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News – Page 4 – All Things O'Natural

FRUIT FLIES...HOW TO GET RID OF THEM, NATURALLY!

By Dominique Harris
on July 14, 2015
With 27 comments

There's so much to love about the hotter months; swimming, boating, hiking, camping, and so much more, however one of the negatives of the hotter months are those pesky fruit flies. And if you're like our family, you love the goodness of having fresh fruit available, and if you're like me, that glass of red or white wine to enjoy without the hassle of aggressive fruit flies.

Now, there are many commercial chemicals or traps that can aid in ridding your home or office of them, however, here are some amazing remedies that you can do by using all natural goodies found in your pantry that's inexpensive and effective.

Below, I will share some at home methods that worked when we had a visit with those pesky rascals. As always, I hope this helps. 

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Oh my gosh! Apple Cider Vinegar is truly a heaven send for attracting fruit flies. They absolutely cannot stay away from it. So, I've used a combo of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar and added just a dab of grape jam, covered with plastic wrap and added some holes in the wrap and it will trap tons of them...Yukky, but effective. Check out this video that explains exactly what I mentioned HERE

 

ESSENTIAL OILS AND HERBS

Here are a few essential oils and herbs that deter fruit flies. 

BASIL, PEPPERMINT, EUCALYPTUS: These are a few of the herbs that deter fruit flies. Placing these in muslin sacks, or tea bags and hanging them around the house will deter fruit flies. 

CAMPHOR (be very cautious with this one), LAVENDER, PEPPERMINT, CLOVE, LEMONGRASS, all deter fruit flies. They can't stand the smell. You can dab some cotton balls in these oils and wipe around the home, especially in the kitchen area, and deter these rascals all while making your home smell naturally amazing. I love to dip tea bags into essential oil blends and hang around the home. They can't stand it, I tell ya!

 

INCENSE

I have learned, fruit flies hate smoke, and especially smoke from incense. They can't handle inhaling the smoke. When they inhale the smoke, they die fairly quickly, leaving you fruit fly free.

 

WINE, BEER AND BOURBON

 

Well, I guess these rascals like a good glass every now and then like we do. Fruit flies love the smell of wine and it will attract them in minutes! So, a small glass of wine used to trap them, similar to the apple cider vinegar method, works extremely well with attracting, trapping and killing the fruit flies.

 

MILK, SUGAR + GROUND PEPPER

Taking a mixture of 2 ounces of ground pepper, 1/4 lb of raw sugar and one pint of milk, simmer it together in a saucepan for 8 to 10 minutes. Pour the mixture into a shallow dish and the fruit flies will be attracted to it instantly and die. 

TIPS..TIPS..TIPS..

Some other tips that can help minimize fruit fly infestations are: keep the area clean and tidy, keep fruit refrigerated (check out my pic below of our fridge and how we use glass ware to keep fruit secure and our area fruit fly free), minimize sitting water, fruit flies are attracted to sitting water. Get rid of rotting fruit as the yeast is where they lay their larvae and harvest. Again, I hope this helps and you can enjoy your summer pest free as much as possible.

THE BENEFITS OF SALT BATHS

By Dominique Harris
on June 20, 2015
With 8 comments

Ahh, the wonders of bath time. For centuries, people have been enjoying baths as a soothing, therapeutic and meditative event. There's just something With the addition of some salts, oils or herbal teas partnered with a soothing candle or two or three and you have a spa experience right at home. In this post, I want to bring awareness to the benefits of using salts in a bath. Stay tuned and enjoy the ride..or soak :-)

BENEFITS OF A BATH

Baths have been praised for not only their relaxing qualities, but also to physical and mental well being. Baths must be at the proper temperature to be beneficial, warm. Baths that are too hot can leave a person feeling tired, dehydrated and dizzy. Hence the warning when soaking in a Jacuzzi or sauna. What we put into a bath is equally important. Due to the warm water, our skin dilates which allows an easier absorption of chemicals into our bodies and organs. Again, this is why it is very important to be mindful of what we do put into our bath. 

WHY ADD SALTS TO BATHS

When it comes to adding salts to a bath, the most common are, Epsom Salt and Sea Salt. Epsom and sea salts contain beneficial nutrients such as, magnesium and sulfate. Due to the depleted levels of magnesium in our food and the imbalance of nutrients in the foods, most people are deficient, sometimes dangerously deficient, in magnesium, which is the second most abundant element in our bodies. Unfortunately, many forms of magnesium are too difficult to absorb when taken orally, especially those with damaged guts (many of us). A damaged gut makes absorbing magnesium and other minerals through the digestive system more difficult, so topical additions of magnesium via oils and salt baths can be a great solution. Again, because the skin is the largest organ and has wonderful little holes known as pores, it has the amazing ability to absorb, filter toxins and deliver nutrients to the body.

