Jul 31, 2014

17 Oily Options for Depression and Anxiety

Globally, more than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression. (source)  That is a staggering number.  Depression affects women more than men and can be literally debilitating.  It's a serious issue that is often pushed to the side because of a desire to be socially accepted, because of stigmas, because "surely that can't be what's wrong with me!"... Depression does not discriminate - rich, poor, healthy, sick, skinny, chubby, everything in life you want, or everything falling apart.

I lead a blessed life.  I believe in God and I pray daily.  I still battle with anxiety and depression.  For years, I tried prescription medications, all of which made me feel worse - like I simply could not be happy.  A grey fog ruled my life and I decided many years ago that depression was actually better than feeling like that because at least there were happy times.

Hear my heart, friends.  In absolutely no way am I telling you to quit your medications for depression and anxiety.  Please consult your physician before you make a decision like that.  Stopping these meds cold turkey can cause a lot of issues.  If you decide to go in that direction, seek guidance from a professional.  I am simply telling you what I have had success with, and try to give you other options.

So, here are 17 Young Living Essential Oils that either myself or my friends have had successes using and a tiny bit about how to go about using them.  How do you choose?  Where do you start? Our bodies are extremely complex.  Just like people choose different prescription meds, different Essential Oils will work differently for different people.  Several of these oils are in the Premium Starter Kit, which is a great way to get your foot in the door and try several things on a budget.

1.  Frankincense - Click here to find lots of information on Frankincense essential oil.  Tons of studies have been done on using Frankincense as a depression remedy.  This oil is high in sesquiterpenes which are able to cross the blood/brain barrier, making it a wonderful option for depression.  Apply a couple drops to your hands, rub together and cup over your nose and mouth, breathing in deeply.  You can also try applying one drop to the crown of your head.  Frankincense is included in the Premium Starter Kit.

2.  Peace and Calming - Simply breathing in Peace and Calming instantly calms me down.  This blend is included in the Premium Starter Kit and is a great option for daily use.

3.  Valor - MY favorite oil ever, Valor is a must in my arsenal for oils to conquer depression and anxiety.  I usually apply Valor to the back of my neck or to my wrists when I am feeling edgy.  This oil is also included in the Premium Starter Kit.

4.  Joy - The scent of Joy was, at first, a little powerful for me, but after multiple success stories using this oil, it is one of my favorites.  If you do not like the scent, try using it on your feet.  If you do like it, apply over your heart or on your pulse points for a boost.  This oil is also included in the Premium Starter Kit.

5.  Stress Away - This oil blend is not in my daily rotation, but I have many friends who swear by this little green bottle of awesome.  It smells fantastic, too, so you could easily use it as a perfume replacement.  It is also a freebie when you purchase a Premium Starter Kit.

6.  White Angelica - This oil blend has made the biggest noticeable difference for me.  I apply one drop to my wrists and rub them together.  It smells awesome and really helps me with my negativity, which in turn, helps with my depression.

7.  Believe - I use Believe nightly in my diffuser.  It has been pretty incredible to watch how this has helped my husband and I sleep better and how it has impacted my moods throughout the day.  

8.  Tranquil - I use this oil often on my daughter.  She has a lot of anxiety at night that causes her to have a hard time getting to sleep.  We rub a drop of Tranquil on the inside of her forearm and it really helps lessen her anxiety.

9.  Humility - There are several oils that contain Melissa and this is one of them.  These oils are great for helping to boost the mood and calm the spirit.

10.  Grounding - Another oil that my daughter and I use often, this oil helps the brain put things into perspective, which helps with anxiety.

11.  Bergamot - I diffuse this oil often.  Such a lovely scent that is truly uplifting.  When I am tired or I have had a hard day, this oil goes in my diffuser or in my diffuser necklace.

12.  Ylang Ylang - Ylang Ylang helps to combat anger and negative emotions.  It also helps with low self esteem (now you see why it's great for libido, too! *wink wink*).

13.  Magnify Your Purpose - From the Essential Oils Pocket Reference, "This blend stimulates the endocrine system for greater energy low to the right hemisphere of the brain, activating creativity, motivation and focus."

