Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Tobymac | Backseat Driver (Lyrics) ft. Hollyn & Tru

I don't wanna ever doubt You, I'm lost without You Lord
I don't wanna be no backseat, (don't wanna be) no backseat driver

Monday, June 6, 2016

Oil of the Week: YlangYlang

I will attempt to showcase a oil that I am using a lot, is new to me, or just because I darn right feel like it! I think oil education is so important, and I would love to share the knowledge, and my personal opinion/experience with a certain oil.

This week, I would like to introduce to you...


Ylang Ylang essential oil is derived from the star-shaped flowers of the tropical Ylang Ylang tree and is used extensively in making perfumes and in aromatherapy. Similar to Jasmine, Ylang Ylang has been used for centuries in religious and wedding ceremonies. In aromatherapy, Ylang Ylang is used to lessen tension and stress and to promote a positive outlook. Ylang Ylang is frequently used in luxurious hair and skin products for its scent and nourishing and protective properties. Taken internally, Ylang Ylang provides antioxidant support.* Ylang Ylang blends well with Bergamot, Geranium, Grapefruit, and Vetiver.


  • Put Ylang Ylang into an Epsom Salt bath for relaxation.
  • Refresh your skin with an aromatherapy steam facial using Ylang Ylang essential oil.
  • Put on your wrists for a sweet, floral perfume.
  • Add Ylang Ylang to doTERRA Fractionated Coconut Oil for a deep hair conditioner.
  • Take internally for antioxidant support.*

Primary Benefits

  • Provides antioxidant support*
  • Promotes appearance of healthy skin and hair
  • Lifts mood while having a calming effect

Aromatic Description
Sweet, rich, spicy

Collection Method
Steam Distillation

Plant Part

Main Constituents
Germacrene, caryophyllene

My favorite way to use?
I love mixing YlangYlang with other oils that have aphrodisiac effect creating a linen spray from the concoction to spray on pillows and comforters for a romantic night with my husband.

My favorite way to buy?
A wholesale membership! Start your membership here.
Or email me at joannarakoski@gmail.com for more information.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Oil of the Week: Lavender

Every week I will attempt to showcase a oil that I am using a lot, is new to me, or just because I darn right feel like it! I think oil education is so important, and I would love to share the knowledge, and my personal opinion/experience with a certain oil.

This week, I would like to introduce to you...


Lavender has been used and cherished for centuries for its unmistakable aroma and myriad benefits. In ancient times, the Egyptians and Romans used Lavender for bathing, relaxation, cooking, and as a perfume; it is widely used for its calming and relaxing qualities which continue to be Lavender’s most notable qualities. Lavender is frequently used to reduce the appearance of skin imperfections. Add to bath water to soak away stress or apply to the temples and the back of the neck. Add a few drops of Lavender to pillows, bedding, or bottoms of feet to promote a restful night’s sleep. Due to Lavender’s versatile properties, it is considered the must-have oil to have on hand at all times.

  • Add a few drops of Lavender to pillows, bedding, or bottoms of feet at bedtime
  • Keep a bottle of Lavender on hand to soothe occasional skin irritations.
  • Freshen your linen closet, mattress, car, or the air by combining Lavender with water in a spray bottle.
  • Take internally to reduce anxious feelings.
  • Use in cooking to soften citrus flavors and add a flavorful twist to marinades, baked goods, and desserts.

Primary Benefits
Soothes occasional skin irritations
Taken internally, Lavender reduces anxious feeling and promotes peaceful sleep*
Helps ease feelings of tension.*

Aromatic Description
Powdery, floral, light

Collection Method
Steam Distillation

Plant Part

Main Constituents
Linalool, linalyl acetate

My favorite way to use?

I love lavender for skin irritations, but also learned this cool trick below!

 And for those who enjoy a video... here is Lavender in a nutshell!

My favorite way to buy?

A wholesale membership! Start your membership here.

Or email me at joannarakoski@gmail.com for more information.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Hollyn - Alone (Feat. TRU)

Don’t stop
Lord I need You like a heartbeat
Rock solid under my feet
And You’re callin’ me You’re callin’ me up

Monday, May 30, 2016

DIY: Bathbomb

If you have been following my DIY series, you know by now that I am a fan of making my own products using my essential oils. Here is another easy, cost effective recipe for you!

