Sunday, May 17, 2015

roller girl

I'm a roller girl. I love my roller bottles. LOVE them. Don't get me wrong, I love me some aromatic diffusing when I'm at home. But, when I'm on the go - and let's face it, us moms are always on the go - I love me some roller bottles!

What's that you say? I'm talking about Essential Oils. I'm an oil addict and my oils have become my (and my family's) medicine, my life's prescription, my remedies from nature. Have an ailment? I've got an oil for THAT!

I'm sure a lot of people think Essential Oils are just hocus-pocus hippy stuff and a really don't think there is any science behind them. There are many scientific studies evaluating various Essential Oils with good findings, but it can be somewhat problematic as modern medicine tends to apply a reductionist theory, looking to isolate the "active" ingredient. A single essential oil may contain anywhere from 80 to 300 or more different and unique complex chemical constituents, with many of its constituents occurring in minute quantities, but all contributing to the oil's therapeutic effects.

Essential Oils are highly concentrated and very potent. For example, it takes approximately 22 pounds of rose petals to distill one 5mL bottle. That's a lot of roses!

Essential Oils contain tiny molecules that are lipophilic - what does that mean? It means these molecules can easily travel into and within our bodies, penetrating our skin, tissue and cells rapidly. This is why it is extremely important to have high quality, therapeutic grade Essential Oils that you know where they came from, how they were grown, extracted, distilled, tested, and bottled. I trust Young Living with their Seed to Seal promise.

Now back to my roller bottles. When you apply Essential Oils to the skin, they are directly absorbed into your body for a therapeutic effect. You can apply them to "warm points" near blood flow (wrists, behind ears), near your Central Nervous System (along spine, base of neck), directly to the area (muscle, cut/scrape, stomach) or even to Vita Flex points on your feet, hands and ears.

Because Essential Oils can help almost anything and everything, I feel like a modern day apothecary as I mix my roller bottles to help with our various ailments. I've started compiling and collecting "recipes" for combinations that have really helped us and I wanted to share them with you all.

Making a roller bottle is really easy. First you need supplies: you'll need a roller bottle (I like the 10mL size, amber glass), a carrier oil (I like grapeseed), labels (washi tape or 1in Kraft round) and high quality Essential Oils, like Young Living.

- My list of supplies from Amazon here
- Order high quality Essential Oils here

Next, ask yourself who you are making this roller bottle for - is it for an infant or a child? You'll want to use less Essential Oil - probably around 1 - 15 drops of Essential Oil total. If it's for yourself or another adult, I usually use around 30-60 depending on the blend I'm making. There are some roller bottle recipes with higher concentrations of Essential Oils for a stronger effect.

Lastly, let's mix! I add the Essential Oil first by counting drops straight from the bottle into the roller. Fill with carrier oil - I like to use plastic pipettes, but you could use a small funnel or just pour very carefully. Snap on the roll top and label your mixture.

Roller bottles can be made from your favorite single or pre-made blend. I make one called "JUST Lavender" and that is a great one to always have on hand. Here are some recipes that I use often and that work for us. I encourage you to experiment with mixes and blends and see what works for you and your family.

10 drops Thieves
5 drops Purification
3 drops Frankincense

Cough and Congestion / Cough Quieter
10 drops Lavender
5 drops Lemon
3 drops Frankincense
3 drops RC

Heart LOVE Joy / Happy Happy, Joy Joy
20 drops Joy
6-10 drops Citrus Fresh or Lemon

Patience in a Bottle
20 drops White Angelica
10 drops Valor

Boo Boo Blend
10 drops Lavender
10 drops Tea Tree
5 drops Frankincense

Sleepy Dust
15-20 drops Lavender
10 drops Peace & Calming
2 drops RutaVaLa (optional)

KEEP CALM and CARRY ON (anxiety blend)
10 drops White Angelica
10 drops Valor
10 drops Frankincense

Get Up N Go!
15 drops Citrus Fresh or Lemon
5 drops Peppermint
3 drops Joy

Fever Reducer
15 drops Lavender
3-5 drops Peppermint

I'll continue to add fun recipes here that I research and try. Please check back often! Please feel free to add comments; I would love to hear what you come up with! :)

Here's a couple more I want to try - I have Vetiver and Patchouli in my next order...can't wait!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

My Body, My Choice? Who does your body REALLY belong to?

