Flash Giveaway: ZAQ Noor Essential Oil Diffuser

Chances are, if you walk into my home (or you know, hug me), you’re going to get a whiff of an essential oil. In case you didn’t know, I’m a huge fan of these wonderful oils and use them daily to create a happier, healthier home.

Flash giveaway: ZAQ Noor Essential Oil Diffuser

Using essential oils aromatically is an excellent, safe way to incorporate them into your home and you can do it for a number of different reasons:

  • Clean the air
  • Uplift moods
  • Support the immune system
  • Open airways
  • Calm down crazy children (and spouses)

Plus they smell awesome and make your house smell like a citrus grove. Or lavender field. Or cinnamon stick. You get the picture.

My favorite way to use essential oils aromatically is with a diffuser. With a diffuser, I put a little bit of water (how much depends on the machine) in with a few drops of essential oil. I turn it on and bam! Whatever room my diffuser is sitting in fills with the scent (and benefits) of the essential oil(s) I’m diffusing.

I’ve got a diffuser that travels around my house and even one for the car that has a USB adapter that I can technically use inside (it made our yurt smell awesome when we went to the coast recently).

Also, I’m in love with my new diffuser necklaces, but they’re more of a one-person kind of thing. Unless you get reeeeeeeeally close to me.

Anywho, using essential oils aromatically = a really great way to create a happier, healthier home.

Essential Oil Diffuser Giveaway

Flash giveaway: ZAQ Noor Essential Oil Diffuser

Would you like a chance to win a diffuser to use in your home so you use essential oils aromatically? I’m giving away a ZAQ Noor diffuser!

I’ve got one of these sweet little diffusers sitting on my desk right now and I love it! It’s smaller than my other diffuser and I love having it going while I work (3 drops wild orange and 2 drops lavender at the moment).

Here’s what I love about it:

  • Mid-size (saves space)
  • Multi-color LED lights (that can I can turn off if I want)
  • Energy efficient
  • 4-hour run time
  • Uses just a few drops of essential oils

This giveaway is in honor of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle sale! It has tons of resources to help you create a happier, healthier home. And this diffuser will help!

Everything included in the bundle would cost over $1240 to buy separately (including over $300 worth of bonuses). But you can get it all for just under $30.

Awesome, right! Have you gotten your bundle yet? The sale ends in just a few days.

How to enter

You can enter simply by using the handy widget below. There are four options to win the ZAQ Noor diffuser:

  • Visit the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle site and leave a comment here telling me what resource(s) you’re most excited about
  • Visit Shalom Mama on Facebook
  • Get the newsletter
  • Easy peasy entry – just hit enter!

Go ahead and enter!
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DIY All-Purpose Cleaning Spray (+ Essential Oil Cleaning Trio Giveaway)

One of the simplest ways to create a healthier home is to remove all the toxic cleaners from your space. You can do that easily with this DIY all-purpose cleaning spray.

All-Purpose Cleaning Spray

If you’re used to using harsh chemicals to get your house clean, you might wonder if it’s really possible to clean your home with water, vinegar and essential oils.

But it works. (Here are some studies on that.)

Vinegar itself is a great natural cleaner. Add essential oils to the mix, however, and you’ve got powerful antimicrobial properties that clean your home without harming your body.

  • Lemon: Antibacterial, degunkifier, degreaser, mood lifter, detoxifier.
  • Lavender: Antimicrobial, skin soothing, calming.
  • Melaleuca: Antimicrobial, skin soothing, ear infection healer.

Awesome, right?

DIY All-Purpose Cleaning Spray

Combine all the ingredients in a glass spray bottle (essential oils will break down plastic). Slap on a pretty label and use to clean the surfaces in your home.

Essential Oil Cleaning Trio Giveaway


How about a giveaway so you can start making this cleaner? Here’s what’s included:

Total retail cost: $67

Lavender, lemon and melaleuca are some of the most commonly used essential oils out there.

And these are also three of the essential oils covered in The Healthy Home ecourse (normally $95) from Vintage Remedies that you’ll find in the Ultimate Healthy Homemaking bundle (it ends in just a few days).

This awesome ecourse teaches you how to safely and effectively create a healthier home and covers essential oils, personal care products, greening your kitchen and more.

Many of you are interested in creating a healthier home and I think this bundle is the perfect way to get started.

Not only do you get The Healthy Home ecourse, but you get additional ebooks, courses, conferences and printables on creating a happier, healthier home.

