Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Essential Oils 101, Part 2

As promised, here is the second segment of the "Essential Oils 101" post.

First, I want to talk about Young Living's Seed to Seal process, which includes five steps:

  1. SEED: Potent essential oils come from plant species that have been authenticated by Young Living and industry experts through scientific research, field study, university partnerships, and on-site planting certification. Selecting seeds that produce the highest value is a vital first step in the Seed to Seal process. 
  2. CULTIVATE: Young Living's knowledge of soil preparation, balance of sun and water, responsible weed and pest control, and wild craft harvesting ensure that stringent standards are met, both on our own farms as well as with our carefully monitored partner farms. We continue to conduct research and remain dedicated to growing the highest quality aromatic plants. 
  3. DISTILL: Combining ancient and modern techniques, Young Living's low-pressure steam distillation process ensures that the beneficial plant compounds in each batch of essential oil remain uncompromised. This step is completed at just the right time to ensure all beneficial constituents are present to maximize the quality of the oil. Additionally, Young Living uses tree resin hydrodistillation for select oils and cold pressing techniques for most of their citrus essential oils. 
  4. TEST: Young Living never accepts diluted, cut, or adulterated essential oils. To guarantee consistent quality, their essential oils are tested in their own internal labs, as well as in third-party facilities, to ensure that they meet demanding specifications, exceed international standards, and contain optimal levels of natural bioactive molecules. 
  5. SEAL: Young Living completes their Seed to Seal process by carefully sealing and inspecting each bottle of essential oil at their 107,000-square-foot state-of-the-art clean-room facility and then shipping to members worldwide. Individual bottle labels are encoded with detailed tracking information that allows Young Living to trace each bottle of essential oil back to its source. 
Now, on to talking about each oil in the Everyday Essentials Kit! Click here to order:

Frankincense: an earthy, balsamic aroma that is highly revered for its ability to increase feelings of spirituality and inner strength. Known for its broad range of uses, Frankincense is a prominent feature in Young Living's skincare line.
  • Apply 1-2 drops to the face and neck to add a healthy-looking glow to skin and support clear skin
  • Diffuse to enrich prayer, yoga, or meditation for a deeper spiritual connection
  • Apply 2-4 drops to moisturize dry skin
Lemon: one of the most useful essential oils to have on hand. Great for cleaning, and it also supports the immune system with its powerful antioxidant d-limonene component. Used in NingXia Red, Young Living's superfruit supplement.

