Monday, September 8, 2014

DIY : Natural "Vicks VapoRub"

As a kid, using Vicks before bed was always my favorite part of having a cold.
Well, Vicks and orange flavored cough medicine.
For whatever reason, as a child, these felt like serious perks to me.

A couple months ago, I caught a cold. And while these days, I still love the benefits of Vicks, I wanted to achieve those same results without having to put some of those more questionable ingredients on my body. In an effort to find a chemical-free alternative to my beloved childhood vapor rub, I did some blog-browsing and wound up making my own version of the famous congestion remedy, with all natural ingredients. It was super easy and it worked amazingly well!

It only took about 10 minutes to whip up enough of this stuff to fill 4 tins.
If you want to give it a try...

adapted from Wellness Mama and Garden Therapy
You Will Need : 

1 and 1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup beeswax pellets
essential oils : eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender
tins or jars to store the finished product
(I recycled a tin that previously housed Burt's Bees Hand Salve and also used some jelly jars. You can buy new tins here.)

- Melt 3/4 cup of beeswax pellets with 1 and 1/4 cup coconut oil and 1/4 cup olive oil over a double boiler. 
Or if you're like me and don't own a double boiler, I used a metal bowl that rested on top of a pot of boiling water, which worked out just as well.

- Stir in 50 drops of eucalyptus oil, 45 drops of peppermint, and 35 drops of lavender oil. 
You can add more or less depending on how strong you want the scent to be. I actually ended up adding even more drops of eucalyptus to the mixture while it was starting to cool, after pouring it in the tins. I like it to be really strong!

- Pour it into your container of choice and let it cool. 

- Rub on chest and/or neck and feel better soon!

Pretty easy, right? Since this recipe makes several tins, you can either save them up to use over time, or give them to friends in little care packages when they're feeling under the weather. Also, if you're in a bind or don't want to include the beeswax, adding the essential oils to plain coconut oil works well too! I did that for the first couple days while waiting for the beeswax to arrive and it was a decent substitute to hold me over. You only need to use about 3-5 drops of each oil and a tiny bit of coconut oil (about 1/2 of a teaspoon!) if you're planning on doing it this way. I combined mine in a little cup each night before applying it.

If you'd like to use the labels I made for my vapor rub, they are available for free download here!

Enjoy and stay healthy, friends!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Invincible Summer.

Over the summer, I worked with one of my dear friends to create this little project.
Robert is one of the most passionate, genuine, and talented artists I've ever met.
I can't wait to see where his dancing and creativity will take him.

Here he is, performing some of his choreography to Sufjan Stevens : The Palm Sunday Tornado Hits Crystal Lake.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Snapshots of Summer.

Sunrise yoga at the park. Carlsbad. Acai bowls. Hiking with the girls. Beach days. Big Sur. Sunflowers. Barbecues. Backyard movie nights. Lighter hair. Live jazz at LACMA. Portland & Seattle. The World Cup. Gluten-free fruit pies. Outdoor brunch. The Begin Again soundtrack. Bike rides at the beach. Swimming. Gelato. Slack-lining. Sangria. Bocce Ball. Disneyland...

Just a few of the things that will forever remind me of these past few months and this busy, beautiful summer.

The greatest highlight of my summer (and/or life) was the fulfillment of my lifelong dream to see Paul McCartney in concert. He was fantastic - a true performer in every sense of the word and every bit as cheeky and hilarious as he was back in the Beatles days. Overcame my Beatlemania (pictured below) and enjoyed the show, singing as loud as I could during Hey Jude, while holding hands with the man who introduced me to Paul while I was still in utero via headphones on my mom's belly. Thanks for making me a fan, Pop.

Okay, so now.. in true teacher fashion.. I want to know what you were up to this summer!
I'd love to hear the highlights of your June/July/August. What has been keeping you busy?

PS. I unintentionally took a blogging hiatus for the month of August, 
which was probably for the best, but I'm back! Thanks for sticking with me. :)

follow along on instagram : @kelleoh

Friday, August 8, 2014

An (Endo) Update.

If you follow me on Instagram, you may know that recently I had to visit the hospital due to some new kinds of endo pain.

Here are some updates and a few prayer requests...

Saturday, August 2, 2014


My parents had been looking online for beach house rentals for weeks at the beginning of summer. To get close to the beach, we were going to be spending a pretty penny and it looked like we'd only be able to afford about one or two nights away from home.

