How to Get Started With Essential Oils


* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.

 

By guest contributor Jade Cardy of Yurtigo.

Essential oils are all the rage right now, but they can be intimidating if you don't know how to use them. Learn everything you need to know to get started using essential oils in this comprehensive guide, complete with recipes for homemade essential oil blends and answers to common questions about essential oil usage and safety.I’ve always liked essential oils. I used to buy them to diffuse in my apartment to make the room smell nice. Or I would make a body spray to make myself smell nice. I had no idea the health benefits that lay hidden within these amazing oils. 

My official essential oil journey began one day last year when I was looking into natural hair care. Since we moved off-grid we do not have running water, so I wanted to find something I could use to nourish my hair and scalp between showers. I saw a YouTube video that mentioned using essential oils and misting your hair and scalp. I was curious to give it a try, so I joined a few online essential oil groups to start my research, and dove head first down the rabbit hole.

I didn’t initially realize the strength of essential oils. I had thought they were natural perfumes, rather than medicinal tools. The more I learned, the more I realized I knew very little about essential oils.

I was drawn to the safety groups. I spent hours pouring over previous posts and videos. And more hours learning about solubilizing, diluting, dispersing and emulsifying.

I learned the difference between hydrophilic and hydrophobic substances and how they interact. I learned which oils were unsafe for pets, kids and pregnancy. I learned about maximum dilutions, as well as safe dilution percentages to make skin tonics versus room sprays. I took notes on many different recipes for different products, while creating a wish list of essential oils. After quite a few months of research, I was ready to get my hands on some oils.

After doing even more research on essential oil suppliers, I chose to deal with Plant Therapy (affiliate link). The quality of their products, coupled with their free essential oil safety education, outstanding customer service, and their price point made them the choice for me.

Plant Therapy also provides batch-specific GC/MS reports for their customers to review on their website, which test the quality and purity of each oil. These reports are important because they show the breakdown of the main chemical constituents that give an essential oil some of its therapeutic properties. The safety considerations of each individual oil are also determined by their chemical profile.

I spent a little over two weeks studying Plant Therapy’s menu. I quickly figured out that the gift sets were the best value, so I ordered gift sets #1 and #4 to get me started, which comprised of Cinnamon Cassia, Eucalyptus Globulus, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Orange Sweet, Peppermint, Rosemary  and Tea Tree.

While I waited for my order to arrive, I delved into researching what I could make with these oils. This was when I learned the true importance of using the proper carrier with essential oils.

 

What’s A Carrier Oil And Why Do I Need One?

I had always thought I could simply mix my oils with tap water, apply and be done. But since oil is hydrophobic, it doesn’t mix with water. Shaking it vigorously doesn’t mix the two, it simply disperses the water and oil molecules into smaller particles. So you could potentially be applying essential oils “neat” to your skin, which is basically undiluted essential oil on your skin. This can lead to sensitization and problems later on, to the point of potentially not being able to use essential oils anymore.

The solution? Use a carrier oil.

Oil lasts longer on the skin, so you’re going to get the most out of your essential oils. Oils also dilute essential oils very well so they are safe to use topically, and most don’t need preservatives.

Oils also have a fairly long shelf life. Fractionated coconut oil is a popular choice, since it is in liquid form and can be sprayed on. Different oils have differing therapeutic properties and comedogenic ratings, so depending what you are planning to use them for, you may want a few different carrier oils. See the chart below to help determine which oil is best for you.

Essential oils are all the rage right now, but they can be intimidating if you don't know how to use them. Learn everything you need to know to get started using essential oils in this comprehensive guide, complete with recipes for homemade essential oil blends and answers to common questions about essential oil usage and safety.

 

Using Water As A Carrier

Water is still an option to use as a carrier for essential oils, there are just a few rules to follow.

First off, if you are going to use water, it has to be distilled; otherwise, the essential oils could bond with impurities in the water which can lead to health problems. Also, if you are using distilled water you will need to use a preservative to prevent anything harmful from growing in it. The only exception to this is if you use up your concoction within a few days, and you keep it in the fridge.

Finally, if using distilled water and wanting to apply topically, you will want to use an emulsifier such as castile soap, or a solubilizer such as grain alcohol. This will help dilute the essential oils and allow them to mix with the water so they are safe to put on your skin. An added benefit of grain alcohol is it also acts as a preservative, so it works double duty. 

