Monday’s Message

Monday’s Message is for the ladies this week. It’s simple. It’s hell growing old and we’re constantly searching for ways to slow the wrinkles and fine lines on our faces. Some of us have good skin and don’t worry too much. Others aren’t afforded that kindness. We have tiny black hairs that pop up out of nowhere, small blemishes, large pores — or so it seems. Sometimes it’s just that bastard magnifying mirror we use to find the tiny flaws in order to erase them from existence. You know what? Get rid of that bastardly magnifying mirror!! It causes such grief and insecurities! Throw it away! No one can see those tiny imperfections on your face. Only you can see them because you’re using that damn mirror! Throw it away ladies! Let’s free ourselves! Be free to be you, flaws and all!

An Interview With An Aromatherapist

Back in the early 2000’s, I became friends with a great lady who was the owner of a little online business called Mystick Scents. Her name is Becky Long. I started by purchasing products from her for my own use and for my little online business called Scents Essential. We became fast friends and in 2006 she sold her business to me! I merged the two businesses together and kept the Mystick Scents name.

I had learned a great deal about aromatherapy and how to make lotions and creams, body sprays, bath salts, etc., from this woman, my mentor, and friend. Eventually, I started to venture out into creating my own recipes. It was a great experience! But, my physical health was slowly on the decline and I had to close Mystick Scents in 2010.

Becky and I are still friends; besties if you will. She now owns a business called Herbs 4 Health. She writes a blog and has a Facebook page. She has been forever trying to educate the public about essential oils and aromatherapy. I thought an interview would be a fabulous idea! (Links are located at the end of the interview for your convenience.) Enjoy!


Becky, can you start by telling my readers about yourself, your specializations, and where you can be found for more information?

I am certified in both herbal medicine and in aromatherapy. I am also known as Herbmama. The business I own is Herbs 4 Health and I also have a blog called Herbmama’s Words. I can be found on Facebook along with the business and blog.


What is an aromatherapist?

An aromatherapist is one that is educated in and uses essential oils to help improve one’s health whether it be physical, emotional or psychological.


What exactly is aromatherapy? 

Aromatherapy uses plant materials & aromatic plant oils, AKA essential oils and other aroma compounds for improving health, psychological or emotional well-being.


What or who inspired you to go into this field and when did you get started? 

The quest for knowledge in this field happened when I had a bath/body biz called Mystick Scents. Then I became a sponge and just had to know more & more which led to my certification.


How are essential oils used? 

Essential oils can be used via inhalation, topically and internally — the later only by a trained aromatherapist as it can be dangerous.


How are essential oils extracted from plants? 

There are basically 2 methods for extraction: the distillation process where the plant material is heated and then the water/oils are separated. Any by-product from such is sold off. Then there is cold pressed which is exactly what you think it is….peelings from the citrus are pressed to get the oils.


How do people know the best method for using essential oils? 

A lot of people don’t know, which is why they can get into trouble. The best way to find out is to ask, not just assume you already know. You might have an essential oil that can cause more issues than what you started with.


How do they work? 

Essential oils can actually change brain chemistry. They can work on what the body needs at a particular time. They are a type of fat or oil so they can easily get into the body’s cells to do the work. Although we aren’t allowed to say…they can heal. They are anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal so they can work on those types of maladies.


Can they be used straight on your skin? 

It’s not advisable to use essential oils straight out of the bottle. Only lavender is gentle enough for some. Always dilute and do a patch test if you are new to essential oils or a particular oil.


What is a carrier oil? 

A carrier oil is an oil one mixes with essential oils to apply topically to the skin. Some examples are sweet almond, jojoba, fractionated coconut oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil.


How do you know you’re buying quality essential oils? 

One has to find a reputable essential oil supplier with learned knowledge so you know what you are looking for and who you can trust. So many are adulterated now which means other chemical components have been added to dilute the healthful benefits of the essential oils and the body can’t synthesize chemicals. Once you find a good company, there is a way to test to see if your essential oil has been adulterated. Place 1 drop on a piece of paper and let it evaporate. If there is no residue and no oily stain then they are pure.


What’s the difference between therapeutic grade and manufacturer’s grade essential oils? 

There really isn’t a thing as manufacturer’s grade as you say. There is food grade which is different than therapeutic grade. Therapeutic grade can be a relative term as ALL non-adulterated essential oils are therapeutic in their own right. A lot of companies say therapeutic as a marketing ploy. Food grade essential oils are diluted with additives to sell to the food or perfume industry.


