DIY Clay Diffuser Necklaces

Last night I had a get-together at my house with a bunch of fun ladies to make DIY clay diffuser necklaces for our essential oils! This is one of the easiest crafts, ever — and you know that I am NOT a very DIY-type person. Also not a jewelry person. But ever since I made my first diffuser necklaces a few months ago, I have rarely taken them off. Here are the original two:
Heart Clay Diffuser Necklace | Conscientious Confusion

OM Clay Diffuser Necklace | Conscientious Confusion

The heart is actually my daughter’s two fingerprints, inspiration taken from this post. The lower one is the Sanskrit “OM”. The string used on these and the ones we made at the party last night are hemp.

Everyone making clay diffuser necklaces! | Conscientious Confusion
Everyone making clay diffuser necklaces!

For anyone who might be interested in making these easy diffuser necklaces themselves, here’s how I did it.

First, I bought some very basic oven-back clay (affiliate link) at the craft store.

Sculpey Clay

 

A word about the clay: you can get a little more “natural” by purchasing the standard reddish-orange colored oven-bake clay, but if you want to make it “pretty”, you’ll have to go with the dyed stuff. Painting the clay after baking will not work with essential oils. I am not too concerned about the dye used in the clay, since the dye is sealed in when the clay is baked.  As mentioned, I have worn my necklaces nearly nonstop for about 2 months now and so far there has been no color transfer of the dyed clay, despite the pendant being covered in oils multiple times every day. For me, the toxicity level here seems very low. Please feel free to make your own call on that. I love that the colored clays also come in metallic finishes. I think those were some of my favorite finished pieces!

Next: Getting creative

This is where Pinterest came in, for me, because I am NOT a creative person. I spent a little time over the course of a few weeks creating a Clay Diffuser Necklace Inspiration Pinterest board.

Follow Jenny’s board Clay Diffuser Necklace inspiration on Pinterest.

We kept my iPad open on the table and passed it around to look at pictures and get ideas.

One of the best ideas was pressing old jewelry and interesting buttons into the clay! If you are worried about the jewelry sticking to the clay and distorting the shape, sprinkle some baby powder onto the jewelry and/or the clay itself. Several people sprinkled the clay with baby powder directly and it did not change the color of the clay.

Don’t forget to punch a hole somewhere for the string!

Finally, bake the clay in the oven. I did remove the buttons from several of the pendants so they wouldn’t melt, then we glued them back on after baking. If you are wondering whether you can bake sequins safely, the answer to that is: YES.

I wish I had remembered to take a picture of EVERY necklace, but these are some of our faves that I did remember to take pictures of:

DIY clay diffuser necklace for essential oils | Conscientious Confusion

DIY clay diffuser necklace for essential oils | Conscientious Confusion

DIY clay diffuser necklace for essential oils | Conscientious Confusion

DIY clay diffuser necklace for essential oils | Conscientious Confusion

DIY clay diffuser necklace for essential oils | Conscientious Confusion

How to use the necklace: you probably want to wait until the clay is completely cooled before adding the first oil. Just drop your favorite oil (or the one you need the most right now!) onto the surface of the clay and rub it in a little. The first few times you put oil onto your necklace, it will mostly sit on top. The more you use the necklace, the faster it absorbs oil and the longer the scent of the oil will last. I do recommend keeping the necklace away from direct contact with clothing fabric for a little while after adding the oil, to make sure it doesn’t transfer to clothing. I usually shorten my necklaces manually by tying the hemp string at different lengths depending on the neckline of my top.

Now you can enjoy your essential oils anywhere!