Today I came across a Pin that reminded me exactly what I am fighting for, and that is Bodily Autonomy. What is that exactly? Well, this is what I read today...

"Every person has the unalienable right to control their own body, to maintain & keep that control & to decide what they do with it. Every person has control over their body and no one else." [SIC] 

After reading, this and the subsequent blog post this Pin is from, my mind kept saying, yes, yes, YES! THIS is what the fight against SB277 is all about, and this is exactly WHY I am so passionate about it.

My friends and family have seen this passion lately, perhaps leading them to say, "wow, I didn't know she was 'anti-vaccine.' I wonder if her kids are vaccinated. I bet they aren't." Well, that's the thing...I'm not good with labels. If you are really curious what I believe, you can read my blog post here where I talk about "the middle."

But, I'll tell you what I DO believe. I believe that no one should be able to force me, my children, or anyone, to have a medical procedure without their/my consent, especially one that is not without risk. Can anyone say that any medical procedure is completely without risk? Let's forget about risk anyway, that is another debate, what we are talking about here is a FORCED medical procedure! I don't care if it is the safest thing on the planet; I don't care if it will save another person's life; I don't care if it will save a million lives - IT IS MY BODY!

Does that sound selfish? I don't mean it to. I mean certainly we are selfless people, right? What if you were in a car accident, went to the hospital unconscious, and woke up with a large part of your liver removed. You didn't lose part of your liver because of the car accident. The doctor said it was because there were three other people who needed a transplant, so while you were unconscious, they decided to take part of your liver for those other people. You know, for the greater good.

Next you ask why you feel so weak. The nurse says they took 100 liters of your blood while you were unconscious because you have O(-) blood (universal donor) and there were 10 other people who desperately needed some blood. You'll be able to regenerate your blood, and in a few days, be back to normal. It's okay, right? Because, you know, greater good and all.

What about the "right to choose"? The abortion debate. Pro-Life. Pro-Choice. So, does Pro-Choice = Pro-Death? No no NO!! It does NOT! Bodily Autonomy is what this debate is/was all about for Pro-Choicers. Women, people, individuals were fighting for their RIGHT to make their own decisions about their own bodies. It was upheld in the Supreme Court, that not even another "fetus, entity, being, life" (debatable definitions) can infringe on another person's right to maintain their own Bodily Autonomy.

What about a lifeless body? Someone who is deemed brain dead. Can we harvest this person's organs without their, or next of kin's, consent? NO! But, what about all the good these organs can do? Still, no. NOT without consent.

Did you ever see scary movies about medical procedures done without consent in asylums or prisons? This wasn't just in the movies. We used to do some pretty crazy things here in the United States, like lobotomies and sterilizations, before someone finally realized, "Hey, this is not right. We need consent. We can't just violate an individual's right to Bodily Autonomy."

Okay, let's get even deeper here. What about the Holocaust? Yup, medical procedures being forced on individuals against their will, certainly without consent. But, Hitler said it was for the greater good. Did that make it okay?

Guys, are we seeing a pattern here? Let me say this loud and clear: I am not ANTI-VACCINATION, but I am passionately, and most definitely adamantly, PRO-CHOICE, PRO-MY BODY, MY CHOICE, PRO-CONSENT, PRO-BODILY AUTONOMY. And, lastly, but definitely not least, I am passionately and adamantly OPPOSED to SB277.

SB277 aims to FORCE school children to be injected with a multitude of vastly unnecessary (another debate) vaccines in order to attend public or private school, nursery school or day care. Before you say, but but but you can that I say, REALLY? Is that REALLY an option? Not for me and not for the majority of families. I am a taxpayer and my children have a right to a public education, which uses taxpayer money, my money.

