The Best DIY Essential Oil Travel Roller

The Best DIY Essential Oil Travel Roller

Lately, I’ve been super-picky about the household products we use in our family. Not only what you eat but what you put on your skin can have huge effects on your health for good or bad. What gets me is that there are so many toxins out there in everyday products that are not regulated and most people don’t even realize it. So today, we are going to put together the absolute best DIY essential oil travel roller.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

When you go on vacation with the kids, what are some of the basics? There’s the inevitable fall and scrape a knee, so you’ll need disinfectant and bandages. What else? If you’re on a lake or beach vacation you will probably need sunburn spray/cream to calm it when dad refuses to put on sunscreen or you miss a spot. In addition, you’ll need bug spray and bug bite relief. Do you know what I also love? A sleep aid to calm me (and the kids!) down after a big day and sleeping in a new place.

Also, if you’re camping, road tripping, or traveling by air long distances don’t you always carry a hand sanitizer and/or wipes to get rid of all those germs? What’s in antibacterial wipes, anyway? Well, I’m glad you asked! “Fragrance” (possible carcinogen, possible allergic reactions), methylparaben, propylparaben (both hormone or endocrine disruptors), phenoxyethanol (The American Society of Contact Dermatitis lists phenoxyethanol as one of its core allergens), and so many more!

I want to know what’s in my EVERYDAY use products and know they’re good for me and my family, don’t you? Wouldn’t you love to be able to make your own using essential oils and natural ingredients?

In a hurry?

Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe or PIN it here for later!

Essential oils experts panel: questions and answers

Lately, I’ve spent a ton of time researching the best natural remedies, but sometimes I do get frustrated when I’m looking up herbs and essential oil information. Have you noticed all the conflicting viewpoints on-line? I suppose that’s true with many subjects!

DIY Essential Oil travel roller recipe

Have you ever read that a certain essential oil is okay for internal use, only to turn around and read another article that says that same essential oil is “for external use only!”? Or what about which oils are okay during pregnancy or for babies? Also, it often comes up, which brands you can use and trust? It can all be really confusing and either make you want to pull out your hair or become your own expert! What if you could watch a panel of actual aromatherapy experts tackle all of these tough questions and more?

Maybe they won’t even agree on every single thing, but at least you’ll find out why they disagree, so you can make an educated choice for yourself. I know once I have the facts I’m FULL of opinions. 😉

If you’ve followed this blog long, you’ll know I work with Ultimate Bundles from time to time. Why? Because they put together VALUABLE, worthwhile information I love and use. When it’s something I love I like to share it with you too!

So now, Ultimate Bundles put together a panel of experienced, well-educated and (most importantly) certified experts to answer essential oil questions in an eye-opening 90-minute interview.

Want to watch it for free?

You can register here and get immediate access to the panel recording.

It’s so important to be able to sort through all the information and advice floating around, so you can make the best, most educated decisions for your health and your family’s.

This panel is available to watch for free until midnight on May 29th. Don’t miss it! Click here to get access.

Have you tried eating low carb?

I love this cauliflower mac and cheese bake!

Cauliflower mac and cheese bake, square piece

Best DIY essential oil travel roller bottle

Back to the indispensable travel roller! This super simple recipe is one I use and keep on me constantly, especially when traveling. My 5-year-old son has his own he puts on his scratches and boo-boos. In addition, it’s super calming so it helps him go to sleep at night without the toxic “fragrance” in so many kids’ calming night lotions.

The DIY essential oil travel roller contains only three ingredients, well I guess four if you count the 10 ml roller bottle. Lavender, tea tree oil, and fractionated coconut oil (or olive oil works too).

Lavender

DIY essential oil travel roller, lavender

First of all, let me say lavender is one of my favorite scents in the world! It has so many properties it’s really one of the most versatile essential oils and therefore so very useful for travel when you’re trying to save space. Lavender can relieve nervous tension (calms), it’s a pain reliever, skin disinfectant, it enhances blood circulation, and can aid in respiratory problems.

Melaleuca or Tea Tree Oil

DIY Essential Oil Travel Roller

Melaleuca is also known as tea tree oil and is truly another essential oil cure-all. It has so many helpful uses, you pair it with lavender and you can’t lose. Melaleuca is an antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, expectorant, fungicide, insecticide, stimulant, and a sudorific substance.

Fractionated Coconut Oil

Fractionated coconut oil is often used as a carrier, or to dilute essential oils. Don’t be fooled! It also has its own amazing qualities that make it a great choice for a roller. It can withstand light and high heat without going rancid. Also, it’s not greasy and lighter than regular coconut oil and has more of a cleansing effect on the skin. This is a fabulous base for skin care products and as a way to use your essential oils.