 

THE BENEFITS OF ADDING SALTS TO BATHS

  • Awesome stress reliever

  • Soothes and calms aching muscles 

  • Improves circulation

  • Helps with absorbing nutrients

  • Relieves headaches

  • Aids in speeding up wound healing

  • Helps children with mineral absorption 

  • Aids in better sleep

  • Aids in relieving joint pain

  • Great for skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne

  • Aids in improving skin hydration (especially when soaking in warm, not hot, water)

  • Helps relieve poison ivy and skin reactions

HOW TO ENJOY A SALT BATH

While filling your bath with warm water, a few scoops up to a cup of salts at least once per week or more if you soak more often. For our kids, we add 3-5 scoops each bath time. For intensive relief, salt baths can be done daily for skin ailments such as eczema or illnesses such as respiratory illness. 

 

SO..WHAT'S IN OUR SALTS?

In our lovely LEMONGRASS SALTS:

Dead Sea Salt: High in magnesium and sulfate, dead sea salts are beneficial in combating stress and fluid retention. Helps slow skin aging and calms the nervous system. 

Epsom Salt: Named for a bitter saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England, is not actually a salt but a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. Sulfates help improve the absorption of nutrients, flush toxins and help ease migraine headaches. Epsom salts help to ease stress and relax the body. Magnesium, found in Epsom Salt, helps to produce serotonin, a mood elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of calm and relaxation.

Avocado and Castor Oils:With its high levels of omega fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins, Avocado Oil is an extremely beneficial oil that aids in helping skin remain moisturized, soft and youthful looking. Avocado and Castor oils are useful oils that aid in soothing skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis and Castor oil having pain easing properties which makes it useful for muscle aches and arthritis.

Dried Herbs of Lemongrass, Eucalyptus and Rosemary: With combinations of anti microbial, anti bacterial and astringent properties, the combination of these beneficial dried leaves are helpful in aiding in soothing skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and aches

Essential Oils of Lemongrass, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Palmarosa, Lavender and Geranium: Beneficial in cleansing, calming and soothing skin ailments.

 

In our lovely PINK HIMALAYAN SALTS:

Pink Himalayan Sea Salt: Extremely high in mineral content, Pink Himalayan Sea Salt is extremely beneficial for the skin.

Dead Sea Salt: High in magnesium and sulfate, dead sea salts are beneficial in combating stress and fluid retention. Helps slow skin aging and calms the nervous system. 

Epsom Salt: Named for a bitter saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England, is not actually a salt but a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. Sulfates help improve the absorption of nutrients, flush toxins and help ease migraine headaches. Epsom salts help to ease stress and relax the body. Magnesium, found in Epsom Salt, helps to produce serotonin, a mood elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of calm and relaxation.

Avocado and Castor Oils:With its high levels of omega fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins, Avocado Oil is an extremely beneficial oil that aids in helping skin remain moisturized, soft and youthful looking. Avocado oil is also a useful oil that aids in soothing skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Lavender Buds: Soothing, relaxing and calming

Essential Oils of Geranium, Bay Rum, Anise, Lavender, Sweet Orange, Sweet Marjoram: This soothing blend of essential oils is beneficial for calming mental energy aiding in a relaxing night of rest. 

 

Give your body much needed nutrients in a calm, relaxing soak in a wonderful SALT BATH

 

Finding Peace in Commonality

By Dominique Harris
on June 05, 2015
With 6 comments

The smell of fresh river water. Amazing views of beautiful colored flowers and green life. The sound of fresh water crashing against multi sized rocks. Walkers and joggers hitting the pavement in concentrated movements of determined strive to reach a desired goal. Bike riders enjoying the cooling air as they enjoy the brisk movement of their spinning wheels. Lovers enjoying afternoon strolls and the sound of children's laughter echoing through the park. This is the sound of peaceful amazement as I was enjoying an afternoon of workout at Chattanooga's Riverfront Park with an awesome workout partner. Everything sounds perfect and looks perfect, according to what society would have you picture. So, when my workout partner and I were stopped in our tracks, as we finished enjoying a small pond and beautiful flowers, to see naturally toned physiques encased in sagging pants, galoshes with a crown of locs. From the judgemental eye, the view would seem 'out of place' from the scenery described above, but it was contradictorily perfect. 

The scene was extremely peaceful as Marcel and George, standing a few feet apart, speaking no words, cast their rods into the endless wonders of the river. My workout partner and I made our approach. Our desire was to show that even the judged by it's cover stereotypes find peace in nature..find solace in the natural art of fishing. As we approached, the two men looked curiously at two women carefully making their way across the various sized rocks in hopes of receiving permission to snap a few photos. We explained why we wanted to snap the photos and the two men were extremely welcoming and friendly about our intrusion. We asked the two is this 'where you find your peace? Your meditation?' And George, with his longer locs gathered into a low bun, galoshes over pants that sagged so low that I curiously questioned, in my mind, how he was able to keep them on, responded by saying, 'Yea, this is where I come to think. I bring my home boys out here too. We love it. We enjoy it.'

