Getting Started with Essential Oils

December 30, 2013 § 6 Comments

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about this recently, so I figured it would be useful for everybody to have all of this information in one central location.  If you’ve already done the research about Young Living essential oils and have decided to give it a go, then this is how to get started.  (If you’d like to learn more, I’ve written two introductory posts here: Essential Oils and Parrots on what essential oils are, why you should only use Young Living, and why you might want to use them with parrots; and My First Diffusing Experience on how I got started, the oils and diffuser I initially chose, and its effects on my flock.)

First, you’ll need to decide whether you just want to purchase YLEOs, or if you want to become a “distributor.”  A lot of people think that being a distributor must mean that it carries the obligation to, well, distribute.  It does not.  In fact, being a distributor carries few obligations at all.  I believe that the only obligation is to keep your account active, which means placing an order once a year.  You have no obligations to recruit or to sell or to advertise, or anything like that.  However, if you do decide to become a distributor, you enjoy wholesale prices on all YL products, which is a cool 24% off!  I personally think this is a fantastic deal and recommend everybody to sign up as a distributor.  The savings truly adds up, and you’ll make the price of the Starter Kit back in no time.

Next, you’ll need to pick your starter kit.  There are a few different options, all of which you can read about and compare here on the Young Living website.  I personally went with the very Basic Starter Kit, which is the bare minimum.  I believe it’s $40, and it comes with several samples of a good variety of essential oils.  That said, however, there are more expensive kits (up to $150) that actually represent better values and even come with a diffuser.  I knew that I wanted a particular model and not the one that came with the more expensive kits, which is why I went with the Basic Starter Kit.  I have heard good things about the Premium Starter Kit from several people though, as it comes with a wide variety of oils and a diffuser, so you can get started right out of the box.

Finally, you’ll need to actually register here with Young Living.  You’ll need a referral code in order to do so.  My code is 1304850, but in the interest of full disclosure, I do supposedly make a small commission for referring people.  So, please feel free to use my code, or anybody else’s if that makes you uncomfortable.  (I don’t do this for the commission!)

And that’s it!  It’s a very quick and easy process, and the discount is quite significant.  I’ve earned back my initial $40 investment through the discount at least a few times over now.  As always, please be sure to do your own research and make your own educated decision.  I personally feel that these are safe and beneficial to use with my flock but some parrots might react differently.

Sabrina’s New Grapevine Orb

December 24, 2013 § 3 Comments

We are so, so grateful for this beautiful orb swing that was made for little Sabrina!  We feel very blessed.  Peggy from Nature’s Bird Perch and Toys very kindly custom made this orb with Sabrina in mind and I think she is just going to love it.  It’s made from natural grapevines with the bark still on, and it is very soft, thin, and peel-able, perfect even for the tiniest of beaks.  Even though the perch diameters are small, however, this orb is HUGE!  Despite Sabrina’s relatively large cage, I am wondering how I will get it to fit.  But I’ll make it happen!  It’ll require a major overhaul of her cage setup but I think she is going to love it.

the orb and toys

it even has a ring swing in the center!

The orb is very three-dimensional and has perches going every which way.  She is going to have a blast climbing in and out and all around it.  If you’ve never checked out Peggy’s website, you absolutely have to.  She makes some of the most creative and unusual pieces for parrots that I have ever seen, from toys to tabletop stands to massive, beautiful, castle-like play gyms.  We also used to have one of her awesome little playground-style jungle gyms (complete a swing set, monkey bars, and more), but one day clumsy me stepped backwards onto it, fell over, and broke it.  😦  That’s what you get for being clumsy.  Anyway, we are totally in love with this orb and are even more pleased that Peggy very kindly used all stainless steel hardware on it for us.  When we have more space, we are going to have to purchase a parrot parrotdise of all of Peggy’s different creations and collections!

tiny toys for sabrina too

Peggy even included these adorable little toys, perfectly sized for Brina.  I have a feeling Lola is going to be jealous.  🙂

Woodies for Every Bird!