14.  Citrus Fresh - According to Young Living's School of Nature's Remedies, a study was done in 2004 on 150 adults diagnosed with major depression.  10 drops of Citrus Fresh 3 times a day was found to be more effective than leading anti-depressants.  Bonus - it's a very inexpensive oil blend!

15.  Christmas Spirit - Christmas in July is a thing, right? ;)  This oil blend brings joy, peace, happiness and security.

16.  Surrender - This blend helps release stress and tension, aggression and a controlling attitude.

17.  Progressence Plus - Many times, when you stop and examine the source of your emotional stresses, women find that hormones play a huge role in their mental state.  Progressence Plus helps to regulate hormones, which could in turn help to manage depression.

If you are struggling with Anxiety and Depression, I urge you to talk to someone.  Do not suffer in silence.  Talk to a doctor or a counselor - there is help for you!  If you are exploring your options, I hope this list has sparked some ideas for you.  As I write this blog post, I pray you find the perfect option for you and that you find relief!  I am so thankful for Young Living and the help I have received.  Blessings on you, friend!

*Ok, ya'll... you know my heart here - I am not telling you to ditch the advise of your sage doctors.  I am simply telling you how these oils have changed MY life.  As always, use common sense and seek counsel from doctors and certified naturopaths.

Jul 30, 2014

Birthday Blessings

I come from a long line of week long birthday celebrations. Every year when I was a kid, we had a family lunch with my grandparents, a nice dinner with my mom and dad and a friend party to celebrate another year of life. It was simple, but it was magical.

Now I have children.

Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and other social medias have made kid birthdays a mom competition. I ask this - is it about us, or about the kids? When we check ourselves and our motives, and then ask ourselves if the birthday celebration will really be any more meaningful to our babies if we stay up til 2 am working on a banner on our Die Cutting machine, the answer is probably no. Do they care if you have a themed party? Probably not. Their joy comes in the celebration and the attention.

How do we tone it down and still feel like we are doing something special for our kids? Here is an awesome product that I have the pleasure of reviewing for you today and even choosing one lucky winner to receive one for free!

Birthday Blessing is a way to spend special time focusing on your child the week of their birthday. A beautiful, hand crafted, wooden birthday cake sets the stage for a week long celebration. This beautiful cake is to be displayed in a prominent location in your house the week of your child's birthday - a symbol to others that something special is going on!

Here's the awesome part - Birthday Blessing created this beautiful notebook to help you intentionally celebrate your child. Each day the week before your child's birthday, the Birthday Blessing journal guides you through a devotion with your child about how special they are. There is a space to write about them each year, too!

I love the idea of keeping this for my girls and presenting them with it when they are older!  What a great acknowledgement of how special they are to you.

How would YOU like to win a Birthday Blessings set for your little one?

It's so simple!  Check out the Rafflecopter below to enter!  I hope you win ;)

Jul 17, 2014

Top 3 Uses for Young Living Copaiba

There are a few oils in my arsenal that I have had such amazing successes with that I have vowed to never be without them again.  One of these oils is Copaiba.  Remember how I said I carry it with me everywhere I go?

Copaiba as an oil is steam distilled from gum resin found in the Copal tree in Brazil.  The history of uses by Brazillian herbalists is fascinating and closely matches with our uses today as an Essential Oil.

Here are my top 3 uses for Young Living Copaiba and why I will never be without this oil:

1.  Anti-Inflammatory

I'm sure you have seen news articles cross your Facebook news feed lately about how inflammation plays a role in many diseases and health conditions.  It is a daily struggle that most American adults deal with due to our diet and our environment, but it can lead to a host of other issues.  On top of that, a growing number of individuals (like myself and many others in my family) deal with auto-immune diseases that can cause inflammation in the body to rise even more.  Inflammation normally tells us that our body is trying to rid itself of something harmful.  With auto-immune diseases, the things the body believes to be harmful and is trying to attack happen to be the body itself.  Many people I know feel they are stuck with over the counter anti-inflammatories or even prescriptions which mask the problem and end up ruining the lining of the stomach and even causing damage to the kidneys and liver.  Insert Young Living Copaiba and angels singing (I have a flare for the dramatic, have you noticed??).    Just a drop or two topically over the area that is inflamed or a few drops in a capsule have helped ME more than any little brown pill ever did.  I personally have been amazed at how fast and how effectively this oil has taken away my pain associated with inflammation over the past several months. *