Marcel, casting his rod into the water, agreed with his friend of his enjoyment of being out amongst the water.  I could see in their peaceful silence that, for the time, any or all problems are null and void. Any reactions of defensiveness, created by the constant judgement of their outward appearance, disappeared like the rods that they gracefully cast into the deep water. The beauty of this meeting was that at this one place, there exuded many walks of life, yet we all found peace and beauty in the massiveness of this thing called nature. As I was snapping my photos, I began to realize and address my own mind of judgements. How, many times, I have judged a book by it's cover, not realizing that my reflection of the negative hindered the beauty of seeing the commonality that reside within us; the desire to be loved, take care of our families, heal from past brokenness and belong to a higher purpose greater than ourselves. The desire to find a place where dysfunction subsides and peace takes over. Many times we can't get to know or understand people because we so easily cast our societal views of them instead of humanizing them. We can't relate because, so often, we choose not to relate. We fear instead of understanding. We judge instead of exuding compassion. The same grace we expect, many times, we do not give to others. Though I may not agree with pants sagging, I realized that my bias had nothing to do with finding the beauty in the things we do have in common. Instead of focusing on what I may not like or understand, I focused on the beauty of what was...Two young men, finding peaceful moments in this madness called life.  As I view our younger generation, as these two young men, I realize that we need to put the walls down and truly get to know each other. Find the commonality that makes us see people as...people. That's growth..that's wisdom..that's Peace!

As we were headed back to our trail for our walk, Marcel and George thanked us for 'taking the time to tell our story'. And a 'Thank You' to you young men for allowing us a moment of your time and photos, we truly appreciate you.

Things To Do While In Chattanooga...TENNESSEE STILLHOUSE TOUR

By Dominique Harris
on May 22, 2015
With 6 comments

When my husband and I were out strolling the hip trendy area of Main St. in Chattanooga, TN, we were stopped in our tracks by this sign. Even in it's black and white simplicity, the sign peaked our interest immediately. So, we decided to stop in for a quick peak to see just what 'Tennessee Stillhouse' was all about. Located right across from the popular Chattanooga Choo Choo, Tennessee Stillhouse is in the perfect location for the, ah hem, stopper by-ers like us.
When we stepped inside, the greeting was relaxed and friendly and we were told about the distillery tour which included a whiskey flight, including the Old Fashion that was the popular drink of choice by the character, Don Draper, of the show Mad Men. I was excited to hear about the complimentary syrups made using natural herbs, natural sugar and fruits and the ingredients used to brew their whiskey which uses all natural, non GMO ingredients. The tour was extremely in depth and gave me an awesome inside knowledge into the life of a distillery. The decor was amazingly appropriate with walls lined with old recycled barrels, original concrete floors..It definitely exuded the vintage charm that I so love with Amazing character. The facility was clean and neat, yes, that's a plus! They even have an outdoor area for those who wish to rent the facility for events. And, at the end of the tour, we were greeted with a flight of varying spirits that included their handmade syrups...delicious! 
So, all in all, I would highly recommend this tour and would encourage this as part of your 'things to do' while in Chattanooga...or, if you live in Chattanooga, it's a great date idea or girlfriends only tour or hanging with the guy's tour...Oh, and they are the only place where you can purchase their ahhhh-mazing 113 proof whiskey on Sunday. Enjoy the photos.

TENNESSEE STILLHOUSE TOUR

Running A Peaceful Business With Your Spouse

By Dominique Harris
on May 16, 2015
With 7 comments

 

My husband and I receive the question, 'How do you manage to successfully run a business together?' quite a bit. Our answer is always,  'The balance of ying and yang' That basically means we find our strengths and weaknesses and balance each other out. I must say, we definitely do not have all of the answers and feel that each business should find a balance and method that works for them. But, here are a few tips that has worked for us.

FIND WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOUR BUSINESS.

One thing I've noticed is that there are a plethora of people, a plethora of forums and a plethora of courses that offer advice on how to run a business. While many offer great advice, I find that the advice is beneficial if it truly works for the vision of your business and what feels right for you. Many things we've learned are through trial and error. To me, trial and error has been one of the greatest teachers. 

 

IT'S OK TO MAKE MISTAKES

Oh my goodness, the amount of mistakes we've made could probably set a world record. My husbands favorite motto is, 'it's not about focusing so much on the mistake but instead how well you recover.' We've recovered amazingly from hiccups and learned the greatest lessons. Those mistakes allow us to understand what works and definitely what does not. My husband, Syeed, is wonderful at not harping or stressing over things. It helps to balance me out.