As I said, the recipe itself is super simple.

To make the DIY essential oil travel roller, take one 10 ml glass bottle with a roller topper and lid. Once it’s cleaned and sterilized put in 5 drops of lavender and 3 drops of melaleuca. Fill the bottle to the top with the fractionated coconut oil. Push the roller ball into place and screw on the lid. Shake it a bit, and it’s ready to conquer scrapes, bug bites, boo-boos, rashes, stress, insomnia, and more!

It’s also one of those things I can pull out to take action on a “boo-boo” of one of the kids, and just seeing it makes them calm down and feel better. Try it out for yourself when you travel with the family or just keep one in your purse at all times. I even rub it on my wrists sort of like a relaxing perfume. It has so many uses!

What products do you like to make yourself?

So yes, I admit it. Lately, you can find me nerding out drying out my Mother’s Day rose petals for a bath salts recipe, making my own hand sanitizer, and trying out different essential oils in my lip balm recipe. It’s so time for back to basics, and I’m excited to learn more and more because hey, it keeps my babies safer. Free from daily toxins rubbed into their skin and educated to make their own choices in the future.

DIY Essential Oil Travel Roller

Multi-purpose essential oil rub. Good for scrapes, bites, stress, you name it! Save room while you travel!

Servings: 12 people
Author: Lauren Gonikishvili
Ingredients
  • 10 ml roller ball bottle
  • 5 drops lavender oil
  • 3 drops melaleuca oil (tea tree)
  • 2 teaspoons fractionated coconut oil or olive oil, fill bottle
Instructions
  1. To make the DIY essential oil travel roller, take one 10 ml glass bottle with a roller topper and lid. Once it’s cleaned and sterilized put in 5 drops of lavender and 3 drops of melaleuca. Fill the bottle to the top with the fractionated coconut oil. Push the roller ball into place and screw on the lid. Shake it a bit, and it’s ready to conquer scrapes, bug bites, boo-boos, rashes, stress, insomnia, and more!

Best DIY essential oil travel roller recipe

Family Camping Checklist And Must Haves

Family Camping Checklist And Must Haves

Now is the perfect time to be talking about family camping preparations because hey it’s just decided to start SNOWING! Do you know what? I’ll let you in on a little secret. Go ahead and go through your family camping checklist. There’s never a bad time to plan for a camping trip, and I’m in Colorado so since it’s 25 degrees Farenheit right now, tomorrow it should be 74 again, right? Because that’s what happens here!

This post contains affiliate links which means I make a very small percentage if you click through and purchase something. All opinions are strictly my own!

Family camping checklist, campfire pin

Let me first tell you what can happen on a badly planned family camping trip. Last summer we decided on a whim to grab that camping site that had just been released on the website in Rocky Mountain National Park at the Moraine Park Campground. What luck! That place is crazy busy in the summer and we hadn’t booked ours months in advance. We threw the tent, some food, and the kids in the car and set off to enjoy the mountains.

The BAD Camping Experience

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my Rocky Mountains, but what ensued was NOT a pleasurable experience. I did NOT use a family camping checklist. Our campsite was in the middle of a group of sites in the large campground, although at first, we didn’t think it was too close to others. We got our tent up and sent the kids to look for pinecones and bugs. Unfortunately, there’s not a river or lake or a lot to do at that campsite, and we were sort of pinned in. We’d forgotten our normal card games and had to drive out of the campground to do much hiking or other activity.

That night the ground was hard, the hole in our camping mattress painfully evident. Not that we could sleep anyway because it was so cold one of the people at the next campsite turned their car on and ran the heater ALL NIGHT. YES!! All night the hum of the car and the burr of it when the heater came back on caused none of us to get much sleep. By morning we were so tired, grouchy, and picking at one another that we picked up things and went home. It was not like a bear attacked our food and destroyed our campsite, it was just NOT the ideal family camping trip in nature.

SO what did that teach us? PLAN, PLAN, PLAN!! With kids, my sanity revolves around checklists and planning and preparing for every eventuality. Of course, so many people’s personalities are different, but even a little planning can’t hurt!

Prep the kids and test your gear with a trial run

Rocky Mountain National Park tree view

What do you mean by a trial run you may be thinking!? I mean exactly that. If you haven’t used your camping gear for a while, pull it all out and build up a grand event for the kids to CAMP IN THE BACKYARD!! Ooh! Try out some of your favorite or new camping recipes modified for your kitchen, but take it outdoors to eat in camping chairs by the tent. Test out your headlamps, flashlights, even the camp stove if you use one. Also, I like to shake out the tent and sleeping bags to air them a bit and make sure they’ve all been cleaned since the downpour and mud slosh of the last trip!

