Tuesday, October 31, 2017

8 Reasons You Should Be Using Vetiver

When it’s time to unwind after a long day, or if you need to buckle down for a project in a relaxing environment, look no further than Vetiver essential oil. Vetiver oil provides a sweet, woody aroma that can be applied topically or diffused to help create warm, welcoming spaces. The uses of Vetiver oil are numerous, from providing the perfect grounding scent for a decompressing massage to creating the ideal fragrance for soaps and perfumes. Find out more about the vetiver plant, as well as some key Vetiver oil benefits, and if you decide you need to give yourself a mid-blog Vetiver oil hand massage, we’ll understand.

1. From the Earth

The vetiver plant is a perennial grass native to tropical regions in Asia. Vetiver is a fragrant grass with long stems and flowers, but Vetiver essential oil is derived from the root of the plant. Vetiver roots can grow 7–10 feet long, and their deep, tangled webs help make the plant tolerant against drought and protect against soil erosion.

2. Into the Bottle

Vetiver oil is steam distilled from the root of the vetiver plant. It produces a warm, woodsy scent that’s slightly sweet and earthy.

3. For Men

The woody, earthy scent has been used for its fragrance for centuries, and a popular use of Vetiver is adding a warm aroma to men’s soaps and colognes. You can create a personalized scent by adding Vetiver essential oil as a base note for a masculine DIY perfume.

4. Study Scent

Let Vetiver’s complex and uplifting aroma help calm your mind so you can focus on the tasks that require the utmost attention. Perfect for study, difficult work tasks, or even curling up with a long novel, Vetiver essential oil’s fragrance creates a relaxing atmosphere where distractions lose their sway.

5. Thicker than Thieves®

Vetiver oil is known for its viscosity. Incredibly thick, it can sometimes be slow to flow from the bottle, but patience is a virtue, and there’s nothing wrong with your oil! Because Vetiver essential oil is so thick, we recommend adding it to a carrier oil before you put it in your diffuser.

6. In the Tub

Relax from head to toe with a warm bath, aided by the calming aroma of 15–20 drops of Vetiver oil added to your evening soak. If you want to dim the lights and hit play on your favorite chill-out tunes, that’s between you and the Vetiver.

7. On Your Body

Combine a few drops of Vetiver essential oil with V-6™ Vegetable Oil Complex for use in massage. All those unused “free foot rub” coupons that your significant other gave you last Valentine’s Day? You won’t regret putting them to use in an experience that can be deeply calming and moisturizing.

8. At Home

Create a blend for your family that is warm and relaxing. Use 3 drops of Vetiver essential oil, 5 drops of Lavender, and 2 drops of Ylang Ylang in your diffuser to set the stage for nights in playing board games, reading, or just getting through homework and chores in a calmer atmosphere.

Ready to get started on your own amazing essential oils journey? Learn more here:

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Real Reasons Why People Prefer Cats

Ask any pet lover if they consider themselves Team Cat or Team Dog, and you’re probably going to get some strong opinions. Although the number of U.S. households with dogs exceeds those with cats, felines win in measures of overall numbers. According to the latest survey, about 94 million felines live in the U.S. right now. Clearly, plenty of people play for Team Cat. 

After a long dark era where cat lovers were given a hard time (crazy cat lady stereotypes, anyone?), I’m pleased to see the merits of living with cats far outweighing any negative remarks. In fact, we seem to be enjoying a great renaissance of cat appreciation! Even in the virtual world, cats rule the internet thanks to endless YouTube videos. They're beautiful, mysterious creatures who share a deep and abiding connection with us mere humans. What’s not to love? 


If you spend enough time talking to people who consider themselves cat people, a few common themes emerge. Let’s take a look at some of the top reasons people find themselves gravitating towards Team Cat ….

  1. Ease of Care. When you bring home a puppy, you wind up with a 10-page list of requirements covering training, harnesses, toys, and socialization. Cat parents view such lists with mild amusement. By comparison, cats are pretty low-maintenance. Once you cover the basic necessities such as food, water, and a litter box, the rest is just bonus points! 
  1. Independence. Cats are naturally independent, unlike dogs who long to be part of a pack. Of course, certain cats are more social than others, but overall they aren’t as stressed by alone time as your average dog. To many people, this laid-back relationship can be very appealing! Like the cool kid in school who's a bit aloof, you almost love them just a little bit more.
  1. Big Personalities. Interestingly enough, both dog lovers and cat lovers mention personality as one of the reasons they chose one over the other. Clearly, they’re both right. It’s all about who meshes best with the family!