  • Use Lemon essential oil as a dietary supplement in your daily routine
  • Substitute Lemon oil for lemon juice or lemon seasoning to flavor seafood, vegetable, beverages, and desserts
  • Keep Lemon in a purse or backpack, or car so that it is always in reach when you need it
Peppermint: The fresh, energizing aroma of Peppermint essential oil helps maintain feelings of vigor and vitality. Great for flavoring drinks. Supports a healthy digestive system. We love it for breath freshening!
  • Add 1 drop of Peppermint essential oil to a glass of water and incorporate it into your daily diet
  • Add 1 to 2 drops in a capsule after a mealtime to help support normal digestion
  • Add 1 drop to herbal tea or coffee to enhance flavor and to help aid healthy digestion 
Lavender: one of the most powerful and versatile essential oils, and the uses for this plant are almost endless. Lavender essential oil is part of many Young Living products because it offers a host of benefits and a sweet, floral aroma.
  • Add 8-12 drops to water and spray under beds and in closets for a fresh, pleasing aroma
  • Apply 2-4 drops to skin to moisturize and enhance skin radiance
  • Diffuse at night for a calming aroma during sleep
Tea Tree: also known as Melaleuca alternifolia and can be found in a wide spectrum of skin care and spa products. Less known are the powerful properties that have made it a skin care mainstay in many cultures. Tea Tree oil can comfort and beautify the appearance of skin. Wonderfully fresh and clean scent.
  • Comfort the skin by rubbing 1 to 3 drops of Tea Tree oil into the palms of your hands and gently massaging over areas of concerns
  • Add Tea Tree oil to your favorite massage oil to elevate your massage experience
  • Diffuse Tea Tree oil to help moisturize the skin
Joy: the magnetic energy of this blend brings a beautiful feeling of joy to the heart, mind, and soul. Its uplifting aroma inspires romance and love. Joy may also help bring peace to individuals when diffused.
  • Wear 1 to 2 drops as a cologne or perfume to inspire a feeling of romance and togetherness
  • Diffuse with Peppermint to both promote and uplifting but also relaxing feeling
  • Rub 1 drop of Joy between your palms and then spread over the face and neck after a calming shower or bath
  • Put several drops of Joy on a scarf or in a diffuse to enjoy and share this beautiful aroma
Purification: Neutralize odors and enhance the air in your home with the crisp, refreshing aroma of Purification. When diffused, Purification helps purify and cleanse the air from stubborn and lingering odors. This uplifting blend is also an excellent choice for cleansing and soothing dry skin. 
  • Massage 1-2 drops to cleanse and soothe dry skin
  • Combine several drops with water in a spray bottle and spray to eliminate unpleasant smells such as smoke, mildew, and stale food odors
  • Diffuse to clean the air and neutralize foul smells
  • Put a few drops on your pet's collar to help support a pest-free coat
Thieves: the blend that was inspired by the legend of four 15th-century thieves in France who formulated an aromatic blend composed of cloves, rosemary, and other botanicals to use while robbing the dead and dying. This one-of-a-kind blend can be found in many of Young Living's most popular products. Taken internally, it can help to support a healthy immune system.
  • Place 2-3 drops in a capsule and swallow daily for immune support
  • Diffuse to support a healthy household during flu season
  • For toothache, apply a drop to a cotton ball and tuck inside the mouth between cheek and tooth
Panaway: a soothing blend of Wintergreen, Helichrysum, Clove, and Peppermint that is great for supporting healthy joints
  • Apply topically after a strenuous workout for a refreshing cool down
  • Apply several drops onto the bottoms of the feet for a soothing, relaxing foot massage
  • Place 3-4 drops onto a hot towel and hold over abdomen for a cool, refreshing effect
Stress Away: contains ingredients such as Lime essential oil, included for its energizing properties, are coupled with Lavender essential oil with its unique attributes. Copaiba is a powerful Amazonian essential oil, while Vanilla absolute gives this dietary blend a distinct aroma and pleasant flavor.
  • Add Stress Away to water following exercise
  • Add 1-2 drops of Stress Away to natural fruit or vegetable juice throughout the day when life is demanding
  • Diffuse 8 drops of Stress Away and 4 drops of Peppermint to uplift and unwind
Okay! Now that you've learned about all of these great oils and their uses, here's more info on ordering: 
  • Become a distributor and save 24% off retail pricing (only $50/year, which is $4.17/month)
  • Earn monthly commissions by sharing and signing up others 
  • Join a worldwide community of like-minded people
  • Share a product that can transform the lives of those who use it
Visit my page here: 

July 13-August 14, enjoy $10 off the Premium Starter Kit (scroll down when you access the link above and you will see all of the kits)

DIY All Natural Perfume Roll-On

This is not a fancy post. I would have loved to create an adorable and attractive meme, but alas, this basic one will have to do! 

I came up with a perfume roll-on recipe using Young Living's Joy essential oil blend, along with a few other Young Living oils, plus a tad of vanilla extract. This blend I think falls into what perfumers call the "chypre" category. Sharp, woodsy, mossy. Its lingering base notes of patchouli, cedarwood, vetiver, and vanilla will last on the skin for a few hours and help to bind together the other elements of the fragrance.
Here's the recipe:
6 drops of Joy
2 drops lavender
1 drop patchouli
1 drop basil
1 drop cedarwood 
1 drop rosemary
1 drop vetiver
1-2 drops of vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. coconut butter
sweet almond oil: enough to fill up 1/2 oz roller bottle

Drop essential oils into a 1/2 oz roller bottle (as pictured), add vanilla and coconut butter, and then fill remaining room left with sweet almond oil. Shake well and apply onto skin as often as desired.

Check out all of Young Living's wonderful products here:

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Essential Oils 101, Part 1

Essential Oils 101

What are they? 

Essential oils are volatile substances derived from plants, containing the natural smell and characteristics of the plant. They are extracted primarily through steam distillation. These potent, volatile, and versatile oils are often called the "life blood" of the plant. They have protective properties which are the plants' natural defense mechanism. They are volatile substances and can evaporate, unlike a fatty oil. Some oils last a very long time, while others, such as citrus, have a shorter shelf life.They are the purest and most potent form of the plant. For example, one drop of peppermint oil is 26 cups of peppermint tea, and 5,000 pounds of rose petals will yield 2.2 pounds of rose oil. 


Essential oils are nothing new. They've been around a long time! They are the oldest form of medicine, dating back to 4,500 B.C. They are mentioned over 180 times in the Bible. In 1922, 120 liters of essential oils were discovered in King Tut's tomb in Egypt. When the oils were tested, they showed all of their chemical components, which means they were still potent. In the National Library of Medicine (, there are over 14,000 references to essential oils.