Another thing that I love about a backyard campout is that it’s a great trial run for the kids! If you have young ones who’ve never camped before it can be scary. In the backyard, it still can be but with easy access to the house. Once the tent and set up is more familiar to a child, they will be more comfortable with it in a foreign setting, your desired campground. Baby steps, right?

Family camping checklist picture, campsite

Reserve your campsite in advance

If you are headed to a national park or a popular campground, be sure to book your campsite online in ADVANCE. The Rocky Mountain National Park campgrounds open up reservations six months in advance, and if you’re planning to go there I suggest you book it as soon as you can.

First, choose your campground. What activities are there around for the kids to do? Do you want to be by a good fishing spot, a lake or a river? Do you want to be close to accessible hikes or areas for wildlife viewing? Or do you just want a space to hang out, play cards, talk, and hang out around a campfire? Some campgrounds even have games like horseshoes, putt-putt, and other things children like to do. Do you need electricity and a bathroom? Decide, what is it you want out of the campsite area?

Second, study the campground map and look at the campsite pictures if there are any. Are you a family that likes to be in the middle of things among a lot of people at a party or more separated with space and a good view? Book your campsite accordingly! If you’ve never been there, consult someone who has or Google reviews for the specific campground. Another thing, be sure the review is recent so you know there hasn’t been a fire or attack of pine beetles or something to drastically change the area!

Third, book your campsite on-line! Find the website for the campground you’ve chosen and get your reservation booked!!

Love to go hiking with your kids?

Check out these awesome Estes Park, Colorado hikes for kids and family!

Estes Park hikes for kids, mountain with golden aspens

Camping Gear

When you’re looking at gear for a camping trip a lot of it depends on the length of time you’re going to be camping and what exactly you’re wanting to do. I’ve admitted I’m no longer a hardcore, a week at a time camper with kids, but I do like a two-night trip. When you do your trial run fun backyard campout you can determine what gear you still may need to get. I would really LOVE to have this entire awesome new tent setup from Cinch!, with solar charging hookups and super easy setup and takedown. However, for our short-term camping, our old tent will probably do just fine! What kind of tent’s on your family camping checklist?

Cinch!

Content not available.
Please allow cookies by clicking Accept on the banner

I highly recommend downloading my family camping checklist. You can write all over it, add things, and cross things off as you need. As a mom going in a million directions I know I need something written down clearly defining the next step. Truly, I’ve learned because I’ve had too many experiences where I’ve said oh, I’ll remember that! And then, of course, I don’t, and it gets left in the storage area in the basement.


Sign up for Explorer Momma’s newsletter and as a bonus download this amazing family camping checklist today!

Family camping checklist preview

Family Camping Food

Food! There are so many fun camping recipes on Pinterest I encourage you to find a few new ones to please the family. As a kid, I still remember how much fun it was to wrap my packet of food up in foil and throw it in the fire to cook. How in the world did the adults let me do that?! As a strict rule follower, it was a great release and rebellion for me without really rebelling. Of course, there’s always a traditional s’more to be had as well!

If you are wanting to cook with a campfire or just sit around one, always check for fire restrictions or bans at your campsite before you go!

With food, plan out your days. What will you eat for each meal? What are your snacks? Will it spoil or need to be kept iced? There are a lot of things to think about with food, and my preferred short trips make it a lot easier than a couple week campout, although that is totally doable also.

Another thing to think about is how you can keep your food away from the wildlife in the area. Can you contain it at night so the bears don’t sniff out your camp? (Often there’s a locked “bear box” assigned to campsites to keep food if that’s a problem in the area). Maybe you can tie all the food in a bag up in a tree or in your car? Although, I’ve heard of bears getting into cars as well! Talk to the ranger or campsite director about best practices in regard to food storage.

PLEASE! When you plan out your food, remember you also have to cart out all your trash or find an appropriate receptacle for it!! Leave nature and your campsite as it was when you found it!

Tent camping in the Rocky Mountains

Things to do while camping

I mentioned this briefly before, but think about what things you want to do with the kids or friends while you’re there. Find out what’s available and what will work for you all to do. Add the necessary items to your family camping checklist.

