Essential Oils Q&A

Q: Can I use essential oils to ward off cold and flu germs?

A: Yes, essential oils have powerful anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. While some oils might have more of a rep for germ killing than others, nearly all essential oils contain powerful anti-oxidant ingredients that heal while warding off nasty things like mold, bacteria, and viruses.

The most well-known oils for warding off nasty germs include lemon oil, clove oil, rosemary oil, cinnamon leaf oil, and eucalyptus oil. However, thyme oil and oregano oil are also cited as being able to destroy viruses and bacteria on contact. They just may not be as popular due to their rather pungent aroma.

You can make up your own essential oil blends, for both personal use and for cleaning up around the house.


Q: What is the Thieves oil blend and where can I get it?

The Thieves oil recipe consists of lemon oil, clove oil, rosemary oil, cinnamon leaf oil, and eucalyptus oil. If you mix up a batch and spray it around your home, or add to an essential oils diffuser, you can cleanse the air of possible pathogens while leaving behind a wonderful, fresh and clean scent.

A: Young Living and DoTerra are two of the most popular brands of organic essential oils on the market. Young Living sells its own Thieves oil mix. You can also blend up a homemade version of the thieves blend, tweaking a bit by adding other ingredients to get the perfect signature aroma.


Q: I can’t afford organic essential oils. Are “regular” (non-organic essential oils) harmful?

A: In all cases, chemical free is best. However, you don’t have to buy organic oils to get the powerful effects of using essential oils on your person and around your home. Now brand oils are available on Amazon, and work just as well as a cleaner, freshener, and for keeping the body healthy.

Please note that unless your essential oil specifically lists on the label that it’s okay to ingest, do not add essential oils to your food or drink or consume in any other way.


Q: I want to make my own essential oils at home using garden herbs. How do I do that?

A: Yes, You can make essential oils to bottle at home. All you need is either fresh or dried herbs, olive oil, water and a little pot. Here’s a recipe for homemade thyme oil:

1/2 cup fresh thyme

1 cup olive oil

Combine the thyme and oil in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for about five minutes, until the mixture bubbles. Let cool. Pour into small, dark colored glass bottles


Q: What are some good shortcuts for mixing my own essential oil blends on the cheap?

A: There are a number of money-saving tricks to creating essential oil mixes at home:

Buy your carrier oil in bulk. If you know that you plan to make a lot of essential oil blends at home, then stock up on carrier oil such as coconut, olive or jojoba oil. A few drops of essential oil goes a long way, but a carrier oil, because it acts as a product base, depletes much faster.

Save dark glass bottles. Save the bottles that your purchased essential oils arrive in. The little plastic stoppers are easily removable, so you can clean out and refill the dark colored glass bottles.

Save plastic spray pump bottles. If you buy essential oil based colognes, then each time you finish a spray bottle’s worth, you have a handy reusable cologne dispenser to fill up with your own, homemade cologne blend.

Save aluminum oil bottles. You can also save the aluminum bottles that hold body and massage oils, to be used again and again when you mix up your own essential oil blends.

Stash extra supplies. Keep labels and a permanent marker on hand. Each time you mix up a new blend, you can label the bottle so that later on you’ll know what’s in it. For example, try blending a combo of citronella oil, clove oil, and peppermint oil to help ward off bugs in the summer time.


Q: What supplies should I stock up on if I want to start using essential oils around my home?

A: A carrier oil, such as jojoba oil, coconut oil, or olive oil, in bulk. The size container that you buy will, of course, depend on how often you mix and use your own essential oil blends.


Q: Can I put essential oils directly on my body?

A: Yes – essential oils offer a natural immune boost, as well as heal and balance the body. You can apply them to the skin in a variety of ways. For example, a mixture of geranium, lavender and a carrier oil such as olive, coconut or jojoba oil will make a nice all-over-body oil to use after bathing or shower. Geranium balances, lavender imparts calm. You can even add a bit of a more fragrant oil such as rose, to promote deep, regular breathing. This same type of oil mix doubles as a massage oil.


Q: I’ve heard that some people drink water infused with lemon oil, for its health benefits. Is this true?

A: Yes, some people do ingest lemon and other essential oils, but you should be very careful about which oils you take into your body as some may be toxic when ingested. Do not consume essential oils unless the oil that you buy has been specifically advertised as safe for internal use. When in doubt, do not ingest essential oils.


Q: What’s a great, essential-oil based recipe for a cleaning spray?

A: Here’s a recipe for an invigorating cleaning spray that you can use to wipe down surfaces, as well as spritz into the air to get rid of cooking, pet, and other unpleasant odors.

20 drops lemon oil

20 drops peppermint oil

10 drops tea tree oil

1/4 cup witch hazel

3 cups water (or enough to fill an 18-oz spray bottle 3/4 of the way)


Q: Which essential oils help with insomnia?

