The Natural Bud

Blossoming into a Healthier Lifestyle

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DIY Air Fresheners

This was my fun project for the week!  It doesn’t take long, except that you leave it out to dry for a few days.  I had never used silicon molds before, so I was nervous about how they would turn out… but I’m so excited about the results!!

The recipe is for Refrigerator Refreshers, but you can use them as air fresheners in many different locations.  Click here for the recipe I used:  The only modification I did was to add about 10-15 drops of doTERRA lemon oil along with the purify.

(Had to include a picture of my husband’s special Star Flex (sp?) also. It’s a retired part of one of the helicopters he worked on.)


Great addition to a gift basket for your crafty or natural-minded friends.





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Happy Memorial Day


I hope I’m as kind a stranger as the tall, well-dressed brunette I passed outside Costco this Saturday.  I had gotten my shopping cart, then realized I was at the wrong entrance (the entrance for the tire shop).  So I’m walking around outside Costco, pushing my cart and feeling ridiculous that I can’t find the entrance.  As the lady pushed her cart past, I laughed to myself, figuring she must think how lost I look 🙂  She looked at me and said, “You look beautiful.”  Made me smile and look for ways to brighten another stranger’s day.

Looking back, the overall Costco experience that morning was extremely pleasant – a bit surprising, considering the “Memorial Day crowd” was there already.  It could be that everyone was excited about the weekend with family – or maybe my 6-month-pregnant belly bump made everyone more considerate of me.  In any case, I’m thankful and encouraged to be kind to those around me. You never know what they’re going through.



On that note, Happy Memorial Day!  I’m so grateful for the freedoms we experience in this country.  For those of you who are veterans or have veterans in your family, please know that we deeply appreciate their service and the sacrifices they have made on our behalf.

“If you ever see a soldier, shake his hand and thank him.” – my dad



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Guilt-Free Mango “Ice Cream”

Mango Ice Cream

Mango Ice Cream


I just made this mango “ice cream” for breakfast.  It began as a quick smoothie with what we had on hand, but it turned into a light, creamy mango ice cream!  My two-year-old ate at least half of it!  And it only takes three ingredients! (Well, four if you count the water :))

Mango Ice Cream: the amount it actually made

Mango Ice Cream: the amount it actually made

1. Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream.  I used 1/2 a can, maybe a little more (my coconut cream had been in the fridge, leftover from a previous recipe; I think that added to the ice cream texture).  Coconut cream is also great for making dairy-free whipped topping. 🙂

Trader Joe's Coconut Cream

Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream

2. Half a slice of frozen pineapple (more if you want it sweeter).

3. About 2 Cups of Frozen Mango Cubes.  The Costco near us just started carrying this big bag of organic mango cubes!
IMG_6504Ingredients in Vitamix: note: the vitamin looked fuller the first time. When I took this pic my coconut cream wasn't refrigerated, plus I had no pineapple.

Add these all to the Vitamix (or a high-quality blender) in the order listed, then add 1/4 cup of water (just enough to help it blend). I also have raw honey that I got from Trader Joe’s; may add that next time if anyone wanted it sweeter.  I enjoyed the light taste of this though!  Great as a quick, healthy breakfast!

Quick Overview for those who NEED an EXACT Recipe 😉

  • 3/4 cup coconut cream (Best if refrigerated first)
  • 2 cups frozen mango cubes
  • Half Slice of Frozen Pineapple
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Add in the order listed, then blend until creamy and enjoy 🙂
Toddler Loved It :)  Excuse the "bed-head."

Toddler Loved It 🙂
Excuse the “bed-head.”

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12 Things You Can Never Pack Too Much Of- From a Mom



Lately it seems our rate of travel has doubled. (Not that our rate was high in the first place :))  I grew up in Africa, so traveling isn’t really new to me (in light of that, you’d think I’d be more skilled at packing!)  – but traveling with a baby, that’s a whole new realm!
Even with a two-year-old, I feel like I’m just now getting better at it.  I’ve tried learning to pack light, and in my effort to do that, we’ve had some interesting predicaments – “what? out of diapers already?”  So, I’ve come up with a list of things that are ALWAYS worth packing, and sometimes packing a little extra… Nothing really new here, you experienced mothers will laugh at these.

1. Diapers; Baby Wipes (homemade, of course)

2. Tissues

3. Blankets: Even in the summer, I find myself wishing I had a blanket to hang up and shade the sun from baby’s eyes while he’s in the carseat.

4. Toys & Books for the road; bath toys.


5.Baby clothes for all different types of weather (e.g. a sweater/rain jacket even in the summer – gets chilly sometimes!)  At least 3 extra outfits…more for a newborn. 🙂

6. Pajamas.  For both warm and chilly weather.  Funny how you can forget these things.

7. Comfortable evening social wear.  Maybe even some bedroom slippers.

8. Food!  Lots and lots of food.  Not only because it keeps the baby entertained and happy, but also because I’m hungry every two hours as a pregnant and nursing mother.


9. Hand Sanitizer (homemade, naturally. 🙂 here’s the recipe I used:

10. A Water Bottle (maybe even some gallon jugs)

11. Essential Oils/Diffuser

12. My Spray Bottle of Natural Disinfectants along with Paper Towels.



And then there’s other basics like toiletries, razors etc… Oh audio books are great too.

Well this is from the mom of ONE toddler.  I’m sure I’ll have more to add after our trip this weekend, but I’d love to hear input from all of you!  What have you found useful while traveling?  Maybe even from a different stage of life or those who have multiple babies.