  1. Where are the best nearest hikes?
  2. Can you fish in the area? Who all needs a fishing license?
  3. Can you boat or kayak?
  4. Bring card games to play during a downpour in your tent!
  5. Frisbee, baseball, soccer, or other sports
  6. Plan a nature scavenger hunt for the kids.
  7. Give the kids an old camera and tell them to take pictures of as many different: leaves, pine cones, bugs, birds, animals, or whatever’s around, they can. My son LOVES this and can do it for hours.
  8. Create a nature journal. This is more my daughter’s style. She loves to draw and write about the things she sees. I don’t like to give it too many rules so she can be creative, but you can give suggestions. Why don’t you draw all the flowers, butterflies, or animals you find? Can you imagine a story about that tree and write it out?

Family camping trip, kids hiking

What’s left on your family camping checklist?

Family camping and camping on your own or with friends are two ENTIRELY different animals. I used to love to pack in all my gear and tent on my back 5 miles or more to the backcountry campsite where there wouldn’t be anyone else around. Peaceful. Quiet. Serene.

Add young kids to that equation, and you are headed for a disaster of high magnitude!! Now, as a family, our ideal camping experience is 2 nights at a campground site. In addition, this site is close enough to walk back to the car, but separated enough from the other campsites so you still feel the peace of the great outdoors.

You can have an amazing experience, but it does take some patience and planning. And flexibility, which is what I always have to work on!! I hope you printed your family camping checklist and will use it this summer!

Get your family outside and run! Soak in the sun and stare at the stars. Give it a chance, and planned properly with a family camping checklist, you will LOVE your time and memories made.

Now here’s a question for you! Where are some of your favorite family camping spots all over the world?

 Family camping checklist preview1

Hospital care packages for kids

Hospital care packages for kids

This has been a bad year for the flu. In fact, it seems to be in line to set records this year, and evidently, hospitals and doctors’ offices are full of masked, tired-looking kids and adults. You may have noticed I’ve been a little behind in my newsletter and some of my online activities. Well, that’s what happens when you have a sick child at home for a couple weeks and then end up in the hospital for 5 days. Then you think about hospital care packages for kids.

This page contains affiliate links.

To look on the bright side, we did NOT have the flu. The child has many things happening we are so VERY thankful to have brilliant doctors on hand to help get under control. Actually, they said a couple times she was “not a textbook case”, and after the worst was over we took pleasure in stumping them. As I stayed in the hospital with her during this time, I was asked several times by friends and family, “What can we bring when we visit?”

Obviously, what to get a kid in the hospital or hospital care packages for kids will vary from kid to kid depending on their circumstances. We were not allowed to leave the room so things to create, read, or write were the best to occupy time and to lift the mood! It’s HARD to be in the hospital and can be very depressing. Kids LOVE gifts, and even the littlest thing can bring happiness and remind the patient of the visitor from earlier who loves them very much.

Hospital care packages for kids

What to get a kid in the hospital? Hospital care packages for kids!

These are just some ideas, and you’ll want to pick, choose, and tweak it for the child you know and love, but it’s a good place to get started!

What to put in a care package

Hospital care packages for kids close-up

Cute tote bag

Get a fun tote bag or a box and select activities such as the ones following to fill it up!

Lego set

This LEGO Elves The Water Dragon Adventure set was a huge hit with my 9-year-old. It’s so fun to see the new and different styles of Legos! This was a surprise gift and was a fun thing to put together in between naps at the hospital. I highly recommend putting some sort of Lego set in your hospital care packages for kids!

Hospital care bag Legos

 

Stuffed animal

A stuffed animal is so comforting to cuddle with and hug tightly when taking blood, putting an IV in, or really for any time in a hospital bed!

 

New book to read

Do you remember when the grandfather visits his sick grandson in The Princess Bride? What does he do? He sits down and proceeds to read an entire book to the sick kid. I remember how much I used to love being read to at school and at home. Turn off the TV and while you visit and read a chapter or two of a new book out loud to the sick child. Listening to someone read is incredibly relaxing and something you can do easily for the kid

 

Window art

Some sort of window art like this, or peel off clear decals that look like stained glass, is great fun! All you do is color or paint it and stick in a window to see how the light goes through it.

 

Foam puppets or other foam put together activity

 

 

New markers

There’s something incredibly satisfying about opening a new set of markers. They’re perfect, but only for a little while as you color and then before brother gets into them. Slowly they become old, worn out and sometimes dried. New ones draw crisp lines perfect for inside a new coloring book or other activity.

 

Activity books to color

These are fun to stick in a tote bag, and while they may not be the first thing pulled out, an activity book can be hours of distraction. That’s what we like!

 

 

Mad Libs or Mad Libs Junior

We love Mad Libs! With some energy, there can by a lot of laughing around a hospital bed depending on ages. A classic!

