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.

Journaling Your Health Journey

Years ago I ran a handmade bath and body products business. What started out as an interest in essential oils quickly blossomed into soap making, hand and body lotions, salt scrubs, herbal baths, lip balms, herbal balms, facial steams, and so much more.

Journaling Your Health Journey |

The list of things I tried and sold was quite long and I don’t even remember all of the products off the top of my head. Thankfully, if I go back to my soap making journal I can find that list as well as most of my recipes, trials, errors, and notes about each experiment.

It was through my soap-making journal I began to see the the value of journaling more than just my daily thoughts.

Early into that adventure, I was overwhelmed with all the options of things I could make. There were so many different ingredients and so many different combinations to try. The trying out of new recipes & formulating my own unique versions were the best parts of that business for me.

In the midst of the overwhelm I read somewhere (I wish I could remember & give credit) about the idea of journaling each experiment with ingredients used, quantity of each, the resulting textures, effectiveness etc.

These notes became invaluable as I learned more about my craft, what worked, what didn’t, and what to tweak in the recipe the next time to get my desired result.

I still have notes tracking back through the 23 different combinations of oils I tried, just to find my signature face cream and hand lotion recipe. That base recipe is the one I still use today years later.

Not long after that I started a journal of my cooking adventures and hiking trips.

In my cooking journal I started to have fun re-working some my favorite recipes and kept notes on what I changed, the date, how it worked & what to try next time.

My hiking books became journals of the dates I went on the hike, my personal rating what I liked about it, and how I felt during and after the hike.

In our journey for improved health there are so many options, ideas, suggestions and conflicting opinions out there that it can get overwhelming on where to start and what to try.

Pick 3 Things to Experiment With

My suggestion? Pick out 3 things you would like to try. For example:

  1. An essential oil bath
  2. Give a healthy makeover to a family favorite recipe
  3. Start a Couch to 5K running plan

For each experiment, document what you tried and what you learned. Did the recipe turn out? Did you like the combination of oils, did you feel great after your first day of running? With each experiment you will learn, grow in confidence, and be ready to try something new the next time.

Health Journal Tips

1) Get Organized

One thing I wish I had done better with in my soap journal is to keep a better separation of types of experiments. My lip balm tests are buried somewhere in between facial steams, carpet freshener and body butter. When I am in a hurry and I want to look at what I have tried already, it can get frustrating. I do have it broken out by soap and then bath & body… but some days that is not enough

2) Write. It. Down.

Trust me even when you are trying only 3 simple things. You will not remember in a week how many drops of essential oil you used or what new spice you tried. These types of notes are invaluable later on in your health journey. Plus it’s fun to go back through your notes and see just how far you have come.

3) Make It Fun

Your health journey should be something to look forward, not dreaded. Keep your journal notes in a great binder or a super cute journal that you can’t help but smile at when you see it. Find a way to look forward to documenting what you have learned.

4) Save Your Favorites

Once you find your favorite soap, lotion, essential oil or cooking recipes, treat them special. I usually type them out and put them in a sheet protector at the front of my notebook for easy reference. Even still… keep notes on what you do each time you make that recipe. As you continue to grow and learn you will find yourself tweaking ingredients and experimenting even more.

What experiments or recipes do you need to start documenting today?

Flash Giveaway: Essential Oil Wellness Trio

Yesterday, I did a flash giveaway for an Essential Oil Trio of lavender, lemon and peppermint. And wow, that was fun! I love how enthusiastic everyone was and I wish I could send the set to everyone who entered.

Since I can’t do that, I can do the next best thing – have another flash giveaway! Just one more before the year (and Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle sale) is over.

So … what oils are included this time?

  • 15 mL Melaleuca essential oil
  • 15 mL Balance essential oil
  • 15 mL On Guard essential oil

That’s $95 worth of essential oils that will help keep your family healthy all year long.

Why these oils?

