Tag Archives: favorites

Essential Oils: My Favorites & Why I Like Them

Essential Oils are everywhere. Health food stores, popular culture, big companies… everywhere. Especially on the internet. Over the past few months, I’ve become someone much more in tune with my body and health. You might even go as far as to call me a “whole living” person… or maybe just a Hipster. Either way, I now eat Chia Seeds, practice yoga on a regular basis, drink out of mason jars, meditate and try to do as many things the “natural way” as possible (mainly for my own sanity, but that’s okay too). I’ll be sure to share more about my yoga and health practices soon!

Today, I wanted to share a little about my story and why I like essential oils for my life. If they’re still not your deal, that’s okay, I still like you. But for those of you that, like me a few months ago, were interested but not sure where to start, maybe I can give you some more information to start with. :)

Essential Oils: My Favorites & Why I Like Them

I was first introduced to Essential Oils when I started experiencing really bad migraines five years ago. Doctors, pharmacists (in Spain, where I was when the migraines were really bad) and friends have recommended Lavender and Peppermint EOs to help relax and relieve the tension. I’ve always enjoyed the smell of both of those things, so I picked up some inexpensive oils from NOW Foods on Amazon to see if they would help. (Here’s more info on NOW if you think you might want to start there, too.) Did they absolutely cure everything and all things? No. But did they make me more comfortable in my hours of pain? Absolutely.

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Over time, probably just like you, I’ve been exposed to friends and family getting more into EOs and even selling them. Jennifer McGuire wrote a post that I really connected with, and at that point I was interested but looking for a way to try before I bought into the significantly more expensive world of diffusers, the best oils and choosing a company to buy from. Fast forward to almost a year later, and I got to know a temporary coworker whose mom had been selling oils from Young Living for quite a while, and she had just signed up and got her kit. She was excited and brought everything to work so that I could smell everything, ask questions and look through the literature. She even gave me a sample of Peace & Calming to try out, and I was pretty much sold on giving these guys a try for real.

My favorite recipe in my diffuser for night - Aligning & Lavender (3 drops each with 100 mL water).

My favorite recipe in my diffuser for night – Aligning & Lavender (3 drops each with 100 mL water).

I bought a diffuser for about $30 – this pretty basic one to start out with – and started doing research on different Essential Oil companies. I also started pinning a ton of things onto a new Essential Oil board on Pinterest. It’s good to have ideas for a new thing all in one place like that.

Follow Britta Swiderski’s board Essential Oils on Pinterest.

After several days of research, I decided to start out with Rocky Mountain Oils for my “starter set.” Here are a few blog posts that help me decide on this company. (ONE, TWOTHREE, FOURNote: Rocky Mountain Oils and Native American Nutritionals are owned by the same people, but don’t let that confuse you too much. There is no best company out there, but there probably is one that best fits your wantsHere are the top three reasons I chose this company to start with.

  1. You just order. There’s no pressure to sign up and earn someone else commission, the shipping is very reasonable, and things seem to be in stock pretty consistently. (These are some of the problems I had with the “big guys” in the EO industry.)
  2. The oils are procured from plants grown in their natural homelands and are rigorously tested both on site and at the main location. If you read just a little from the company’s owner on the purity of oils and testing, you too will probably get the sense that this guy really knows what he’s talking about. For any oil, you can easily attain important information like country of origin, official species name and even testing results. I like buying things from people who know what they’re talking about.
  3. Price. OMGosh price. The quality is on par with the best (note: there is no official labeling standard for essential oils – companies can put a lot of things on the label that misrepresent the quality of the oil, so I definitely suggest doing some research of your own!), and the prices are amongst the best. This gave me more room to try several oils and see where that took me versus having to start out with just a few or with very, very tiny bottles.

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Here are the oils I went with for my first order. I looked at the Basic One Kit from RMO as well as kits and lists from other companies. These seem like what I would benefit the most from at the start. This list may look totally different for you, and that’s okay! I knew what I desired: stress relief, anxiety relief, something like Peace & Calming and a good base of the “must-haves” in EOs.