 

 

Puzzle books

Mazes, crosswords, and riddles are always fun. A cheesy joke book can lift the mood also!

 

 

Some sort of sewing or needlepoint

It’s never too early or too late to learn to sew!

 

 

Fancy coloring book

 

 

 

Gel pens

If you get a fancy new detailed coloring book, what do you need? Why gel pens of course! I love these. 🙂

 

Journal

A blank journal or one with prompts such as this is a good way to get kids thinking and to express their feelings on paper. The more you practice writing, the easier it gets! I always advise journaling for anyone, not just kids.

 

Try The Super Easy Best Paper Plane Ever!

Best paper airplane ever feature

Would you like some paper airplanes to soar around your hospital room? Check this out!

Head up to the hospital for a visit!

While it’s fantastic for a child to receive hospital care packages for kids, your visit is more important and what they’ll remember! If visitors are allowed, it’s a huge break in the monotony, brings joy, and makes the child feel special. There are only so many times you can watch the hospital movies and Mom dancing around the room to Zootopia music!

Hospital instruments view

I’m certainly thankful we’re no longer in need of a hospital care package for kids. However, I know there are so many kids who have extended stays or chronic illnesses bringing them back to the hospital time and time again. So what are you waiting for? Grab a stuffed animal or a tote full of activities and get out there! Enjoy your visit and make them smile!

Tell me – have you made hospital care packages for kids? Were they as a donation to a hospital or for one specific person?

Let me know in the comments what’s been successful for you!

Paris Travel Tips: Let’s Plan a Trip to Paris

Paris Travel Tips: Let’s Plan a Trip to Paris

Ah-ah-ah-AH-achoo! It’s flu season, and it seems like half of my daughter’s school is sick. Literally. We haven’t had the flu but our own personal set of viruses that keep the child out of school and in bed or on the couch. Unfortunately, most of these will keep a kid out of action for at least a week, and believe me they go crazy with boredom. Oh, yes. There’s only so much crafting, TV watching, reading, and homework ignoring one can do! Of course, there are also those days the patient is so sick and out of it they can’t really do anything, but what I’m talking about is that time when they’re almost well but still aren’t allowed back at school because of a fever or other factors. Then it’s time to plan a trip to Paris!

This page contains affiliate links.

So what do you do when you run out of things to do for the sick child on the couch? I’m tempted to say let them be bored and figure it out, which is not a terrible suggestion. However, when you’re sick I think a little humoring and encouragement is due! Therefore, what better thing is there to do than plan a trip to Paris??

“Plan a trip to Paris?” you may say, “I’m not going to Paris! Why would I plan a trip there?”

Why?! Well, why not? Paris is ALWAYS a good idea, and basic organizing, trip planning, and budgeting are great skills for kids to learn. You may not actually go on your trip, although I highly suggest it, simply planning and learning about an awesome place like Paris is really a lot of fun.

Let's plan a trip to Paris, Eiffel Tower pin


What exactly do you need to plan?

Airplane Tickets

As far as airplane tickets go, you can book through any number of sources. There are the traditional www.orbitz.com type websites. You can go through a travel agent. Or you can go to the individual airline’s website such as British Airways.

Arc de Triomphe, Let's Plan a Trip to Paris

Where to stay?

There are so many options for places to stay in Paris! Part of the fun of this exercise is to search online for the best Paris hotels or B&Bs.

Hotel Websites

Of course, you could always plan to stay at the Ritz Paris. If money is not an issue there are all sorts of fun websites to explore accommodations in Paris.

Airbnb

Look for good locations on Airbnb. I’ve used Airbnb internationally and nationally and had great experiences with the hosts. If you use my link, and it’s your first time to sign up you’ll even get a $40 travel credit, and who couldn’t use that?! Click here to sign up and get your credit.

If you do choose to book through Airbnb I always suggest selecting a place with many good reviews, not something newly listed. Also, as far as location goes, try to be close to a metro station or within good walking distance to the monuments and places you’d like to see.

Jardin du Luxembourg

Take some time to search

Another option is to simply Google “best hotels for families in Paris” or specifically the style of accommodation you’re looking for. Go to your favorite travel website or look at several such as www.orbitz.com or www.hotels.com or whatever you’ve had success with yourself in the past. As an exercise, it’s fun to look at several and get a variety of options.

Are you going on a road trip soon?

Road trip activities, in the car with feet on the dash

Read all about the Ultimate Road Trip Activities For Kids. Let’s keep them happy and occupied!

What monuments or places would you like to see?

