New Year, Más Chingona Pt. 2

If you want to try this roller out… apply to be a rep!

Wow this month feels like it’s been so long (in a good way) because I’ve accomplished so much.   Let me just say this isn’t a one woman show.  I have a lot of support from my husband and mom (Olive’s abuela) to be able to dedicate so much time to planning and organizing for the blog and new ventures.  I also have a couple of friends that are really helping me with Galentine’s Day planning.

I wanted to detail all the happenings for Olive la Vida, Aceite Mama and Chingona Clinics.  While they are all technically me, they all have different objectives and goals.

Essential Oil Basics Online Class

This will be my first time hosting an online class for oil basics.  I first did a live class online when I released my Essentials for Baby ebook.  I learned a lot and hopefully won’t make the same mistakes this time around.  If you want to learn the basics ie: how to use oils, what are oils, why dōTERRA oils and how to get them— then join my online class!  See details below and click to register.  You will be emailed a link to join the online class after you register.

#winter10x10 Challenge

You guys, I’m a wannabe minimalist.  In the last two years I have purged SO MUCH and yet I still have a long way to go to being a minimalist.  My intention is to live with less and produce less waste.   I saw the #winter10x10 challenge on Alli Cherry’s instagram and she is such an inspiration when it comes to intentional living.   The idea is to select 10 pieces of clothing, shoes included (accessories don’t count) to wear for 10 days.  It makes picking an outfit reaaaaally easy.   If you’ve never done a challenge like this, or a capsule wardrobe, I definitely recommend it.  Having less options to sift through each morning definitely puts into perspective why we (culturally) own so much.

Side Story

I used to work at Crossroads Trading Company… while there I learned all about pricing clothes we would buy for the store.  Fast fashion brands would obviously be priced the least, or not bought at all because they retail for so little.  I also learned so much about fashion, hot brands and dressed like a fashion blogger every day I worked, because well, it was on brand for the store.  I made more intentional purchases and wanted to stop buying “fast fashion”.   I wanted to buy better quality pieces at a better than retail price at Crossroads.

I need to get back to buying clothes intentionally and selling/trading clothes when I can.

Galentine’s Day Party

Wow!  18 Days and counting to the big party.  I can’t wait to dance and create and drink mimosas with you all.   Tickets are selling so fast and every time one sells, my phone dings (I get an email) and I literally do a happy dance.   So get your ticket before they sell out, you seriously won’t want to miss this!

1k Giveaway

I’m so excited to have hit 1,000 instagram followers.   It’s just fun to celebrate because I started the blog in April 2017 and hitting this milestone feels like a new beginning.  If that makes any sense.  Honestly I just love any reason to celebrate!  So I’ve partnered with some chingonas to give one lucky winner some amazing goodies from some chingona makers.  (not sure what chingona means?  Head to New Year, Más Chingona pt. 1).  Head to the photo below on my Instagram feed to enter the giveaway!

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Time for a giveaway!! Photo is from my bachelorette weekend (‘14) but my face is how I’m feeling right now!! I’ve partnered with a few other boss babes into bring you a giveaway to celebrate hitting 1k insta friends & to thank you for following along mi vida loca. This is the year to turn my instagram-fan-girling into real friendships! Wait until you see the winnings 😱 basically all the necessities to be your chingona-boss-babe self! 💖 To enter follow me & all giveaway sponsors AND tag a friend below with your fav emoji. 👇🏽 @iamkarlavianey @crystal_domi @yeseniawittman @chingonaclinics @aceitemama For ADDITIONAL entries tag a different friend in a new comment, each comment = one entry! 💖 Swipe to see all the lovely giveaway items… a custom stamped My Intent bracelet @iamkarlavianey, a digital daily planner kit @crystal_domi, a MexiSocket @yeseniawittman, a ticket to @chingonaclinics Galentine’s day, and Chingona essential oil roller from @aceitemama. Giveaway ends on SUNDAY, Jan 28 at midnight PST! 💖 *Giveaway is not sponsored or administered by Instagram.* Galentine’s day Ticket is non-transferable (event is in Orange County, transportation not included).

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Now I’m off to continue the planning of Galentine’s Day!

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New Year, Más Chingona

What. A. Year.

I started this blog as an outlet to share my unique voice. What makes me unique is I am me. Before starting this blog I had officially retired a blog that I had very poorly maintained since 2011. I imagine where I could be as a blogger, maker and created had I really committed to that blog, but that’s in the past and this post isn’t about that. Here I am now, living Olive la vida (all of the life) and sharing it with you.

The new year is upon us and I for one, love the shift in positive energy. Though, in pretty much every way it’s just another day, our bills are still due, our laundry has to be done, dishes washed etc. — in its own magical way, it’s a fresh start.  It’s like the start of a new semester in school, anything is possible- you’re energized and totally going to do all the reading assigned.