Essential oils can be used to support all body systems: endocrine, skeletal, muscular, cardiovascular, digestive, nervous, respiratory, urinary, lymphatic, reproductive, and integumentary. Each oil, like every living thing, carries a scientifically measurable frequency. Their frequency affects ours, which supports health and vitality. They more you apply oils, the more you expose yourself to higher frequencies and potentially better overall health. Use them often! Just as our bodies are constantly changing and adapting to our environments, so essential oils change to their environments, soil, water, etc. The final product can vary from time to time because they are not made in a lab. If you purchase an oil that smells exactly the same every time you do, that's a red flag that you've purchased something that's been chemically altered. 


1. Commercial grade (example: orange oil for cleaning)
2. Perfume grade (have added petrochemicals)
3. Food/Flavoring grade (candy)
4. Therapeutic grade (put on your skin, safe to inhale and ingest)

How do I use them?

Aromatically: Fragrance is the substance of memories. Aroma inhaled causes the limbic system to send messages to the brain, which activates memories and emotions. When inhaling, it takes 22 seconds for an oil to reach the brain. The only way to reach the limbic system is through smell, which makes oils a great option for helping to support emotional and nervous system health. Diffusing is another way to inhale the oils. It purifies the air and  makes your home smell good without chemicals.

Topically: Essential oils are rapidly absorbed by the skin. When applied topically it takes 2-3 minutes for an oil to reach the bloodstream, 20 minutes to affect every cell in the body, and then 2 1/2 hours to be metabolized. Some favorite places to apply oils are wrists, behind the ears, neck, temples, stomach, or especially feet. 

Some oils, like citrus, are photosensitive, which means you are more prone to sunburn when wearing them in the sunshine. 

Certain oils needed to be diluted before applying to the skin. Dilute a couple of drops of essential oil in a carrier oil, like olive, coconut, jojoba (personal favorite), or Young Living's V6 oil. Never put oils in eyes or ears. If an oil gets in your eyes, use a a drop of carrier oil to rinse it out. Never use water. 

Internally: Essential oils can be used in water/drinks, cooking/baking, vegetable capsules, or suppositories. Be sure to use stainless steel or glass when drinking essential oils in water. Citrus oils especially can digest petrochemicals, so it's important not to use a plastic cup. 

Next time I will be discussing the Seed to Seal process that Young Living uses when harvesting their essential oils and also discussing individual oils and their uses.

For more information, check out the website and our collection of kits to start using essential oils in your home:



Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Oily Adventures: Why I Use Young Living Products

So, I've been into aromatherapy for as long as I can remember. As a teen (or maybe younger?), I have a memory of walking into a health food store and smelling these amazing plants oils for the first time. It was unlike any "perfume" I'd ever experienced, and I remember the profound freshness and emotional uplifting as a result. I was hooked.

Since then I've become a real snob. I took classes with Katie Haley (she founded Cosmic Flower) a few years back, an amazingly independent woman who has traveled the globe and brought back some real olfactory treasures. She taught us the importance of knowing the Latin names to determine the quality of the plant the oil comes from. She made sure we understood what real quality oils were! My long, all-day classes with Katie and the continual exposure to oils throughout the day lifted my mood and energized me. I knew that these were more than just scents

I'd used Young Living maybe back in 2000, or 2001. I picked up again in 2014 and I remembered why I'd loved this product so much. The oils are alive. This may seem sensational, but if you start "smelling around," you will begin to pick up on the differences.

As a creator of aromatherapy products (for example, I like to make body/room sprays), I love using oils that not only smell amazing, but offer a therapeutic benefit, as well.

Add to this the long list of healthful benefits our family has noticed by using the oils. I was able to support my husband through a difficult time with his eyes by giving him Thieves, oregano, and sacred frankincense in a capsule for about a week. He'd already used three courses of antibiotics without much success. Lavender, lemon, and peppermint helped me through seasonal discomfort I was having on a vacation in Florida one year. Basil and clary sage has been useful in supporting my hormonal system.

And then there's NingXia Red, which my doctor most recently told me was a possibility in supporting my reproductive health. I'm now 18 weeks pregnant!

Next time I'll talk about the basics of oils and how to use them. For more info, click on my link below. If you scroll to the bottom, you will see all of the kits that are available if you sign up. The kits are one of the most economic ways to try the oils out. You may just want to browse around at the other products, which is fine too. You can just click on the "Young Living" logo on the left side of the top of the page.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sixteen Going on Seventeen

I'm almost seventeen weeks pregnant. Wow! I'm into the second trimester. It's been a relatively fast ride through this crazy journey. From allergies and headaches, to constipation and tailbone pain, it's been an unusual and sometimes uncomfortable experience.
Mostly, however, I've felt pretty good. I'm thankful! I hear for some women that it's a horrible time!
Have felt a few weird movements that I assume are the early flutters of baby kicks? I just don't know! I've never done this before! Sometimes I worry that I should feel more. We shall see what the doc says.