Do some searches. What are you interested in? The history of Paris? Art? Food? Sports? Do you want to see some of the amazing churches in Paris such as Notre-Dame or the dazzling stained glass in Saint Chapelle? Maybe you were a fan of Highlander back in the day (or another show set in Paris 😉 ) and want to see all the places around the city where it was filmed. If nothing else you can plan to have a sword fight with baguettes under a certain bridge with the Eiffel Tower in view.

Sainte Chapelle stained glass windows

There are so many amazing places to see in Paris, famous cafes and restaurants, and ways to grow and learn. Plan to take your time with meals in France and do as the French do. Enjoy each other’s company and delight in the food. Relax and breathe in the culture. It’ll be good for you.

What will your trip cost?


Fill out your free printable Let’s Plan a Trip to Paris! worksheet. Add everything up and see how much your trip will cost. If you wish, add in a budget for food as that’s not included in the basic plan.

It’s not that much now, is it? Make a plan and jump on that airplane. I’ve never regretted traveling to a new place and the amazing new experiences to be had. Take a risk and act on it today! Or simply enjoy a sick day diversion to lift your spirits.

Sign up for Explorer Momma’s newsletter and download the free Let’s Plan a Trip to Paris! worksheet as a bonus!

Let's Plan a Trip to Paris printable preview

 

So, will you plan a trip to Paris?

Are you inspired yet to plan a trip to Paris? Maybe even act on that plan and do some bookings? I love Paris, and there’s nothing like a sick day to make me long to be able to travel. So, step 1, if you’re sick, get better! Step 2, download your Let’s Plan a Trip to Paris printable. Step 3, explore the internet using your printable as a guide, and plan a trip to Paris! Step 4, go to Paris!

Have you and your family visited Paris? What are your favorite monuments or places to see? I was lucky enough to first make the trip in high school with our high school French club. I loved it so much I’ve studied the French language and have been back many times. However, it’s been too long! I really need to start planning…

Let's plan a trip to Paris, the Eiffel Tower and Deux Magots

What To Plant In Your Keto Vegetable Garden

What To Plant In Your Keto Vegetable Garden

Okay, I admit it. I love seed catalogs. No, not looking at a website online but a REAL, paper printed seed catalog with 20 varieties of pumpkins, berry bushes of all sorts, and pages of suggestions on herbs and seasonings. Generally, they start arriving in the middle of January when we’ve been frozen in long enough to be craving Spring. There’s something immensely satisfying in planning out your garden if it’s three pots or an acre, in the middle of a deep freeze. But what should I plant in a keto vegetable garden?

This page contains affiliate links.

Keto vegetable garden pin, tomatoes

This year, the joyous magazines began to arrive, and I had to stop to think. Last year I was only exploring a ketogenic diet and had not yet started so it did not factor into my garden planting. This year now I’m thinking, okay, how can I best use my small garden space and grow the vegetables we’ll actually use while eating keto? What exactly is a keto vegetable garden?

Yes, I made that up. Keto vegetable garden. What I really mean is what vegetables and plants are eaten in the keto diet, and what should I plant and cultivate. I’ve come up with a list of ideal veggies for our garden, which is not huge, and am in the process of narrowing it down to exactly how many plants, packets of seeds, etc. we actually need. 

What should you plant in a keto vegetable garden?

Vegetables

Two cucumbers with vines and yellow flowers

  • Lettuce blends and individual varieties 
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Asparagus
  • Tomatoes – Monsters, beefy, cherry, grape, jelly bean, Early Girl, Roma, hybrid, heirloom
  • Peppers – bells, Anaheim, sweet banana, jalapeño
  • Green onions – bunching onions
  • Garlic
  • Eggplant
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Green Beans
  • Zucchini squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Pie pumpkins. We don’t eat a lot of pumpkin on a keto diet, but I certainly love them in fall! Can we say pumpkin spice?! 
  • Cinderella pumpkins – Rouge Vif d’Etampes

Herbs

Overhead view of three pots in an herb garden

  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Tarragon
  • Mint
  • Dill
  • Sage
  • Chives
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme

Fruits

Some people on a low carb or keto diet feel like they have to avoid all fruits. That’s simply not true, and my sweet tooth often craves a good almond flour raspberry muffin. Berries are healthy and can be eaten in moderation just like anything on a keto diet.

Raspberries on a fence in the sun

What must-have kitchen gadgets do you have to prepare a keto diet?

What have I cut out this year?

I chose not to include some of my usual staples this year because they don’t aline with the keto diet. Most are high carb or high sugar content, and so not ones I want to tempt myself with or actually use.