On a purely personal note, certain types of people tend to gravitate towards feline companionship. Folks who describe themselves as introverted, laid-back, shy, refined and independent seem to be naturally inclined toward the feline temperament. There are some who also claim intelligence as a trait of cat people, but as someone who adores both, I’m not going to touch that one!


As for the notion that it’s mostly women who love cats, nothing could be further from the truth! Cat dudes are loud and proud with their love of all things feline. A few feline fans who just so happen to be famous guys include Christopher Walken, Macklemore, Marc Maron, James Franco, Gilles Marini, Russell Brand and Ian Somerhalder!
Of course, there are many among us who simply can't pick one over the other. In fact, more than half of cat households are also dog households. I have been blessed with cats, dogs, and a few other types of pets throughout my life, and I love them all equally! While it’s fun to play up the differences between dog people and cat people, we’re all animal lovers, and that’s what matters the most.
So, how about you? Are you a charter member of Team Cat? 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Supporting Military Service Members


A few months ago, one of our military veterans received a hero’s farewell. In Muskegon, MI, hundreds gathered to witness the passing of Cena, a black Labrador who retired in 2014 after serving three tours of duty sniffing out explosive devices in Afghanistan. After his recent diagnosis of terminal bone cancer, his caretaker made the decision to end Cena’s life with dignity, and some well-earned fanfare. Cena was one of many military service animals who have saved countless lives for decades.
We reflect with gratitude on the history of those who have served, both human and companion animal, alike. For those of us who don’t serve and are fully entrenched in the civilian way of life, military life can feel like foreign territory. Given that so many have given so much, we’re left to wonder, “What can we do to help?” To that we say, “We’re glad you asked” and we encourage you to open your heart to these following possibilities.

Foster During Deployment: If you answer “no question, my dog / cat” when asked who you’d want with you on a deserted island, fostering an animal for service members deployed overseas may be the role for you. Like anyone, active military service members can and often do have doggies and kitties. They also have the unique hardships of extended out-of-town training, deployments and living far away from a network of family or close friends. Lest these difficulties bar service men and women from being pet parents (or worse, surrendering a pet), there are organizations that exist to “matchmake” service members with volunteer pet boarders. These groups seek private homes and boarding facilities that would care for a military foster pet for as short a period as a couple of weeks, up to one year and everything in between. If you live near a military base, check for a regional service in your area or visit one of the national services like DogsOnDeployment.org.


Adopt a Hero: In an ideal scenario, a retired military working dog (MWD) is to ultimately be adopted by their handler partner, but this is not always possible. If you are a fan of dogs who demonstrate a real drive and purpose, perhaps you have a place in your home for a retired hero! The 2016 National Defense Authorization Act was cause for great celebration because it means that retired military working dogs are now, for the first time, assured of being returned to the U.S. Previously there was tremendous advocacy and expense required on the part of the handler or other caring humans to get these dogs back home. Some adoption organizations currently have waiting lists for MWDs, but this new act could mean an increase in the number of retired working dogs seeking forever homes. To learn more about retired MWD adoption, please check out U.S. War Dogs Association and Mission K9 Rescue.


Make a Contribution: There are approximately 2,500 U.S. Military Working Dogs currently in service around the world. Consider spending the time to assemble a care package for one, two or even a few of these remarkable canines and their handlers. A little bit of comfort can go a long way towards helping service members endure conflict hardships and feel connected to home. There are also a handful of non-profit groups that facilitate medical care, housing, and adoption for retired military dogs ~ all of which need financial assistance. And let’s not forget our local law enforcement agencies! These groups are often under-funded and under-equipped for their K9 officer programs, relying on grants, private donations and out-of-pocket contributions from their officers. Project Paws Alive works to centralize fundraising efforts for departments actively seeking help. Or simply contact your local fire rescue, sheriff or police department to learn about their specific needs and how you might be able to help.


Become an Advocate: As ‘excess and out-of-service equipment’, Retired MWDs do not receive government funding to support their integration into civilian home life. It’s not uncommon for them to have costly medical needs, or to be without a safe place to heal from the effects of Post Traumatic Stress. Others simply need temporary housing or even just transportation to their new forever home. There are also ‘guardian angel’ volunteers who keep track of MWDs re-apportioned to private contract companies in hopes they may be assured a loving home when their service finally ends.
In light of everything our service members do for us (human and canine), embrace that patriotic spark and let your gratitude inspire action. And be sure to share your own stories in the comments section below!

Read more about Cena here: 


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

10 Tips for Keeping Your Cat's Environment Stress-Free

You may think it strange that your cat can suffer from anxiety. However, a stressed-out cat is much more common than one would think. Even worse, stress and anxiety can affect your cat’s health negatively, manifesting itself in a variety of ways including illnesses like cystitis and inappropriate elimination.