 

Essential Oil Safety

If you are thinking of getting into essential oils, I would recommend joining a few essential oil safety groups to learn the basics. Robert Tisserand is an excellent source of information and the Safe Essential Oil Recipes Facebook Group is one of my go-to’s to ask questions and learn about essential oil safety.

Do some research. Read up on the oils you have or are interested in getting. I recommend the book Essential Oils Natural Remedies: The Complete A-Z Reference of Essential Oils for Health and Healing if you’re looking for a comprehensive reference guide to essential oils.

And learn the dilution charts. These charts are an amazing resource for when you’re ready to make your own products. They tell you how many drops of essential oils to add to a particular volume of carrier, in order to get a certain dilution percentage. See the graphic below on dilution guidelines for essential oils. I like to start all my creations at around 1-2% dilution so I don’t waste any oils. I then add more as necessary.

 

Getting Started With Essential Oils

I’m often asked, what are the best oils to get when starting out? A lot of it really depends on what you are planning to do with the oils. My initial intentions were for hair and scalp care, bug repelling, respiratory aid and to reduce anxiety and depression.

Here are my top 6 suggestions in order of how often I use them:

Lavender – soothes skin, calming properties.

Frankincense Serrata – skin care, anti-inflammatory, meditative properties, respiratory aid.

Patchouli – skin care, odor eliminator, soothing, meditative properties, alleviates nervous tension and worry.

Peppermint – energizing, soothing, cooling, queasy stomach aid, bug repellant.

Tea Tree – skin care, cleans air, bug repellant, antiseptic, antimicrobial, antifungal, good for minor cuts & scrapes.

Cedarwood Atlas – scalp care, bug repellant, respiratory aid.

You don’t need to have a lot of oils to get started. It’s actually easier to start small with two or three oils and get to know them really well. Learn about their benefits and what other essential oils they blend well with. As you learn more about your oils and how you want to use them, you’ll notice where the gaps in your collection lay.

Essential oils also have a shelf life, so best to start small to avoid wasting money on oils you never use or don’t know how to use.

Essential oils come in singles and synergies. Singles are one essential oil, while synergies are a blend of essential oils. I like to buy singles and make my own blends, though there are many great synergies out there that help with bug repelling, sleep, mood, germ fighting… the list goes on.

Here are a few of my go-to blends. I’ve included my full recipe, as well as a modified version for those with a more basic set of essential oils.

 

My Top Homemade Essential Oil Recipes & Blends

Essential oils are all the rage right now, but they can be intimidating if you don't know how to use them. Learn everything you need to know to get started using essential oils in this comprehensive guide, complete with recipes for homemade essential oil blends and answers to common questions about essential oil usage and safety.

 

Bug Spray Essential Oil Blend

1 oz. Witch Hazel
1 oz. Distilled water
9 drops Lavender
6 drops Citronella
4 drops Patchouli
4 drops Peppermint
1 drop Lemongrass

Add witch hazel to spray bottle, then add essential oils. Shake well. Top up spray bottle with distilled water. Be careful not to overfill. Shake well before using. The above recipe can also be made into a topical spray or rollerball by substituting the witch hazel and distilled water for your favourite carrier oil. Diluted at 1.5% but can be increased up to 5%. Recommended for short term use.

This recipe is for clothing and furniture only, must be kept in the fridge, and should be used up within a few days. Apply to clothing, furniture, doorways… anywhere mosquitoes are present.

* Modified version: 8 drops Lavender, 4 drops Cedarwood Atlas, 4 drops Patchouli, 4 drops Peppermint, 4 drops Tea Tree.

After-Bite Essential Oil Blend

1 tsp. Sesame oil
2 drops Frankincense Serrata
2 drops Lavender
2 drops Orange Sweet
1 drop Copaiba
1 drop Palmarosa
1 drop Patchouli
1 drop Tea Tree

Add sesame oil to a roller bottle or a clean, empty essential oil bottle, then add essential oils. Shake well. Apply to bites as needed. Diluted at 5% which is safe to use topically on a short term basis. Dilution can be increased up to 10% if needed.