A: The most well-known essential oil for imparting a sense of calm is lavender. However, its effects are best utilized when blended with other oils, such as geranium for balancing the body systems, and clary sage for fixing hormone fluctuations.


Q: Should I add peppermint oil to my bath water for a sunburn?

A: Peppermint oil is extremely cooling. If you want a real sense of this, add just a few drops to your bath water and you’ll feel cooled like you’ve never been before. In fact, you may actually find peppermint quite uncomfortable in the bath, no matter, how hot they day has been or how sunburned you are. While peppermint seems perfect for invigorating the mouth in the form of a toothpaste ingredient, mouth rinse, or as a chewing gum flavor, it does not lend itself well to an all-over body soak in the tub.


Q: Can essential oils harm or burn my skin?

A: Skin sensitivity varies from person to person, and from body part to body part as well. You may end up with a literal burn of the skin if, for example, you apply lemon oil to a sensitive area.


Q: What is a carrier oil?

 A: A carrier oil acts as a base for your essential oil mixes. Without it, many essential oils will evaporate rather quickly. Carrier oils also dilute the potency of the oils so that you can safely apply them to your skin. To test this in action, dab a bit of an essential oil mix on your pulse points and see how long it lasts. Next, first mix your essential oil blend with a carrier oil and test the oil for its “cling” again. Carrier oils can work as a base for massage oils, body oils, and bath oils.


Q: Should I put essential oil on the bottoms of my feet, and if so, why?

A: The skin on the feet is said to readily absorb substances which it comes into contact. Many people who use essential oil mixes to ward off colds, flu and other germs swear by the “rub on the feet before going to bed” routine. You can also apply essential oils, mixed with a carrier oil, to the neck, chest, belly, inner arms, hands, and face. Some oils such as cinnamon and lemon, may cause a burning sensation or leave an actual burn if they make contact with a sensitive area. Avoid using these oils on places like the face, underarms, and other sensitive spots.

We Love Food

At designed life we love food! All types of food from across the world. You will learn to cook devise cuisine and enjoy culinary experiences through the lenses of our Food Kings and Queens. If you have an amazing recipe you can’t wait to share with the world, send them to us. Bon appetite!!!


Yes Boss: Peter Lentini on Brand, Fashion, and Entrepreneurship

Peter Lentini Efezokhae is the Founder and Creative Director of Ankara Festival Los Angeles (AFLA), created in 2010 with the intention to create a social landscape for cultural pride in the U.S., increase the visibility of African culture and foster entrepreneurship through fashion, arts, music, dance, and food. He began the initiative while managing Naija Entertainment, a company he launched in 2004 that has been a staple in the party scene in Los Angeles and across the nation for over 10 years providing Afrobeat DJ services, event production for corporate, wedding and private events and producing music concerts featuring world-renowned African artists.

Through his years of service to the African community in Los Angeles, Lentini has proven himself a staunch advocate for entrepreneurship, cultural pride and volunteerism. He has helped create jobs and various business opportunities, promoted African cultural preservation and forged a framework to effectively build partnerships through a powerful and sustaining network of influential individuals.

He has taken an active role in improving the lives of underprivileged communities through various charitable work such as feeding the homeless every year with PATH in Los Angeles and donating a percentage of AFLA ticket sales to benefit a non-profit organization dedicated to health issues, poverty alleviation, disease eradication, education, and research. Aligned with his commitment of benevolence, Lentini travels around the world through the TOMS “One-for-One” initiative giving shoes to children in need. The program also gives the gift of sight by providing free access to medical treatment, sight-saving surgery and prescription glasses to people living in disadvantaged areas.


Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, Peter Lentini was already a hustler in the entertainment industry from a young age as an event promoter, organizing street carnivals and concerts. As a little boy, he struggled as he balanced focusing on his studies and supporting his siblings raised by a single mother by peddling in the busy streets of Lagos selling water and snacks. As such, he has become the epitome of the American Dream since his move to the US in 2000 as an immigrant creating his own success through hard work and determination. With his commitment to be a positive social impact to everyone he encounters, Peter Lentini has been an inspiration and a mentor to a diverse youth group hoping to follow in his footsteps as he accomplishes various achievements never forgetting his humble beginnings.


On his thirst for education, Peter Lentini has made it his mission to continuously learn from his personal experiences and challenges that has shaped his spiritual growth. He also set himself as an outlier with a plethora of degrees from various Universities including an Ordinary National Degree (OND) in Mass Communication from Ibadan Polytechnic, Nigeria; a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria; an Associates Degree in International Studies from Mission College, a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from San Jose State University; and a Masters of Arts in International Relations from California State University, Northridge.  During his studies in the Bay Area, Lentini successfully produced African Student Union Cultural Shows and other events.