If your cat’s behavior changes suddenly in any way, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. He or she can rule out any underlying medical issues as well as make suggestions to help lower your cat's stress level. But why wait? Here are some basic cat needs, and tips for creating a stress-free environment in your home today.

1. Never Trivialize Litter Boxes

Litter boxes are a necessity for all pet cats, but simply providing a litter box is not enough. Consideration needs to be given to the size of the litter box, the location, the type of litter used, and the daily care of the litter box. There are many types of litter available, however, try to choose the one that your cat prefers. In general, heavily fragranced and high-dust litters are not appreciated by most cats and should be avoided.

In a multi-cat household, there should be at least one litter box for each cat plus one extra. Litter boxes must be kept clean. They should be uncovered and large enough for your cat to fit comfortably in the box. Also, the boxes should be placed in quiet areas of the home where your cat will not be disturbed while using them. Be sure to give your kitty an "escape route" and don't place litter boxes in places where your kitty can be "ambushed" by people or other pets. Privacy is just as important to your cats as it is to you. 

2. Buy a Good Quality Cat Food

Food is another cat necessity, but which cat food is the best? Consult a pet nutritionist or do your own research to choose a high quality, complete and balanced food that is best to keep your cat healthy. Feeding a cheap, low-quality food may save you money up front, however, will end up costing you more down the road with potential health issues from pet foods that are devoid of proper nutrients and full of chemicals and by-products. Know what's in your pet's food! Learn more about quality pet food, treats, and supplements at:

Most cats prefer to graze and should be fed small quantities several times daily. This can be made more difficult in a multi-cat home. Cats in a multi-cat household should be fed measured amounts and not free fed to protect them from becoming overweight. You may also need to provide more than one feeding station if you have a cat that guards the dish or bullies the other cats at meal-times. A cat that has to worry about defending himself from another cat while eating may become stressed and anxious, and may not eat adequately as a result.

3. Give Your Cats a Good Water Supply

Water is one of the most important nutrients for your cat. However, many cats don’t drink enough water and live on the verge of dehydration, which may contribute both to disease and undue stress. Encourage your cat to take in moisture by feeding a canned diet (at least in part). Some cats also enjoy drinking from a flowing water supply so water fountains and / or dripping faucets may be helpful for encouraging your cat to drink more water. Separate water stations may be necessary for multi-cat households. Also, do not place water supply stations near feeding stations as cats generally do not drink near their food source.

4. Provide Some Perches for Your Cats

Most cats enjoy perches because being in an elevated position allows them to survey the surrounding area and see any approaching danger (like an antagonistic feline housemate) before the danger becomes a threat.

There are many forms of cat perches, including cat trees, cat shelving, or other objects on which your cat can climb or jump. Consider placing a cat bed, blanket, or towel on the perch for your cat’s comfort. Placing a perch near a window will allow your cat to survey the outdoors, which many cats find entertaining. Again, there should be ample perches for all cats in the home. If you have multiple cats, don’t expect them to share.

5. Establish a Few Scratching Areas 

Scratching surfaces are important for your cat’s health and well-being. Deny your cat a scratching post or scratching area and you deny your cat the ability to mark his territory as he prefers. This, in turn, may result in stress and even anxiety. Your cat may even choose his own scratching area ~ like your furniture or carpeting ~ which will annoy you and create a more stressful environment for your cat.

Provide your cat with both vertical and horizontal scratching surfaces. Make sure there is at least one scratching post / surface for each cat in your home. Additional scratching surfaces cannot do any harm and may be appreciated.

6. Give Your Cats Plenty of Hiding Places

Your cat requires a private place where she can retreat to feel safe when overwhelmed or threatened. Failing to provide such a place will add stress and anxiety to your cat’s life. Hiding places can be a box, a quiet closet, or even a carrier in which your cat can seek shelter.

In a multi-cat household, blocking the line of sight between cats with a solid barrier can be useful, especially when one cat tends to bully or aggravate the other. 

7. Make Regular Playtime with Your Cat a Priority

Keep your cat’s mind stimulated and help reduce stress with exercise and interactive games. There are many types of toys available, so experiment and find out what type of toy your cat likes best. Some cats prefer toys with feathers that mimic a bird, while others prefer those that more closely resemble a mouse or small rodent. Laser pointers can be entertaining for some cats as well, however, since they are unable to "catch" a laser beam, allow your cat to "catch" his prey with another type of toy. Otherwise, being unsuccessful will stress kitty out even more. 