Everything included in the bundle would cost over $1240 to buy separately (including over $200 worth of bonuses). But you can get it all for just under $30.

Let me say that again … You can get over $1240 worth of holistic homemaking resources, including an healthy home ecourse that costs $95 on its own, for less than $30.

Holy amazing deal, Batman!

How to enter

You can enter simply by using the handy widget below. There are three options:

  • Visit the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle site and leave a comment here telling me what resource(s) you’re most excited about
  • Visit Shalom Mama on Facebook
  • Easy peasy entry – just hit enter!

Ready? Go!
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3 Areas to Spring Clean You!

I don’t know about you but I can easily get spring fever. If I lived along the East Coast or in parts of the Mid-west this past winter I know I would have a bad case of it right about now.

3 Areas to Spring Clean You | ShalomMama.com

Thankfully, here on the West Coast, spring has sprung. Warmer weather and brilliant spots of bright colors are popping up all over the place.

Spring is an interesting time of year. The weather can be totally unpredictable, allergies flare up as pollen counts skyrocket, and flowers seem to appear overnight.

Winter is a time of…

    • Moving inward
    • Warm sweaters
    • Warm comfort food
    • Hunkering down
    • Staying In
    • Staying Warm

Spring is a time of…

  • Outward movement
  • Lighter clothes
  • Lighter food
  • Flowers
  • Warmer weather
  • Getting outside

When the beautiful days of spring start showing up, spring fever can kick into high gear. I mean there are even days that Spring Cleaning sounds fun to me. I mean at first it does, I do seem to fade out half way through the cleaning project and want to head outside. :)

Spring, A Time of Renewal & Growth

During this time of year there is a desire to make positive changes and feel better about ourselves. Here are 3 areas where we can shed off the old and bring on the new with some personal spring cleaning.

1. Diet

Of course, right!? The easiest and hardest place to make changes.

Shed off the old: Take a look at your eating habits. Are there some lingering bad habits from the holidays still hanging on? For me this spring has had me looking at my refined sugar intake and for hidden sources of gluten.

Bring on the new: To replace the sugar I’ve been experimenting more with reducing the sugar in my recipes a well as learning more about using coconut sugar, raw honey and maple syrup. It has been fun to find new recipes and help with the taste testing, well maybe not all of the experiments, there have been a few that pretty much went straight to the garbage!

2. Physical Health

Shed off the old: For many of us, being outdoors in winter is hard. We are stuck indoors for days, weeks or even months at a time. We start to feel sluggish, heavier and more sedentary. As the nicer weather starts to appear, it’s time to make some changes.

Bring on the new: Getting outside feels sooo good! Long walks at the park, on the beach or just around your neighborhood can make such a difference. In the spring I start to visit my list of hikes I want to try to start adding them to my schedule, it is time to kick it up a notch and get more active again.

Working on your diet will also make a big impact in your physical health.

3. Mental Health

Shed off the old: Have you heard of the winter blues? The mental cobwebs can certainly build up towards the end of winter and we may feel sluggish mentally, not just physically. Cabin fever can start to creep in, we feel restless and out of sorts.

Bring on the new: Even small improvements in your diet and physical health and activity level can make dramatic improvements in your mental and emotional well-being.

How about heading outdoors more and taking time to breathe deep. I’ve been hearing podcasts and reading article about how spending time outdoors reduces high levels of cortisol and reduces stress.

Doesn’t that sound good?

These are just a few areas for you to think about. Areas where with a little bit of personal spring cleaning you can make a positive impact in your life and the life of your family.

Need a little extra help with Spring Cleaning?

This week, some friends of mine are offering a FREE mini video course called 4 Steps to Stress-Free Homemaking.

It’s a short video course designed to help you simplify cleaning so you have more time to do other stuff. They’ll help you get control of:

  • Laundry
  • The kitchen
  • Meal planning
  • Nighttime routine

It’s a precursor to next week’s Homemaking Bundle (which I am SO excited to share with you!) and from what I’ve seen of it so far, it offers some very simple, easy-to-implement tips.

You can get instant access to the course here.

What areas do you need to do some spring cleaning in?

Top Essential Oil Books and Courses

When I first started using essential oils, I got this great idea. What if, instead of deodorant, I just rubbed on a few drops of wild orange (because I love the smell) and call it good? Guess what happened?