Since my last post where I mentioned that I would be starting a separate, but related business and Instagram, I launched the instagram @aceitemama and hosted a giveaway!

I am launching a new year campaign… new year, más chingona.

Si por pendeja me caigo, por chingona me levanto.  —Jenni Rivera

A lot of words in Spanish don’t have an English word equivalent.  Chingona (chingón- masculine) is what you would call a woman in charge, badass, a grown woman who can do anything she wants, a boss.  I love this definition by SussexMemphis on Urban Dictionary:  “To aspire. A maker of her own camino, this is her path and she is going to follow it, regardless of what culture says.”

My goal for 2018 is not only to share but to empower and educate.  Our health is our wealth and with the use of natural remedios we can support our own health and wellness.

If you want to help me in empowering and educating, apply here to join my campaign.  You will receive a chingona roller for free!  The blend is uplifting and energizing, just what we need to start 2018.  I will be unveiling what is in the blend in a future post.

I want to know your new year traditions.  Do you make resolutions?  Set goals?  Make a vision board?   Share on instagram with #newyearmaschingona.  Do me a huge favor and follow @aceitemama!

Cheers to 2018! Out with the new year, new me. I’m the same me, just better– más chingona.

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Flavoring Kombucha with Essential Oils

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A few years ago I brewed kombucha regularly.    In the moving process 2 years ago, I gifted my scoby (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) to a friend and only until recently began brewing again.

(Just a note on the scoby…. read more in the article I linked below. It looks like a slimy pancake and it’s what ferments the tea. Every batch you brew a new scoby is made so your initial scoby is the mother. If friends want to try to brew themselves, you can simply peel one of the baby scobys off the mother, jar it with some of the tea and give it to them to brew their own kombucha. You can find a starter scoby online.)

Ive been buying a bottle in stores here and again but the $4 drink and endless glass bottles didn’t seem sustainable on my budget and on the earth.

If you don’t know what kombucha is, here are the basics.  This isn’t a detailed post on how to brew, but you can find a good one here.

I had read somewhere that you could flavor kombucha with essential oils and I was so intrigued.  Kombucha that is flavored after the initial brewing is flavored simply by adding fruit pieces, juice, or herbs directly into the bottle.   This isn’t difficult, you just have to have everything on hand (frozen fruit works well too).   Now that I live that crazy, mom at home life, adding a drop or two of essential oils to the bottles after brewing sounded sooooooo easy.

So a few weeks ago I did just that: my kombucha had sat for 21 days, I bottled it in recycled glass bottles and then flavored away.  To keep track of the bottles, I used washi tape to label them.   There’s a store-bought bottle of kombucha I buy and love, it’s lavender + melon flavored.  In one bottle I put 2 drops of lavender and it was the first bottle I drank, or rather, attempted to drink.   Essential oils are highly concentrated, so when I sipped on this bottle it tasted like I was drinking perfume, no bueno, and it made me afraid to try the rest of the bottles I had in the fridge. When I got the courage a few days later, I tasted another bottle and it was tasty!  Today I cracked open On Guard + Lemon and it was really good!

I definitely recommend trying this if you brew your own kombucha!

Here are some flavor combos I loved and will experiment more in future batches:

Flavor your home brewed komucha with essential oils (only  1-2 drops needed)

On Guard + Lemon

7up: Lemon + Lime

Ginger

Grapefruit

Wild Orange + Ginger

Zendocrine (detoxifying blend)

Tangerine + Ginger

Grapefruit + Lime

You can mix and match these oils to find your favorite.  Try lavender at your own risk! haha

You might be reading this and wondering a few things…. I’ve imagined some of those questions and answered them below….

  • Is brewing komucha hard?  It’s actually really easy.  You add 3 things in a large wide mouth jar: sugar, brewed black/green tea and a scoby (bacteria that ferments).  Once you place it all in the jar, it needs to sit undisturbed for 7-21 days (this explanation is very basic and if you are really considering brewing, learn more with the links I added above).  I’m happy to put the work into brewing and bottling because it costs very little to made a huge jar, yielding 10 bottles of kombucha vs. paying $4-6 dollars a bottle!
  • You can drink essential oils?!?!?  YES, but quality, pure oils, like the ones pictured.  If you’d like to learn more, contact me!  I always encourage you do your own research too, to decide if internal use is right for you.
  • But oil and water don’t mix…?!  This is true, basic science, but the oils are concentrated, so you get the taste of the oil in every sip of the drink.  Because kombucha is slightly carbonated, I would recommend shaking the bottle, but a couple inversions of the bottle help to blend the bottle before drinking.
  • Does it taste oily? No! When I first started putting oils in my water, I thought the water would taste weird, or the flavor of the oil (grapefruit is my go-to) would taste like the rind of the fruit.   This was not the case at all!  It tasted like an actual grapefruit.