Modified version: 5 drops Lavender, 3 drops Frankincense, 2 drops Tea Tree. You can make any blend out of Lavender, Frankincense and/or Tea Tree oil. Play around with them to create your favourite After Bite scent.

 

Related: DIY Essential Oil Rollerballs 

 

Mojito Foaming Hand Soap

1/4 cup Castile soap
2 tsp Jojoba oil (or carrier oil of your choice)
1 tsp Vegetable Glycerin (if you have it)
10 drops Lime (or substitute Grapefruit Pink, Lemon, or Orange Sweet)
10 drops Peppermint

Mix ingredients in an 8oz. foaming soap dispenser. Shake well. Fill the rest of the dispenser with distilled water. Don’t overfill. Use up within a few days. Diluted to less than 0.5%.

Some other amazing blends for foaming hand soap are:

Calming: 10 drops Cedarwood Atlas & 10 drops Lavender.

Grounding: 8 drops Lavender, 7 drops Frankincense Serrata, 5 drops Patchouli.

Soothing: 10 drops Lavender & 10 drops Lemon or Grapefruit Pink. 

Germ Fighting: 6 drops Eucalyptus Globulus, 6 drops Lemon, 6 drops Rosemary, 1 drop Cinnamon Cassia.

Immune Boosting: 4 drops Frankincense Serrata, 4 drops Tea Tree, 3 drops Eucalyptus Globulus, 3 drops Lemon, 3 drops Orange Sweet, 3 drops Rosemary.

Holiday: 10 drops Cinnamon Cassia & 10 drops Orange Sweet

Menstrual Cramp Relief

1 oz. Coconut oil
6 drops Lavender
3 drops Frankincense Serrata
3 drops Patchouli
2 drops Copaiba
2 drops Cypress
2 drops Palmarosa
2 drops Peppermint
2 drops Rosemary

Add essential oil drops to coconut oil. Mix well. Apply topically to lower abdomen to ease menstrual cramps. Diluted at 2.5% but can be increased up to 5% if needed, for short term use only.

Modified version: 9 drops Lavender, 7 drops Frankincense Serrata, and 4 drops Peppermint.

 

Related: DIY Hair Pomade with Rosemary Essential Oil

 

Worry-Free Personal Inhaler

2 drops Cedarwood Atlas
2 drops Lavender
2 drops Patchouli
1 drop Ho Wood
1 drop Peru Balsam
1 drop Saro

Place a cotton ball inside an empty, resealable container, such as an old prescription pill bottle or an empty M&Ms candy tube. Add essential oil drops to cotton ball. Inhale whenever stress, anxiety or worry hit.

Modified version: 3 drops Cedarwood Atlas, 3 drops Lavender, 3 drops Patchouli.

 

Essential Accessories

Another question I’m often asked is, what accessories should I get? Again, this is going to depend on what you want to get out of your oils. If you want to apply topically, I would suggest getting a rollerball and a spray bottle.

Spray bottles are my main go-to as they are so versatile and fairly inexpensive. Coloured glass spray bottles are always the best option, but aluminum or PET plastic is perfectly acceptable as well. I love to reuse empty containers, so I turn empty essential oil bottles into rollerballs and mini spray bottles.

Find healing with natural remedies 

Personal inhalers are also a very popular delivery method for essential oils. I like to make my own inhaler by taking any small empty container that seals, like a prescription bottle or an old  candy tube. Put a cotton ball in the bottom of the container. Add 9-15 drops of your essential oils. Voila. Your own personal inhaler. Add more drops of essential oil as the scent dissipates.

One thing to keep in mind is you don’t want to be opening your essential oil bottles very often, so in a pinch you could use your essential oil bottle as a personal inhaler, but the more you open it, the more oxygen gets in which shortens its shelf life.

Time to talk diffusers. Contrary to popular belief, diffusers should not be running for long periods of time, even though they come with 2, 4, 6, and 8 hour settings.

The best practice for diffusing is typically 30-60 minutes on, and 30-60 minutes off. When choosing to diffuse for longer periods of time it is best to use an intermittent setting. Since essential oils can affect people differently, it’s best to start slowly to determine which practices are best for you and your family, so you don’t risk sensitization.