#YogaEveryDamnDay: why challenges are fun for me

Even though I might take a break from blogging every once in a while to catch up on real life, I never stop Instagramming! Why? Because I participate in daily yoga challenges on Instagram. These challenges are run by yogis (often well-known yogis, most frequently instructors of some kind) who partner with each other and with yoga-related brands to present a pose each day during the challenge. The challenges are identified by hashtags, which is how things are found on Instagram and Twitter. In April, I did #BackbendMadness2014 and #SpreadAhimsa. Each day, I did the yoga pose presented by the hosts and posted a picture of myself in the pose (or attempting it!) with the hashtag of the challenge and tagging the hosts. At the end of these challenges, the hosting brands give away the fun prizes to random participants drawn by the hosting yogis. Last month, I actually won the Dolly Moo gift package from the #SpreadAhimsa challenge hosted by @yogagoddess_jo, @dalima26 and @sequellife_bp. Their challenge was also my favorite because it was small enough that we could all talk to each other and encourage each other! I really feel like I got to know the hosts.

I was so excited about winning these products that I had to share them with you. Please note, nobody paid me to share these! I just won them as part of a challenge giveaway and love them so much!

Dolly Moo Handmade Essential Oil body products

In this bundle:

Sage smudge stick – never used these before but looks neat!

Tangerine Oat Body Scrub – probably my favorite! I am embarrassed to say that I have been addicted to Arbonne Ginger Citrus body scrub for a long time even though it contains tons of toxins that are terrible for me. This is a much healthier, handmade product with NO TOXINS! Love it so much!

Lotus Aura oil – I haven’t used “perfume” in years, just versions of essential oil blends in natural body products. This blend is so yummy that it is a great perfume replacement! I believe it is also supposed to help enhance meditation or something, but I don’t know anything about that.

Lavender Essential Water – this spray has so many uses! I sprayed it on my face right away for cooling and calming when I returned for our trip. I have also sprayed it in our bedroom and in the bathroom to get rid of odors.

Handmade Lip Balm Trio – with combos like Peppermint Clove and Lemon Lavender, these balms are so smooth and luxurious smelling that I actually threw away some of the waxy, bland lip balms that I had lying around.

 

Aside from even the amazing gifts from Dolly Moo and the camaraderie of the #IGyogafamily, I very much enjoy the way daily challenges force me to be in a yoga mindset all day, and to make my practice daily instead of random. I also learn some great new poses that I have never tried! This month’s challenge has been #YogaToTheCore with @kinoyoga, @beachyogagirl, and @stoked_yogi, which is dear to my heart because it intertwined yoga with Pilates.

Next month (um, 1 day away!), I am going to be participating in the #MayIHandstand challenge where I will tackle my slow but steady progression to handstanding by the time I am 40 years old (follow my hashtag #handstandby40 on Instagram). I have taken some serious ground since January, but I still have a long way to go. I’d love it if you join me!

Gaiam Yoga Mat Finder -- Find your perfect mat(ch) with the Gaiam Yoga Mat Finder!

No SUV needed: two carseats in a sedan or compact car

So you’ve got kids. Maybe one, maybe two…Are you already resigning yourself to a gas-guzzling SUV or minivan? Maybe you started car shopping as soon as you got pregnant for the first time. It’s a pretty common trend here in Dallas. And certainly, once you hit that three-child-or-more threshold, you’re probably going to be driving a larger vehicle. But I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to give up your gas efficiency or eco-friendly driving habits just because you have one or two little buddies along for the ride!

We have driven a compact car — a Honda Fit — since shortly after our son was born in 2009. Before that, we primarily drove a Honda Civic, which we still have. Our children are currently 3 and 4 years old, so we have a convertible car seat and a convertible booster combo. Both are Britax — the Boulevard Convertible and the Pinnacle 90 Booster Combo (affiliate links), so they aren’t the smallest on the market. I’ve heard that one of the Japanese brands is actually the smallest, but I love the safety of the Britax brand.

I mention the average-to-large size of our two car seats because people often say that you cannot fit two car seats in a sedan or compact car. I am here to tell you that is just not an accurate statement. The kids are perfectly comfortable even in the grueling often-8-hour drive to San Antonio from Dallas. There is plenty of room for their toys and for an iPad hanging between the driver and passenger seat.

Two car seats in a Honda Fit, traveling to San Antonio in 2012
This picture was taken from the top of the iPad
resting between the driver and passenger seat

Just last week, we had to put the Honda Fit into the shop for repair work, and both car seats were moved back into our 2000 Honda Civic. Here they are in the back seat of the 4 door sedan, with room for all their toys in the middle.