I also wanted to share an update…. as I continue to share about essential oils and my business is growing… I decided to start an Instagram for my oil business– Aceite Mamá (oil Mom). I will also be opening a small online shop!!! More details definitely to come. The Instagram will go live soon, the new shop will open after the new year.

Stay tuned!

Just Say No to Synthetic Fragrances

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The “new second hand smoke” is all around you right now.  Scary thought, right?   Look at your bottle of lotion for the list of ingredients and notice the word “fragrance” listed?   You’d be surprised to know that that word alone can be up to thousands of chemical properties that the FDA has allowed companies to list as simply fragrance.  

I have to admit that my old self used to LOVE plugging in fresh air fresheners around the house.  All my life, using my cucumber melon lotion (oh so early 2000s), getting seasonal with autumn scented candles and spritzing myself with my favorite perfume I had no idea the potential side effects of wanting to smell good.

From air fresheners, scented candles, perfumes, and lotions, what’s the danger?  The artificial fragrance and harmful chemicals in those products can exacerbate asthma, cause skin irritations or disrupt hormone production.  This is oversimplified.  Think of people that are particularly susceptible to disruptors.  In pregnant woman where hormone levels are especially important or teenage kids dousing themselves in aerosol deodorants the negative affects can be drastic and more detrimental to their health.

While this topic might be on your radar already, my objective is to give you some tools to clean up your medicine cabinet and home life of these toxins.  I am in no way a perfect example of green, clean, living but I am on a journey to live more sustainably and eco-conscious.  Always do your own research, a simple google search may do the trick, but be mindful of the source!   Below you’ll find some ways I rid my home of synthetic fragrances

Read more on: Women’s Day, TIME, Huffington Post, National Center for Biotechnology Information, Non Toxic Revolution


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Summer Oils

A few weeks ago I hosted an Essential Oils 101 class and a make & take immediately following.  We made after sun spray and beach wave hair spray.   I was excited to share the making of these two sprays because they’re going to be in every tote I carry this summer.   I referenced and adjusted existing recipes; one recipe direct from the doTERRA blog and the other from The Oil Powered Mom.     You’ll notice the doTERRA recipe is for an 8oz bottle but I adapted it to a 2oz amber bottle.   I’ll also note, when it comes to mixing up these sprays, you don’t have to feel restrained to the exact recipe.

If you’re wondering how to  get these wonderful, Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® oils, contact me via the contact page above!  You can also visit mydoterra.com/karissaraya to join and save or shop retail!

Let’s get to it!

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A Whole New Oil World

My experience with essential oils started at TJ Maxx.  I know, I know, you’re cringing.  But I found the Tisserand head clear and calming roller bottles and thought I’d give them a try.  I didn’t use them often, I just wouldn’t think of them first.

Photo from the second class Beth taught.
My first attempt to join the world of doTERRA was actually last year.  I picked up someone’s business card at Craftcation and she was a Wellness Advocate.  Little did I know that a year later…. I’d be a Wellness Advocate.  I actually never met up with this person.  We tried and it didn’t work out.  Fast forward to this year.  But first, let me to back track… Do you ever feel like you know someone because you “go waaaaay back”, as in, you’ve been following them on Instagram forever and you know their lives?  This happened a little like that.  I follow a bunch of Long Beach small shops and places I’d like to go, I never made it to her shop Salvage Life before it’s closing (sad face) but I saw Beth’s post about hosting an oils class.  I had been so intrigued but didn’t know where to begin or who to ask.  So I contacted her, we set a date and I hosted a class.   I was in.  Just hearing what Beth  had to say about oils and knowing that plants are powerful, I knew I wanted to share with everyone.  It was so easy to become so invested in being a Wellness Advocate while knowing that Beth and her team will help me and guide me, my oil gurus, so to speak.   This all happened in the last few days of February.  Beth taught a second class for me in April and now here we are in May and I am preparing to teach my own class in two weeks.

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Lesson 1 in our #sloilbasics series. What are EO's? ******** Essential oils are volatile aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, roots, flowers and other parts of plants. A given plant may have several chemical compounds and therefore each oil can be used for a variety of purposes. ******** Most plants are steam distilled in order to extract the oil, however citrus oils are expressed (using mechanical pressure) from the rinds of the fruit and therefore are less expensive since it only takes 45 lemon rinds to make a bottle of lemon essential oil while it takes 30,000 roses to make the same size bottle of rose oil. Prices of oils are determined in large part by the amount of plant material required to obtain the oil. ******** Essential oils have been used for 1000’s of years, Egyptian grave robbers used to steal essential oils and leave the gold, Hippocrates who is considered the Father of modern medicine, used Oregano oil in his practice. Essential oils are really having a come back right now and they are being studied more than ever! They are even being used in many hospitals. The pediatric office I take my kids to uses essential oils and I have several nurses on my Doterra team that sell and/or use essential oils. ******** I hope this was helpful! Tomorrow I'll be covering Why and How essential oils work with our bodies. #essentialoils #doterra #salvagelifeoils

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I got started with a Family Essentials kit.  It has the top 10 oils in 5mL bottles.  It’s definitely a great starter kit but I wish I would have started with the Home Essentials kit. It comes with the same 10 oils but the bottles are larger (15mL vs. 5mL).  Yes, it’s more expensive, but the much better deal in the long run.