Spend at least 20-30 minutes a couple of times a day actively engaging your cat in play. Your cat will appreciate the time with you, get more exercise (helping to keep him fit), and be less anxious.

8. Don't Forget Snuggle Time

Attention from their owners is something that most cats enjoy. Spending some time with your cat on a daily basis, whether it is snuggling or some other activity, can also be a great stress reducer for most cats. This time will also allow you the time to observe your cat’s behavior for any changes.

9. Try to Avoid Sudden Changes in Environment

Cats typically do not care for change. In fact, changes in environment or routine can be quite stressful for your cat. Trying to keep changes to a minimum in your cat’s environment and keeping your cat’s daily routine constant can be useful in preventing or alleviating stress and anxiety.

10. Consider Stress-Reducing Products

You may want to try the plug-in pheromone products, which work chemically to relieve stress and calm anxiety, would benefit your cat. However, there are also chemical-free ways to calm your kitty, such as diffusing essential oils with a cold air ultrasonic diffuser (never heat essential oils as this breaks down the healing properties). Young Living has pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils that work wonders for calming pets. Our kitties prefer Lavender or Peace & Calming or Stress Away, which are just three of many choices available. Learn more about essential oils for pets at:  

Raven is a Holistic Lifestyle Consultant, Aromatherapist, Energy & Spiritual Healer, Animal Reiki Practitioner, and Plant-Based Nutrition Specialist. Her offerings include healthy, holistic lifestyle products, resources, recipes, Earth-friendly advice, and lots of other cool stuff to make holistic living a worthwhile journey for you and your pets! 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Feng Shui for Happiness

It's so easy to become consumed by responsibility. The goal of Feng Shui, however, is to
lead a balanced life. That means making room ~ physical and symbolic ~ for happiness. If you are feeling overwhelmed, make a few Feng Shui adjustments to your home and workspaces.

Pretty soon, stress will give way to levity and your zest for life will be restored. Here are some tips:

Make A Toy Box ~ Creating a stash of items that give you pleasure will remind you to make time for your favorite activities. Paints, freshly sharpened pencils, paper, modeling clay, photography equipment ~ whatever your materials, devoting a space to art supplies will prompt you to become more creative. Ideally, your toy box should be kept in the center portion of the right side of your home. This area governs joy.

Improve Your Outlook ~ If your desk faces a wall, work could consume your life. Reposition your desk so you have a more inspiring view. This will remind you to balance responsibility with fun. In the event you can't change the location of your desk, hang a picture of people having a good time at eye level. That way, you'll remember you have a life outside of the office.

Color Your World ~ Avoid a monochromatic color scheme if you are prone to depression. If you like white walls, hang a colorful painting on one of the walls to serve as an uplifting focal point. If the natural world gives you joy, choose a neutral color palette of taupe, gray, brown and honey. Warm colors like red, yellow and orange are ideal for people who take pleasure from artistic activities. Cool colors like blue, green and purple are more suited to people who are happiest when relaxing.

Become An Empty Vessel ~ Happiness can't take root if there's no room for it to flourish. If your home is overflowing with things you don't want, use or need, it's time to have a garage sale. Donate anything you can't sell to charity. It's especially important to keep the right side of your home airy and spacious. If energy flows freely in this area, you'll approach life with an open and happy heart.

Open Up ~ Displaying open jars, containers and vases in the center portion of the right side of your home signals a desire to be filled with happiness. Resist the urge to fill these containers with possessions ~ remember, they are symbols of your ability to receive gifts.

Shine On, Harvest Moon ~ Symbols of the harvest can attract the happiness you desire. That's because the harvest represents humankind's ability to rejoice after a period of hard labor. If you have difficulty switching gears after work, place a picture of a ripe bowl of fruit on the right side of your home. Other good symbols include trees covered with autumn leaves, as well as family photos from Halloween and Thanksgiving.

You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby ~ Displaying pictures of yourself as a child can remind you to reconnect with the joyful, spontaneous spirit associated with youth. Choose only photos that evoke happy memories, though. If you had an unhappy childhood, you might opt for photos of baby animals.

Add Earth Energy ~ In order to be happy, you need to feel safe, secure and supported. Therefore, it's a good idea to incorporate lots of Earth energy on the right side of your home. Low furniture, mellow colors, soft textures and square shapes will let happiness enter your home.

Make The Rainbow Connection ~ Hang a faceted crystal from a window that gets lots of light. The rainbows your prism creates will dissipate any depressing energy that lingers in your home, allowing you to move forward with a light heart.