MASTER ONE THING AT A TIME

Though it can be tempting to have a ton of products featured or line sheets with many line items, we've found that mastering the one or very few things first is best in terms of establishing a customer base. Once you've mastered one or the few, branch out and add one or a few more, but only if and when it feels comfortable. We've been in business since 2011, striving to master our first products before branching into a complimentary focus on body and oral care via our Bohemian Collection in 2015. Know when enough is enough. Having 4 little ones,  we have to be mindful of not becoming overwhelmed with a ton of products. One thing that's helpful in minimizing stress of having to handcraft a ton of products is by offering complementary products from other small businesses which handcraft and fit within the vision of our brand, such as the candles we offer by Pommes Frites Candle Co and shampoo by Dudu Osum. This minimizes the amount of items that we have to focus on handcrafting while offering options to our customers.

 

KNOW YOUR VISION. YOUR PATH IS YOUR PATH

With being a business owner, it can be tempting to strive to do or be like the next successful business, but it's so important to find what works for you and your business. My husband and I had a vision of where we wanted our company to go and what we wanted to do to minimize being overwhelmed and stressed. For us, we like to hand pick shows and craft fairs we like to vend and never feel that we must attend every single show that presents. One thing both of us agree on is that we don't like to force anyone or over convince anyone to buy our products. We love for customers to decide for themselves without feeling pressured and it can sometimes feel like a sport of sales at some shows, so we're comfortable researching and deciding which shows we will vend and if we feel it will be stressful or overwhelming and we don't vend. Knowing your vision also helps to decide shipping, organizing, wholesale and marketing.  Since I'm primarily the one who utilizes social media, my vision was to incorporate posts about overall healthy living. This encompasses healthy mind, healthy eating, healthy marriage  (which my husband collaborates with me), homeopathy,  spirituality, etc. I love to reach my audience through my love of all things natural, beautiful photos and family living. 

 

ALLOW BALANCE TO FLOW WITH A GREAT PARTNER.

One of the greatest lessons I've had the honor of learning is listening to someone else regarding my passion. I've learned the difference of needs vs wants regarding our business. My vice has been that I can over indulge and think too much about things, whereas Syeed is more balanced with understanding what's important and what can be detrimental to the business. Though I'm the creative head, I can be indecisive yet impulsive at times, so it's great to have that cool balanced energy from Sy. Whenever I feel impulsive to buy something that's truly not needed, I hear that 'do we really need that' voice or I, instead, reinvest into our business. Find what each others strengths and weaknesses are and allow each other to maximize in the areas of their strengths while the other maximizes in the areas where the other may be weak. Syeed's input has helped with organization and logistics, having a background in Restaurant Management for over a decade. We love the balance of creative vs organized, impulsive vs. thoughtful. This balance has helped with establishing ship out days that work for our business and does not interfere with our homeschool and home life, all while providing great customer service to our customers

 

STOP STRESSING OVER THAT WHICH IS OUT OF YOUR CONTROL.

One very important benefit my husband and partner has brought is not stressing over what we can't control. We can't control a poor review here and there, but we can enjoy and focus on the hundreds of great reviews. We can't control that people may love selfie photos of hair or photos posted of he and I in couple photos posted, but show slower interest in beautiful product placement photos or photos of our boutique or healthy eats. My husband always says, 'hey, you can't control it so why worry about it. But look at the ton of diverse new people who are drawn to our page because of those cool still life and lifestyle photos you post. Focus on that.' He's the 'focus your energy on the positive ' type of guy. Because of that positive input, I post what I love and what falls within the vision of our company. Instead of focusing on how your product didn't work for someone, focus on how they've worked for many...I think I've come to master that. I'm amazed at how focus shift truly works in minimizing unnecessary stress. 

SHIFT YOUR FOCUS FOR PEACE OF MIND

As stated earlier,there are a plethora of advice given that may or may not work for you and your business. If something doesn't flow right for our business as a team unit, we ignore it. If we read something that is great,but just not for us, we keep it moving. We try not to follow social media pages that causes us to doubt what and how we do things just to be on a certain level. We simply, change the channel,  or change our focus to things that truly feels right for us. Instead of comparing ourselves to the accomplishments of others,we focus on the beauty of being able to provide for a family of 6 sometimes 7 without having to go back to the workforce in over 4 years. This way, we can peacefully and honestly congratulate and feel joy for others without wanting to actually Be others. When you're so focused on  trying to be like others and what they've accomplished, you miss the joyful beauty of your own growth and successes. Find your peace.