These are some of the most-used oils in my house. They have so many uses and I love how quickly and effectively they work.

  • Melaleuca: Also known as tea tree, this is one useful oil. It’s great in cleaners for its germ-busting abilities. Plus it’s wonderful for soothing the skin. It even offers healing benefits for certain ailments. I love melaleuca.
  • On Guard: The protecting blend. This amazing blend works wonders at supporting the immune system. I use it daily to prevent illness.
  • Balance: The grounding blend. I recommend this to everyone for stress relief. I apply it at least once a day.

And don’t forget – if you want to learn more about using essential oils in your own home, the Essential Oils and Natural Health ecourse (normally $95) is included in the Ultimate Healthy Living bundle, which ends tonight!

Everything included in the bundle would cost over $1000 to buy separately (including over $200 worth of healthy living bonuses). But you can get it all for just under $30 until midnight.

So please don’t wait if this is something you’ve been considering. It goes away tonight and won’t be coming back.

You can see everything in the bundle here.

How to enter

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

Go ahead and get started!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Flash Giveaway: doTERRA Essential Oil Beginner Trio

Flash Giveaway: doTERRA Essential Oil Beginner Trio

It’s been a while since I’ve done a giveaway – that’s not right! So in honor of the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle flash sale, I’m doing a flash giveaway!

Flash giveaway - Essential Oil Beginner Trio. Enter to win now at

So until midnight tonight, you can enter to win an essential oil beginner trio from doTERRA!

What’s included?

  • 15 mL Peppermint essential oil
  • 15 mL Lavender essential oil
  • 15 mL Lemon essential oil

Why these oils?

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

And these are also three of the essential oils covered in the Essential Oils and Natural Health ecourse (normally $95) that you’ll find in the Ultimate Healthy Living bundle (it ends tomorrow night so snag your copy before it’s over!).

This awesome ecourse teaches you how to safely and effectively use essential oils in your home from household cleaners to natural healthcare and whole lot of stuff in between.

Many of you are interested in using essential oils in your home (at least, that’s what I’ve gathered from all the replies to the newsletter) and I think this bundle is the perfect way to get started.

Not only do you get the Essential Oils and Natural Health ecourse, but you get additional ebooks on using essential oils as well, including my ebook, DIY Natural Remedies.

Everything included in the bundle would cost over $1000 to buy separately (including over $200 worth of healthy living bonuses). But you can get it all for just under $30.

Let me say that again … You can get over $1000 worth of healthy living resources, including an essential oil 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:

Ready? Go!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Top 15 Essential Oil Gifts for the Whole Family

When we decided to be more intentional about our gift-giving (by spending less and giving more meaningful gifts), my husband I made some big changes around Christmas. Rather than buying gifts for everyone we began making our own.

Top 15 DIY Essential Oil Gifts for the Whole Family

It was an interesting journey, full of failed projects and plenty of overwhelm.

Thankfully, it’s gotten easier over the years as I mastered recipes and learned how to create my own. Once I learned how to incorporate essential oils into my recipes, DIY gifts got even easier.

Now, the majority of my Christmas gifts are handmade using delightful-smelling essential oils and my friends and family love them (even the kids). (For more than just recipes, be sure to sign up for the DIY Essential Oil Gift class.)

Here are our favorite gifts for the whole family:

For Her

For Him

For Kids

Clearly there’s some really awesome stuff at the doTERRA blog …

And you can find even more DIY Essential Oil Gift Ideas on this Pinterest board.

Want even more DIY essential oil recipes? Sign up for a free copy of Simple Family Wellness in the form below.


4 Ways to Use Essential Oils for a Healthier Home

4 Ways to Use Essential Oils for a Healthier Home

Not long ago, I was a confused, frustrated mom new to the world of natural remedies. I wanted a safer, more natural way to take care of my family. I just wasn’t sure where to start.

4 ways to use essential oils for a healthier home.