How should we store our essential oils? 

Essential oils should be stored in air-tight dark colored glass bottles away from heat and direct light. The more you open them, the faster they can go bad and evaporate.


Some people/companies suggest taking essential oils internally. Is that really safe? 

NO! It’s not safe in my opinion. There are essential oils that can be ingested but only with advice and guidance from a qualified aromatherapist. No way should they be taken full strength as the molecules are too strong for the sensitive tissues internally. There have been (reports of) damage done to esophageal tissues, organs and stomach tissues from essential oils.


 Are essential oils safe for kids and pets? 

There are some essential oils safe for pets but that should be done through research and usually on a case by case basis. One e.o. for a dog or cat may not be ok for another breed for example. Kids…generally, yes but further dilution should be done before and of course the child’s weight/age have to be factored in. There are aromatherapists out there that only treat animals though.


Are essential oils really better/more effective than conventional treatments? 

Essential oils are better than conventional, in my opinion. They are powerful and natural. But that question is really hard to answer so I don’t get myself into hot water with certain government agencies if you know what I mean. 


Can you boost your immunity with essential oils? 

Oh yes, the body’s immune system can be greatly enhanced and boosted with essential oils!


What’s the biggest mistake you see people making concerning essential oils? 

Ingesting them and applying them without proper dilution. Thinking they know it all with like 5 minutes of experience.


Which 5 essential oils are the best to get started with, to always have on hand?

One’s basic ‘medicine cabinet’ should include lavender, peppermint, tea tree, rosemary, and lemon.


What is an essential oil ‘blend’?

A blend is more than one essential oil together with a carrier oil that helps a specific problem whether it be physical or emotional.


Is there a blend or blends that we should always have on hand? 

Oh I think so, yes. Blends for colds, flu, pain issues, things like that.


What’s the most common way people are using essential oils? 

Topically, diffusers and in the bath.


What do you enjoy the most about working with essential oils? 

Mostly I enjoy developing the blends I guess!! Sniffing them as I put them together, figuring out which oil would be best to use, knowing it can possibly help the next person who uses that blend.


How do you use essential oils in your own life? 

I use them for health prevention, to help boost my immune system, as a perfume, in bathing, at times in cleaning too.


What are your favorite essential oils/blends? 

My favorites are the Krud Kicker, my Taurus ‘perfume’ blend, the memory oil. I like them all pretty much. If the blends don’t smell ‘attractive’ people won’t use them.


What do you think scares people the most about essential oils? 

That they know little to nothing about them and that is THE greatest obstacle…educating the public!


What advice would you give someone considering a career in aromatherapy? 

Don’t try to learn or memorize ALL the essential oils, there are far too many. pick a few you want to start with and learn all you can about those. When you are ready, add slowly to your repertoire.


And my last question…. Is there ONE tip you would like to give my readers?

Don’t judge essential oils without learning just a little about them. Try them. They come from plants, trees, barks, roots, flowers, so how bad can they be for our health??!!


I hope you’ve enjoyed my interview with Becky (Herbmama) and that you feel you’ve learned a little about essential oils. For more information, please check out the following links on Facebook:

Herbs 4 Health 

Herbmama’s Words 

Or go to her blog directly at:

Herbmama’s Words  



Aunt Debbie’s Advice to the Younger Generation

I know, I know. The younger generations have never been good at taking advice from older people. I refused to take my mother’s advice, my mother refused to take her mother’s advice, and the list goes on. The older generations always know a thing or two, even if the younger folk won’t admit it!

Much of this list is based on my own experiences and some are things I wish I would have learned long before I did. I guess that’s life, though. We don’t get instructions on how to live it. We are taught some things by our parents but much is a game of trial and error. We learn as we go.

Here’s my advice to the younger generations.