Please, readers, all of you, this is NOT about pro vs anti vaccination, this is about PRO-CHOICE and ANTI-FORCED medical procedure. Plain and simple. Want to increase vaccination rates? Okay, let's figure out it. But, let's not do it by force. And, if you are still in support of SB277, then this post is for you.

brave new world: Vaccine Checkpoints at International Terminals and Disneyland

The plane has finally touched down in LAX after a long journey across the country and over an ocean. You and your spouse are exhausted. All you want to do is get to your hotel room, order room service and put the kids to bed. But, your kids have another idea - they are practically racing down the gangway, shouting "Disneyland, Disneyland!"

You can't help but feel their excitement, but you know the destination is still a bit far off. You and your family must still make it through customs, gather your baggage, find transportation...and, what's this, a medical checkpoint? 

You read about this before travelling, but wasn't quite sure what it would actually involve. You see several stations with medical personnel looking over documents, referring to diagrams and checking and re-checking paperwork. Off to the side, you see what looks to be a patient holding area, already crowded with people from around the world, of all ages, from infants to great grandmas. There are several nurses at other stations within this area administering various injections. There are stretchers, IVs, blood pressure cuffs, stethoscopes, medicine cabinets - a regular field hospital right there in the airport.

As you and your family shuffle toward the first station, you dig for your medical documentation. At the last second, you realize you can't find the shot record for your 6yo. You start rifling through everything, EVERYTHING, every bag, crevice, nook, cranny, hoping it is here. It must be here! You know what this means if you can't find it. Shots. All of them.

It's not there, you realize. You start discussing your options with your spouse. It's really two choices: return to your home country or have your 6yo get injected with the "minimum 6" and continue your trip to Disneyland. You both decide to go ahead with the injections, what could go wrong? If it's mandated, it must be safe, right?

Your 6yo is visbily upset, tears streaming down her face. You tell her it will be okay, that she will see Elsa and all the princesses very soon and go on "It's a Small World," anything to distract her.

After waiting for what seems like hours upon hours, the injections go off without a hitch. You continue on your way, retrieve your luggage, get the rental car and you are off to the hotel...finally. All is well, right?

As you drive up to the hotel, you realize your 6yo has been really quiet the whole ride from the airport. You feel her forehead and she's burning up. After getting settled in the room, you give her Tylenol and pray her fever goes down. She seems restless all night long...and so are you. Morning comes and you and your spouse are both exhausted from being up all night, holding a cold compress to your daughter's head.

As you pour a cup of mediocre hotel coffee, you both realize Disneyland will not be on the agenda today.

* * * 

The Measles Outbreak at Disneyland in California in 2014 and 2015 spurred a rash of legislation fed by public fears of un-vaccinated individuals. Despite numerous attempts by Civil Rights activists to block this legislation, the laws passed. Local, state, federal and supreme courts are flooded with lawsuits, but the law remains. Mandatory vaccinations for everyone.

It started with school children, but outbreaks continued annually and a small, but barely majority public cried for further vaccine laws. The diseases must be coming from out of the country, they said. 

The International Disease Immunization Operation for Tourism, or IDIOT, was enacted in 2019, despite opposition from many of our International Allies. It created medical checkpoints at every International Terminal in the United States, with additional checkpoints at all borders to be established NLT 2030.

Because of the media attention, some of the most popular tourist destinations, like Disneyland, took it upon themselves to create additional checkpoints prior to admission into their establishments, even administering vaccines on the spot as needed.

The unvaccinated now live in the shadows, off the grid. Communes have popped up all over, welcoming those shunned by society, wanting to live a more natural lifestyle. Many baby boomers remark that it feels a bit reminiscent of the Sixties. The country is dividing, deeper and deeper. Others feel it is a bit reminiscent of the unrest before the Civil War. Either way, a revolution is on the horizon. Where do we go from here?

Saturday, February 7, 2015

essential oils: natural healing, oh what a feeling!

When I became a mom, you have a whole new level of responsibility. Responsible for the health and welfare of other's lives, literally! If I didn't care before, now I was researching just about everything! Food, clothes, schools, parenting techniques, sleep, you name it.