So I stumbled my way through the first years, reading whatever resources I could get my hands on and using myself as a guinea pig. Some experiments were great successes. Others, well, there’s a reason it’s called learning the hard way.

But I figured it out and began sharing what I learned. And, after a while, I knew that there had to be a way to make it even simpler.

That’s when I found essential oils.

Essential oils are the volatile oils found in the stems, bark, roots, flowers, etc. of plants. They’re extracted a few different ways and the precious, concentrated oil is bottled and made available for us to use to create a healthier home.

While I was excited about essential oils at first, I was skeptical. How could one or two drops of oil do so much? Well, it didn’t take long for me to go from skeptic to full-blown fanatic (although, I’m a quiet fanatic). I experienced success after success with essential oils and I knew that they were exactly what I needed to simplify the way I kept my home healthy.

And I love that essential oils are:

  • Simple – There are just a few ways to use essential oils and often you need only open the bottle. No special prep work necessary.
  • Safe – You usually only need one to two drops when using essential oils and they don’t carry the laundry list of side effects that you’ll find in conventional remedies.
  • Effective – Again, only one to two drops are all you need for fast results (usually within minutes). No need to take them every day for a month before they kick in.
  • All-natural – When purchased from the right source, essentials are 100% pure and only contain the essential oils pressed from the plant.
  • Pennies per drop – One drop of lemon essential costs roughly $.05. And since a little bit goes a long, long way, you can use one bottle for a long time.

How to use essential oils for a healthier home

1. Personal Care Products

Many personal care products you’ll find in stores today are filled with harmful chemicals. By searching the SkinDeep database, you’ll find that common ingredients are carcinogenic or disrupt hormones. That’s not what you want your skin absorbing every day.

Thankfully, it’s simple to make your own personal care products using essential oils, many of which have soothing and restorative properties for the skin.

2. Natural Home Remedies

Since discovering essential oils, I’ve been able to simplify my natural remedies. Where before I had two cabinets full of herbs, a shelf for accessories and a few boxes with even more herbs in the attic, I now need just one shelf for all of my essential oils and the few herbs and accessories I use.

Essential oils are our go-to resource for staying healthy year-round.

3. Non-Toxic Cleaning

I once almost died by mixing bleach and ammonia. (I had no idea that was a no-no.) Thankfully, my husband (fiance at the time) walked in on me and yanked me out of the bathroom. Needless to say, common cleaning products can be dangerous.

Now, we clean with a few simple ingredients like water, vinegar and, you guessed it, essential oils.

4. In the Kitchen

I love cooking and for the last few months, I’ve been experimenting with using essential oils in the kitchen. The results have been so tasty. My favorites are lemon yogurt, lavender simple syrup and coconut peppermint patties (recipe in the book below).

You’ll find essential oils for many of the common cooking herbs and just one drop adds a whole lot of flavor.

Introducing Simple Family Wellness

sfwipadThere’s a lot of information on using essential oils out there and frankly, it can be confusing. But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, essential oils are the simplest to use natural remedy out there – you just have to open the bottle.

Simple Family Wellness explains how to use essential oils to create a healthier home. In it, you’ll find easy instructions for using oils, the best oils to use and several easy recipes.

In Simple Family Wellness you’ll receive:

  • Simple, direct instructions on using essential oils
  • Tips for using essential oils with kids
  • 16 easy recipes for a healthier home
  • Peace of mind that you’re using safe, natural products with your family
  • How to use essential oils with the support of a like-minded community

How to get Simple Family Wellness

There are two ways to get Simple Family Wellness. First, you can buy the print book for $7.99 and have all the info in your hands like a traditional book.

Or, you can download the free PDF instantly by entering your email address below. After you confirm your email address, you’ll get a welcome email with a link to the book. (If you’re already on my newsletter, be on the lookout for an email from me with a link to the book.)

Your choice.

Want the FREE PDF of Simple Family Wellness?