Photo: A friend was experiencing sever seasonal allergies so I took some over for them to try.
I knew I wanted to learn more and share.  Upon ordering my doTERRA Family Essentials kit, I additionally ordered The Essential Life book, 1/4 dram oil bottles to give friends and family samples, and roller bottles to make my own blends.  I also ordered a few additional oils very soon after getting my kit: Clary Sage, Clarycalm and Balance.   More on those oils below.


I use essential oils in some way, every day.  I only wish I had started with them sooner because I know they could have really helped during my pregnancy and in the first 3 months of Olive’s life (colic).  But I truly believe everything comes at the right time that you are ready for them.  Had joined doTERRA last year,  I would not have met Beth and the rest of the team + support, which is SO important when using oils.


I’ll save the details of an intro to oils for the class I’m teaching (you’re invited if you’re local to Orange County!).  But I wanted to share the oils  that I’ve shared most and how sharing has been so wonderful.   I started sharing on Instagram that I started with oils and love them.  I got such great feedback and a lot of intrigued friends messaged me and were completely honest and open in telling me they struggle with anxiety or depression or stress or insomnia and desperately want help.  I researched and learned what oils were best and made sample roller bottles for them.   Every single person I’ve helped has only had positive results and it makes me so happy to see that they are having such great results as I am.

First, *disclaimer*: These statements have not been approved by the FDA.  I am no medical professional, just a Wellness Advocate.  I can not treat or diagnose you.  I am not replacing a medical professional.  All of these statements are for informational use only.   

Suddenly I was my family’s physician, and I use that word lightly.  Essential oils and what little experience I have with them does not replace the many years it takes to become an actual physician.  But suddenly I found myself reaching for oils rather than what is actually in my medicine cabinet.

My brother for example, woke up with a cold and at the first sound of sniffles I asked him if he was interested in trying oils and taking them internally.  He was totally up to it and I made him a “flu bomb”.  By the end of the day all symptoms of his cold were gone and he didn’t  get worse, he got better. 

Below are the oils I’ve shared the most with friends and family and why.  I hope you find this informational and if you’re interested in learning more with me, please don’t hesitate to contact me.


Clarycalm: This oil is the “monthly” blend for women.  My body and hormones have all been in adjustment during this postpartum period and I’m still nursing.  I got this blend to use for my own hormone balance and calmness.  This blend is great for PMS and cramping, so I shared with friends that experience bad menstrual weeks.

Balance is my FAVORITE oil so far.  It’s a grounding blend and let me tell you, I frequently require grounding.   This oil works wonders on anxiety and has really helped me with my baby blues and daily sanity.   I have given this oil with so many friends and made soooooo many roller bottles.  I used up a 15mL bottle in about a month and shared with over a dozen people!

Breathe was the first (5mL) bottle I finished completely.  Which got me thinking, how such a basic instinct as breathing can be so difficult.  Interestingly enough, I shared this blend mostly with friends that have children.  It works wonders on kids with asthma or colds and even allergies to clear the airways. Think of this oil as the vapor rub of oils.

Clary Sage is long known to help in balancing hormones. It is great for menstruation and can be found in the Clarycalm roller.  I shared it with women experiencing menopause and I used it for myself for my hormone balance.  

My sanity blend is my daily go to.  I get flustered with Olive, when somedays her naps are only 30 minutes long and I feel like I get no baby free time or when it feels like I can’t get a handle on things.  I roll on the palms of my hand, rub my hands together and inhale deeply from my hands.  I inhale a few times and pause for a minute, eyes closed, and find my inner zen.  For real, I do that, then I carry on.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about when it comes to oils, start here.   If you’re thinking, “hey, I want to learn more” or “hey, I’m ready to start with a kit but I have a few questions” or “hey, I want to order one oil or maybe a couple, but not a kit, what do I do” those are fantastic  questions.  Whatever you do, don’t go to Amazon and order essential oils (because there is no way of knowing they are indeed 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils) and don’t order doTERRA oils for retail prices when you can get them at wholesale prices with my help!


First, if you’re local to Orange County, come to my super fun make-and-take class!  Otherwise, we can meet IRL and talk oils or you can always email me.  You decide!

What intrigues you most about essential oils?

Karissa