Set Yourself Free ~ Feng Shui treats your possessions as an extension of your inner life. If you are surrounded by furniture and artwork that make you sad, you need to make a change. Get rid of family heirlooms that fill you with grief. Replace them with items that are an extension of your taste and personality, because honoring your own sensibilities is the fastest route to happiness.

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Via Holistic Pets & Peeps!, I offer Holistic Lifestyle Consultations, Aromatherapy, Energy & Spiritual Healing, Grief Recovery For Pet Loss, All-Natural Premium Pet Food / Pet Products & Nutritional Products for Pets & Peeps as well as Whole Food Plant-Based Nutritional Coaching and Holistic Therapies using essential oils and oil-infused supplements. Services are available for animals and people. ♥

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Explore the 2017 Holiday Catalog from Young Living!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Our 2017 Holiday Catalog is here!

Our Holiday Catalog is here, and we are excited to share our new festive favorites. It’s full of exclusive seasonal sets and brand-new products, including the White Light Holiday Tree Scent Set and the long-awaited Yoga Kit, so you’ll find something for everyone on your list ~ and maybe even something for yourself! Grab your favorites starting now and hurry ~ they’re available only through the end of the year or while supplies last!

Unforgettable YL Gifts For Those You Love Most

While supplies last for all Holiday Catalog items.

New Savvy Minerals products not in the Holiday Catalog include: Mascara, Freedom Eye Shadow, Adore Lip Stick, Maven & Journey Lip Gloss. These will be permanent items available for purchase year round.

Click on the link for the Virtual Catalog . . . .

If you have yet to get started on your own amazing essential oils journey, join as a Wholesale Member with any Premium Starter Kit and enjoy 24% off ALL of your purchases! No annual fees and no requirements except a once a year purchase of $50 or more. How cool is that?!


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Create Your Own Spa Getaway with DIY Shower Bombs!

Create your own spa getaway with these easy-to-make DIY shower bombs! 
The next time you need a bit of rejuvenation, toss a shower bomb in the bottom of your shower and enjoy the wonderful scent or create a collection of these homemade shower bombs as a gift for someone you love.
What You Need:
  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1 cup citric acid (available at health food stores or online)
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 30+ drops of your favorite aromatic essential oil (see our suggestions below)
What You Do:
Mix together the baking soda and citric acid in a medium-size bowl. In a separate small bowl or bottle, mix together water and essential oil. Slowly add the oil-water mixture a few drops at a time into your dry ingredients, stirring well after each addition (a stand mixer works well for this). When ingredients are thoroughly mixed, tightly pack into 2-inch balls using your hands, a stainless steel cake pop mold, or a cookie scoop. Set on a plate to dry. If necessary, pack the balls again more tightly. Allow to dry for 12+ hours before using.
To use, simply place a bomb near your feet under warm running water and enjoy the aromatic experience!

Young Living DIY Essential Oil Shower Bombs
Suggested essential oil additions:

  • Morning Fresh Shower Bombs: Add 30 drops of Eucalyptus Radiata Essential Oil to a batch for an invigorating and fresh aromatic experience.

  • Orchard Stroll Shower Bombs: For a sweet, refreshing aromatic journey, add 30 drops of Citrus Fresh™ Oil to a batch.

  • Day’s End Shower Bombs: Add 30 drops of Lavender Essential Oil to a batch to enjoy a relaxing aromatic addition to your shower time.

If you have yet to get started on your own amazing essential oils journey, 
please feel free to Contact Me! for more information, or simple log onto:


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe

Yes, Vegan Thanksgiving IS a thing and this Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe proves that holiday tastes can be made using nothing but plant-based ingredients and still deliver all the fall flavor you love. With sweet, velvety acorn squash, crunchy quinoa, colorful veggies, and essential oils, this simple vegan recipe lets you enjoy the flavors of the season without needing to bust out your stretchy pants.

What You Need:
What You Do:
    Roasting the Squash
  1. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  2. Cut off ends of squash and cut in half lengthwise.
  3. Scoop out pulp and seeds.
  4. Brush squash halves with ½ tablespoon olive oil.
  5. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper.
  6. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Place squash sides face down on baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 25–35 minutes.
    While Squash is Roasting
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet.
  2. Saute celery, carrots, and onion for 5–7 minutes.
  3. Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add Brussels sprouts and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Combine quinoa, sautéed veggies, and wolfberries.
  6. Combine 1 teaspoon olive oil with Vitality essential oils.
  7. Pour over quinoa/veggie mixture and toss.
  8. Salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Fill each squash half with mixture.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes.
  11. Let cool slightly; then dig into this festive fall dish!

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