  • Beets
  • Potatoes
  • Parsnips
  • Radishes
  • Sweet peas
  • Carrots
  • Butternut squash
  • Sweet potatoes

What do kids love to plant for decoration?

  • Jack-be-little pumpkins
  • Gourds
  • Wee be little pumpkins

What are some of the flowers I love?

Aren’t lupins beautiful?! My love of lupins stems back to one of my favorite childhood books, Miss Rumphius, who spreads lupin seeds around town to “make the world more beautiful”. We adore flowers, and getting more in our yard this year is one of my big goals.

Purple lupins

  • Zinnias
  • Snapdragons
  • Lupins
  • Roses
  • Lantanas
  • Peonies
  • Phlox
  • Lilacs

Do you not have a garden, but an outside concrete space or balcony? 

No worries! You can have a garden too. There are so many options out there today and new methods of growing. First, take a look at these possibilities, and then enjoy a trip out to your local garden center or farm. Gardening is great for kids and an awesome way to teach responsibility and a love of nature. If you have an outdoor space, even a small one, you can get a few pots together to plant a few vegetables.

  • Pots
  • Tubs
  • Raised bed gardens
  • Tiered planters

Plan and prioritize your keto vegetable garden

What do you prefer to buy, and what do you love to see grow? If it’s easier to buy cauliflower but you’d like to plant a high yielding zucchini plant, do that. Make a plan, experiment a bit, and enjoy it! Take a look at the websites I use in planning my garden.

Resources:

Jung Seeds Garden Planner This garden planner is a great online way to map out your garden space. It’s easy to use and fun to work with and save from year to year. Of course, good old pencil and paper work well too, but we all love technology! Jung has some of the best seeds for our Colorado region.

Gurney’s Seed and Nursery Co. They send us some of my favorite seed catalogs!

Burpee More seed options.

Miss Rumphius 

by Barbara Cooney

This was one of my favorite childhood books with beautiful illustrations that inspired me to much of my planting. It would make a great gift for any young girl or even yourself!

 

Why should you plant a keto vegetable garden?

Why do I love gardens? So many reasons. I love to see my kids plant and take care of the vegetables to see where they come from and the work involved to grow our food. I have my own fond memories of following my dad around the garden picking little pumpkins and miniature blueberries I determined he planted just to keep me busy. Truly, there’s something spectacularly rewarding in tending to your garden, seeing it grow, and being able to pick and eat your results. Of course, it also gets us moving and outside in the beautiful sunshine!

My garden is never perfect but always fun and a new way to explore nature. One year all my tomatoes died, the next year bunnies burrowed and had baby bunnies in the center of the garden, you just never know what you’ll get! However, you always learn from it and enjoy the fruits of your labors.

What do you normally plant in your garden or what would you like to plant? Did you grow up with a garden or is it new to you? Oh! One more questions, what are your favorite books about gardening, fiction or non-fiction? I’d love some recommendations!

What to plant in your keto vegetable garden

Must-Have Keto Kitchen Gadgets

Must-Have Keto Kitchen Gadgets

Must-Have Keto Kitchen Gadgets

Here we are January 16. How are your New Year’s Resolutions or goals coming along? I’m learning the necessity for me to write out my goals, mini-goals, short-term, long-term goals, and steps to accomplish those goals. Sometimes I have a brilliant idea in my head, and I say to myself I’m totally going to do that! However, if it doesn’t get written down with the anticipation of the satisfaction of crossing it off when accomplished, it rarely happens.

This post contains affiliate links.

Holiday health spiral

According to a recent article in Forbes magazine, only 8% of people actually accomplish their New Year’s resolutions. Only 8%! Are they setting the wrong goals, unattainable goals, or what? In addition, many have already given up on their resolutions. Well, let me tell you, I’m determined not to be one of those giving up!

Before Christmas, I followed a ketogenic diet and was doing really well with it. There’s nothing like measurable progress, i.e. your weight on the scale, to motivate you to continue. I was feeling great and even in a good workout groove.

Christmas hit, and suddenly I was in a downward spiral. Well, maybe not completely, but it feels like it! 😉 After indulging in all our favorite Christmas goodies my sweet tooth came back with a vengeance. Truthfully, mid-way through January, I admit I’m having a lot of trouble rocking my ketogenic diet and workouts.

Keto zoodles with sauce

Keto goal for the year

So let’s start simple, I thought. This is a huge part of my life, and one of my major goals is for my family to eat healthier, simpler meals. What do I mean by simpler? Well, quite frankly, simpler for me so I’m not preparing something different for each member of the family. Yes, another admission! I often make a different meal for EACH MEMBER OF THE FAMILY.