Where I really felt helpless as a mom was when my littles would get sick and, if they are under 2, there is not a whole lot you can do for them. Options ranged from steamy shower, to saline spray, and really just comfort care. I wanted more! I wanted to heal them!

I have always been drawn to essential oils. I think I am really sensitive to smell, and I knew that even just inhaling them could bring about a mood change in myself. Has the smell of Lavender made you feel better and more relaxed? Or, maybe the smell of Citrus invigorated and energized you?

The Olfactory Pathways in your nose go right to your brain and the limbic system (for one). The limbic system is the house for emotions in the brain. No wonder smells can effect moods!

As I learned more about essential oils and their healing properties, I learned that much like herbs, they can also be healing in the form of nature's medicine when applied topically or even inhaled via microdroplets from a diffuser, and, yes, even ingested, with caution and proper care. This is potent medicine, folks!

What is important to differentiate here is between essential oils you can buy at a local store, and therapeutic grade, pure essential oils. The former is mainly for "aromatherapy" and smelling nice, the latter is actually therapeutic for the body. You can even smell the difference! And, that's what did it for me.

Premium Starter Kit from Young Living
A good friend of mine got a Premium Starter Kit from Young Living and I was literally blown away by the pure, fresh, potent smell of these oils. I had dabbled in what I thought was "therapeutic grade" essential oils that I purchased through a co-op, but the ones from Young Living smelled way different. To me, they smell like exactly what they are supposed to be and nothing else. Maybe it comes from my "wine" nose...being able to detect nuances in blends, but I tell ya, the NOSE KNOWS.

I think I went home and ordered my PSK that night.

I could not wait for it to arrive and I have been living the oily life ever since. I now feel empowered to do more than just comfort care when my kids are sick. I also have tools to boost their immune system and keep the bugs away. I have tools to improve their mood when they are cranky or grumpy. I have tools to help them sleep or calm down from an extra "exciting" mood (ha ha...moms, you know what I mean).

Not only for my kids, but for me, too. Oh yes, I still get grumpy, and cranky, and have sleepless nights, and my husband snores, and we get sore muscles and strains, and migraines, and on and on...and there's an OIL for THAT! Not only health, but keeping the household clean in a natural way.

I used to use scented candles, now you can find me diffusing pretty much every day, and it actually has a therapeutic purpose vs just smelling nice. I enjoy making my own cleaners, and bath soaks, and sanitizer sprays. My DIY recipe list is growing to bath bombs, lip balm, healing salve and homemade sunscreen...yes, there's an OIL for THAT!!

Anyway, I love them SO much I decided to become a distributor and share the love. I noticed when I was sharing my journey, friends were interested, so I thought, cool, I can help with that!

Want to purchase from me and begin your healing journey?

Here's my obligatory link:
Order Premium Starter Kit from Suzanne!!

When you purchase from me, I will also help you every step of the way! I will help you find all the answers you need in how to use your oils and for the purposes you need. I'll add you to our massive Facebook group of over 8000 members that is an awesome resource for learning and sharing and asking all about EOs. And, IF you want to become a distributor yourself (and that's a big IF because you NEVER have to) the support system for our team, the "Lemon Droppers" is beyond amazing. We are the fastest growing branch of Young Living and if you end up joining, you will surely see why. We LOVE our OILS!!!! The PASSION is contagious!!! Catch IT!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

the middle

Measles at Disneyland. Measles in Orange County. Measles in San Diego. The only thing I'm sure of at when I see stories like this on the news is that it will undoubtedly incite the vaccine debate wars. I will see tons of "articles" on newsfeeds blaming and shaming the anti-vaxxers. I will see countless more posts of moms trying to defend their reasons and choices. I see friends at war. I see dividing lines. Do you vax or not? What side are you on? You have to pick a side and staunchly tell the other side how wrong they are. That's the way it works in this debate.

It's incredible how polarizing this argument is, however it would be so much more logical and effective for the greater good if each side could take into consideration the valid points of each side's argument. This is where I stand. The middle.