I personally don’t diffuse anymore, as I have cats and live in a yurt, so although the ventilation is good, there’s nowhere for the cats to escape to in our 314 square feet (and some essential oils are dangerous to cats). I find using my personal inhalers work just as well.

 

My Essential Oil Picks

Another question I am frequently asked is, what oil can you not live without? My favourite oil to date is Peru Balsam. Its benefits include soothing emotions, soothing skin issues and minor scrapes, soothing respiratory congestion, soothing nervous tension, and treating dry and reddened skin. The smell is absolutely amazing. It has a sweet, coconut, vanilla, aroma with a hint of marshmallow and cinnamon. I’ve added it to a few of my creations to enjoy its scent throughout the day.

Of the more common essential oils, I would have to say Lavender is another oil that I cannot live without. Its versatility and soothing properties work well in my life. Plus I love the smell.

While there is much to learn about essential oils and using them safely, it is also very empowering to use Mother Nature’s tools to live a healthier, happier life. Delving into the essential oils world should not be daunting or scary, but rather exciting and refreshing. Always remember, Mother Earth has got your back, and she’ll make you smell amazing in the process.

Happy oiling everyone!

*** For more information, I highly recommend Essential Oils Natural Remedies: The Complete A-Z Reference of Essential Oils for Health and Healing. This is my go-to guide on everything to do with essential oils. It includes everything you’d ever want to know about just about every essential oil on the market, including common uses, safety precautions, plus a complete list of illnesses, injuries and ailments and the essential oils that can be used to treat them. ***

 

SaveSave


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

2 Comments

  1. Stefan Bradley

    I didn’t know that lavender possesses calming properties. My wife and I would like to find some essential oils for our son. We’ll be sure to get some essential oils that contain lavender.

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Stefan,

      Yes, lavender is one of the best for calming properties. There are also some really nice calming blends available from Plant Therapy that we use for our daughter. Our favourite is called “Calming the Child” which has lavender, chamomile and orange oils.

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
You Might Also Like
How It Started Vs. How It’s Going

How It Started Vs. How It’s Going

When I first started homesteading, I had a burning desire to become more self-sufficient and live a more sustainable life. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been a rebel at heart, and learning how to homestead and become more self-reliant was a way for me to...

read more

11 Frugal Ways to Use Kitchen Scraps

11 Frugal Ways to Use Kitchen Scraps

 Save money, reduce food waste and and improve everything from your soil to your gut health with this list of 11 frugal ways to use kitchen scraps in your home and garden. *** We’re such a wasteful society, especially here in the west. The mounds of waste...

read more

Do you dream of escaping the rat race and starting a homestead far from the chaos of the modern world?

It’s no surprise that in this day and age, more and more people are ready to leave it all behind and move to a property in the country where they can grow their own food, live a simpler life and become more self-sufficient and less dependent on “the system.” But as romantic as it sounds, it’s definitely easier said than done.

In the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, I sat down with Ann Accetta-Scott of @afarmgirlinthemaking to talk all about what people need to know about buying and selling a homestead property.

Ann and her husband Justin recently moved from their two-acre homestead outside of Seattle, Washington to a 40-acre homestead in rural Tennessee. Ann and I sat down to talk about the realities of buying and selling a homestead, moving across the country to pursue your homesteading dream, what to look for when you’re searching for your next property, pitfalls to avoid (if you can!), and what you can do if you’re not ready or in a position to make your move just yet.

Whether you’re looking to purchase your first homestead or trying to sell an existing homestead and upgrade to a bigger property, Ann had some great insights to share that can save you time, stress and money when you’re ready to make your move.

Check out the full interview in the fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine: link in bio @anna.sakawsky or visit www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to subscribe, login to the library (if you’re already a subscriber) or view a sample of the current issue!

#modernhomesteading #homesteadersofinstagram #escapethematrix #selfsufficiency #selfreliance #selfsufficientliving
...

24 0

This is why people don’t trust our medical system!!!

I very rarely go on a rant about current events but this has me feeling really fired up…

My husband and I each got an Amber Alert on our phones the other night along with millions of other British Columbians, informing us of a child abduction in Vancouver. It made the suspect sound like a dangerous kidnapper and said “do not approach. Call 911.”

