We Craft Box

This is an update to the post originally published last Thanksgiving.

Thankgiving Break is happening next week! Scratch that. We are now on to Spring Break and the world is “sheltering in place.” Wow, I don’t think anyone was prepared for something like this to happen. I know we are all worrying about what the future holds. We’re worried for our parents and our friends and family out there in the world. Our kids are maybe driving us a little crazy by now.

Give the Gift of Creativity!

Anyway, with home crafting projects in mind...have you heard of We Craft Box? #affiliate It's really cool! A planned art project in a box on a monthly subscription. You can buy in increments of 1 month all the way up to 1 year. See options below!

I remember days when my kids were younger, and I would plan some fun-to-do at home art projects to work on over break. My kids will probably want to sleep in, see some movies and play video games on this break since we are not going out of town. That's fine! Maybe they'll let me work on some arty projects?!

We Craft Box. Creating projects for kids in a monthly subscription box.
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  • All materials included (except water and scissors)
  • Each box can be shared between 2 kids
  • Each month has a new theme
  • Each box has a unique story about the art projects to inspire and get the creative juices flowing
  • Photo instructions, so easy to follow

I think this sounds like such a great gift idea for Grandma's house, doesn't it? Or a great present from a crafty grandparent. The Holiday Box ships on December 1st, so if you want to order yours, now is the time! Enjoy! I'd love to see how some of your projects turn out so take a photo and share. I've shared my Fun Kid Stuff Pinterest board below and also the Subscription Prices for the monthly, 3-month, 6-month and 12-month boxes.

I love collecting fun kid projects on Pinterest! Follow Me!

One Month Renewing Subscription

We Craft Box 1-month renewing subscription - $29.99

3 Month Renewing Subscription

We Craft Box 3-month renewing subscription - $84.99

6 Month Renewing Subscription

We Craft Box 6-month renewing subscription - $159.99

12 Month Renewing Subscription

We Craft Box 12-month renewing subscription - $299.99

**As a Shareasale affiliate, I may earn a small commission on this item if you decide to purchase it through my website. This will not increase your cost in anyway. Thank you.**

How to Calm Your Thoughts

Shelter In Place

Hello World. This is a new term for me, probably for you too. Being a natural homebody, this enforced staying home hasn’t been too terrible for me. I’m really just beyond grateful that I have a home to “shelter” in and that we have food to eat. The news around the world is dismal, depressing, tragic. Time is standing still for those sheltering in place and for those working in the hospitals, first responders, teachers, grocery workers ordinary working conditions are suddenly terrifying. I’m praying for the world. I’m really praying for the world.

Pause or Panic

How are you hanging in there? I haven’t been able to process this current state of the world yet. I’ve been caught between feeling silly for worrying and panicked that I’m not taking Coronavirus seriously enough. I feel overwhelmed, depressed, scared, angry, worried. I am feeling terrified for the world and friends and strangers. Am I wasting my energy on worry? Maybe. Clearly I can’t just forge ahead and live my normal life. Nothing about this is normal.

It’s Impossible To Concentrate

My ability to concentrate is worse than normal. Thinking too hard about what the future holds has me hiding in Netflix binges and sleep. Living in Wait & See limbo with kids (or without) is emotionally draining. I just keep thinking, ok this will pass in a few weeks. But the truth is that every day life could look very different soon if the world continues to live on Pause.

This Week Was Difficult

Well, I do run this blog and I can reach out to the world and at least try to help people manage their sadness, worry and perspective, for the moment anyway. For today I am taking joy in seeing more families walking through the neighborhood, riding bicycles, people drawing in chalk on their driveways. Families playing cards and board games and working through jig saw puzzles. We’re eating more meals together and slowing way down. These times of sadness and pause can lead to beautiful reflection and new art, literature and invention.