2.  Allergy Relief

Copaiba is what is known as a "driver" oil.  When applied on top of other oils, Copaiba helps to drive the other oils in deeper, which helps them to work more effectively.   That, coupled with it's anti-inflammatory properties, mean that Copaiba is an excellent oil to add to your allergy arsenal.  I add Copaiba to my Lemon, Lavender and Peppermint trio and together, they help to quickly knock out allergy symptoms like stuffy nose, sneezing, cough and breathing issues.**

3.  Headaches

You know how Copaiba is an anti-inflammatory?  (Am I a broken record??)  Well, that means it is another oil that is excellent for headache use.  Simply rub a drop over your forehead to help reduce pain associated with the restriction of blood vessels that occurs during some headaches.***

Fun fact:  Did you know that Copaiba is approved as a food additive in the U.S.?  I can't wait to do a little more research on that one!

I love the warm, earthy scent of Copaiba, but if you don't have it on hand, you can find it in the following Young Living products:
- A.R.T. Beauty Masque
- Breathe Again Roll On
- Copaiba Vanilla moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner
- Deep Relief Roll On
- Progressence Plus
- Stress Away

Ahh, Copaiba.  How do YOU use this awesome oil?

*Ok, ya'll... you know my heart here - I am not telling you to ditch the advise of your sage doctors.  I am simply telling you how these oils have changed MY life.  As always, use common sense and seek counsel from doctors and certified naturopaths. 

Jul 11, 2014

Why Every Mama Needs A Best Friend

Today, my best friend turns a year older (29, right Macy?).  In honor of her, I would like to spend a few minutes and give you a list of 5 reasons every Mama needs a Best Friend.

But first, back story:

I was 5 years old and walked into my Kindergarten class.  Mrs. Dunnam was my teacher and I was excited to be there.  Sitting at my table was a boy named Jonathan.  As it turns out, Jonathan was a twin and his twin is my BFF, Macy.  I didn't even know yet that she would be my BFF because I hadn't even met her yet!

Through the years, we have had fun and laughter, tears and sorrow, but we have gone through it all together.  We were pregnant together, we have been through terrible losses together, and through it all, no matter how long it has been since we have seen each other, we can pick up the phone and just BE.  I am so incredibly grateful to God for allowing this woman to be a part of my life.

Here are my top 5 reasons why having a Best Friend Forever is the GREATEST:

1.  You have someone to call when your baby's poop looks funny, and they will not think you are disgusting or creepy.  Mama's understand things that other women, or even your husband, can not.  When you are a Mama, it is SO important to have a close knit group of ladies to share those weird Mama things with.  Who else can you tell about your cycle, about your sex life, about your parents, etc without judgement?  Everyone needs someone to talk to!

2.  When those horrible moments in life happen (the death of your aunt, your father collapses in the kitchen, your dad has a stroke and passes away - all those things that make you loose your breath and want to run away and pretend you don't exist in this life), your BFF will be there.  Just typing this makes me want to cry.  Life is SO hard.  Everyone needs someone to call when those life shattering, world changing, defining moments happen.  I am so glad I have you, Macy.

3.  When the amazing moments in life happen, you have someone to share that with, too.  Macy and I have been there for each other during weddings, pregnancies and child births and so many other little joyous occasions along the way.  So great to be able to call someone to tell them about those funny little things that no one else cares about, and the big stuff, too!

4.  You have an encourager.  Someone who prays for you, who builds you up when you are running low, who fills your emotional cup.  AND you have someone who tells you where the best iced coffee in town is :)

5.  You have someone that knows your history.  You don't have to explain who people are or why you act the way you do around your family.  They know!  And more than likely, they are invited to those crazy family events, too!