 

TURN IT OFF

One of the most important things when operating a business with your spouse is turning off the business and truly enjoying each other and your family. Know that the business is ok and it will be there, but don't forget to live. For us, there is always time to talk and focus on the business, but more importantly, there is time to turn it off.

MAINTAINING A HEALTHY SCALP

By Dominique Harris
on May 11, 2015
With 4 comments

Greetings Everyone, one of the keys to healthy thriving hair is a healthy atmosphere for our scalp. Here are some tips that have been helpful in keeping my scalp, my husband's scalp and our children's scalp healthy, all with varying hair types. 

 

STAY HYDRATED

1.) One of the most important things to remember about maintaining a healthy scalp is staying hydrated. Dehydration is one of the most common causes of dry scalp. Hard water, colder environments and harsh ingredients from hair care products also contribute to dry scalp. Dry scalp is flaky, white and can be itchy. 

KEEP IT CLEAN

2.) Keep the scalp clean and buildup free. A good clarifying cleanse is great bi weekly or monthly if you use all natural products. Clarifying cleansers help remove product buildup from the scalp. On the other hand, shampoos, styling products and conditioners that contain ingredients synthetic ingredients that leave a coating of buildup on the scalp. This buildup up works against the scalp environment in that it weakens follicles and disrupts the acid mantle, leaving the scalp weakened. The itchiness experienced with dry scalp is usually due to the scalp loosing its ability to retain moisture. If you do happen to struggle with dry scalp, try to switch from products that contain harsh ingredients such as sulfates, silicones, artificial color and artificial fragrance. 

 KEEP IT BALANCED

3.) Raw Apple Cider Vinegar provides a light cleansing and ph balance to the hair and scalp. If you're like me and workout often but shampoo every 2-4 weeks, the use of Raw ACV in between cleansing, is helpful for keeping sweat and bacteria buildup from the scalp. Raw ACV also aids in minimizing harsh ingredients found in our water. Our Herbal Hair +Scalp Mist (Natty ACV Mist) can be sprayed directly onto the scalp, massaged in and allowed to do its magic by lightly cleansing, soothing dryness and aiding in restoring the barrier that locks in moisture. I also apply our Hair + Scalp Mist  after every deep condition and use it often as a light balancing moisturizer. The use of raw vs processed allows you to receive the natural nutrients and essentials from the ingredient.

KEEP IT OIL FREE

4.) Whenever oils are applied to the scalp, it's always best to shampoo them out. Our scalp produces a wonderful nourishing element called 'sebum' which is the natural oil. When we apply and leave oils on the scalp we clog the pores and send the signal that our scalp does not need to produce oils  naturally. This malfunction can lead to dry itchy scalp,  flaking and dandruff. The only time I apply oils to our scalp is during our Hair + Scalp oil treatments, which will be shampooed out after a certain time. The natural oils used are nourishing,  cleansing and therapeutic that work with achieving healthy scalp atmospheres instead of against. So we don't apply any product directly onto the scalp which causes buildup, flaking, dryness and other potential scalp issues. Utilize oil treatments using healthy natural oils to keep the scalp healthy, but be sure to shampoo them out.

NO NAILS

5.) Try not to use finger nails to scratch an itchy scalp,  instead use the balls of your fingers to gently rub. Remember the scalp is a sensitive area and using nails or tools to scratch an itch can cause tiny cuts that opens their door for bacteria and fungus growth.

PROTECT AT NIGHT

6.) Keep the hair and scalp covered at night with moisture retaining fabrics such as silk or satin. I absolutely live my satin bonnet from @ebonicurls . Other fabrics such as cotton draws moisture from the hair.

 HEALTHY EATS AND WATER

7.) A healthy diet and good water intake via water rich foods and pure water play a Huge role in achieving and maintaining a healthy scalp and healthy hair.

Dandruff and Dry Scalp are different in that dry scalp is characterized by a tight, itchy scalp, whereas Dandruff has various types and is characterized by dead skin pieces are found on the scalp and hair.  Dry Scalp does not always mean Dandruff though Dry Scalp or Oily Scalp Dandruff are types of dandruff. For an indepth reading into dandruff and scalp issues, the various types and some helpful solutions, check out my post HERE

 

As always, I hope this is helpful in helping you achieve and maintain healthy scalp and hair.

YUMMY EATS...SWEET POTATO AND BLACK BEAN BURGERS

By Dominique Harris
on April 10, 2015
With 0 comments

Greetings, Everyone!! Hope all is well..

Hungry? How about some yummy healthy and hearty eats!!