Brainstorm Ideas

Things To Do To Calm Your Thoughts

  • Read a book
  • Join a Book Club
  • Start a Book Club
  • Catch up on your reading list in Good Reads
  • Start your own blog
  • Upcycle something to decorate or organize your home
  • See how you can help in your community
  • Buy a giftcard from a local small business
  • Catch up on deleting, printing and organizing your family photos
  • Make a digital photo book
  • Make a Christmas photo album
  • Get in the kitchen and make a sourdough starter
  • Bake
  • Learn to cook a new recipe
  • Make candy
  • Play music. Write music. Workout to music.
  • Love your pet
  • Start a mixed media or bullet journal
  • Write someone a letter
  • Recycle old instructions that came with appliances and toys you no longer own
  • Make a lotion, balm, rollerball blend using your essential oils
  • Attack your shredding pile
  • Learn to use Canva
  • Organize your Pinterest boards
  • Make something you pinned on your Pinterest boards
  • Create a new app
  • Read the directions that came with your fancy camera
  • Learn some photo tricks for your phone
  • Take an online class
  • Self mani/pedi
  • Try a new craft or hobby like knitting or sewing or home brewing
  • Make a collection of paper crafted greeting cards to have on hand
  • Learn a new language
  • Start a new book series
  • Host a virtual party
  • Grow seedlings to plant in your yard or veggie garden
  • Trim a bonsai tree
  • Make a miniature Zen Garden
  • Hang up some family photos
  • Start or finish a home project you never have time for
  • Sit in the sunshine for a few minutes
  • Quit smoking
  • Stay physically active
  • Take a virtual exercise class
  • Take a walk, a stretch, a run, yoga
  • Call a friend
  • Encourage your kids or other family members to do something on this list
  • Stay well and if you can Stay Home.
Sun shining through an anviary.
Sun shining through. Photo by Pexels.

But I Don’t Feel Like Doing Anything

Go easy on yourself. You might not feel one bit like being creative or productive. It’s ok to feel that way! Indecision makes me feel a bit paralyzed. But since you’re stuck at home and feeling tense, maybe lean in to your creative side to pass some time and reduce some stress. Please share if you think this list will help someone. Namaste.

Hang in there, my friends.

Are You Loving Your Essential Oils Yet?…

I am and I’m excited about sharing and learning about them too! Today I want to talk about incorporating them into your skincare and beauty products. There are single oils mentioned in this article and also blends that you can buy or create yourself.

My first kit

So taking a quick look back, about 5 years ago I went to a home party. I was feeling supportive and intrigued so, I purchased a kit. Like MOST 😉 of my purchases, I try to choose wisely and get the most value out of my choices. The kit I purchased was not inexpensive, but it was comprised of many workhorse oils. I recall looking at the catalog and thinking how versatile the oils were and how many things you could do and make with them.

Family Essentials Kit

I decided if I was going to try essential oils, I was going to get a kit that would cover a lot of the needs I was searching for. I had an interest in using them for non-toxic cleaning and in place of some over the counter medicines. At the time, the kit I bought had a different name, but it is now called the Family Essentials Kit. Included in this kit are: Frankincense, Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint, Melaluca, Oregano, DigestZen, Breathe, Deep Blue and OnGuard. I couldn’t be happier with my choice and this kit. That is, now that I know what I’m doing with all these little bottles, which at first all seem similar and a little scary.

Now, the reason I mention this is because, at first,  I was a little overwhelmed by all these options. I didn’t really know how to put them to good use. I set them aside too often because I didn’t want to waste them. If you’re new to oils, I don’t want you to feel this way after you make a purchase.

  1. I would say if you want to try out a few for use in your beauty routine, begin with:
  2. –Lavender,
  3. –Frankincense,
  4. –Tea Tree (Melaleuca)
  5. –and Copaiba
Essential Oils for Beauty Pinterest Pin
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Oils for Beauty

So, what are the best oils to use for beauty and skincare? Lavender, Frankincense, Geranium, Yarrow/Pom Body Renewal Serum, Immortelle Blend*, Copaiba, Roman Chamomile (blended with Cedarwood and Lavender for kids or sensitive skin) are some of the best.

I have since added many new oils and blends to my collection, from TerraGreens to an Adaptiv Roller, several citruses, oils I use in my kitchen and some I can use for natural protection against insect bites. I own clove and cinnamon and some Christmas blends. Looking back, I would definitely recommend the oils I initially purchased. Buy Oils

Immortelle doTERRA anti aging blend
Immortelle Anti-Aging Blend

*Immortelle: “The oils in this blend have been studied for their abilities to help reduce inflammation, protect skin from UV radiation and promote healthy cellular function and proper hydration of the skin.” (Modern Essentials, page 173)
Ingredients in Immortelle are: Frankincense Resin, Hawaiian Sandalwood, Lavender Flower, Myrrh Gum Resin, Helichrysum Flower and Rose Flower.

doTERRA Beauty Collections

Buy Verage Skin Care Collection

Veráge is an exclusive system of natural skin care products that nourish and hydrate skin and reduce the visible signs of aging. The advanced plant technology used in Veráge promotes the appearance of an optimal lipid balance—the same balance found in healthy, youthful-looking skin. Each product is composed of true gifts from the Earth: nourishing plant extracts, pure and potent CPTG® essential oils, and select natural ingredients. The doTERRA Veráge Skin Care Collection delivers results you can see and feel, naturally.