Peter Lentini has received numerous awards and distinctions including profiles by the Life and Times Magazine as a Youth Leadership Award recipient, Outstanding Work Award from TOMS and was also featured in the YES BOSS Campaign as an Influential and Inspiring Entrepreneur.

As a thought leader in his industry, Peter Lentini has been invited numerous times to speak at corporate meetings such as the Global Sales Conference for TOMS and at prestigious universities including Yale and Stanford University addressing students, professors, and marketing executives.

With his love, passion, and pride for his culture and his dedication in raising two young sons, Peter Lentini is inspired to purposely and intentionally create possibilities of empowering and supporting a thriving community in Los Angeles that can celebrate its astounding diversity through exposure to the African heritage and legacy.


What does it mean to live a Designed Life?: For me, Living a designed life is all about loving what you do, and deriving joy in doing it. Living a life with a purpose, touching and changing lives with what you do and most importantly putting family first in all you do.

Favorite Quote: You must be the change you wish to see in the world. Mahatma Gandhi


To learn more about Peter Lentini and his brand visit


Vegan Baking Made Simple

When it comes to vegan baking, recipes can seem overwhelming (Have you ever wondered what a chia egg is and where it could possibly come from? (Keep reading!).  Most recipes can easily be made vegan with a few simple ingredient changes.  If you plan on having a vegan friend over for dessert or are delving into vegan baking for you (or simply just ran out of eggs), keep reading.

Veg baked goods require a bit more finesse and creativity than traditional baked goods, but the results are worth it.  Often vegan baked goods are more flavorful, filling and leave you feeling better than in you inhale a cake with day, bloat-inducing dairy or the jittery roller coaster of a refined sugar dessert.


Vegan Tips:

  1.  Swap part of the butter for mashed fruit, such as applesauce or banana, which is not a strong flavor but will lend moistness and provide natural sweetener. You can also use ½ a mashed banana to substitute an egg in most baked goods, or a small amount of mashed yam.
  2. In place of honey, you can use maple syrup in any recipe.
  3.  Use a mixture of apple cider vinegar and nondairy milk in lieu of buttermilk (1 cup of nondairy milk plus 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar for every cup of buttermilk.)
  4. Use ground chia seeds with water as an egg substitute. For chia “eggs”, the ratio of water to chia is 3 to 1, and you’ll want to set aside the water/chia egg to thicken and gel (about 3-5 minutes) before using in the recipe.

Healthy Baking tips:

  1. Most baked goods: muffins, sweet bread, and cakes, can be made healthier by reducing the sugar by 1/4 to 1/2 cup less than what it calls for. You can also sub maple syrup with less than the sugar (2/3 cup of maple syrup for every 1 cup of sugar. You just have to reduce the liquid in the recipe by ¼ cup and reduce the baking temperature by 25 degrees).
  1.  Sub some of the regular or gluten-free flour with almond meal, or better yet, what I will dub “power flour”: half almond meal, a fourth quinoa or sweet potato flour and a fourth ground chia or flax.


In this Zucchini Brownie recipe, maple syrup is used in place of refined sugar, and coconut milk and apple cider vinegar replaces traditional buttermilk for a fluffy, delicious texture.

This is a pretty moist brownie (sorry, I know everyone hates the word “moist,” but I really don’t know what else to call it). It’s a melt-in-your-mouth, richly chocolate dessert.  If you prefer a drier crumbly texture, or more like a traditional brownie, use only one cup of zucchini, and 1-1/2 cups of gluten-free flour. 



Cacao Zucchini Brownies



1-1/3 cup gluten-free flour (I used coconut flour, garbanzo bean flour, brown rice flour and potato).

Feel free to use your favorite mix or flour of choice.
1/4 cup raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder (corn-free of course)
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
A sprinkling of sea salt
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-1/3 cup zucchini
optional: 1/3 cup nondairy chocolate chips


1.  Preheat oven to 350 and line pan with a silpat or parchment paper and spritz with coconut oil or oil of choice.  I used a 9×13″ pan and the brownies were pretty thin.  For a thicker brownie, reduce the zucchini a little and use a smaller pan.
2.  Pour coconut milk and apple cider vinegar in a glass or bowl, stir and set aside to curdle and thicken.
3.  Shred zucchini and pat with a paper towel to remove some of the moisture. 
4.  Whisk dry ingredients.
5.  Stir together wet ingredients, and add dry to wet, folding in chips last.
6.  Bake for 40-45 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
7.  Let cool on a wire rack then enjoy!  It’s great warm and fresh from the oven or cool as leftovers (if you have any!)



Mariah Miller

Instagram: @runninggirlhealth

Posh Candles Soy Based

April Favorite Picks: Soy Based Candles burn Cleaner

Posh Candle Co. is a company based in Los Angeles, California. All of our candles are 100% soy based, which burn cleaner than other wax-based products. We hand-pour in small batches to ensure quality and consistency. You don’t have to worry about candles burning down the center and all that wasted wax on the sides of the jar. So, if you want your space to smell beautiful, calm and relaxing, you’ve come to the right place.