Why in the world would you do that? You’re probably saying. First of all, my husband works nights, so his schedule is different than ours and generally eats his “dinner” late morning. Secondly, we have allergies and Crohn’s disease in the family, vegan fasting days in the Orthodox Church, and my desire to eat keto. Whoa! It’s a lot to organize when I write it all out.

This year I’m determined to prepare healthy, ketogenic meals with which I can win over the entire family. A lofty goal perhaps? I’m going to at least shoot for it, and share my successes along the way on the blog. Hopefully, I’ll be fusing a ketogenic lifestyle with a travel-loving family, and I’m excited!

Therefore, as a simple starter today, I’m going to share with you some must have keto kitchen gadgets. These make my life easier, and more importantly, help me to stay the course and keep on track to make it back into ketosis. Here we go!

Pin it for later here!

Must-have keto gadgets pin

Indispensable must-have keto kitchen gadgets

1. Spiralizer

I love my spiralizer! It’s great for making zoodles (zucchini noodles) and other noodles out of different veggies. It makes it that much easier to eat gluten-free and add those vegetables to your meals. Click here to see an example on Amazon.

 

 

 

2. High-power blender


Honestly, I use my Vitamix blender almost every day. I make smoothies for myself or the kids, salad dressing, soups, and more. It’s almost like the oven or dishwasher for me. If it broke today I would immediately order a new one (that is, if the 7-year warranty had expired!). See an example on Amazon here.

 

 

3. Immersion blender

An immersion blender is great to have on hand to partially blend soups or a quick smoothie. I don’t use this as often as the regular blender, but it’s good to have. Super-convenient! Click here for an example.

 

 

 

 

4. Ice cream maker

There are so many good keto ice cream recipes, and I love to experiment with my own. Unfortunately, I don’t have an ice cream maker of my own yet as I’ve been spoiled. I’ve been borrowing one from my father for lengthy periods of time, but it’s really time to get my own. It’s on the wish list! Click here to see an example.

 

5. Cast-iron cookware

Cast-iron cookware is great for going on top of the stove and into the oven. It’s classic cookware you can even pick up sometimes cheaply at a yard or estate sale or even a thrift store, so be on the lookout! Take a look at options here or here.

 

 

For fabulous cast-iron, but a bit out of my price range at the moment is pretty much anything from Le Creuset. I’ve been wanting this 9-quart Dutch oven it seems like forever. I stick it in my Amazon basket every time it’s on sale and end up removing it. Made by an amazing French company, who can resist cast-iron when it comes enameled and in the color “Marseille”?!? It always has great reviews. See the Le Creuset Dutch oven here.

 

6. Slow cooker


You can always use a slow cooker for those quick weeknight meals. Throw it together in the morning and voila! A perfect dinner. Click here to find one on Amazon.

 

 

Then, of course, there’s the Instant Pot. I’ve yet to jump on the Instant Pot bandwagon; however, it’s probably inevitable. So many people have told me how amazing it is, and that it makes daily cooking so much easier and quicker. We all like that now don’t we? For now, it’s on my wish list. See on here on Amazon.

7. Good knives

Fairly self-explanatory. This is another tool to make your life easier. See options on Amazon here.

8. Glass storage containers


I like to put keto meals and snacks together beforehand in portions so they’re ready to go when I need on in a hurry. I love these glass containers. They stack well so as not to use up valuable fridge space, and are awesome to have on hand. I’ve seen similar ones on sale even at the grocery store. Check out an example on Amazon here.

 

9. Silicone lids


These are fabulous for sealing a bowl, half a can of tomato sauce, half an orange, or whatever you choose to preserve with them. They’re great to have around and oh, so useful. See them here on Amazon.

10. Silicone muffin cups

These are great, and I use them daily. Every morning at breakfast the family vitamins go into one for each person. I bake muffins and cupcakes in them. Also, I use them as molds for my peanut butter cups. Yum! There are many kinds to choose from, but check one out here.

Must-have keto kitchen gadgets, and a lot more

I hope you’ve gotten some good ideas today about some must-have keto kitchen gadgets and maybe a bit of motivation. Likewise, I’m excited about my new focus for 2018 and would love for you to join me on the journey. Let’s get those kitchens cleaned, organized, minimalized, and ready to cook! It’s time for a change.

Where does your meat come from?

Check out my article and video about my experience with ButcherBox.

ButcherBox unboxing feature

Explorer Momma symbol

Join Our Free Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest newsletters and updates from Explorer Momma directly to your inbox!

You're in!

Pin It on Pinterest

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close