Buy Yarrow Pom Skin Care Collection

The Yarrow|Pom trio of products were scientifically developed to work synergistically to provide powerful support to the skin and promote ageless radiance. Yarrow|Pom Active Botanical Nutritive Duo activates skin-protecting proteins with the added benefit of promoting collagen production for young and healthy-looking skin.* Yarrow|Pom Cellular Beauty Complex combines clinically studied extracts and a powerful blend of CPTG® essential oils to provide powerful antioxidant support for healthy, luminous skin from the inside.* Yarrow|Pom Body Renewal Serum is packed with powerful bioactive compounds and skin-protecting proteins that increase skin luminosity and promote the appearance of firmer, smoother, younger-looking skin. The Yarrow|Pom trio is a fresh, revolutionary approach to beauty inside and out.

Beginner’s Guide to Using EO for Beauty

Two of my favorite oils for my face are Lavender and Frankincense. There is much debate about the benefit of using essential oils in skincare and beauty. I’m guessing this is because, as with anything, there will always be people who don’t follow the warnings or instructions.

There are hundreds of books on the topic of aromatherapy and essential oils. Skin sensitivities do occur in some people. You will find oil users who will encourage you to use oils for every little thing and diffuse them on top of that. That is not recommended, just as you would not burn a candle 24/7 in your home.

All About Copaiba

Copaiba bottle icon

Botanical Family: Copaifera Officialis

Can be applied NEAT (without dilution) Use a carrier oil with it for sensitive skin.

Common Uses in beauty/skincare for acne, inflammation and anti-microbial (effective against staph/strep but not against all bacteria) and wound healing. Buy Copaiba

All About Lavender

Lavender bottle icon

Botanical Family: Labiatae (mint)

Can be applied NEAT (with no dilution)

Steam distilled from flowering top

Common Uses in beauty/skincare for bites, stings, burns, cuts, dandruff, dry hair, dry lips, rashes, dry or sensitive skin, stretch marks, sunburn, wounds, wrinkles. Buy Lavender

All About Frankincense

Frankincense bottle icon

Botanical Family: Burseraceae (resinous trees and shrubs)

Can be applied NEAT (with no dilution) Use a carrier oil with it for sensitive skin.

Stem distilled from gum/resin

Common Uses in beauty/skincare…Anti-inflammatory oil used to soothe inflamed skin. Properties in frankincense stimulate the generation of new cells. Natural astringent properties. It is effective in shrinking pores, preventing wrinkles and healing acne marks. Buy Frankincense

All About Melaleuca/Tea Tree

Melaleuca (Tea Tree Oil) bottle icon

Botanical Family: Myrtaceae (Myrtle: shrubs and trees)

Can be applied NEAT (with no dilution)

Steam distilled from leaves

Common Uses in beauty/skincare for acne, canker sores, cold sores, dermatitis, eczema, rashes, sunburn, wounds. Buy Melaleuca

Easy Things You Can Make

Notes for the following recipes for safety. Lip Stain: depending on the oils you choose, lemon, lavender, grapefruit or peppermint, remember lemon and grapefruit are mildly phototoxic in the sun, so if you make this stay out of the sun or choose lavender or peppermint. Orange Creamsicle Balm: Wild orange/sweet orange are not phototoxic so it is ok to wear in the sun. You will love these DIY recipes for fun beauty products you can make with doTERRA essential oils. You can check them out later (see link below) but first we will learn about CARRIER OILS.

Girl’s Night Recipes from doTERRA.

Carrier oils to mix with an essential oil

Dry Skin: rosehip seed oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil

Oily Skin: grapeseed, tamanu, apricot kernel oil

Normal/Combination Skin: jojoba, coconut and sunflower seed

Carrot Seed Oil, Monoi Oil

The essential oil, Carrot Seed Oil, is used cosmetically to repair skin damage, tone muscles and tissue, and tighten skin. It is considered one of the best to rejuvenate and regenerate skin tissue. It is also known as Wild Carrot or Queen Anne’s Lace. I don’t believe doTERRA offers it, but you can buy it from Plant Therapy. Monoi Oil is a perfumed oil made from Tahitian gardenias soaked in coconut oil. It is rich in methyl salicylate, a skin soothing agent.

other natural things to use in skincare

Don’t overlook some of natural beauty products you probably already have in your pantry. Honey, oatmeal, yogurt infused products, pomegranate, soy, green tea, apple cider vinegar (diluted with water as a toner)





The Essential Girl

Modern Essentials, 7th Edition by aromatools.com

doterra lumo diffuser
doTerra diffuser options

Which EO Diffuser Should I Choose?

doTERRA has made it easy for you. They have several choices, including two more that aren’t seen here in this article. (Volo Onyx and Volo White) They are all excellent. If you don’t have a diffuser yet, you are going to want one to enjoy the wonderful aromas of fall and winter! It’s also a gift that an aromatherapy enthusiast in your life will enjoy and appreciate. Here are a few of doTerra’s most popular essential oil diffusers. There are several more (new for the holidays!) available from doTerra. The diffusers seen here are described below. I have also included some Amazon essential oil diffuser reviews as well if you are curious about other diffusers on the market.

