Essential 7

Essential 7
The Name I Trust for Quality Essential Oils

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Filling in the Gaps with Freelance Writing

I have always enjoyed writing. As words flow from my fingers on the keyboard, my mind begins to relax and feel less cluttered. Thoughts and ideas that have been rambling around in my head for days, weeks, sometimes months, finally come out and plant themselves elsewhere to make room for more thoughts and ideas in my mental attic. It's a vicious cycle, yet somehow it works for me. If I were to stop writing, my brain would probably be showcased on the next episode of Hoarders!

But writing has not always been a career path for me - at least not one that I took seriously. For the last twenty-eight years, I have been about the business of establishing a family and building a life around my husband, the kids, the pets, and a few precious moments to myself. 

Then in 2004 my husband and I decided to start a business transporting and boarding pets. We named it The Waggin Trail Express, and my husband traveled the country delivering pets while I stayed home and ran our Doggie Bed & Breakfast. As in any business venture, we had good years and not-so-good years, but we always made enough money to pay the bills and raise a family. 
But a couple of years ago my husband fell ill during one of his trips. He thought he was having a heart attack as he limped into his delivery destination 2,000 miles from home. Resisting the urge to check himself into a hospital, he opted instead for a hotel, where he convalesced a few days and gathered the strength to drive home.
He went to the doctor as soon as he got home, and was diagnosed with a severe respiratory infection. It knocked the wind out of his sails for months, and we lost a considerable amount of income while he recovered.
During that time, I tried to turn my anxiety about our finances into productive ideas that could improve our situation. I needed to find a way to make some extra money without leaving the house, as our kids and the other half of our business depended on me.
I am a list-maker, so I sat down one day with pen and paper, and I listed my skills. Writing jumped to the top of my list pretty quickly, but I still wasn't sure if there was decent money to be made as a freelancer. 
Internet research happens to be another one of my passions. (Yes, I am a total geek.) So I searched for some real writing opportunities. I say "real", because most of what I found was a scam. With diligence and determination, I compiled a short list of companies, to which I applied. One in particular,, became my meat and potatoes. They offered a writing bonus each week, on top of their normal per-article pay. I made it my goal to meet that quota every week so I could land that extra $50. 

My husband answered phones and watched the kids for three hours each day while I locked myself away in our bedroom with my laptop. I wrote five articles each weekday, which gave me the total I needed to reach my goal. I earned $325 per week on this regimen, and I had weekends free. It got us through a rough time, and I was amazed at how easy it was to accomplish.
I was also pleasantly surprised to find out that there are some good freelance opportunities out there for writers who want (or need) to work from home. This inspired me to compile a long list of freelance writing companies for home job-seekers like me. 
I published this list, along with some tricks and tips of the trade on Amazon Kindle this year to give others an easier path to making money writing from home. Whether you need to fill the gaps in your budget, like I still do from time to time, or you are seeking a full-time career, there is a company and a project to meet your needs. Check out my book Home Jobs: Get Paid to Write Articles Online and get started "write away"!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Toddler's Struggle for Independence: Dealing with the Terrible Twos and Threes

Everyone talks about the infamous "terrible twos", but in my house "three" has been the age of terror. For some reason, the day our two year old turned three, he became a dictator and a terrorist. It was going to be his way or the highway, and we had better get used to it. (That was his thinking.) 

But no one can live peaceably with a terrorist, so we calmly burst his bubble, one meltdown at a time. This child I speak of is number five for us, so I can recognize his misbehavior as a passing phase and not take it personally. This was not always the case!

Recognizing a behavior, however, is not the same as accepting it. As a seasoned parent, I knew that it was not in the family's best interest to let our little prince become king of the household. Nor would it do the child any good to give in to his every demand. The world simply does not work this way, and I would be setting him up for disappointment down the road.

So how does a parent deal with this sudden power struggle? Arm yourself with the weapons of war! Keep in mind that this is a war of wills - yours against his. Be warned. This battle is not for the faint of heart. A toddler can try the patience of a saint. You must be ready to stand your ground and remain calm (until you are alone behind closed doors, at which time it is acceptable to scream and pull your own hair from the roots). Are you ready?

As in any time of war, a leader must have a strategy, and he must know his opponent's tactics. Here are a few common toddler tactics in the game of getting-his-own-way.