Check out this recipe for some good eats for lunch or dinner. Hope you enjoy! Let me know what ya think

SWEET POTATO AND BLACK BEAN..BURGERS INGREDIENTS:

2 cans cannellini or black beans drained (we used black beans, but the cannellini beans are also delish)

1 large sweet potato, baked/peeled/mashed (about 2 cups)
2 Tbsp tahini
2 tsp maple or agave syrup
1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning OR Cajun seasoning (or another fave spice!)
1/4 cup wheat flour (or, if you are like us, we used almond flour to make this gluten free)
I also added some julienned carrots (1 carrot) to the mixture, this is optional

**optional: additional seasoning (whatever you have on hand - I used a few dashes cayenne, black pepper, a dash of cumin and a scoop of nutritional yeast)
sea salt to taste if needed

plentiful Panko crumbs ( I used Almond flour again instead of Panko which has wheat)
Sesame Oil

For the fixings: avocado, Dijon mustard, grain buns or Udis or Rudis gluten free buns, romaine, onion, olive oil, pepper

 
 

THE HOW TO:


1. Bake sweet potato. Peel, place in large mixing bowl.

2. Add drained beans to mixing bowl. Mash beans and potato together.

3. Mash in seasoning, flour and any additional seasoning. Your mixture will be quite soft and moist. But you should be able to form a patty. Add more flour or a scoop of breadcrumbs - or dry rice to thicken the mixture if needed.

4. Heat 1 Tbsp sunflower oil or Grapeseed oil in a pan over high heat.

5. Form a patty from mixture and coat in Almond flour. Thick coating. Then drop the patty in the pan. Repeat until the pan is filled. Cook until browned on both sides. You could also bake. If baking, use less Almond flour or Panko.

6. Transfer cooked patties to paper towel. Cool for a few minutes.

7. Serve on toasted bun with lots of yummy toppings and a nice field green salad with cucumber, red onion, Alfalfa sprouts, tomato, feta cheese (optional), black olives and I added fresh garlic and toasted our bread, cut into squares and added to the salad for fresh crutons.

Yummy, Yummy

THE BENEFITS OF HAIR + SCALP TREATMENTS

By Dominique Harris
on April 02, 2015
With 5 comments

Hair + ScalpTreatments are an awesome treat loaded with benefits for the hair, scalp and beard. There are loads of benefits to applying them as part of your hair + beard care regimen, and those benefits are especially increased when using natural and organic oils. Check out some of the goodness provided using a Hair + Scalp Treatment.

 

HAIR + SCALP TREATMENT BENEFITS:

 

Benefit 1: Imparts shine to the hair

Benefit 2: Helps prevent breakage

Benefit 3: Helps reduce frizz

Benefit 4: Soften and nourish the hair strand as well as enhances the curl/coil quality


Benefit 5: Helps prevent the drying of your hair shaft

Benefit 6: Help maintain the moisture balance in your hair? Hair that has good moisture balance has great elasticity, creating lush and full hair.


Benefit 7: hot oil treatments help protect the hair from everyday environmental issues, such as heat, rain, cold, styling, especially those who use heat on a regular basis and styling tools such as brushes, curlers and many products that we use that create stress for our hair.

Benefit 8: excellent way to nourish and hydrate the scalp, especially for those who struggle with scalp issues., such as; dandruff, dry flaky scalp, dermatitis and symptoms of psoriasis with continued use.

Benefit 9: With ingredients such as Neem, Coconut Oil, Peppermint Oil and Calendula, to name a few, the scalp is benefited due to the anti fungal, anti bacterial and follicle stimulating goodness. A healthy scalp promotes healthy hair growth.


WHEN USING AS AN OIL TREATMENT..HOW TO APPLY

The beauty of an oil treatment is that they can be done right in the comfort of your own home. 

Step 1: Apply (heated or unheated) and distribute over scalp and damp hair with the dropper.  

Step 2: Massage into scalp and draw out to the length of the hair, gently detangling and removing shed hair.

Step 3: Leave on for 20 - 30 minutes with the use of a steam towel, steamer or a plastic cap using your natural body heat to aid in penetrating the hair follicle.

Step 4: Follow up with your shampoo and deep condition as normal.

(**Key note: cleansing the scalp of oils instead of leaving oils on the scalp aids in preventing the scalp from malfunctioning. The scalp produces it's own sebum (oil) and the addition of oils on the scalp helps to clog the pores which can lead to scalp issues such as dry scalp, itchy scalp and dandruff.)

**I do this treatment once monthly or every two months alternating between this method and my prepoo method..And, yes, this oil treatment can most certainly serve as a pre poo method.. 

WHEN USING AS A PRE SHAVE BEARD OIL..HOW TO APPLY

Step 1: Apply and massage into skin prior to shaving.

Step 2: Apply a steamed towel to oiled skin for 5 - 10 minutes to help soften and open pores of the skin, aiding in minimizing razor bumps.