Debate is good. I shouldn't fear this debate, but I do because it is SO POLARIZING. But, without debate, without questioning, our society would be in status quo forever.

Let's talk about a different debate. One that is not so charged. I am thankful for the people who have lead the 'Food Revolution.' Questioning where our food comes from, how it's being grown, pesticides, questioning GMOs, questioning Monsanto: this revolution is bringing about awareness and healthy change.

You can look at any movement in a similar way - when a large body of people question "is this really the best way to do something?" I question most everything in life for myself, my kids, my family. I question feeding them McDonalds so why wouldn't I question something that is injected into their little bodies. It's so hard to know what is the right thing to do as a parent and we want to cause the least amount of harm. When you really look into the ingredients of vaccines and their side effects, it is really quite scary. Certainly scary enough to put fear into any mother. Are we really producing vaccines in the safest possible way? The "question vaccine" movement has already helped identify and protest against toxins that have now been removed from vaccines. That is a step in the right direction! Let's keep going! 

Are vaccines beneficial, important and vital to our lives and our society? Yes! Is the age we give them, frequency, and schedule at which we give these vaccines appropriate? I'm not so sure. What about the ones we are giving? Are they ALL appropriate? Nope. Why are we giving newborn babies the HepB vaccine? It's a disease associated with sexual transmission and IV drug use. I'm thinking that vaccine is probably not necessary for my newborn baby, so let's question it! I did once and the answer I was given as to why it is protocol to give it to babies is because they can't often be sure the mother doesn't have HepB in certain populations, and if the mother has it, she can pass it to her baby. Thus the vaccine at birth. Well, that's great for populations with high prostitution and IV drug use, but I'm pretty sure you can exclude me and my baby from that. 

Here's me. I completely vaxxed my first child on the government recommended schedule, with a few exceptions. I declined HepB at birth (because above reasons) and delayed MMR by 6 months. I have also declined flu shots on most, but not all occasions. Why did I do or not do any of this? Well, I think I was starting to "question vaccines" and educate myself a bit more about them, but yet I do still believe they are important. I come from a science background, worked at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals for 8 years, and I understand the history of vaccines and how they work and why they are so important. I'm no stranger to the innovations in medicine that have helped reduce death and improve life. BUT, I am also a mother who is now responsible for the health and happiness of another life. I now question EVERYTHING. It is not just deciding if I was okay putting something in my body, but now I had to make that decision for another life.

It led me to recall a time when I was in the Army. I was forced into many, many vaccines while serving our country. I did not have a choice. But, I went along with it. That's what we all did. But, I did take note and I did question some things. I was given duplicate vaccines so many times it was mind-bottling (Will Ferrel). They said you could carry your shot record with you so they didn't give you vaccines you already had, but that was never the case, they always gave them to you anyway. I once had to get 6 vaccines at one time. It was going to be 2 in each arm and one in each cheek. By the time they finished the 4th, I was extremely lightheaded. One the 5th, I could barely stand. On the 6th, I passed out. Lost consciousness. That has still to this day been the only time in my entire life that I have lost consciousness in a way that was not on purpose, like surgery.

And, now I'm about to put 6 vaccines into my newborn, baby, child at one time? I was a grown adult and I passed out. What would happen to my baby? Something just didn't sit right with me and it still doesn't. However, I let the doctor inject those 6 vaccines at once. I think I was also scared not to at the time. She was grumpy, fussy and had a mild fever, but I have no way of asking my newborn how her legs feel where the injections went in, if she has a headache, if she has blurry vision or just feels "funny." She did fine. I think? I will probably never know if that caused any harm or not. I won't deny that I have thoughts to this day wondering if those vaccines may have triggered something when I see my spirited first born struggle with her emotions, having tantrums a little bit crazier than other kids, and acting in ways that sometimes have me question if she is possibly "on the spectrum."

Something in me had changed by the time my second was born. She is not quite two as I'm writing this, and she is as of now, un-vaxxed. Do I plan to vaccinate her? Yes, at some point. When I feel she is strong enough and can communicate with me. I also plan to space out her vaccinations to no more than two at a time. And, I probably won't do all the "recommended" (read mandated) ones.