In this weeks edition I share with you a very simple and versatile DIY recipe for all over the home. Non- toxic, affordable and safe.

DIY: Bathbombs

What you need:
  • 1/2 cup Baking Soda 
  • 1/4 cup Citric Acid 
  • 1/4 cup Cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup Epsom Salt (or sea salt) 
  • 2 tsp Fractionated Coconut Oil ( or any oil you have on hand)
  • 5-7 drops Essential Oil 
  • 3-4 drops Soap or Food Coloring 
  • 1/2 tbs Water
  • Soap mold/Plastic Easter egg/Plastic Ornament mold
Mixture makes about 6 bathbombs

What to do:

  • In a medium sized bowl combine all dry ingredients and use a whisk to mix well.
  • In a small cup combine all wet ingredients and stir well. It is normal for the oil to separate the food coloring. Just mix extra hard.
  • Slowly add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, stir very wet in between. You want to add slowly so that the mixture doesn't activate the citric acid. The mixture will bubble slightly. When this happens stir hard to make it stop.
  • The mixture should resemble lightly wet sand. You want to make sure you use the correct amount of wet ingredients. If the mixture becomes to wet it will activate and bubble over your soap molds.
  • If you feel your mixture is too wet ( sticks together like wet sand) add a little bit of corn starch.
  • Add your mixture into your mold and let the mold sit overnight. 
  • Store in a dry area.

Cost Breakdown: The cost of certain items will differ depending on where you purchase them. I tend to buy my items in bulk but these items could also be found in the dollar store. The essential oils used in this recipe will also change the cost of the bath bomb. Due to this, I will not be doing a detailed cost breakdown . However, on an average  1 bath bomb cost between .30 - .72.   When compared to the popular retailed LUSH where a average bath-bomb costs between $3.00-$12.00, I can safely say that our recipe is still cost effective.

Now, I do have to say, that LUSH offers bath-bombs that have glitter, different colors and even little toys inside. This is easily duplicated with simply adding those to the recipe!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Hysterosalpingogram... or HSG

A hystero.. hysta... hysterosal.. a HSG.

Technically speaking a hysterosalpingogram (even my spell check doesn't register that as a word) or HSG is an x-ray procedure used to see whether the fallopian tubes are patent (open) and if the inside of the uterus (uterine cavity) is normal. HSG is an outpatient procedure that usually takes less than 5 minutes to perform.

Now, if you have read my past posts about infertility, you may realize that I want to be honest with my readers, but most importantly I want to share my story, with those who may be going through something similar. 

When I found out I was going to have a HSG, I naturally turned to the internet to find out everything I possibly could. I found some, but not many personal experiences. Nothing that detailed everything that went on. Due to this, I want to be able to share those personal details, with well, whoever the heck reads my blog. 

So, this is your official warning. The below will be true accounts of my experience going through a HSG. I will be using words such as vagina, speculum, lubrication. If that bothers you - I advise you skip this post. Also, please be gentle. This isn't something I sit around talking to my girlfriends about. It is a intimate topic and I am going to be completely real with the details.

Why a HSG?

When trying to determine the cause of infertility, and before starting infertility drug treatments it is common to have a lot of tests done to make sure that the mechanics for having a baby are there and that all looks well. Due to the fact that last year I had a very invasive abdominal surgery, that caused a lot of complications and infections, my OBGYN choose to have a HSG done in order to make sure there was no scar tissue, and that my fallopian tubes were clear.

What is a HSG?

Without going into the science, a HSG is a procedure where a medical professional inserts dye very quickly through your vagina to ensure that the falopians tubes are nice and clear. The procedure it self only takes a few minutes, but there is quite a bit of prep work.

Side effects?

Thankfully for me, I had very little side effects. I did take a Tylenol 500 mg prior to the procedure, and after the procedure I only had light discharge ( I blame the lube that they used) and slight cramping, that really wasn't that bad. Although I did not experience any heavy side effects, depending on your situation, some women do have heavy cramping. I was told by the nurse after the procedure to take another Tylenol if this were to happen.