Step 3: Cleanse and Shave as normal. Follow up with your Spiced Aftershave and Beard Oil

WHAT'S INSIDE OF OUR HAIR + SCALP TREATMENT

EXTRA VIRGIN COCONUT OIL: Due to its antibacterial properties, Coconut Oil, is wonderful for conditioning and soothing scalp conditions such as dandruff, dry scalp, cradle cap and helps to ward off folliculitis, which is an infection of the hair follicles.  With its antifungal properties, Coconut Oil helps to ward off infections such as ringworm of the scalp. 

OLIVE OIL: Due to its high levels of Oleic acid, Olive Oil is wonderful for combating dry hair and skin. The fatty acids in olive oil coats the shaft of the hair helping to keep it healthy and protected. 

HEMPSEED OIL: High in omega fatty acids and proteins, hempseed oil is a wonderful oil for all hair and skin types. Hempseed oil contains fatty acids which act as emollients, aiding in preventing water and moisture from escaping the hair. 

AVOCADO OIL: Due to its high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E and phytosterols, Avocado Oil is extremely beneficial for aiding in healthy hair growth. It is one of the few oils that can penetrate the hair's cortex due to its slight polarity.  

CASTOR OIL: Castor oil is a wonderful oil that contains a rare ingredient, Ricinoleic Acid, makes it a wonderful oil for hair. Castor oil is wonderful for soothing inflamed skin, making it beneficial for the scalp. It helps keep the hair soft and supple.

NEEM: One of the most beneficial herbs for hair, skin and scalp. Due to its regenerative properties, Neem helps to strengthen hair from the roots, increase blood circulation in the scalp, and aid in healthy hair growth. With antiseptic, antiviral, anti fungal and anti bacterial properties, Neem has proven to be one of the most beneficial herbs for combating scalp issues. Regular use of neem oil and natural products containing neem oil, helps to regulate the secretion of sebum (scalps natural oil) and works to regulate oily and dry scalp conditions. 

EXTRACTS OF ROSEMARY, ASHWAGANDHA and CALENDULA: Helps to stimulate blood circulation, reduces cortisol levels in women, thereby aiding in reducing hair loss and promoting the overall health of hair. 

ESSENTIAL OILS OF PEPPERMINT, CEDARWOOD, LAVENDER, ANISE, TEA TREE and GERANIUM: All beneficial in aiding in stimulating blood circulation, naturally cleansing the scalp due to astringent properties and protecting the scalp from harsh minerals and environmental contaminants.

Indulge in the goodness of our Hair + Scalp Treatment..your hair, scalp and beard will Thank You!

 

My Results after my Hair + Scalp Treatment

THE DO'S AND DON'TS OF USING HEAT!

By Dominique Harris
on March 18, 2015
With 4 comments

 

(original post: August 2012)

Ok, so I get this question a looooottttttt..so I wanted to update the 'Do's and Don'ts of Using Heat on Natural Hair'. Now, let me first clarify that I do not advise the use of heat as no matter how much precaution you take, you are run the risk of experiencing 'heat damage'. Heat damage is when the protein bond in the hair has been permanently damaged and the hair does not revert back to it's natural curl pattern. It can occur on the first use of heat or after many uses of heat. So these are just some precautions to take when thinking of using heat on your natural hair. And these are precautions that I wanted to put to the test myself to ensure that the method works..Trial and Error, you know how it goes...Hope this helps, everyone!


THE DON'Ts



  • DO NOT...Use heat on unclean hair. Using heat on hair that is dirty hair creates a greater likely hood of experiencing heat damage due to the buildup, oils and..well, dirt.
  • DO NOT...Use a harsh shampoo that contain 'sulfates'. Sulfates is a harsh foaming agent that causes the hair to dry out..exactly, heat is harsh enough so don't add fuel to the fire.
  • DO NOT..Use a conditioner or moisturizer with silicones that are non water soluble. Heat is harsh enough and silicones are dryings, so we don't want to add fuel to the fire.
  • DO NOT...Blow dry on sopping wet hair. Carefully dry hair in sections using either an old T-shirt or a microfiber towel prior to blow drying. Using a towel to dry aids in dryness, friction and frizz. Blow drying hair that is dripping wet leads to dry, damaged hair. 
  • DO NOT...Use heat that is too high on the temperature setting. When blow drying the hair, be sure to set the blow dryer on the lowest setting. Kinky, coily and curly  hair have a tendency to be on the drier side, naturally,  so blow drying on a high setting is a no no that aid in drying. 
  • DO NOT..hold the blow dryer too close to your hair. Hold the blow dryer 5-6 inches away from your hair. Holding the blow dryer too close to your hair, can also affect your scalp, which can lead to dry scalp and flaking.
  • DO NOT...Try to achieve bone straight hair. This too can lead to the possibility of heat damage, and the temperature must be at a higher setting when trying to achieve bone straight hair. Hair will burn and experience heat damage at 450 degrees of heat, so be sure to use a temperature setting much lower than that and even lower for finer textured hair.
  • DO NOT..Ever attempt to use heat without first using a heat protectant. Many naturals use pure grapeseed oil and many of my customers use their Natty Butter.
  • DO NOT...Straighten the hair on a high temperature setting. Be sure to use a flat iron or straightening tool that has a temperature setting gage. You will know when the temperature is too high due to the smell (you know that burnt hair smell) and the feel of your hair and if you see steam coming from the straightening tool..it's too hot!! Warning, it's tooooo hot!!
 