So, back to my point, is it possible to meet in the middle? Pro-vaxxers - can we start taking a look at the schedule and type of vaccines we are giving? Can we question if the ingredients are completely safe? Can we take a look at the side effects to be sure we as parents are okay with that risk? And, anti-vaxxers - can we take into consideration where we live and the potential for disease? Are you in a remote commune with little or no contact to the outside world? Okay, no vaccines for you. Are you in an area of high tourism, do you travel internationally, are you in a big city and actively engage in activities with lots of other people? Maybe certain vaccines would benefit to your children at certain times in their life. Let's not just say no to all, but let's take a closer look.

I will say one thing about this whole debate that does really get my goat and puts me in that "polar" area and that is the mandated nature of our vaccine system. It seems very totalitarian in a country that is born of freedom of choice. I dislike being forced to inject myself or my child with something that is not completely safe. But, I don't really like being told what to do in general. In California we are fortunate to have "opt-out" forms, even though those are being legally attacked, but not so in other states where choosing to go against the mandated schedule is illegal.

In closing, let's remember debate is good. Let's seek to educate, not alienate. Let's find a better way for our future. Let's continue to question everything that doesn't seem quite right. THAT is the scientific way. THAT will lead to enlightenment, discovery and innovation. THAT will lead to a better future for all.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


I've been wanting to start a blog for a while. An online diary of sorts, but not so secretive. I often want to write, reflect, discuss, but I find myself very busy raising two little girls. It is all consuming. without much time for myself.

As much as motherhood has rocked my world, it is also who I am now. It is the current chapter of my life. I've found myself returning to my roots, figuring out my values, discovering and learning things I never imagined I would. But, who was I before this?

I was born to a carefree, hippy family and raised among the lively Harvest Festivals and Renaissance Faires that my parents sold puzzles at. It left quite an impression on me and also a lust for life. I also had a practical side and knew early on that the "key" was excelling at school, doing well to get into a good college.

Well, I did. I got in to all colleges I applied to, save one (but that's another story). I went to the University of California, Santa Barbara, because the school was beautiful, quaint, and looked fun. My mom said, if you were a really good teacher, where would you want to live and teach? Stinky, smoggy LA or by the beach in SB. Good point.

I fiddled and fumbled my way through college, dabbling in a veritable plethora of classes hoping that something would "stick" and it would become my major. It did and I chose Biology. I still have a love for Biology to this day. But, back then, Biology wasn't enough. What would I DO with that major? Doctor? The hustle of getting into med school was a huge turn off. Research Lab? Did I really want to be locked up in a lab all day? Army? Sure, why not?!

Biology did not lead me to the Army. In fact, many asked how the two were related. They weren't. I just enjoyed them both! Yes, I actually did ROTC in college and joined the Army because I enjoyed it.

The Army was a great answer to "what are you planning to do after college?" I stayed in the Army for 4 1/2 years, just enough to pin on Captain before I got out. It was a tremendously amazing experience and definitely a blog topic for another day.

It was easy to get a job with my experience as an Officer in the Army, especially being that I was computer, networking and telecom trained exiting the Army at the height of the dot-com phenomenon. I had my choice! Silicon Valley was calling but San Diego had my heart. I missed the beach and community feel of my hometown, and San Diego seemed to have all that with the opportunities that came along with a bigger city. It also seemed to have a hoppin' singles scene.

I relocated to San Diego in mid 2000. Worked for a techie company for a year and a half, but was laid off during the dot-com bomb. Got a job at Pfizer in Pharmaceutical Sales and remained there for 8 years, until I was laid off during a restructuring.

I got pregnant about two months after I was laid off from Pfizer. It was not a huge surprise, considering my job at Pfizer had become incredibly stressful for me. That first year after I was laid off from Pfizer was probably one of the best of my life! My stress was gone, I was blissfully pregnant and planning a gorgeous wedding and vacation in Puerto Vallarta. That is the last time I remember being truly, truly joyful and happy, without a care in the world.

Then came baby.