Posh is Lovable

We want you to love Posh Candles but before you consider keeping them all to yourself. Gift these aromatic scents to a friend. They make great conversation pieces, and accents to any home décor. We would love to see how you re-purpose your Posh Candle jars as we believe in environmental friendliness and recycling. We also believe in keeping things fresh so stay tuned as we introduce limited edition aromatic candles to match special occasions or seasons. 

Visit Us to purchase yours!

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fashionably Yours Kabrea

Exclusive Interview with Kabrea Thomas, CEO of Fashionably Yours


Kabrea Thomas is the CEO/Founder of Fashionably Yours. She is a New York City-based Image & Wardrobe Stylist and Personal Shopping consultant. Her firm provides styling services to professionals who want to add “umph” to their wardrobe so they can stand out and feel confident in what they wear.  

What habits and mindsets helped make you successful?
The habits that I’ve kept me successful is surrounding myself with others who are entrepreneurs- these people are dealing with the same things I go through every day. As an entrepreneur, I read so much on a daily basis. Things that relate to my everyday lifestyle and motivate me on a daily basis. I enjoy watching videos of other well-known entrepreneurs who went through what I did, and show me that I’m reaching closer and closer to my goals every day. Just following this routine every day allows me to appreciate my growing success every day.

How did you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I believe that my competitors are awesome! And I’ve even had the pleasure of meeting a few of them, what makes me unique is the way I work. My goal is to incorporate a fashion forward, a trendy yet comfortable wardrobe that fits my client’s everyday lifestyle. I believe that being an image consultant is more than just shopping and putting pieces together. It’s about knowing the person you’re styling. What does he/she like and feel comfortable in? I’m all about making my clients stand out and feel confident in what they wear.

What was your biggest mistake?

I wouldn’t say that I’ve made any mistakes, instead, I’d say I’ve made decisions that have helped me learn and grow. Sometimes when you’re starting a business, or even when you have an idea you automatically think boom- you’re going to be a major success. I’ve learned that patience is key to any success.

How do you learn from failure or setbacks?

I’ve been able to learn that it’s okay to take a step back and reevaluate yourself and what you want to do with your business. Life happens, and we all deal with obstacles differently.

What are the most crucial things you have done to grow your business?
The top 3 most crucial things I’ve done to grow my business would be networking. Networking is obviously the number 1 core to growing your business. The more people you know the more chances you are going to talk about your business. And the more who know about it talk more about your business. Secondly patience- success certainly doesn’t happen overnight. It’s all the little things that add up to that big great thing you were working on. And last but not least of course vulnerability. I never believed in this one but it’s true. You have to put yourself out there. Tell people your story. Inspire others along the way is my favorite thing to do.

What three pieces of advice would you offer entrepreneurs starting out today?

When starting out things will be super tough, sometimes you won’t have as much support as you thought and there will ALWAYS be someone out there who will doubt you. But try and surround yourself with others just like you. Put yourself out there. You have an amazing idea/product/service that everyone needs to know about. And always remember you ROCK!!

styling-3Why are fashion and personal styling important?

Fashion and personal styling are important because your appearance is the first thing that gets noticed on a daily basis. Through it all, not many take the time out to put an outfit together, and in most cases that can lead to low self-esteem and even depression. What I do is work from the outside and then work from within. You’re an important person, and when someone sees you they should think that too.

How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

When I finally made the decision to start my business it was at a very hard time in my life. I didn’t have the support from my parents, but I was able to make changes just from my routine and the way I thought. I knew that my business was worth it, so I made some changes in my life.

What motivates you?
What motivates me is my future. I know that I am capable of so many things. The more I let my mind wonder, the more I think about all these amazing things I can do to change one’s life, feeling and maybe even the world.

What makes you happy?
My business makes me happy, being able to learn and have a spiritual connection with a new friend. Food makes me happy (lol); my close friends and family make me happy. Life in itself makes me happy!

What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
As a successful entrepreneur, there are many times when I’ve had to put my business first, not too many people will understand why, but when you start a business your main goal is for it to continue growing.

How do you define success?
Success to me is beyond dollars. It is the ability to have your cake and eat it too in my book. Success to me is being able to live the lifestyle you’ve always wanted without a financial burden.

How do you live an authentic life?
I’m not sure that I’ve got the hang of it as of yet (lol). I’m actually still trying to balance out having a life and a business as two separate things. Let’s just say it’s something I am working on at the moment.

What does living a Designed Life mean to you?
Living a designed life is freedom! It’s showing others your truth and what you’re capable of. I truly believe that only the strong can truly live a designed life.

Click here to find out more about styling from Kabrea Thomas