The Rundown 

According to my OBGYN it is best to have the HSG done between the 5-8 day of a woman's cycle. Lucky for me, when we decided I would do the HSG, I was on day 7. I was told to arrive the next day at radiology. There were no restrictions on food or water. 

When I arrived the next day at Radiology, I was admitted with a hospital band, and shown to a waiting room. After what seemed like eternity but realistically was 5 minutes, a nurse and two students came to get me. 

We walked into the procedure room where there was a large machine, a table and honestly not much else. Connected to the room was a bathroom where I was told to change out of my clothes into a very trendy hospital gown.

When I came out, I was told to sit on the surgical looking table and wait for the radiologist. Remember, in my experience I had a nurse, two students and a radiologist so the room was filled. Thankfully everyone was very nice and when the radiologist finally came he explained the procedure. 

The radiologist had me lay back on the surgical table, with my feet in the stirrups just as if you were preparing for a exam or pap smear.  There was a large machine over my abdomen that almost seemed like a XRAY machine. To the side of me was a television screen that showed the inside of my uterus. It was very neat to see. I was able to watch the whole procedure.

The procedure started with the radiologist  inserting a lubricated speculum into my vagina. Once again, just as you would with a pap smear. The radiologist then explained he would insert a catheter. This did not hurt, just slightly pinched. Next, he told me he was going to flush and clean with some sterile water. Once again, the sensation wasn't painful just uncomfortable.

Then it was time for the main show, the dye to shoot through my Fallopian tubes. This is where everyone's experience will differ in terms of pain. The general consensus is that if you have a blockage somewhere , this part of the procedure may hurt. If you do not have blockage, it should be relatively painless. However, this also depends on your pain tolerance as there have been women who have had no blockage but have felt pain.  I, thankfully, had very little pain, and was surprised when it was over. Thanks be to God, I found out on the spot that my Fallopian tubes seemed to be clear and working just fine.

After this part of the procedure, the radiologist took out the catheter, and said he was finished. During the whole procedure the nurse and two students simply stood by to watch, and hand the radiologist tools. After the procedure, everyone left the room and they allowed me to clean up and get dressed in private.

I was told that after the procedure there may be some discharge and a little bit of blood and that I should wear a pad. Indeed, there was quite a bit of discharge but no blood. Knowing that I have a low pain tolerance, I went ahead and took a second Tylenol when I got home. I took it easy for the rest of the day, but didn't necessarily have to as I felt fine.

My OBGYN called me the next day to reiterate the results, that everything was fine and we could proceed to our next step.

I hope that my detailed experience may help someone who is going into a HSG blindly not knowing what to expect. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them below. 

Pax Et Bonum

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Oil of the Week: Geranium

I will attempt to showcase a oil that I am using a lot, is new to me, or just because I darn right feel like it! I think oil education is so important, and I would love to share the knowledge, and my personal opinion/experience with a certain oil.

This week, I would like to introduce to you...

 Uses of Geranium essential oil date back to ancient Egypt when
 Egyptians used Geranium oil to beautify skin and for other benefits. 
In the Victorian era, fresh geranium leaves were placed at formal dining
 tables as decorative pieces and to be consumed as a fresh sprig if desired;
 in fact, the edible leaves and flowers of the plant are often used in desserts,
 cakes, jellies, and teas. 
As an essential oil, Geranium has been used to promote the
 appearance of clear skin and healthy hair—making it ideal for skin and hair care products.
 It also helps calm nerves and lessen feelings of stress. Geranium is also known to naturally repel insects.

 • Use in an aromatherapy steam facial to beautify skin
. • Add a drop to your moisturizer for a smoothing effect
. • Geranium is great for both dry and oily hair. Apply a few drops to your shampoo or conditioner bottle, or make your own deep hair conditioner.
 • Diffuse aromatically for a calming effect. 


Diffusion: Use three to four drops in the diffuser of your choice.
Internal use: Dilute one drop in 4 fl. oz. of liquid.
Topical use: Apply one to two drops to desired area. Dilute with dōTERRA Fractionated Coconut Oil to minimize any skin sensitivity.