The Features You Need…

Size of the room will you diffuse in?

Constant strong mist or a gentle intermittent mist?

Do you need a large water reservoir for long use?

Would you like a color changing soft light and/or a timer?

Will you be using the diffuser when you travel?

doTERRA Brand Diffusers: Aroma Lite, Petal, Lotus & Lumo

Aroma Lite Diffuser by doTERRA
Aroma Lite Diffuser

Aroma Lite: The Aroma Lite diffuser is a high functioning and compact diffuser with multiple settings. This diffuser has a high mist output and can cover up to 500 square feet. The doTERRA branded Aroma Lite diffuser has multiple mist and light settings and can run for up to 8 hours. With its compact structure, the Aroma Lite makes for a perfect traveling diffuser.

Petal Diffuser by doTERRA
Petal Diffuser

Petal: The Petal diffuser is the most affordable diffuser and is a great option for new Wellness Advocates. This convenient diffuser has a high mist output with multiple settings and covers up to 330 square feet. The Petal diffuser is a doTERRA branded diffuser that can run up to four hours at a time. It also contains an optional night light.

doTERRA Diffuser
Lotus Diffuser

Lotus: With its modern and visually appealing design, the Lotus diffuser takes up little surface area while covering up to 330 square feet with fragrances of your choosing. The Lotus diffuser has a medium mist output and can run for 1, 2, or 3 hours. This diffuser is equipped with an optional light.

Lumo Diffuser by doTERRA
Lumo Diffuser

Lumo: The Lumo Diffuser features a maple wood base and several light settings inspired by natural elements. With a soft, soothing light and customizable mist output of 2 or 5 hours continuously or 10 hours intermittently, the Lumo makes it simple to create the environment you choose.  Covers up to 540 square feet.

I will definitely be using an intermittent diffuser like the Lumo the next time I buy a new diffuser. Hint, hint. 😉

Buy Essential Oil Diffusers on Amazon

Buy CPTG – Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade

Remember that some oils that might come with these Amazon diffusers are of lesser quality and most likely only for aromatherapy use. doTerra oils are certified therapeutic grade oils and are pure oils containing no fillers, oils or perfumes. Always read the bottle label for the correct usage instructions. It will indicate if the oil is to be used for aromatic or topical use. Visit my oily accessories shop for more products to use with your essential oils.

xo, Jessica

Who Are You & Who Do You Aspire To Be?

How to Create a Vision Board, I am Board, Dream Board by sweetandspicyessentials.com
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I’m so excited you are here! As part of my collaboration in the #lovemyself2020 Challenge in a Leap Year (29 days and 29+ ways to appreciate who you are, I decided to create my first ever “i am” board. You may have heard of this project before, sometimes it is referred to as a Vision Board, or Dream Board…

My board is all about ME! But you can make one all about YOU! What are some things you want to remind yourself? Who are you and who do you want to be?

Items You Will Need

Canvas, acrylic craft paint in your favorite colors, printed list of words you choose as focus words and decorative words, tissue paper, Modge Podge, glue, hot glue, Glimmer Mist and miscellaneous scrapbooking supplies, described below.

I began with a 12 x 12 white canvas that my daughter had previously started painting but had changed her mind about. I painted over some black lettering that she wasn’t thrilled with, but I let a little of the lettering show through because I knew right away that my project was going to have a jumbled, layered, textured look. I also flipped it upside-down, so you couldn’t read what was showing through.

Step 1 of my "i am" board project by SweetandSpicyessentials.com
In this step I tried to create some different textures with paint, glimmer mist, paint drips, bubble wrap and glitter. Keep reading, I think it starts coming together in a few more photos.

You don’t have to do this, of course. But my style is a little like my brain, full of stuff going on everywhere. I like to mismatch and mix mediums. This is part painting, part scrapbook page. It represents me, after all and some of my goals and reminders so that’s the direction I went with it. It’s a little purple for me, but it started out that way. Now, I’m seeing a lot of open, white, elegant design out there these days and I really do like that look. Go that way if you want to, there are no rules for an “i am” board. Layering lots of white paints and embellishments actually looks really pretty!

