Author Archives: Mandi Hofmann

Stocking Stuffer Ideas from Sweetbottoms!

Having trouble thinking of stocking stuffers this Christmas?  We’re here to help!  Check out this list of fun gift ideas for your little one.  With the fast, free shipping from Sweetbottoms, your stocking stuffers will arrive with plenty of time!!!

Stocking Stuffer Ideas from Sweetbottoms

1. Piggy Paint – Piggy Paint is a non-toxic, low odor, kid-friendly nail polish. It’s safe for all ages and a great alternative to solvent-based nail polishes.

2. Rumparooz Doll Diapers – Children love to watch and learn from their parents and changing their dolls diapers is one of those priceless moments you can share with them. Teach them the value of cloth diapers and reducing waste.  These are made from the left over scraps from cloth diapers!

3. Chewbeads Mulberry Teether – This silicone teething ring is soft on babies gums and emerging teeth!  It has a flexible design with multiple textures.

4. Baby Paper – Baby Paper is a soft square of fabric that makes the crinkly sound babies love!

5. Mariposah Teething Bunny – No woods, no worrying plastics-Bamboo cotton make Teething Bunny the gentle, safe and responsible solution for teething pain. Great as babies first tooth brush too!

6. Dandelion Handcrafted Roly Poly Ball Rattle – Hand crocheted by women working from home in Shanghai, China. Unique rattles feature lovable characters with soft, huggable bodies perfect for your little ones tiny hands!

7. BeginAgain Toys Earthworm Racers – Wiggly worms with wheels! Made from eco-friendly hardwoods with non-toxic, child safe stains, these unique toys are bendable, stretchable, twistable and just plain old fun. Perfect for push around play, each Earthworm Racer is seven inches long and has chunky wheels rimmed with natural rubber to provide traction and protect floors.

Essential Oil Basics – Using Essential Oils Therapeutically

Young Living Oils sold a Sweet Bottoms Baby BoutiqueWhen you enter the world of Essential Oils it is quite exciting because you start to see how you can use them to relieve so many common ailments.  During one class I was teaching basic essential oil use, we talked about how you can use the oils to relieve sinus congestion, tummy aches and sore muscles and how the oils can be used to support sleep and reduce anxiety.

One Mama just stopped and said “You mean I could have been using THESE OILS with my kids instead of always giving them pills?”

That comment made my day!

Along with teaching how to use Essential Oils, I always want to make sure that I educate all those excited Mamas about the two main different schools of thought on essential oil use. The two philosophies is why when you start searching on the web for more Essential Oil info you’ll find enough contradictory information to make you toss your Iphone out the window in frustration.  One website will say you can use oils internally and apply them on your feet and another website will advise you never to take essential oils internally and only dilute them with olive oil….

So, let’s clear up any possible future confusion!  There are two main schools of thought, the English Model and the French Model.

The English Model:

  • Prefers to use their essential oils in massage, and states that you should never use essential oils without highly diluting them first in olive, coconut or some “base oil” first.
  • Never recommends taking an essential oil internally.
  • Has a long list of essential oils that are unsafe to use in general, especially during pregnancy.

The French Model:

  • Is fine with applying essential oils on your skin “neat” or without diluting it with a base oil first.
  • Is OK with diluting essential oils too, but usually in a 50/50 ratio of Essential Oil/Base Oil.
  • Essential oils can be inhaled and taken internally.
  • Has only a few oils to be used with caution.

You can see that these Schools of thought are very different.  Being the USA, we have both schools of thought here, but also very limited information about essential oil use – so this leads to frustration and confusion for health minded parents looking to support their family naturally.

These two varied views were created when safety studies where being done in these countries.  If you look back on the studies, you’ll find the answer to why there are such varied view points.

  • The English conducted their studies with perfume or food grade essential oils.
  • The French were conducting their studies with pure, therapeutic or medicinal grade essential oils.
  • Food Grade or Perfume Grade essential oils are fine for just that – perfume or as a flavoring, but they are not good for therapeutic results that many people are looking for.
  • Real pure Essential Oils are created by plants – as this is a natural process the essential oil aroma and taste will vary as nature slightly changes it with response to environmental factors.
  • Manufacturers don’t want their perfume or flavoring to vary – so for an essential oil to be termed Perfume or Food Grade it must be changed by man or made by man.
  • Oils changed by man are not pure anymore so they do not contain nature’s innate intelligence, so the therapeutic benefits are greatly reduced or nonexistent.

It is due to the results in these two countries’ studies that birthed the two varied view points on how essential oils should be used safely.