THE DO'S

  • YES..Blow dry and straighten on clean, conditioned hair that a heat protectant has been applied to.
  • YES..Allow your hair to dry 75% before blow drying. This method helps to lessen how much heat is needed from your blow dryer.
  • YES..Properly detangle hair before blow drying and straightening the hair. Your hair should be smooth and tangle free.
  • YES..before blow drying and straightening the hair, condition with a nice moisturizing conditioner. This improves the moisture and elasticity in the hair. Deep conditioning before a straightening session is key to moisture and shine. Be sure to thoroughly rinse your conditioner as a heavy conditioner aids in buildup which also creates a smoky atmosphere when straightening the hair.
  • YES..Apply a heat protectant prior to blow drying and right before you straighten with your flat iron or pressing comb, especially paying attention to your ends.
 
For my Step by Step of how I used heat on my natural hair, check it out HERE
  • , I hope these tips are helpful in maintaining your beautiful natural curls, coils and kinks. Here are some pics of my results..Hope this helped guys!!

VACCINATIONS...THE ONGOING TOPIC

By Dominique Harris
on February 21, 2015
With 0 comments

Good morning, Team ATON!!! I know it's been quite some time since I posted on vaccinations. Since I receive so many questions regarding my thoughts on vaccinations or if I vaccinate my children, I wanted to share a bit of information with you.

DO WE VACCINATE?

To first answer the question of do we vaccinate..we do have homeopathic vaccinations in the form of 'nosodes' administered to our children via a homeopathic physician. Our oldest son is the only one who has received all conventional vaccinations because at the time, we weren't aware and were not on an all natural path. The younger three have not received any 'conventional' vaccinations only the nosodes mentioned. Again, this information is for keeping all of us informed and aware of what the vaccines contain. I would encourage each person to read this list and make informed decisions for themselves.

ATTENTION VEGAN, VEGETARIANS AND NON PORK EATERS!!

For my vegetarian and vegan and those who do not eat pork products brothers and sisters, the awareness that many of the vaccinations do contain 'red meat products' 'poultry' products and 'geletan, which is a product made from pork. Most, if not all contain formadehyde and other ingredients that can have adverse reactions currently in the body or pose issues in the future. I encourage each person to research the ingredients for themselves so you will have your own knowledge. I will not enforce my beliefs of whether conventional vaccinations are good or bad, I simply share the information I become aware of and I am a firm believer that each person should do what is best for them and their family. I posted a list similar to this a couple of years ago via my Facebook page. 

SCARE TACTICS...DO THEY EXIST

Well, I do believe scare tactics exist. The motivation to instill fear for a purposeful agenda. Let's take a look at the year 1963 (the year measles vaccination became available) , where the population was around 189,000,000 people, there were around 450 deaths from measles, that would mean that prior to the measles vaccination, the percentage of the US population that died from measles was about .000238% . Epidemic, I think not! In 1963, in the US, 43,000 people died from automobile accidents and over 700,000 died from heart disease. Now, let's fast forward to the year 2007...according to the WHO (World Health Organization) 197,000 child deaths occurred due to measles, in a world of 6 billion people (actually 6.6 billion) at the time. Well, that seems extremely scary, right!! That's a whopping .00000328% worldwide , and the areas most affected were areas of extreme poverty where the people were suffering from extreme malnutrition. Full article here . Unfortunately, the same tactics go on today with 'flu' outbreaks and now a reoccurring 'measles'. 

WELL..WHAT'S IN VACCINATIONS TODAY?

Our good friends at VaxTruth, gives us a comprehensive list of the ingredients found in vaccines of today. They even go further as to list some of the detriments that can occur from the ingredients used. For the full list, check out the article here

AS FOR ME..

Now, growing up, I experienced, Chicken Pox and Measles and wasn't administered nearly the amount of vaccinations that are recommended today for babies and children and I'm still here kicking away. So, the bottom line is, I don't believe in enforcing a belief of whether vaccinations are good or harmful, I simply like the freedom of allowing others to become aware with knowledge and therefore make informed decisions that may be best for themselves and their families. 
As always, I hope this shed some light on the subject of vaccinations. 

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