Essential Oil Excitement

My newest little hobby is essential oils.

This natural lifestyle crap is like a flipping snowball rolling down a snowy hill, and I’ll explain why:

So first I went Pooless here. Because I was going to be giving up the nice smell of my old shampoos with this new hair cleaning method, I decided to purchase some essential oil with which to scent my hair. And then it just went downhill from there.

I am by no means an expert. Let me just throw that little disclaimer out there before we go any farther. All I have learned about the oils has been from a little handbook I have, the Internet, and the actual labels on the back of my oils.

Even though I am no expert, I have learned a few tips through my exploration, and I would like to share them with you.

1)Lemongrass is not a good perfume alone.
Have you ever smelled pine-sol? The cleaner? You probably have. Want to know what lemongrass smells like?


The first time I ever wore my lemongrass in public was to church. I sing in the choir in an historic church with wooden pews. I had the revelation that my lemongrass was not a good idea when my choir mate sitting next to me turns to me and says “Wow! The janitor must have polished our pews last night! It smells so clean; he did a great job!”

How do you tell someone- “No, it’s not a cleaning product, it’s my hair.”

I’ll tell you how- awkwardly.

2) If your sister is hyper, don’t vaporize sweet orange.
Vaporizing is a technique of experiencing your oils where you heat the oil so that it scents the air. It’s a great way to set the mood in the house. When we have family disagreements I vaporize lavender to help everyone calm down. When my dad is cooking I vaporize some savory oils to get everyone’s tummy excited. My fatal flaw came when I vaporized sweet orange with my sister around.

You see, my family was staying up late to play cards, and I wanted to set a fun, energetic mood.


Blondie has so much energy on her own, that the sweet orange made her quite a nuisance for the rest of the night. I’ll just leave it at that and say that I have learned my lesson.

3) If your handbook says to avoid baths with cinnamon if you have sensitive skin and you have sensitive skin, then you should avoid baths with cinnamon.
Well that title was probably self explanatory so you can skip this explanation if you have really good inference skills. For those of you who don’t, or who just care enough to hear more:

Bathing with essential oils is probably my favorite way to experience them. It’s relaxing because it’s a bath, but you can also focus your energy and your nose on accomplishing a particular goal (for example de-stressing, relaxing, creating positive thoughts.) HOWEVER, when you bathe with essential oils, your skin is coming in direct contact with the oil. For some reason I thought I was above the warning.

I wasn’t.

That cinnamon bath left my skin BURNING, swollen, red, and sore. It was literally painful.

I recovered after about 30 minutes of getting out of the bath, but it wasn’t a fun 30 minutes. The moral of the story is to read the labels and listen. I could have experienced cinnamon a way that was safer for my skin. Next time I will.

4) If you have a hunch, try it out!
I recently taught music class at Vacation Bible School. I was working with children aged 3-13. It was a little hectic trying to teach four dances to the kids in only five days. The night of our final performance I was very stressed. The kids hadn’t been focusing well and I only had thirty minutes to rehearse the dances with the children before they performed for their parents. I needed their attention.

I grabbed my vaporizer and my rosemary and headed to church. Without mentioning what I was doing, I vaporized rosemary essential oil for the kids during our final rehearsal. Guess what?

It actually seemed to work!

I felt like they were calmer, more focused, and more willing to follow instructions. I’m not saying that will always be the case and I know that experiment was not very scientific, but it worked for me and I would definitely try it again.

5) My last and least professional tip is this:

If you don’t know which oil to use for a specific purpose and you don’t have resources to figure it out- guess lavender.

Lavender is my go-to oil. It smells great and it has a ton of other benefits that you can look up if you care to learn them. I use it in my hair for perfume, on my pillow to help me sleep, in a vaporizer to help tense people chill out, in my bath to relax me, on rashes to sooth them, in my facewash because it just seems like a good idea, and in massages. If I ever wonder which oil to use and I can’t think of which one is right, I just use lavender. I love it so much I might name a kid or pet lavender one day. You just never know.



Gardening the Imperfect Way


Yesterday was absolutely BEAUTIFUL! To celebrate, (my boyfriend’s mom and my friend henceforce referred to     as-) Maternal Maven, (My dog hence force referred to as-) Theodore, and I worked on a garden. Maven and I had some experience, but Theodore was a complete novice, so we needed to show him the ropes. He is featured in the photo above inspecting soil quality.

So a few weeks ago, a very nice handyman crafted these raised beds for us. It took some very careful calculations (We looked where there were no shadows on the ground and plopped them down) to decide where in the yard to put them. Once the location was decided, we used a very high tech and fancy weed repellent paper to line the bottoms and keep out grass and other weeds .


After the cutting edge paper was added, we developed a drainage system that we felt was extremely efficient.


We carefully added (dumped the bags of) soil into the beds, and then began the tedious process of deciding where the seedlings should be placed (Mostly random)


We chose plants for a variety of reasons. We planted tomatoes, bell peppers, chives, sweet basil, and cilantro for cooking. We planted lavender because it smells delicious, and we took advantage of the shaded part of her yard with lettuce for fresh salads!


So far the plants look beautiful and happy. We’ll have to keep you posted as the season progresses.

Organic Face

I’ve finally lost count of how many days I have been Pooless. I could look at a calendar to figure it out, but I stopped caring once I hit the two week mark and decided I was in this for the long haul. So there.

An unexpected problem arose though, and I want to share that with you now.
Once you become aware of all the unnecessary chemicals you are/were putting in your hair, you start caring about unnecessary chemicals you put other places.

And boy, I was not planning on caring that much! Heck, the name of this blog is halfanaturalist, not 100% a naturalist!

So anyways, my face in particular became a concern because, well, faces are important. I have never been too particular about the brand of facewash I use. I mean, I am a college student living at home and working part time. I don’t have the kind of money to be picky about facewash. Also,I do not have the time or patience to do all those steps like cleanse, moisturize, exfoliate, blah blah. I use one product while I am already in the shower, and that’s about all the lovin’ my face gets.

So chemicals. I stopped wanting them on my face. And the whole pooless endeavor made me feel all (falsely) confident about my ability to mix up some personal care products at home. I got a little cocky, I am afraid to admit, and I tried to make my own recipe for a facewash. Failure.

My first attempt was a honey based wash. And for the sake of making myself feel better, I will now justify my ingredient choices:

-Honey for its antibacterial qualities
-Water because I am lazy
-Baby oil to moisturize
-Lemongrass as an astringent
-Sugar in the raw to exfoliate

Sounds like a good facewash huh? That’s what I thought! I was wrong. When I put that crap on my face it burnt so bad! I think it was the lemongrass. Anyways, I scrapped that recipe right away and gave up on the facewash for a week or so. My face needed a break. Poor Face.

When I got the courage to try again, I asked google for help. I was directed here. The recipe seemed good to me (how am I supposed to know what a good facewash recipe looks like?), so I got my Amazon Prime on. I ordered all the ingredients I didn’t already have, and when they got delivered (two days later) I went right to work!


This was a chamomile based recipe, and I LOVE tea. That was the main reason I was attracted to this particular recipe. Even though I love tea, I had never tried chamomile! Can you believe that? It’s so beautiful!


I have been using my new facewash for two days now! I wanted to make sure it wasn’t a dud before I blogged about it. I love it! It smells so good. I use a little lavender essential oil for scent, and it’s just perfect! I made a few extra batches to give some of my favorite ladies for Easter. Also, I had a ton of extra chamomile tea, and I have become obsessed with it.

And my face lived happily ever after. The end.