As it turns out, it was the mother of the child (a 3-year-old boy), who had refused medical treatment without getting a second opinion and follow up blood tests, so the Ministry of Child and Family Services was called, she was arrested and her son was taken from her and was administered medical treatment in the hospital without consent and without a guardian present.

There’s a lot more to this story than I’m able to share in this video or this caption, so I’ll post some links below where you can hear directly from the mom what happened, and check out other IG accounts that have been in direct contact with her and the father. But the point is this was a GROSS misuse of our Amber Alert system, a GROSS abuse of power (turns out the boy wasn’t sick in the end anyway), and has now traumatized this family for life.

Doctors are not gods and as mothers we do not co-parent with the government!!!

This hits close to home for me because I too have been through the medical system and had my concerns dismissed, was misdiagnosed and given wrong information, and was treated with obvious contempt when I got a second opinion.

In this day and age of rampant medical coercion and the erosion of bodily autonomy over our own bodies and over those of our children, this story highlights the dangers of the very slippery slope we’re on.

As parents who only have the best interests of our children at heart, this could happen to any one of us. We can’t let this be normalized. Remember “first they came for (fill in the blank), and I said nothing. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Check out my stories for the full video that the mom, Wiloh made explaining the details of what happened or check out the comments for links to learn more & support this family.
...

77 26

I’ve hesitated about posting this reel over and over because I know I’ll probably get backlash, hate and vitriol from some people in return. But I wouldn’t be being true to myself if I didn’t speak the truth that’s on my heart and mind…

If you haven’t noticed, there are currently thousands of Canadians sharing their stories and using the hashtag #trudeaumustgo on their social media posts right now in response to the divisive rhetoric and actions of our prime minister over the past few months. But our media has downplayed the issue and has attributed most of the hashtags to “bot” accounts and foreigners trying to influence our politics.

In response, real Canadians are making videos and sharing their stories to show that we are not bots, but real people who have been negatively affected by the words and actions of our leaders, particularly our leader at the top.

I used to consider myself a lifelong leftist and have supported the liberal government and Trudeau over the years, but after what I’ve witnessed over the past few months; After how he has spoken about Canadians who have made a different medical choice or who have protested mandates (which have done nothing to stop the spread of you-know-what anyway); After the hate and division that has trickled down from the top and infiltrated our communities, I can no longer stand silently by.

While I am 💉, a few months ago when I voiced my support for those who stood up against mandates and against the division being pushed on us by our leadership, I suddenly found myself among what our prime minister called the “small fringe minority” of citizens with “unacceptable views.”

I lost followers, friends and even a couple family members. I was told I’d been “radicalized,” although my views have never changed.

So today I’m adding my voice to the chorus of real, everyday Canadians who are taking a stand against tyranny and division in this country. As the saying goes, if we do not stand for something, we’ll fall for anything. I stand for freedom & autonomy, and against division & tyranny.

#trudeaumustgo

(Special thanks to fellow 🇨🇦 homesteader @meggarlandd for inspiring me & giving me the courage to post this:)
...

271 59

What would you do if the grid went down?

Imagine not just the lights going out, but all power, all digital communication and information. Would you be prepared?

A lot of us THINK we’re prepared for a grid down situation, but unless you’re already living off grid, you might not realize how dependent on technology we really are!

In the fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, contributor Ashley Constance of @dirtypawshomestead and @alittleselfreliant shares her experience voluntarily going without power for the day, and what she and her husband, Shawn learned from their grid down experiment.

You might be surprised at the things they discovered and missed on their prep list, and it might prompt you to reevaluate whether you’re ready in case the grid goes down, or even just Google 😱

Check out the full story in the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine!

Link in bio @anna.sakawsky or visit www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com

#modernhomesteadingmagazine #homesteadersofinstagram #homesteading #modernhomesteading #prepping #nationalpreparednessmonth
...

25 0

The other day when I had a few minutes to spare, I was out in the garden doing a little work when my neighbour said hi over the fence.

I lamented to her about how busy we’ve been and how hard it’s been to keep on top of this year. Very sincerely, she replied “wait until you have another one,” referring to our baby on the way.

“You’ll be moving back to the suburbs so quick, mark my words,” she said.

Now, I don’t for a second think there was any ill intent behind her statement, but still, it took me aback.

“We’ll never move back to the city or the suburbs,” I replied with a laugh. “This may be hard work but we love it.”