I know that I have yet to enter the truly "uncomfortable stage," but sometimes already I have felt like this:

 Next appointment should we should know the gender-yay!

Skeletons, Yet.

I first learned of the skeletons when I was a teenager. The ugly pile of unsightly bones came tumbling out of the closet. It shocked me. I'd grown up thinking Grandpa was a cool dude; a stinker of a man, yet tough and no-nonsense.
But then I found out.
Mom shared the family secret. It rattled my image of the man. It wasn't just Grandpa though. There were others, and I used to fantasize (or maybe they were dreams?) of pulling out a hand gun and threatening these abusers in the act. I wanted to go back in time and protect my mom, my aunts and uncles; the foster kids. I wanted to yell at Grandma for not protecting her kids. Where were those who would stand up and be advocates? But then, those were the 50's and 60's. Not many talked openly of such horrors.
Two winters ago I was watching the movie American Crime for my Literature Into Film Across the America's class at Webster University. I felt the blood leave my hands and I wanted to run out of the classroom as the cruelty and torture of Ellen Page's character intensified. The ideas were too close. Thankfully, in my mom's side of the family no one died (physically, that is). There wasn't torture per say, but there were some similarities. The movie was just too historically personal.
I cried in the hallway one day when I learned of the relentless physical abuse poured out on my uncle. It seemed he caught the most of Grandpa's rage growing up. Why? Why was he so angry? Why did my uncle have to suffer because of it?
"He tried to take my virginity," Mom had said to me during those pre-adult years, referring to angry Grandpa. My aunt, one of my mom's sisters, remembers him touching her inappropriately when she was just two years old. Another sister said she used to "kick him [Grandpa] where it counts" when he tried similar approaches.
The stories could go on and on.
One night, I was sitting in the car, waiting for my husband as he pumped gas and picked up a few goodies at the station. I think we were in Tennessee. It was the middle of the night and we were traveling to my folk's home in Georgia. A stunning thought passed through my head. Grace had gone there. Gone to that ugly and sick place, and I was amazed by that idea. It was as if I could truly see it for the first time and realized how astounding it truly was. The beauty of hope and light and God's relentless love was not afraid of the darkness. The skeletons were no surprise to him.
When my mom was 11 years old Grandpa made a decision to become a Christian, as did she. These post-Christian years were far from perfect, nor did they fix many of the deep struggles and sin patterns. For that I place a majority of the blame on the church and the hands-off approach to community that is all too common in America, especially among Christians.
Mom recalled a time when Grandpa, in the very act of his usual temptation, begged Mom to pray for him to overcome it. Still so much blackness, yet the tiniest streaks of light poked through.
Grandpa died when I was three years old. He was killed in a snowmobile accident. Only memories remain. Some good and many bad. From those ashes, my mom has grown and flourished as a believer and I think about the incredibility of fruit coming from such a place.
When Jesus walked the earth he really didn't have time for good people, but for the evil of his day: the prostitutes, murderers, thieves, etc. He came to call sick people, not the ones who had it all together. Religion is afraid of these types, but not grace. It runs right towards the muck. It knows the One who can beautify those ugly wounds; those bones.
Skeletons, yet. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Scare

So, last Friday I had a scare. I was getting ready to do a massage at Sound Stone Spa; a 90 minute on a woman who was referred by the owner's sister. I was encouraged to really "impress" this client.

Before my appointment, I went to the bathroom, and to my horror: blood. Not much, but immediately my heart started pounding. I thought, "Here we go again." I immediately let the receptionist know what was going on. I called the nurse at Mercy Clinic, and was prompted not to try to do the massage, but rather to put my feet up and rest. I was shaking.

The massage was cancelled, and I waited for Matt to come pick me up from the spa to take me to the clinic. I was encouraged by friends who told me they were praying for me. One woman, who is blessed with the gift of discernment, shared with me that she believed everything was going to be well and that God had this. I felt the Lord giving me a lot of calm.

Everything went better than I could have hoped. My vitals were all good. The doctor did an ultrasound and we got to see the tiniest of movements of my 7 week baby. He checked everything out: cervix was closed, and there was no sign of blood. He said that the baby was probably trying to find a good spot and decided to settle there, causing some implantation bleeding, which is actually a sign of health.

No bed rest was needed, and all regular duties could be resumed.

Phew! Praise God!