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Being Gentle With Our Home

It’s hard to enter the gentle parenting ‘world’ without also rethinking the way you treat your health and the health of the environment around you.

I like to think that my husband and I were conscious of sustainable living and healthy eating waaaay before we had kids. But when I became pregnant with our first child in 2012, we really launched ourselves into ‘learning’ mode and began to truly look at the products we consumed on a daily basis… how they impacted our health, and how the use of them impacted our environment. It’s amazing how the addition of one small human can shift your world so much… how you can go from being so egocentric to then thinking of lives you won’t even be around to see 100 years down the road. What kind of world am I leaving for my kids? What kinds of policies am I voting on now that will impact the health and well-being of the earth and my children and my children’s children?

It’s these thoughts that led us to begin removing harmful chemicals from our home…as much as possible. It’s what led us to use cloth diapers and limit plastic dishes. It’s what led us to prioritize purchasing locally grown and/or organic whole foods. And it’s what led us to begin making many of our own body and home products such as deodorant, bug spray, all-purpose cleaner, hand soap, etc…


The first summer in our house back in 2010 was a wet, buggy one. Our backyard was always swampy. I hated going out there because I was repeatedly getting attacked by mosquitos. At that point I already knew that dousing myself in DEET was not a good thing, and I started looking for more natural methods of bug repellant. This is when I learned that lavender essential oil is a fantastic way to repel mosquitoes. I went and bought myself a little bottle of lavender, put some in a spray bottle with water, and sprayed myself and around my backyard any time I went out. I also bought a bar of Dr. Bronner’s lavender soap and used that in the shower. I went about three years without a mosquito bite. Crazy, right?

A few years later, when Clare was an infant, I reconnected with a high school friend who also had recently had her first baby. I mentioned using lavender as my bug spray. Her response? “You know there are a lot more oils out there, and so many more ways to use lavender, right?”

Nope. No. …no I didn’t really think about it…

It was at that moment that I was truly introduced to this amazing world of essential oils. It was as if a hundred doors and windows all opened up. SO MANY POSSIBILITIES!!!!

I stopped searching for effective deodorants that didn’t have aluminum or other harmful ingredients. I started making my own.

I stopped buying all different kinds of cleaners and soaps. I started making my own.

I stopped my never-ending quest for products that didn’t contain fragrance, coloring, and any other harmful additives.

I could make anything I wanted AND IT WOULD BE EFFECTIVE, CLEAN, AND HEALTHY.

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I made these scrubs for my sister’s bridal shower a few years ago!

I’ve opened the doors and windows for my family to be healthier.

My mother and sister have always had incredibly sensitive skin and allergies. Since I was young, we had to be mindful of the lotions, soaps, detergents, and hair products we used. We bought a lot of things with the “Free & Clear” label to make sure they didn’t include fragrance or additives that would give my mom and sister a reaction. Now they incorporate oils into their everyday lives with no reactions. Now they can have all the good-smelling body products they want; things they kind of missed out on having all those years ago since the fragrance and additives that gave all those products their yummy smell would make my sister’s skin break out and give my mom headaches. It’s a new world for them, too.

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Some of the oils in my collection
For the past few years I’ve built a small group under the name Hamburg Essential Oils. In my free-time (ha) I run informational make & take classes showing others how to make their own products so they, too, can stop searching. Become more self-reliant. More knowledgeable.

Interested in knowing more? You can follow my group on Facebook. You can send me your questions.

You can even sign up for your own starter kit and have your own life windows and doors blown open.become-a-member-flyer-2

And my friend who was responsible for this life-changer? She’s the one and only Mollie Vacco. Follow her here, and check out her site.

You can also get a couple of the recipes I use and make your own!

All-Natural Deodorant

Bug spray