That's when one of our sweet family-friends happened to mention his parent's beach house in Carlsbad to us.
And then offer it to us for a week. For free.

I can't tell you what a blessing this situation was. There was room for everybody to have their own bed, we enjoyed all of our meals on our rooftop which overlooked the ocean, we were able to bring Toby along for his first vacation, and we were only a few steps away from the sand on a semi-private beach! We felt (and continue to feel) incredibly lucky to have such generous friends in our lives.

We were fortunate to have beautiful weather while at the beach house, too. Up until our last day it was nothing but sunshine, blue skies, and gorgeous sunsets. We all took part in some sunset swims, getting in to watch the sun disappear behind the ocean. I also almost drowned during one such swim because the waves were really rough and the tide was super strong… A little excitement for our otherwise relaxing trip haha, but that's a different story.

And after our long days of swimming and enjoying the sunshine, we'd all walk back to the house, get comfy and watch movies or play games together. It was so nice having us all there to enjoy each others company - with schedules these days it's not super often that we are all relaxed and in the same place. I think it was probably my favorite family trip we've ever been on. :)

Friday, August 1, 2014


"If you close your eyes and press them really hard with your fingers,
when you open them up again you can be in a world of magical shapes and colors!"

"What are you drawing?"
"A sad, dead, fish."

"I like that the octopus has all those cup holders on his tentacles."
(aka suction cups, but cup holders sound useful too!)

"We are pretending to be a family. She's the mom, she's the sister, and I'm the grandpa. I'm 178 years old! But I didn't die yet."

"Miss Kelle can you cut this out for me?"
"You know how to cut on your own!"
"Yeah, but I'm allergic to cutting things sometimes."

"I want to be a baby in your tummy."

"My mom is letting me pick a name our new baby. If it's a brother, it's going to be Stuart Minion and if it's a sister it's going to be Karen Buzz Lightyear. My dad wants to name it Charlie Brown but that's silly."

"No, it's too hot for recess! It's like 60 pounds out there!"

"Miss Kelle, I drew you a picture! ::puts the paper behind his back:: Now close your eyes to make it a surprise!"
"Okay.. ::covering my eyes:: Are we going to count to three and then you'll show it to me?"
"No. I'm going to count to 100."
"How about 10?"
"How about 100?"
"I mean, that's just a really lon-"

It's hard to believe that our next school year starts this month! Ah!
Just a few more weeks of summer session!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The First Date Shake.

There was never really an official first date, I guess. Weston never had to ask me out or even ask me for my phone number. We were two people in a group of friends who got to know each other a lot before ending up alone at a dinner together. The rest of our friends were going to a movie that wouldn't end until after my high school curfew, so Weston offered to stick around and take me to dinner instead of joining them. And that was our first "date".

We sat across from each other for dinner on a rainy Friday night in February. I had just stepped in a massive puddle in the parking lot, wearing ballet flats, and sat shivering at the table (always the epitome of grace) when I ordered my dinner - "Just a chocolate milkshake, please."

Weston stared at me. "That's all you're having?" Um, yeah, Weston. When you're alone at dinner with a boy you've secretly had a crush on for like, a year, it's a little nerve wracking and I couldn't exactly think of stomaching actual food at that moment. I didn't care how rainy or cold it was or how wet the bottoms of my pants were. Chocolate shake for me. 

Lately, my goal has been to maximize the amount of whole foods that I eat and minimize the amount of  sugar loaded processed stuff. The first week was easy but by week two, my sweet tooth was not being satisfied by fistfuls of fruit anymore and that's when Weston came up with this.

It's a chocolate shake. Made with almond milk, cocoa powder, and dates. And therefore we've come full circle.
On my first date with Weston, I had a chocolate shake. And last week, he made me my first date chocolate shake!
(Please humor me, I'm incredibly proud of this realization.)

If you like frozen, dairy free, chocolatey treats that can be part of a balanced diet… here's what you do...

In a blender, combine:

1 cup almond milk
1/4 cup almond butter
12 pitted dates
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp coconut flakes
And ice - anywhere between a few cubes and a cups worth. The more ice you add, the thinner the drink will be. Just depends on your preference! I've been adding about two handfuls worth.

If you try it out let me know what you think!

And just for fun - since I shared a little bit about my first date with Weston… 
here's a picture from around that time, 6 years ago haha. Aye… look at these kids!