She then repeated her statement and followed it up with “just you wait and see.”

I decided not to continue the back and forth. After all, I told myself, it doesn’t matter if she or anyone else knows what’s truly in your heart. It doesn’t matter if she understands that there’s no amount of difficulty that would make me run back to the suburbs and leave this life behind. In fact, our dream is to upgrade to a bigger property someday where we can grow an even bigger garden and add more livestock to our homestead!

Likewise, I visited the city last weekend for a family event and as always, I had at least a couple people ask me “so when are you moving back to the city?”

Seven years later, and still we have friends and family members who think this is just a phase we’re going through, and eventually we’ll come to our senses and move back.

I used to get offended by these questions because I felt unseen; I felt like nobody took this life that I’m so passionate about seriously, and thought it was “cute” that I was “playing farmer” for a bit, but eventually I had to grow up and become part of the “real world” once again.

Now I just smile and reply “never:)”

Can you relate? How do you (politely) respond when someone questions your lifestyle choices or implies that you’ll eventually come to your senses and come back to “reality”?

Let me know below 👇
...

83 16

The fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine just dropped!

In this issue you’ll find:

• Preparedness tips, tricks and advice to help you be ready for anything on the homestead (and in life!)
•The ultimate guide to growing garlic at home and it as both food and medicine
• Drool-worthy recipes that feature garlic as the star!
• Expert advice from A Farmgirl in the Making’s Ann Accetta-Scott on what to look for (and look out for) when buying or selling a homestead property
• Advice on how to learn and grow from perceived homesteading “failures”

And more!!!

Go to modernhomesteadingmagazine.com or click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky to subscribe or login to the library and read the latest issue if you’re already subscribed!
...

30 3

When I first started homesteading, I had a burning desire to become more self-sufficient and live a more sustainable life.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been a rebel at heart, and learning how to homestead and become more self-reliant was a way for me to “throw a proverbial middle finger to the system” and live life on my own terms.

As a teenager, I was the girl who drove around town with punk rock music blaring from my car, Misfits sticker on the back and studs around my wrists. I felt misunderstood and angsty and like I desperately didn’t fit in with the world I grew up in.

I always knew in my soul that I wanted something different; Something more.

Today I’m the mama with stretch marks on my belly and battle scars on my heart. I’m the woman who gardens and cans food and makes her own tinctures and believes in something greater than herself and fights every day to stay free in a world that feels increasingly engineered to keep us hopelessly dependent.

Today I feel whole and at peace, and connected to a higher power and a higher purpose. I feel like I’ve finally found the place where I belong.

This journey has been about so much more than homesteading for me, and I've learned, lost, gained and loved so much more than I ever could have imagined.

Because, as I've said before, homesteading doesn't happen in a vacuum. Life is always happening at the same time.

This is the full, raw and unfiltered story of my homesteading journey, and how I've gained so much more than a pantry full of food along the way.

Click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky to read more or check it out here >> https://thehouseandhomestead.com/how-it-started-how-its-going
...

65 5

The news we’ve all been waiting for…

IT’S A BOY!!!

After so many years and too many losses, our hearts are so full and it feels like we are inching closer to our family finally being complete.

I’ve always known in my heart and soul that we were meant to have a girl and a boy. I know, it sounds cliché and very “nuclear family,” but years ago I saw a psychic who told me I would have a girl who loved to be centre stage and had a personality larger than life, very much how our daughter has turned out!

She also said I would have a boy who would be much more introverted and in tune with nature and with his own intuition. That’s yet to be seen, but I’ve always had this unwavering vision of a son and a daughter that fit these descriptions, and my heart has been set on a son ever since we had Evelyn.

Of course, things went sideways for a few years. Shortly after Evelyn was born, I became pregnant again, but we made the heartbreaking decision to terminate that pregnancy at 24 weeks due to a severe medical diagnosis. We lost our son, Phoenix Rain on June 15, 2018. Our hearts were shattered and have never fully healed.

Over the next few years, I had 3 more early miscarriages. None of the doctors knew what was causing them as most didn’t seem to have any sort of genetic explanation. We were told it was “something environmental,” but weren’t given any clues as to what that could be.