  1. The cuteness factor: This is usually strategy number one when a toddler wants something. He sidles up to you with the cutest smile on his face, and he pets your arm or strokes your hip as he very sweetly states what he wants. "Momma, I want candy." You know that this child has had nothing substantial to eat for hours, and he really needs some nutritious food, so you reply with, "No, let's wait on the candy until after you've had something good for you - like some meat or peanut butter...or maybe some cheese?
  2. This is where tactic number two comes along. His reply is a mixture of pleading and stomping, as he repeats his request in the form of a demand. "NO! I want CANDY!" He may even pull you toward the cupboard where he knows the candy is hiding. You redirect with a cheerful trip to the fridge to suggest some more healthy alternatives. But this only incites anger, and along comes tactic number three.
  3. I like to call this maneuver "the meltdown", but it is basically a tantrum. He throws himself onto the floor (very carefully, so as not to bring harm to the most important person in the house - him!), and he begins to kick and cry and display the most pitiful posture a human can assume. He may hurl insults your way, so be prepared for a verbal attack. Thankfully, most kids this age don't know anything worse than "dummy" and "I hate you". Remember not to take this personally. He doesn't really hate you. He just hates that you won't give him what he wants. If the meltdown is not violent, simply walk away and wait for him to calm down. But don't go too far away, because tactic number four may be used next.
  4. This is the turning point that gets most toddlers into trouble. He does not accept "no" for an answer, so he takes matters into his own hands. You are about to witness this small, not-yet-fully-coordinated person achieve a stunt that rivals James Bond.
    Your first red flag: the room that was minutes ago reverberating with screams and sobs has now gone deathly quiet. 
    As you creep into a stealthy position where you can observe (Okay, you are technically spying, but two can play the James Bond act), you see the miniature master-mind at work. He knows where the candy is, and it's out of his reach. But that can be remedied with some creative stacking of nearby objects. Keep in mind that toddlers are fast builders, but they are not engineers. The makeshift ladder to the candy stash is not going to pass the stress test. In fact, it may hold him long enough to get him up there, but it probably won't be standing for the return trip down. 
    As he begins his climb, you quietly step out from the shadows and ask what he is doing. He reacts with a mixture of fear, embarrassment, and anger at being caught in the act.
    "Get back in there!", he shouts, as he points authoritatively at the other room. You stifle a laugh, as you calmly suggest that if anyone needs a trip to his room, it would be the climbing culprit at hand. 
  5. A mushroom cloud ensues! Upon retreat, your little "cutie" becomes a raving madman, seeking to destroy everything in his path. Walls are kicked. Doors are slammed. Toys are thrown. 
This is the parental turning point. You have two choices. You can snap, and show this little guy what a real fit looks like, or you can use restraint and remain calm. When I say "use restraint", I am also speaking literally. After all, you can't let a toddler destroy your house. I have found that the best way to deal with a situation like this is with a giant bear hug. 
Pick up your wild child and face him away from you. Sit down in a chair as you wrap your arms around him like a straight jacket. Keep your hold firm, and let him wear himself out. He will flail and kick, scream and shout, cry and wail. Don't let him go. Calmly state once in a while that you are not going to let him go until he calms down. Sooner or later, he will run out of steam. As he begins to relax, you can gradually relax your hold. Chances are, he will cuddle into your lap and you can enjoy some calm after the storm.

Congratulations! You have won the battle. Unfortunately, the war won't be over for many more years. But the battles become fewer and farther between if you consistently hold your ground. 
Remember that two and three-year-olds are in a struggle for independence. As long as they are not acting unruly, they should be able to exercise that freedom. I always give young children two choices when I ask them a question.
"Do you want the juice or the lemonade?" This keeps the options simple. Asking a toddler or preschooler what he wants to drink is a setup. He will quickly turn you into a juggling bartender, as he changes his mind a million times. Or he may ask for something you don't have!
Allowing children to make choices gives them power, and power builds confidence. 
Confident kids grow up to be confident adults. Soon the terrible twos or threes will be over, and the next phase of childhood will be here. Enjoy each stage of life, even when doors are slammed and toys are hurled like missiles. All too soon, the house will be quiet, and the good days will be the ones you will remember and cherish.

If you are in a daily power struggle with a young child, or if you just want a good bedtime story to read about unconditional love, I invite you to check out my children's picture book Mom Says "No!"
Download it to your tablet or phone, or order a paperback copy to keep on the shelf. 

Happy parenting!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Beating a Cold or the Flu Naturally: How to Prevent and How to Fight Back

We've all been there. A virus is lurking under the surface, and you can feel it coming on. If you do nothing, you are sure to be calling in sick tomorrow - an option you really can't afford. So what do you do?

There are some over-the-counter products out there that claim to shorten the life of a cold, or stop one before it grabs hold of you. If you are okay with drugs that contain a lot of mystery ingredients, this may be the route for you. If you prefer a natural method, then please read on. Nature is full of good ideas.