  1. Lavender – I’d already tried this from NOW foods, but I wanted to try this in high quality. It’s probably my favorite of all oils, and that’s for good reason – you can use it for anything.
  2. Peppermint – Same as above, plus this is good for migraines, sore muscles and digestive help. I’m all about that.
  3. Lemon – easily mixes with many other oils for a good combination, and it’s another must-have.
  4. Tea Tree – disinfecting and consistently recommended for skin. I made a rollerball (neat) just to have on hand for acne breakouts, and so far it’s earned its keep.
  5. Aligning – this smells a bit like YL’s Peace & Calming, and therefore I find myself using it often to help fall asleep and to roll on (diluted with FCO) my wrists and enjoy the aroma when I’m feeling anxious.
  6. Flu-Time (in the small 5 ml size) – I wanted to get this just to have on hand, but it came in hand waaayyyy faster than I thought – I got hit with a nasty head cold last week, and this was really good for diffusing at night + putting in a roller ball (diluted with FCO) to roll onto my feet when I needed that extra boost before work or at the end of the day.
  7. Immune Strength – I’ve diffused this as I’ve been feeling better from my cold but not 100%. It’s also a good boost when the allergen count is high. It’s a super comforting smell – nice and cozy.
  8. Trauma-Gone – anything meant to be calming is awesome in my book. This one is good for diffusing during mediation or yoga.

My total for my first order: $132.75, giving me a little bit of money to put towards accessories.

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Something I noticed while doing research is that roller balls are incredibly popular. It’s probably because they’re just about the most convenient thing ever. Want to apply oils to any area specifically? Roller ball. Want to keep the oils nice and cool and apply them that way for extra soothing power? Roller ball. Want to mix two oils together that you use regularly? Roller ball. You get the picture. ;) Here’s what I use for my roller balls:

  • Fractioned Coconut Oil (otherwise known as FCO) – a good carrier oil for diluting oils. Don’t let the idea of diluting oils scare you. You’re just adding more of a base so that the oils can reach more areas more effectively. Here’s a good dilution chart, especially since diluting oils makes your bottle of oil go a lot further!
  • Empty Roller Balls (pack of 24 for just about $11!) – clear glass ones are the cheapest, but it’s important to wrap them in something to block out light (I use washi tape) to maintain the integrity of the EOs. That’s why almost all EOs come in amber or blue glass bottles.
  • Liquid Pearls (Ellen Hutson & Simon Says Stamp) – perfect for labeling the tops indicating the use of the oil.
  • Rubbing Alcohol – you can pick this up at any drug store, and it’s perfect for disinfecting all the parts and pieces before filling them with oil. I simply spray a little bit on all the parts, making sure it covers all areas and let it air dry.

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Here are my current roller balls. A – Acne (Tea Tree, neat), R – Relax (Trauma-Gone, diluted), H – Headache (Lavender and Peppermint, diluted), F – Flu-Time (Flu-Time, diluted) and C – Calm (Aligning, diluted). I love that these can change and grow with me as my needs differ. Plus, washi tape makes everything pretty.

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What I’m doing now: researching (loving this book, The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy, for a reference!) and planning for which oils I’d like to try next. I definitely want several more from Rocky Mountain Oils (this chart is especially handy for comparing blends from company to company), but I would love to explore and check out a few other brands as well. I would also love to hear what your personal favorites are in the comments below!

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Now that I’ve been applying and diffusing oils regularly, I have a pretty good idea of where I’d like to go from here. I don’t know if oils are the answer to all of my needs, but I love the idea of being able to cut down on some medications (and some discomfort!) over time with the use of oils. Anything that helps deal with stress and anxiety is awesome in my book. Here’s what I’m planning for next:

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I love sharing things that I like, and I plan on sharing a lot more over the next few weeks. After a pretty bad spell of migraines, I’m happy to say that I’m on the road to recovery (I’m only getting one about every two weeks now!) and ready to get back to work. In fact, I’ve been working diligently on the next release of my beloved planner inserts and hope to have those out by the beginning of August! Stay tuned for updates on that. :)



Filed under DIY Home, Life and Health, Links and Shopping

Reporting from CHA – Starting now!

Hey friends. On Thursday, I head out to California (helllllooooo good weather!) to attend the 2014 CHA Mega Show. I’ll be connected starting from now through the end of the show on the 14th, sharing looks into what’s coming up next in the crafting world.


I finally had a day off yesterday, and today became a Cold Day when it was literally so cold (-35 degrees F) that neither my nor Jake’s car would start. So I’ve started researching, gathering and reporting. The sneaks and reveals from our favorite companies are rolling out hard and fast, and I want to share some things I’m really excited to see about in person. Source links and a brief description are listed below!