  1. Ask questions. Question everything. Learn everything you can. Don’t reject new ideas because they are different than you believe. Be curious about everything and think for yourself.
  2. Be respectful of others and their opinions. How can you expect others to respect you and your opinions if you don’t show them the same?
  3. Stay away from drugs. They will NOT make anything better. They will make things worse, guaranteed.
  4. Don’t plaster your face with tons of makeup. Makeup should enhance your natural beauty, not cover it up. Besides, it really looks bad.
  5. Don’t be a bully! Everyone deserves to be accepted for who they are. Everyone wants (and needs) to be cared for. Everyone is worthy!
  6. Choose your own spiritual/religious path. Don’t worry if no one else gets it. It’s not their path. It’s yours.
  7. Nurture your creativity. Pursue hobbies. Try new things.
  8. You can’t fix stupid; unless it’s you. Refer to #1. Keep learning, always!
  9. Adapt. Changes can be awesome!
  10. Take advantage of opportunities. They may not come around again.
  11. Learn how to resolve conflict without anger and violence.
  12. Always try to see things from another person’s perspective. Keep your mind open.
  13. Don’t be lazy. Talent is not enough if you aren’t willing to work hard.
  14. Learn to cook! It’s much healthier than buying processed meals or eating out.
  15. Be responsible. Pay your bills on time. Go to work. Clean your house. Wash your car. Feed the dog. Take care of your responsibilities!
  16. It’s ok to admit when you’re wrong. It happens. Admit it and move on.
  17. Skip the credit cards. It will be too easy to use them and too easy for it to get out of hand. Next thing you know, you’re in debt and can’t pay your bills.
  18. Be generous. Give your time. Donate. Help others. It feels good to be helpful.
  19. Don’t be stupid and land yourself in jail. It will suck for you! Obey the law!
  20. Save money. Learn to manage money effectively. It’s ok to splurge now and then, but it’s never too early to start saving for the future.
  21. Do your homework – and not just school homework. Learn everything you can about a topic before you start an argument with someone and find out how wrong you really are!
  22. Don’t flaunt yourself/your body. A little modesty goes a long way.
  23. Guard your health. You will get older someday. Use sunscreen. Don’t smoke. Drink alcohol in moderation. Exercise. Brush your teeth. Eat healthy foods. Don’t do drugs. Wear your seatbelt!
  24. Take time each day just for you. Take a bath, a walk, or read a book. Do something that makes you happy. Make yourself a priority as you do with others.
  25. If you have pets, take care of them. Have them spayed or neutered. Take them to the vet when they are sick. Don’t leave them behind when you move. Don’t dump them when you can’t afford to feed them anymore. They depend on you to care for them. Do it.
  26. Never give up – Not on love, friendships, education, health.
  27. Listen to music! Experience different genres of music. You might find you like more than you think.
  28. It’s ok to cry. Don’t let anyone make you feel weak because you need to cry. It’s healthy and normal.
  29. Teach your children to look with their eyes, not their hands. You will have less conflict while shopping and in other people’s homes!
  30. Be honest and trustworthy.
  31. Don’t blame others. Don’t make excuses.
  32. Laugh at yourself. It’s easier and feels better than beating yourself up.
  33. Meet new people, try new things!
  34. Listen more, talk less. Know when to keep your mouth shut.
  35. Return everything you borrow.
  36. Don’t live to impress others.
  37. Pay attention to the little things; sunsets, sunrises, children’s giggles, freshly cleaned clothes, petting a cat, the smell of popcorn, a good movie, birds chirping, etc.
  38. Be grateful for everything. Don’t worry about what you don’t have.
  39. Be on time!
  40. Have good manners.
  41. Learn from your mistakes.
  42. Don’t become financially dependent on anyone!
  43. Live a simple life and let go of the bullshit.


Do you have any advice for the younger generation? Leave your advice in the comments!

Blogger Recognition Award!

Thank you, Novus Lectio, for the nod! I apologize for taking so long to accept this award! Novus Lectio’s blog can be found here: – please stop by and give it a read!

Here are the rules for accepting this award

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 10 other bloggers you want to give this award to.



How my blog got started:

I was entering a new phase of my life. I was about to become a grandmother. Starting a blog seemed like the perfect way to share my life and my loves, although it turned out to be more of a therapeutic project. It remains very therapeutic for me. I have just recently made my blog more public (through Facebook @ and have tried to write more than I use to. There were times that other things got in the way of my creativity and if you have read my past posts you may know exactly what I’m talking about. This blog is about making my way through this life, down whatever road it takes me.

My advice to new bloggers:

  1. Write what you know and about your passions. Just write!
  2. Don’t let anyone belittle you for your writing, opinions, passions or anything else. Just be you and write what you like!


It was difficult for me to pick 10 bloggers — there are so many great blogs out there! Most of the blogs I follow are on other blog formats, like Blogger, but I figured I should nominate those who are on wordpress like I am. I don’t always get to read every blog every day and that makes me sad! Here goes!

I nominate:

Karen @

mainepaperpusher  @

Jamie @


megclift @

Chelsea @

Sugar ‘nd Spice @

Ganesh @

superwifeandmummy @

Kira @