Next, I sprayed a few splotches of white scrapbook paint. Then I cut out a heart from some old patterned tissue paper and I modge-podged it on. First on the back of the heart, then over the front of the heart so the edges were glued down well.

I took a few minutes to type up some words that I could cut out and glue on my board. I used different fonts and sizes to mix it up. I sprayed the white paper with a dab of glimmer mist too, to make it a little more distressed. Make sure you let it dry so you don’t smudge up your paint. At this point it looked like this:

Step 2 of the "i am" board from SweetandSpicyessentials.com
In this photo the white paint looks a little like glare, but it’s just because it’s white. 🙂

Now is a good time to cut down the words you printed and gather miscellaneous stuff from your scrapbooking supplies. I have all this stuff already, but in case you don’t, the items I used were: A black sharpie, chipboard letters, chipboard words (Happy, Love Life, Smile), old ticket stubs, felt, chipboard arrows, patterned washi tape, brightly colored buttons, wood embellishments, stickers and Stickles. You could pick up a scrapbook kit and it would have an assortment of stuff in it if you don’t have any of these supplies. Again, no rules! I just tried to keep layering and I moved stuff around a lot before I found it in the right place. So don’t start gluing right away.

energized, intentional, productive, focused, positive…

what words motivate you?
Step 3... "i am" board at Sweetandspicyessentials.com
A little Stickles glitter glue was applied around the heart when it was dry. I kept moving my words around. The word Family was too small, so I added some silver chipboard lettering down the side so that Family is more prominent.

I have some more gluing to do, but this is the nearly finished product. I hope you like it! It was pretty easy and fun too! Now I have a nice 2020 vision board to focus on when I’m trying to get in touch with my creative side.

I’ve included my Pinterest Board: I Am/Vision Board and my Pinterest Board: Mixed Media below in case you need inspiration! I sure love Pinterest inspiration! Happy Crafting! Please Follow Me on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/jzica for more ideas.

Final product image. "i am" board.
doterra essential oils for yoga

Using Essential Oils in Your Home for Emotional Support

The Nose Knows scents for yoga and wellness.
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Did you know inhaling essential oils stimulates the olfactory system, the part of the brain connected to smell? When the molecules reach the brain they affect the limbic stystem too. Emotional life is largely housed in the limbic system. (emotion, behavior, motivation, long-term memory and olfaction)

The limbic system is connected to the parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels and hormone balance.

With this in mind, you can see how different blends of oils can stimulate your mind and body in different states. Be sure to scroll to the bottom to enjoy a free YouTube Stretching video series.

cheerful, calm, invigorated, relaxed, cozy, peaceful

doTerra Blends for aromatherapy.
Some of doTerra’s aromatherapy blends.

Citrus for when you are feeling discouraged, gloomy or distressed. Instantly uplifts.

Spice for those times you are feeling bored, somber or disinterested.

Mint for alleviating feelings of anxiousness or apathy.

Herbs/Grasses for when you are feeling discontent or angry.

Florals/Trees can stimulate your happy mood when you are sad, grieving, hurt or worried.

doTerra Aromatherapy Blends

Motivate BlendencouragingMint and Citrus
Peace BlendreassuringFlorals and Mint
Console BlendcomfortingFlorals and Trees
Forgive BlendrenewingTrees and Herbs/Grasses
Passion BlendinspiringHerbs/Grasses and Spices
Cheer BlendupliftingCitrus and Spices

doTerra Yoga Collection – enrich your yoga practice

Anchor BlendWelcomes. Lavender, Cedarwood, Frankincense, Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Patchouli and Sandalwood.
Arise BlendBrightens any day. Grapefruit, Lemon, Osmanthus, Melissa and Siberian Fir.
Align BlendLift mood, anchor heart. Bergamot, Coriander, Marjoram, Peppermint, Jasmine and Rose.

doTerra Yoga Collection is Anchor, Arise and Align.

These are all blends you can purchase from doTerra, but there are hundreds of blends you can make on your own. For more ideas and ways to utilize oils, see my Everything Essential Oil Board on Pinterest. All oils mentioned in this article can be purchased on my Buy Oils page.


Now grab your yoga mat, some comfy clothes and a quiet corner in your home and treat yourself to any of the blends above or try our amazing yoga blends. If you don’t know any yoga, consider starting with this free Stretching video series on YouTube, created by Move Fitness and Dance.

This is Nicole. She is amazing! Subscribe to this channel and get the next stretches in the series. She is also a Healthy Living Coach at www.move-sd.com
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