You can understand then those that follow the French Model are very focused on the purity of the essential oils they are using.  Since I follow the French Model and teach the French Model I use Young Living Oils because of their Seed to Seal commitment.  This commitment is their promise that there are no chemicals used during the growing process, distilling process or bottling process.  Nothing has been changed by man.  This high standard is why Sweet Bottoms has decided to carry Young Living.

For Mamas who are looking to use essential oils to relieve common ailments and want that therapeutic result – then Young Living Oils are a perfect choice for you.  If you live in the Raleigh/Durham area, we hope that you will visit us for either an Essential Oil class or schedule a time for a one-on-one Essential Oils coaching session with our Sweet Bottoms Mamas!

What are Essential Oils and How Can I Use Them?

Essential Oils 101

I love essential oils and use them daily – but not everyone does… yet!  It is exciting to see the use of essential oils growing; Mamas are using them to keep their family healthy, wellness practitioners are recommending them to their clients for common ailments and hospitals are also using them to support their cancer patients.

When I tell people I work with essential oils, I often hear a common response, “I don’t really like strong smells – they give me head aches.”  Yes, I agree – I don’t care for perfumes and air fresheners either.  Essential Oils are different – let me explain.

Essential Oils are basically concentrated plant extracts from the juice or blood of the plant.  You know when you break a leaf or stem from a house plant and you see clear or white fluid come out – well that is a “cut” and the plant is bleeding – just like we do.  It is this fluid that we are extracting during the distillation process that becomes an essential oil. Chamomile field pic

Usually when we hear “oil” we picture olive oil or almond oil – something slick and heavy that stays on our skin – which we often use as a moisturizer.    Most essential oils are not thick like that because of the size of their tiny molecules.

During distillation, only very small molecules make it through the process – these molecules are under 500 amu (atomic mass unit).  When a molecule is so tiny like that it means that it is transdermal – it is absorbed into our skins very quickly.  So you may put a drop of essential oil in your palm and rub your hands together and within a few minutes – the oil is gone – is has been absorbed.  The magic of our essential oils come from this ability to be absorbed so quickly!

So, what can an essential oil do for us?  Well, now since essential oils are basically the blood of the plant – let’s think about what our blood does for us.  Our blood brings oxygen to cells, it helps to remove the “garbage”, it transports nutrients and protects us from germs.  The plant’s blood does the same thing for the plant too and what the plant’s blood does for the plant – it also does for us.  Yes… so that means that we can use essential oils to bring oxygen to our cells (support healing and increase 02 to the brain), remove “garbage” (cleanse our tissues), transport nutrients to our cells and fight bacteria and germs to keep us healthy.

That is pretty exciting – isn’t it!

What is beautiful about essential oils is that they are so versatile!  At my home and in my office I use them to freshen the air, clean with, support relaxation and sleep, reduce cold germs and use to alleviate common ailments.

And what makes this even more exciting is these essential oils are made out of molecules that are nature made – just like us.  Our bodies can work with these molecules much easier than man-made molecules that you’ll find in air fresheners, cleaning products, decongestants etc.,  They are non-toxic and do not cause side effects.  So for anyone who wants to go more “green” or natural – essential oils is a perfect tool for you.

Using essential oils is simple.  Here are a few examples of how I use them with my family:

  • Young Living Catalog Shoot 3/2009I apply them to the area that hurts and needs attention, like if I have tight muscles – I put a drop of essential oil on that area and rub it in.  Remember the small size of the molecules allows them to be quickly absorbed into the body.
  • I also use this transdermal quality and simply apply a drop or two of the essential oil on the soles of my feet.  I often do this when I want to enhance relaxation or sleep.
  • I simply smell the essential oil directly from the bottle.  This is a wonderful way to support focus and concentration, like if I need to drive late at night.
  • I diffuse or disperse the essential oil in the air so that the whole family inhales it and the tiny molecules land on everything in the room.  I diffuse my essential oils during the wintertime to reduce the number of cold germs in our house.
  • I take my essential oils internally by adding a drop to a glass of water or a teaspoon of honey.  I will take my essential oils internally when I am fighting a cold and want the full “wham-bang” antimicrobial effect.  Please make sure that if you choose to take your essential oils internally that you follow the directions on the label as most will say not to take internally.  If internal use is not recommended – don’t take it internally!

If your interest in essential oils has been piqued and you’d like to learn more about how you can use essential oils in your home then I highly recommend that you pick up Gentle Babies – a book that is specific to Pregnancy, Babies and New Mamas.  Sweetbottoms Baby Boutique carries this book and a few favorite baby essential oils too.

In my next blog I’ll talk about basic essential oils safety you need to learn before using essential oils.  I’ll also share about the different schools of thought when it comes to essential oil use.  If you can’t wait until the next blog – then you’ll find all your questions answered in Gentle Babies!