Two Car Seats in a Honda Civic

And all that about not having enough trunk space in a small car? The trunk of our Civic is much smaller than the Fit (the Fit is a hatchback), and yet I was able to get all 11 of my yoga mats for kinds yoga inside their wheeled container, plus all the groceries from a trip to the grocery store into the Civic’s trunk with plenty of space to spare, as seen here.

Trunk of a 2000 Honda Civic

Obviously, we only have two kids right now. And it’s true that we cannot carry any passengers. We’ve had a few very ambitious family members (and once, myself) attempt to squeeze between the car seats in the back of the Fit, but it’s a terrible idea. My hips are very narrow and even I was unable to sit completely straight and was uncomfortable after 5 minutes.

It’s inevitable that as our children grow older and we wish to take passengers/friends with us in carpool situations, we will most likely have to purchase a larger vehicle. In a way, this post might even be a requiem for the dream of having the extremely fuel-efficient cars that we have had for the past few years.

I guess what I want to say is: please know that you CAN hang onto that smaller car a little bit longer. Save your money for when the kids are old enough to carpool or that third child. Hang on to that fuel efficient car as long as you can!
No SUV required - two car seats in a sedan or compact car | Conscientious Confusion

NOTE: There are 2 affiliate links in this post to Amazon, but I was not paid by Britax, Honda, or anybody else to write this post. Opinions are my own.

5 Unrelated Things #3

5 Unrelated things is my random-thoughts list feature, please feel free to grab this image and make your own 5 Unrelated Things post!

5 Unrelated Things hosted by ConscientiousConfusion.com

1.

I got a random stomach bug that came with FREE fever! for about 24 hours. The thing with homeopathic and natural remedies is that they only work if you can see the illness coming. This hit out of nowhere – BAM! It came conveniently right after a week of birthday and Valentine’s events that kept me offline.

2.

FYI, oregano oil is supposed to kill norovirus, or the stomach bug that is going around. If you can get it on fast enough, that is. The problem is that I have not been slathering my entire family and all our things in oregano. We do Thieves, but not really oregano. I did put oregano and peppermint oils on my feet to bring down fever and help me recover. You can buy oils here by clicking on “Product Line”.

3.

I totally took the easy way out and went with Gymboree for my daughter’s birthday. Not cheap, but no regrets! I really dislike planning things. I also bought the cupcakes pre-packaged from Whole Foods.

Gymboree Party Fun

 

Gymboree Party Premade Cupcakes

DONE. I can’t wait for next year when both kids are going to invite only a few close friends for some kind of fun experience – no more giant 30-person parties!!

4.

Our chickens laid eggs while it was 18 degrees outside, but quit laying when the temps were around 20-30 degrees. It’s been about 6-7 weeks now with no eggs. The last week has been in the 70’s and: no eggs. What is going on?! I am afraid they might have mites or something. Which is totally gross.

5.

I should probably start planting my garden again.

An Afternoon of Music: The Sense-able Gym Celebrates 6 months!

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be teaching kids yoga classes beginning in 2014 at The Sense-able Gym in Garland (near Richardson)! We’ve written about The Sense-able Gym on Dallas Moms Blog in the past, and the kids and I were able to visit last month to check it out. While it is geared to specifically assist children with sensory needs, it’s a wonderful play space for kids at all levels of learning. My kids LOVE the “Quiet Room” which is dark and has wonderful lighted toys, a music keyboard with shapes that you can jump on, and a light-reactive touching wall. I could go on and on, but I want to tell you today that The Sense-able Gym is celebrating their 6 month anniversary with a FREE special event THIS Saturday, November 23 from 3-5pm including demos and Q&A with myself, the music therapist, and a kids karate teacher. There will be sign-ups for all of our classes available and you can ask us any questions. Be sure to also follow Sense-able Gym on Facebook for updated info and their new open play hours.

The Sense-ableGym - Afternoon Of Music, November 23 from 3-5pm