Top essential oil books & courses

It burned. A lot. Turns out, diluting it with some coconut oil would have actually made this a great idea.

You know what I was missing? A guide to show me how to use essential oils correctly. (At least I learned my lesson.)

I’m a huge fan of research and making informed decisions. And one of the best ways to do that, especially with essential oils, is with some good reference books (and maybe an online course or two).

Today I wanted to share a list of my top essential oil books and courses that you can use to further your essential oil knowledge. You know, so you don’t make the same mistakes I did.

My Favorites

  • Modern Essentials (must-have): This is my go-to resource for using essential oils. You can get the hardcover or the mini spiral-bound version.
  • Emotions and Essential Oils: If you haven’t explored the world of emotional healing with essential oils, I highly recommend this resource. It’s specific to doTERRA essential oils and has some great info for emotional healing.
  • Aroma Heal: I highly recommend this book as a companion to Emotions and Essential Oils. The above tells you which oils to use for different emotional needs and Aroma Heal helps you put in into practice with simple energy healing techniques. (Plus it was written by one of my awesome doTERRA friends.)
  • Everything Essential: Technically not a book, but an excellent (free) online resource for using essential oils.
  • Simple Family Wellness: Ok, so I’m biased because I wrote this. But if you’re looking for a super-quick guide with some easy-to-use essential oil recipes, grab your free copy here.

Other Recommendations

If you’d like even more information on using essential oils in your home, take a look at some of these great courses (and one very special FREE summit).

Short Courses

Intermediate/Advanced Courses

Special Essential Oil Summit

The Essential Oils Revolution Summit: With more than 30 presentations about relevant evidence and practical advice from the experts, the Essential Oils Revolution will help you use essential oils effectively.


This event is the first-ever, online, non-branded (no oil brand wars!!!) event to include experts from every field, including aromatherapy, direct sales, medicine and research. Register here.

What are your favorite resources for using essential oils?

Castile Soaps & Their Benefits: Spice Up Your Cleansing Routine

Today’s post comes from guest author, Audrey Lefebvre, RN. She is a featured blogger and presenter for Castile Soap.

A year ago on a beautiful Sunday morning, I woke to warm sunlight bathing my skin through the partially-opened blinds. Knowing I was free to soak up the warmth without having to rush out of bed was heavenly. I closed my eyes and thought about all the goodness this brand-new day would offer: going to church, writing an article, strolling down boutique shops in sunny Florida!

Castile Soaps & Their Benefits: Spice Up Your Cleansing Routine | Shalom Mama

It all seemed perfect – until the time came to step in the bathroom and go through the daily routine of washing my face, brushing my teeth, and combing my hair.

These redundant tasks were far from exciting, especially when compared to everything I was looking forward to. So I decided to spice up my mornings with a few simple changes.

Spicing up my cleansing routine

The organic liquid foam I was using is pretty good for the skin as it contains no harsh chemicals – however, the packaging was pale and dull. As a holistic advocate who knows the importance of starting your day strong, I was going to turn a healthy – but boring – experience into a delightfully pampered one.

I had already upgraded my tooth paste a few weeks before: I started brushing my teeth with baking soda mixed in natural toothpaste, which I hope would brighten my teeth.

I thought to myself, “If today was the last day of my life, would I want to start it differently?”

So I decided to put away my cut-rate organic soap dispenser and try something new: Castile Soap.

Upgrading to Castile Soap

First off, all Castile Soaps are organic. The term “Castile Soap” comes from Spain, where the soaps started off strictly made from olive oil. The health benefits of olive oil are immense, including for the skin.

In short, olive oil contains four antioxidants which allow it to work as a cleanser and moisturizer. Among these antioxidants are Vitamins A and E. Vitamin E in particular, helps the anti-aging process of the skin by restoring its elasticity (protecting skin cells from ultraviolet light, pollution, drugs and other damaging free radicals).

With further arrival of soap makers to Spain and Italy, Castile Soap started spreading and evolving to include other ingredients like Jojoba Oil, which is great for skin hydration. This oil is similar to the natural oils our bodies produce, which can also soften our skin.

Currently, Castile Soap refers to any soap made from the saponification of vegetable oils.

In addition, premium Castile Soap may include exciting natural extracts from plants to assist with hydration and skin exfoliation, like:

  • Calendula extracts which help treat blemishes and acne by reducing inflammation, hydrating cells, and increasing the immunity of the skin.
  • Green tea or “Camellia Sinensis” which resembles caffeine. This ingredient helps stimulate and supports the youthful appearance of skin cells.
  • Lavender, which has been sought medically for its anti-inflammatory properties and relaxing effects.