  1. American Crafts #Summer collection – the multi-sized flair and color choices in this collection seem to be super on-trend.
  2. Chickaniddy Crafts Date Night collection – this new company from Heidi Sonbol will be launching at the show, and I’m liking the Date Night collection for its fantastic neutral gray and vintage-inspired patterns. [Buy it now here!]
  3. Fancy Pants Mini Brag Books – Foiled Gold Heart is right on trend, and these look like these would be a fantastic base for a mini album or Week in the Life.
  4. Hero Arts Neon Sprays – You know my love for spray inks knows no boundaries, and these spray ink colors are SO PRETTY. [Buy them now here!]
  5. Lawn Fawn Let’s Roll stamp set – All of Lawn Fawn’s release already looks amazing, but this sushi-themed stamp set is making me endlessly happy. [Buy it now here!]
  6. Tim Holtz 9.5″ Scissors from Tonic – the best scissors in the business through cutting through anything now have a big brother. I will be ordering at least two pairs without so much as an extra thought.
  7. Project Life Strawberry Edition – designed by Emily Ley, this new PL set is true to her clean, simple and bright design style. I’ve always loved the way she uses color, and this set promises to be a good one. [Buy it now here!]

Thanks for stopping by today. Visit brittaswiderski.com/tag/cha2014w for updates about CHA, I’ll also be tweeting and instagraming about the conference once I start traveling. I hope you’re staying warm (especially if you’re experiencing the frigid cold front that Minnesota is experiencing right now) in this winter or cool in your summer. ;)

What’s your favorite peek that you’ve seen so far? Please share in the comments on this post!

See you soon!




Filed under Cardmaking, Links and Shopping

Filofax love – Essentials and Printables!

It’s Monday and I’m so ready for this week to begin! I’ve been on an organizing kick lately, and today I wanted to share all about something very near and dear to my heart these days – my Filofax.

***I now have even more awesome inserts available in the Filofax sizes and American sizes! Click here to see the Fall 2014 release AND a video tutorial on how to cut these printables out and prepare them for your Filofax. Check out a size comparison between Filofax and American sizes hereVisit the store here. ***

This is my planner, and it goes with me everywhere. I’m getting the hang of organizing, decorating and recording my weeks and am excited to see what else I can come up with for this little beauty. In fact, I’ve even designed my own inserts to go into my Filofax. Yay! Without further ado, here are my Filofax essentials.

10-07-13 Filofax Essentials by Britta Swiderski

  1. My Filofax Personal Metropol in black [FilofaxUSA] – I went with this one because it’s sensible (and a lower-budget model) and it works like a dream. Of course, now I’m googley-eyed over the Fluoro Pink Original in the personal size as well. It’s so bright and happy! Someday I will upgrade. :)
  2. A 12″ Steel Cork-backed ruler [Blick] – This is my go-to for any straight edges and cutting, and when making or printing your own inserts, this plus an exacto knife is the way to go.
  3. Stablio Fine Liner Marker Pens [Blick] – These are some of my very favorite colored pens, and they don’t really seep through paper. Awesome! I use these as a way to organize my days – pink for blog, purples for projects, orange for work, blue for medical and green for fun. I’m a pen NERD, though, so I’m sure I will have more recommendations for you on this front in the future. :)
  4. American Crafts Slick Writer [Simon Says] – This is perfect for writing on washi tape. It writes like a dream and comes in multiple tip sizes. This is an essential!
  5. Sharpie Pen Fine Point [Blick] [Amazon] – I can’t get enough of these pens. They’re my go-to pen on a daily basis, and that means that I always have one on hand when making notes or writing reminders into my Filofax.
  6. Olfa Snap-Off Art Craft Knife [Amazon] – I’m a big fan of the snap-off craft knife because it’s easy to keep the blade nice and sharp. This Olfa one has been with me since the first days of design school, and it’s still perfect with a steel ruler for straight, precise lines.
  7. Washi tape – do I need to encourage you on this one? I didn’t think so. ;) I will say that I’m loving the new Scotch washi tapes. They’re fun and have a great texture.
  8. A hole punch – A handheld one is fine if you’re doing one set of inserts (and also good for adding holes to index cards, notes, and anything else you want to stuff into your life binder), but I picked up this one pictured below and found it really great for testing out my printable inserts. It’s also adjustable! It punches holes in the Personal and Pocket size.

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So maybe I’m a little bit obsessed. That’s fine with me. :) What are your organizing must-haves? If you’re a fellow planner addict, I would love to hear about your favorite supplies!

Now introducing my printable planner pages. I started out just making these for myself, but I knew I had to share them when I was done. I just love the graph paper too much!

10-07-13 Filofax Printables by Britta Swiderski

Now up in the shop, I have a 2014 Week on Two Pages Personal set, and undated sets in A5, Personal and Pocket sizes: week on two pages, month on two pages and food diary week on two pages. Go check them out and let me know what you think about them!

I have a couple more in the works, but please do leave a comment if you have a request for another size or type. I’d love to see what you’d find helpful! They’re simple, straightforward and really let your organization and week be the point of focus on each page. I <3 them.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I’m having fun over here organizing away and hope you have a great start to your week! See you again soon with more lovely things.



Filed under DIY Home, Links and Shopping