Dear Email, I Need an Hour

artI remember using dial-up to get to the welcome screen of AOL. The excitement of dialing in would make me smile, and then to hear that familiar voice say, “You’ve Got Mail”, was great. Fast forward a couple decades and the newness is long gone, and email is just a part of our lives.

In the past, I would wake up and within five minutes I would grab my phone and see if there were any missed calls, texts, and then emails. As soon as I opened the inbox I was immediately focused on its contents. I would grab my laptop, bigger screen, and sit on the sofa and dig into the contents of my inbox. Before I knew it at least 30 minutes, more likely 60, would be gone, and I would feel a bit stressed.

Then in early October my boss, Kim, was telling me about a speaker she heard who talked about not doing email for the first hour after waking up. She went on to explain that one hour can make a huge difference in our productivity level for the rest of the day. I like to try new things to be more productive, and thought I’d give it a go.

At first it was hard, and I cheated a day or two that first week. I decided I needed to put my phone temptation out of reach, and placed it on the end table in the living room. Moving it from my nightstand made a big difference, and helped me start a new morning routine.

I’m an early riser, and instead of sitting down to work on emails, I’m getting things done. It isn’t always something big, but just to have time to empty the dishwasher, start a load of laundry, write a note, and to get cleaned up for the day without worrying about that inbox, is amazing.

I was sure there was more information about waiting an hour, and while Googling the subject I found some good articles, blogs, and even entire books on the subject. One author, Julie Morgenstern, wrote in her book, “Never Check Email In The Morning”, that, “there is very little that cannot wait a minimum of 59 minutes”. I agree, and the email can wait.

Essential Odors in the Home, Part Four

Here are a few essential oils that help reduce musty, stale, pet, and smokey odors:

Bergamotoilbottles

Grapefruit

Lemon

Lemongrass

Lime

Mandarin

Orange

Sage

Tangerine

Any of the essential oils can be used on its own, my go to is lemon. I’m a huge fan of citrus, and to my nose lemon smells clean. However, I know lemon doesn’t do it for everyone and to get a unique odor eliminating blend just mix a few of the oils together.

When a space needs freshening use this blend in a diffuser, or mix in a dark glass spray bottle with 4 ounces of water.

essential oils and medical flowers herbs3 parts rosemary         3 parts bergamot

5 parts lemon

If a large area is affected by odor the purchase of an organic pure blend is possible. An example would be Purification which contains citronella, lavender, lemongrass, rosemary, myrtle, and tea tree. Use it in a diffuser or mix with water in a dark glass spray bottle.

If Purification is not available there is another organic pure blend known as Purify that is made of lemon, lime, and pine. This can get rid of odor quickly, and can be used in a diffuser, spray bottle mixed with water, or even in homemade cleaning solutions. If mixing either of these oils with water use 30 drops of oil to 8 ounces of water.

If the odor is in a specific area, say the garbage disposal use 2 parts lemon, 2 parts lavender, 1 part rosemary.

There are an unlimited amount of blends that can be created and used for odor elimination. Get a beginner set of very good essential oils, dark glass spray bottle, diffuser, and have some fun.

Read the other entries in this series: Part One, Part Two, Part Three.

Essential Oils in the Home, Part Three

diffuserMy preferred method for using aromatherapy in a home to get rid of odor and to set the mood is with a diffuser. Over the years I have used several kinds and have two I really like.

The first is the Raindrop 2.0 Nebulizing Essential Oil Diffuser for Aromatherapy By Organic Aromas. Wow, that’s a mouthful. I like this one because it only uses pure essential oils. It doesn’t use water that will dilute the oil, and no water also means no mold. It uses no heat that can edit the purity of the oils, and has a rainbow of colors that can be turned on or off.  The only drawback is also it’s greatest quality. By not diluting the essential oils it will use more, which means buying oils more often.

hibiscusThe second diffuser I use is the Smiley Daisy Essential Oil Hibiscus Diffuser. (another long name) I really like that the unit will run for over 6 hours and will automatically shut off when the water level gets low. It also has two different mist modes, and uses 5 to 7 drops of essential oil to make a room smell good. Overall, this is a great diffuser for someone who wants to get started using essential oils in the home and wants a quality product without breaking the bank.

It seems there will be a part four to this series, so I can share some aromatherapy recipes to get rid of smells and to bring positive energy into a space.

To read the other entries: Part OnePart Two, Part Four

Essential Oils in the Home, Part Two

Essential oils are a natural way to get rid of odor in your home. They can also be used to set mood, spirituality, physical well being, and even in your day to day beauty routine. There are countless ways to use and mix essential oils to meet a users needs. In this post I will share a recipe and a way to deliver the aromatherapy into a home to get rid of smell and to set the energy tone.

homemadesprayFirst, it is important to know not all essential oils are created equal. Some manufacturers cut the oils with ingredients that degrade their purity, and others make synthetic oils. It is best to get an organic oil that is cold pressed or steam distilled and contains only pure aromatic plant oils. The best way to find pure oils is to look at the ingredients on the bottle, which should be dark amber glass.

Now that I’ve shared a very basic idea of how to buy essential oils, the next step is what to buy to get started. Citrus oils  are best for a home with heavy odors and needs to be perked up with energy. These essential oils include tangerine, wild orange, grapefruit, lime, and lemon. On the flip side of the coin if a home has odor and the user wants to introduce calming properties to the room then lavender would work best.

Not everyone wants to spend a lot of money to get started with essential oils. The oils can be pricey and to start using them can be expensive.  An inexpensive method would be to use the essential oil as a room spray. Take a small glass spray bottle with 3 to 4 ounces of water and add 10 to 15 drops of the essential oil. Swirl the mixture gently and just spray in the room and/or area that needs freshened.

I think that is enough for this post which means there will be a part three. Coming soon!

Read the other entries in this series: Part One, Part Three, Part Four .

Essential Oils in the Home, Part One

part 1Being a real estate agent I visit homes on a regular basis. Not only should a home be orderly and clean when being shown, but it should also smell good. A potential buyer can be put off by walking into a home that stinks. The home can be beautiful, orderly,  and clean, however if it smells of pet urine, a litter box, cigarettes, or even a strong food odor, all of which can be turn offs to the buyer.

What can a homeowner do to get rid of that stench and make their home welcoming? Some think the use of chemical cleaners (disinfectant sprays, bleach, etc)  are the answer, however these can be overwhelming and have a negative effect on buyers.

Then there are the perfume sprays, candles, plug-ins, and all sorts of fragrance applications that can be overwhelming and make a buyer with allergies start to sniffle, sneeze, and run for the door.

What’s the answer? For those who know me, I try to live an organic life and embrace different methods for taking care of life’s obstacles. So, my answer to stinky home syndrome is aromatherapy through the use of essential oils. There are dozens of varieties of essential oils, and they can be mixed to get a unique blend to resolve an issue.

Now that I’ve answered the question of what to use to get rid of smell, I realize this isn’t going to be a one part article. There is a lot of ground to cover to explain the how. Part two coming soon!

Read Part Two, Part Three, Part Four.

Six DIY Fall House Tasks

fall-00We all know the drill: You wake up on a Saturday with every intention of doing some pre-winter maintenance but ditch your best-laid plans as soon as you feel the late-summer sun on your shoulders. Take a tip from the experts and avoid putting off till next Saturday (or next year) what you can do in a snap today—whether it’s replacing old weather-stripping or adjusting the pitch of the gutters. You can always put your feet up late, when it’s time to rake the leaves. Continue reading at “This Old House“.