How is that for spicing up your cleansing routine?

Castile Soap VS Conventional Non-Organic Soaps.

Undoubtedly, Castile Soaps have a rich tradition. But how about our non-organic soap solutions found at local supermarket? Most of these soaps are artificially- scented to save cost by utilizing artificial chemicals instead of naturally growing and harvesting essential oils and extracts.

These products are also loaded with preservatives and questionable ingredients. It seems that the longer the ingredient list, the less likelihood for the consumer to actually read or interpret all of them.

One of the main ingredients in most of these soaps include triclosan. This ingredient is most often used for its antibacterial properties and is mostly found in liquid hand soaps. Triclosan is a harsh, un-natural chemical linked to liver and inhalation toxicity. There is also early research indicating triclosan interfering with the skeletal and muscular systems as well.

Several other unwanted chemicals in soap include:

  • Chloroxylenol, which may lead to dehydration of skin cells, itching, and rashes.
  • Diethanolamine, momoethanolamine, triethanolamine, cocamide or lauramide. These ingredients are typically “hidden” or renamed in ingredient lists by corporations in their efforts to portray their product as natural. These chemicals disrupt hormones (especially in women) and are known to form cancer causing nitrates and nitrosamines. These are pretty nasty chemicals typically used for foaming effects.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (not as common as before, but still found) is extremely pollutant to our environment during its manufacturing process. This ingredient produces itchiness and dryness of the skin with long term use.

Castile Soaps, on the other hand, do not contain harmful anti-bacterial ingredients, cleaning agents or neurotoxins disguised as fragrances and artificial colors. Castile Soaps are scented with natural ingredients only.

Starting Strong

Whether you are a morning person or not, we all start our day at some point. As a holistic nurse, I made the commitment to myself to improve my morning cleansing routine – and keep it exciting at the same time. The organic soap wash I had, was great, but I needed something with a richer history; something spicier! My pure Castile Soap collection is 100% natural and perfect for a sensitive wash. It smells and feels clean while naturally eliminating impurities and promoting velvet smooth skin.

Over the last year, I have incorporated this long-term improvement in my lifestyle. I’m still a pale girl, but this regimen has helped improve my acne condition and with consistent washing with organic Castile Soaps, I have noticed a difference in how silky smooth my skin feels.

Have you tried Castile Soap before? If so, what did you think?

BloggerAudrey Lefebvre has been practicing holistic healthcare in the state of Florida for the past four years. She is well involved in natural medicine. She currently assist with patient care at the offices of Dr. Ron N. Shemesh, MD and is a featured blogger and presenter for Castile Soap. To learn more, please visit the Castile Soap website.

DIY Lavender Vanilla Simple Syrup (with essential oils)

I love the imagery of kitchen witchery. The wise woman in the kitchen making those potions people come seeking out, crafting recipes that heal from the inside out, and dispensing the advice and remedies to help people help themselves – it’s all deliciously rich. Not to mention practical. (Practical Magic is one of my favorite books of all time for this)

DIY Lavender Vanilla Simply Syrup (with essential oils) | Shalom Mama

When people come to my kitchen, I love to leave them with a little something special that just maybe they’ve never had before. Whether it’s a feeling or an unexpected flavor combination, you can give people this wonderful gift, too.

As a seasoned barista, one of my favorite everyday gifts to give to people is a phenomenal drink. Having flavored syrups around is one way to jazz up coffee, cocktails, and so much more. However, the syrups available on the market are rather passé. They are boring, loaded with artificial flavors, and are simply not something I’d want to serve someone I care about.

That’s why I started making my own.

Lavender Vanilla Simple Syrup


Bring the water to 180 degrees Fahrenheit in a medium-sized pot, and begin adding sugar one cupful at a time, stirring constantly. Keep water hot, but not boiling. When all sugar is added, slice one vanilla bean in half, and place both halves in the pot. Simmer for 10 minutes. Pour into a quart-size mason jar and seal. (You may water bath can, if you need shelf life.)


  • Do NOT add more lavender before tasting the final product. I promise it is very potent with just four drops.
  • The vodka is a preservative. You can leave it off if you’re refrigerating your syrup or hot water bath canning it.

See? Entertaining and gifting doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it.