December 19, 2013 § 2 Comments

The birds got a wonderful package in the mail the other day!  Lola and Sabrina’s goodies from the I Got a Woody sale on Cyber Monday arrived, and they are going to be very, very pleased.  We even snuck in some gifts to bring to Karat, my mom’s Hahn’s, when we visit for Christmas.  I think she’ll be quite happy too… even though she hates me, hah.

sabrina’s set

Sabrina has been loving their toys so far, so I decided to try some new ones for her.  On the left is the Neverland, which combines shredders with ultra thin, 1/16″ pine wood!  I can’t believe how thin they got it– it’s whisper-thin, almost like a crispy wafer.  Normally, I steer clear of pine for Sabrina, but this might be something she can actually chip away at.  To the right of that is the Jungle, which combines balsa slats with shredders, turned cork, and natural cork bark sandwiched in between, and then some fun move-able beads.  The tower-like toy is a miniature sized Wee Willy Winky, customized with some cork.  Below that, there’s a custom version of the Lucky Star, which features all of Sabrina’s favorites: a big hunk of balsa, a chunk of natural cork bark, and some corks at the end as well.  Finally, on the right, there’s the Sprite, which has cute balsa blocks and tiny vine parts.  These should keep her busy for a good long while!

lola’s new toys

close-up of the customized woodland fairy

Lola also got some awesome toys.  On the left is a customized Woodland Fairy, with a close-up above.  This is a super cool toy that actually uses a big sheet of birch bark as its base!  Normally it comes with shredders, but since Lola’s isn’t a big fan, I asked for it to be customized with some chunky cork bark instead.  It is finished with natural wood rounds.

a BIG pine blast!

In the middle of the “group” photo is a BIG, BIG toy: a pine version of the balsa blast!  I didn’t realize how big it was going to be.  I have a feeling this base will stand for a while and I will be able to use and reuse it quite a bit.  Attached to the solid pine wood base (stuffed with corks on the ends) are lots of pine slats with cork sandwiched in between, and finished with crinkly paper.  I think this one might actually last Lola a while!

a basswood tightrope

The last of the big toys is a Tightrope, made of awesome basswood and corks, and lots of crinkle paper.  I love that this toy can be hung sideways as well as it has loops at both ends.  Finally, Lola got a bunch of her favorite foot toys– the Hidden Treasure– and Leslie and Dawn were nice enough to send two free foot toys for her as well.

gifts for karat

As for Karat, she might be getting the coolest toys of them all!  She has an awesome, custom-made half moon perch made for her with her name on it, and along the left, front, and right sides, there are two embedded hardwood beads and a little cork sticking out.  On the right is a Great Balsa Fire, which I think she will have a blast with.

We’re so happy with our latest order and can’t wait to bring our gifts to Karat for the holidays.  I am sure everything will be a big, big hit as usual.  The quality of these toys is very high and they are so nice to accommodate our many special and custom requests for natural-this or substitute-that.  Thank you to I Got a Woody! 🙂

Lots of Lola Lovin’

December 14, 2013 § 1 Comment

I’m drowning in a tidal wave of exams right now but thought I’d make a quick post to share some adorable Lola photos. She keeps me going!

get your day started right with a nice bath

really get in there…

you’re not done until you get the entire room soaked!

and throw in some extra flapping for good measure

some fresh eucalyptus is fun to chew

it’s great for both in and outside of the cage!

nap time. show’s over!

Sabrina and Her Leafy Greens

December 5, 2013 § 2 Comments

Usually Sabrina is very timid when it comes to anything that is bigger than she is, or anything new coming into her cage, or pretty much anything at all, but one thing she loves with a passion is a nice big leafy green. She won’t even run from my hands coming into the cage if she sees a fresh bunch of carrot tops in them!! Since I know I don’t do it for her, I love seeing her happy. Here are a few photos of her with some of her favorite leaves 🙂

trying some carrot tops on her big swing

and some more on her cork perch

can’t forget about the chard!

are we done here?? please exit the premises.

I also tried ordering some eucalyptus leaves for the first time from a new vendor for me, EucProducts. They were running a pretty great Cyber Monday deal, so I took the plunge. I am really quite pleased with the beautiful and fresh leaves that arrived (and quite quickly, considering that they were coming from across the country). Their smell is out of this world! I washed them very thoroughly and carefully and let them soak for a bit before offering them up. Lola seems to really enjoy stripping and tearing up the stems / branches in particular, and they release even more of a lovely scent as she does.

lovely, fragrant, and fresh eucalyptus leaves

Although I was nervous as I had read a few mixed reviews online, I was very happy with what arrived in my box. If they can maintain this type of quality I will be a frequent customer! 🙂

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