she still wasn’t sleeping…but we’ll get to that later.

Meet My Crew

Now that you’ve met me, it’s time to meet the fam.

LadybugLadybug is my oldest. She’s gonna be eight already next month (I’m not sure where the time goes but it seems to fun there faster the older I get). Ladybug is a bit of a tomboy. She loves to build with Legos, play sports, climb anything, and play superhero. What she wants more than anything for her birthday is have a pocket knife (like Daddy) and a tool set. But she’ll play baby and Barbie with the best of them, too. She’s smart and head-strong and a perfectionist which can make schooling a challenge at times.

SunshineNext up is Sunshine who is five. No better nickname for her. She’s optimistic, sweet, and cares about everyone and everything. Sunshine is the ultimate girly-girl. I could probably count on two hands the times she’s worn pants since she started dressing herself. I can count the times because I remember the fights so well. She’s always in a dress and ready to impress. Dancing and singing, art and music, are her main focuses in life. But she always surprises me in what she likes. From airplanes and cars to snakes and football (watching not playing), the kid will keep you on your toes.

CookieThen we have Cookie. My surprise child, who the doctor thought I would miscarry, came into this world early and a full pound heavier than her sisters. This girl is determined to be here. Strong-willed doesn’t come close to describing my Cookie. She wants to be the boss of her sisters and of the house which makes for some interesting days. Like most two year old girls, she loves babies and furry animals. And for some reason we’ve yet to figure out she insists that she wants to “go home” at random times…usually when we’re at home already. She’s going to be a fun one as she gets older (and she’s already pretty fun right now).

SleepyOur Labrador used to be called “rambunctious” but, now that he’s 11 years old, we may have to start calling him “sleepy.” He’s a sweet boy who loves his girls and his Daddy. He just wants to be near us for his naps…or if there’s food. My sleepy boy had a German Shepherd “brother” that passed away last year. We miss him terribly and hope to get a new Shepherd sometime soon.


Last – and never least – is The Big Guy. We met when we were paired up in a wedding party close to 20 years ago. (So all those folks who say you’ll meet someone at a wedding…they just might be right!) He’s my rock, my best friend, and he drives me crazy. But I couldn’t have it any other way.