Garlic is more than a vampire repellent. It does wonders on viruses too. Peel a clove of garlic (the larger, the better) and dice it into aspirin-size pieces. Fill a large glass of water, and get ready to dose up! Place a few pieces of diced garlic toward the back of your tongue, and gulp as much water as you can to hurry them down your gullet. Rinse and repeat until you've downed the entire clove. Your tongue may catch a slight burning sensation momentarily, but the antibiotic properties of the garlic will make you glad that you braved the experience. Do this as often as you can (several times per day) until your symptoms are completely gone. You may get a mild version of the virus, but you will greatly diminish its effect.

Tea tree oil is another excellent weapon against colds. It suppresses mucus production, so you need to apply it to your nostrils and your throat. Keep in mind, this is no easy task. Tea tree oil smells and tastes horrible! Drip some onto a cotton swab, and gently swirl it inside each nostril. Get ready to sneeze and blow your nose once or twice. After that, you will notice an opening up of your airways. Do the same procedure across the back of your throat, trying not to touch your tongue. Your taste buds will hate you if this touches them.  The good news is that you will have very little nasal or throat congestion. This is especially helpful at night, so you can sleep peacefully without that horrible drowning feeling. If you are looking for a reputable place to buy tea tree oil (or any essential oil), look no further than Essential 7.

Echinacea and Goldenseal blend is another powerful tool against colds and flu. Always buy the root powder, not the leaf extract.  And look for a quality brand that you trust. Echinacea increases your white blood cell count, which is your body's immune army that fights off invaders. Goldenseal flushes your body of toxins and germs. The two together make a wonderful team. Take one capsule, four times per day (as you would antibiotics). Never take Goldenseal for more than one week on this regimen, as it can be taxing to your liver. Drink plenty of water to allow your body to flush itself out. If you have been exposed to a virus, take an Echinacea/Goldenseal capsule immediately. You will likely ward off the virus altogether.

Lastly, always keep a supply of colloidal silver on hand. It stops viruses from replicating inside your body, so taking a dose as soon as you have been infected will do you the most good. A daily dose for prevention is an even better routine for staying healthy. Learn more about the may uses of colloidal silver in my e-book 

Silver Bullet Against Infection and Disease: How Colloidal Silver Can Save Your Life

Friday, January 23, 2015

Snoring is Hazardous to Your Health

You may be thinking, "Sure, snoring is hazardous to my health. My spouse or sleep partner is likely to hurt me if I keep it up much longer!"

It's true that snoring causes contention in the bedroom. As the wife of a former snore beast, I can attest to the restless nights, and the sudden jolt out of a sound sleep that makes you wonder if a large animal is prowling around the foot end of the bed. 

But snoring does even worse damage to the snorer. The sound of snoring is produced by obstructed airways. This means that insufficient oxygen is reaching the snorer's brain and the bloodstream. When this goes on for seven or eight hours per night, the body begins to suffer. High blood pressure begins to develop, and the risk of heart attack or stroke begins to rise. These are not to be taken lightly. Snoring night after night is deadly!

So what can be done? There are actually some simple fixes, depending on the underlying cause of the problem.

Many snorers are overweight. The extra fat around the throat cuts off the airway when the person lies down, especially on his or her back. If this sounds like you, try sleeping on your side. If you have a tendency to roll back onto your back during the night, place a tennis ball in the back pocket of your sleep pants. If your pajamas are pocket-free, sew a pocket into the center of the waistband at the back and place a tennis ball there. When you roll onto your back during the night, you will quickly return to your side! 
Placing a pillow behind you will also help you to stay on your side, but pillows are much more pliable than tennis balls, so the result may not be the same.
At any rate, the side sleeping position is just a short-term solution. Losing the extra weight will do more for your overall health, and you will look better without a tennis ball bulging from the rear of your pajamas!

Another good cure for snoring comes in the form of essential oils. Aromatherapy using lavender oil will calm your senses and relax your body, helping you to get a better night's sleep. Essential oil of thyme, however, is the best defense against snoring. Find out more about this amazing herb in my e-book: 

"It's Thyme To Stop Snoring: Safely and Naturally"

If you really want to learn how essential oils work as medicine for our bodies, using the skin as a portal to the bloodstream, check out my e-book titled 

Of course, there are more traditional methods to stopping snoring, from dental devices and breathe strips to C-Pap machines and surgeries. Talk to your doctor to find out the severity of your problem. Only then can you find the proper cure.

Pleasant dreams!