After pushing to see several specialists last year (after our most recent loss), and being told once again that there was “nothing wrong with me,” I finally got another opinion and found out I had something called Chronic Endometritis: A low-grade infection in my uterus that I believe in my heart was caused by my c-section with our daughter; A c-section I didn’t want and probably didn’t need, but felt I needed because I was under pressure to make a decision before the surgeon went off duty.

I’ll never know for sure, but when I pushed for more testing and finally got a simple round of antibiotics, the endometritis cleared up. I got pregnant again almost immediately and so far we now have a healthy baby boy on the way.

(Continued in comments…)
...

546 43

We’re living through interesting times. Many people have even used the term “unprecedented times,” and while that may be true in that there has perhaps never been another time in history when we’ve faced so many existential threats all at once (ie. a global pandemic, climate change, political divisions, AI advancing at an incredible rate, cyber attacks, nuclear threats, globalization, food shortages, supply chain issues, hyperinflation, social media and the age of information/misinformation, etc. etc. all converging at once). But despite all of this, we are not the first generation(s) of humans to face hardships and threats of great magnitude, and in fact we’ve had it better than any other previous generations for most of our lives, especially here in the west.

The fact is, there are lots of things we can do to ensure we’re not sitting ducks when these threats come knocking at our door. But it takes action on our part, not waiting around for someone else to fix things or take care of us.

In the Summer issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, I sat down with The Grow Network’s Marjory Wildcraft to talk all about the realities of our current climate, including worsening inflation and looming global food shortages, as well as what every day people like you and I can actually DO to improve our food security, become more self-sufficient, care for our families and communities and ensure our own survival and wellbeing even in difficult and uncertain times like these.

While I don’t believe in fear mongering, I do believe in acknowledging hard truths and not burying your head in the sand. That being said, things may very well get worse before they get better, and we would all do well to start learning the necessary skills, stocking up on essential resources and preparing now while there’s still time.

Check out the full interview in the summer issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine. Link in bio @anna.sakawsky to subscribe or go to www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to subscribe or login and read the current issue.

#foodshortages #selfsufficiency #selfreliance #foodsecurity #foodsecurityisfreedom #homesteading #growyourownfood #fightinflation #stayfree
...

19 0

If you’re like most homesteaders, you probably have a pile of scrap materials laying somewhere on your property, all with the “intention” of being resourceful and using those scrap pieces for future projects. And let’s be honest: With inflation and the cost of lumber and, well, pretty much everything these days, being resourceful with our scraps isn’t just practical, it’s downright necessary in many cases!

But the reality is that it’s often much easier to accumulate scrap pieces than it is to actually put them to good use, and if we’re not careful and discerning with what we keep on hand, that scrap pile full of homesteader gold can quickly turn into a junk pile of clutter taking up space on our property.

In the Summer issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, our resident handyman (my dear husband @ryan.sakawsky ;) shares his best tips for how to put your scrap pile to good use and knock some projects off your list while the weather’s still good, including which materials are worth saving and which ones aren’t.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the summer issue yet, you can subscribe via the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky (or login to the library if you’re a already a subscriber) or go to www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com

Do you keep a scrap pile? If so, what sort of materials do you have laying around?

#scrappile #modernhomesteading #homesteading #diy #getscrappy #resourcefulness #inflation #beatinflation
...

28 1

What’s doing well in your garden this year??

Every year in the garden, some things don’t do so well. We tend to focus on the failures, but there is abundance all around us if we just look in the right places.

This year our raspberries have been incredibly productive, but I didn’t even really notice until recently because I was too focused on the things that weren’t doing well.

No matter what area of life you’re feeling lack or scarcity or dealing with “failure” in, remember that it’s all a matter of perspective.

Sometimes we just need to look a little harder to find the blessings, but when you finally see them you’ll wonder how you possibly could have missed them in the first place.

Our broccoli might have bombed and our tomatoes and peppers might not ripen and our strawberries may have been ravaged by pests and disease, but we’ll be eating raspberries from our garden well into the winter months this year, and for that I’m eternally grateful.

What are you grateful for??

(P.S. Since Instagram is very much a “highlight reel” of everybody’s best selves, I totally plan on sharing our garden failures soon too. Stay tuned 😜)
...

38 1

© The House & Homestead | All Rights Reserved | Legal