I could really go on and on - I am truly a lucky girl.  I am blessed with several women who I deem worthy of the title of BFF (Rebecca, Nancy, etc), but Macy was the first.

So, this year on your birthday, Macy, I hope you know how loved you are, how special you are, and how thankful I am to have you!

Jun 30, 2014

Eight Everyday Essential Oils

I'm curious, friends.

If you could only keep EIGHT oils with you every single day while you are out and about, which ones would you want on you at all times?  I'm not talking about your arsenal at home for the times you are sick or when things happen, I'm talking about going to the grocery store, taking the kids to school, going to church, going to the park....

Which ones?

Let me tell you about the eight that I have chosen to carry with me and why:

1.  Peace and Calming - I chose this one for many reasons.  First and foremost, I chose it because I have two little girls, ages 2 and 3.  Have you ever tried to go grocery shopping with kids?  How about with two toddlers?  Peace and Calming is a MUST - for them and for me :)  Occasionally I will put a drop on the air vents in the car to help if tensions are high on road trips, too.  I also use this when I am feeling a little crowd anxiety.

2.  DiGize - When you get "nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea" - you just need a drop of DiGize.  Great to have with you when you are out and about.

3.  Purification - I love this oil as a bug repellant - perfect for spending the afternoon at the park!  Also great for yucky smells (hello, umm... did someone take their shoes off??).

4.  Valor - Don't leave home without this one :)  I use this oil for neck aches when I have been sitting at the computer too long (ahem), anxiety issues, aches and pains and before important meetings or classes for a little boost in confidence.  Still my favorite oil ever :)

5.  Peppermint - I love to use peppermint for headaches and a boost of energy.  Peppermint oil works far better for me than coffee (and that is saying something - remember my post about needing a little coffee and a whole lot of Jesus??).

6.  Lavender - This is our "booboo" oil - when my girls have scrapes and bruises, this is my go-to oil.  My three year old even asks for it by name!

7.  Copaiba - Copaiba has kind of changed my life.  Like my mom and several cousins, I have an autoimmune disease.  Occasionally, I have flares and they always seem to be at the most inopportune times (like, the day of my daughter's birthday party).  Copaiba is my life saver during those moments.  It is highly anti-inflammatory and I use it as someone with asthma might use a rescue inhaler by rubbing it where I am hurting or even taking a couple drops internally.  Daily lifestyle changes have helped keep the day to day things in check, copaiba helps with the rest.

8.  Frankincense - What oil would you pick that would help with basically ANYTHING else you might need it for?  Frankincense of course.  Highly valuable and highly versatile, Frankincense has come in handy on multiple occasions.

It's been a long time since I have done a giveaway!  How about I send you a super awesome case like mine with 8 bottles for you to fill with whatever YOUR eight oils are?  

If you want to win, simply comment here with your list of 8 sometime between now and noon on Thursday, July 3rd!

Love freebies?  While supplies last, if you join my team with a Premium Starter Kit, I will send you a goodie bag of essential oils products!  Want to learn more about what that means?  Click HERE.

As always, please remember that I am a Mama and not a doctor. These things work for us and I am in love with using oily remedies for health in our home and I am excited to share them with you, but please use your best judgement for your own home. 

Jun 25, 2014

Lunch Time!

So, it's summer here and with two teacher parents and two toddlers, we have officially done more dishes in the past 2 weeks than in the past 2 months combined ;)  Ok, that might be a slight exaggeration, but you get the gist.  Eating at home is great - you can choose much more healthy options and really watch what you consume.  We do our BEST to eat whole foods with very little processing, but honestly, it gets hard when you are trying to cram fun stuff in the day, too.

So, with that in mind, I'd like to show you a lunch that I have fed my girls this week with natural options that are easily accessible at the grocery store, take less than 5 minutes to prepare and my girls totally clean their plates. 

1.  Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

There are TONS of options for nut butters (or seed butters if you have a nut allergy).  This particular butter is from Whole Foods, but you might also try Jiff's Natural Creamy Peanut Butter (hydrogenated oil free) or Sunbutter, a Sunflower Seed spread.

For Jelly,  look for your favorite flavor that is organic and does not contain high fructose corn syrup.  Try a local jelly from the Farmer's Market :)

My favorite bread is this recipe from Wholesome Mommy, an awesome home made honey wheat bread.  Be sure to let it cool completely before you slice so that it doesn't smush for sandwiches.  (Confession, this is not home made bread in the photo - I am trying to clean house today for company this afternoon and haven't had time to bake).

Check out this awesome link for a list of Non-GMO condiments (including butters and jellies).

2.  Barbara's Baked White Cheddar Cheese Puffs

Try this cheeto-esque chip that even Daddy Drew approves of.  Non-GMO verified, baked products that are far more healthy than the alternative and tastes good, too!

3.  Fruit

This time it is an organic banana, sometimes it's strawberries, sometimes apple slices, sometimes orange slices... whatever you prefer, get those fruits and veggies into the diet!  We eat fruit with every meal AND for snacks!

4.  Kale Chips

I love anything from Trader Joe's, but you can find Kale Chips anywhere... even on Amazon!  You might try baking your own, too!  Wash and dry your kale, lay out on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil and salt.  Bake at a low temp until dried!  So easy! 

I try hard to serve something green at both dinner and lunch.  Another thing my kids love is raw broccoli with a dip.  To save time, I clean and cut the broccoli when I bring it home from the grocery store and store it in a container in the fridge for easy access.

Lunch time is a great time to have the kids help in the kitchen, too.  Allow them to spread the peanut butter or choose what to put on their plate (with supervision of course).

I also highly recommend that you teach your children to clear their spot at the table when meal time is through.  This is an age appropriate chore that is simple to do and instills a confidence and work ethic in your kiddos from a young age. 

What is YOUR favorite thing to serve your kids for lunch?

Jun 20, 2014

Camping with Young Living Essential Oils

Tuesday on the blog, I shared with you 7 Tips for Camping with Kids.  While we are on the topic of camping, or summer fun in general, I'd love to share my favorite Young Living essential oils recipes to take along with you!

Sunscreen Using Young Living Carrot Seed Oil


I say this often, but Young Living essential oils have changed my life - If you had told me 5 years ago that I would be the "nut" in her kitchen whipping up her own cleaning products and even Sunscreen, I would probably have laughed at you - who has time for that???  Trust me, you do!  And when you examine what is in your store-bought sunscreen, it will be even more of a priority for you.  Plus, 15 minutes worth of work will last you and your family ALL summer!   While you are at it, make a double batch and give some to your mom or your BFF - spread the oily love!  

Click on the title to travel over to the original blog post for the recipe.  

Sunburn Spray


When you inevitably forget the sunscreen or go too long without reapplying, you might need a sunburn spray.  This is a super simple recipe (all of mine are!) and is incredibly effective!  A few applications before bedtime and when you wake up in the morning, no more sunburn.  Cooling, healing and smells good, too!

Bug Repellant

Another super simple recipe that is quite effective.  Keep this concoction handy and spray on often.  I love this spray, because you can use it on your whole family without worry of the chemicals in the spray (because there are none!).  Before I was "oily", it was a big concern to me during the summer to keep the bugs away from my baby without spraying them with bug repellant.  I would not worry using this one.  

Roll-Ons for Allergies, Pain, Etc.

My husband went on a big Backpacking trip last week.  Here are just a few examples of what I packed for him to use on the trip.  One blend I made for him was an Allergy blend - Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint and Copiaba to keep his allergies in check.  Be careful using this one and then being out in the sun as the Lemon component can be photosensitive.

I also made him a roll on with Raven for his snoring.  That's a post for another day! 

The third I made for him was a roll on for Pain with Panaway and Peppermint and a carrier oil (in this case I used olive oil).  

I'm curious to know which DIY blends are YOUR favorite!

Want to know how to purchase your own oils? Check out this info here


As always, please remember that I am a Mama and not a doctor. These things work for us and I am in love with using oily remedies for health in our home (or campsite!) and I am excited to share them with you, but please use your best judgement for your own home.