My Top 3 Essential Oils for Fall

I don’t know about you, but when the end of August rolls around, my brain automatically starts thinking about fall.  Fall and pumpkin-spiced-everything, actually!

It could still be 95 degrees out with my air conditioner is running full blast, but you’d better believe that my mind has wandered to thinking about a tasty pumpkin spice latte!

But along with pretending it’s cooler and making everything with  pumpkin, I start to go through and make sure I’ve got plenty of my favorite essential oils for fall so I won’t be out when I need them.  Because, let’s be honest, there’s a lot of opportunity to use essential oils this time of year.

It just so happens that the traditional beginning of fall also coincides with back to school time, which makes it a doubly good time to make sure you’ve got your favorite essential oil powerhouses on hand and at the ready.

So check out my top 3 essential oils for fall!

Essential Oils for Fal

Thieves Essential Oil

Not only does this oil come in handy during the fall, it actually smells like fall!  Filled with the homey scents of clove, cinnamon this oil always makes me think of spiced cider, bonfires, and crunching leaves under my feet.  Every single time.  In fact, Thieves was the very first Young Living brand essential oil that I ever tried, and it was the one that convinced me that real essential oils actually do work!

When taken as a dietary supplement Thieves can support a healthy immune system*, so it’s pretty tasty to add to my tea in the morning to help keep me at my best.  I also sometimes add it to the honey that I take to soothe a dry throat.

But most importantly one of the main reasons that I like to use Thieves with my kiddos is that it includes eucalyptus essential oil.  Did you know that eucalyptus radiata essential oil may help maintain a healthy respiratory system?*  I love that!  And my kids do, too!

DiGize Essential Oil

DiGize makes it into my top three essential oils for fall because of its fabulous effect on the digestive system.  It contains digestion-friendly essential oils like fennel, anise, and ginger, plus an array of others that play important parts in the many benefits of this oil.

Peppermint is also an important essential oil in DiGize, and the herb peppermint has a long history of supporting normal digestion, promoting good function, and helping to comfort the gastrointestinal tract when needed.*

That’s why I’ve got DiGize in my bag or on my shelf at all times.

Let’s be honest, fall starts the season of eating, and no matter how many years I’ve told myself I’d not overdo the Halloween candy or the pumpkin pie, I always end up with an opportunity to take just “one more bite”.

But even on a good day, DiGize is an important part of promoting good digestive health, and so I keep it at the ready for whenever we need some digestive support.

RC Essential Oil

RC features in some of my favorite DIY projects for fall.  It’s a great essential oil to include in soothing shower bombs, or in a comforting vapor rub, among others.

And honestly, when I don’t have time to DIY it up (which is a lot) I will just put it on my chest or neck with some carrier oil, and enjoy the soothing vapors.  When it comes to breathing deep, it is simple and effective to put 5 or 6 drops on a warm washcloth and hang it out of the way in the shower while I relax the cares of the day away.  Steam plus essential oils?  Yes, thank you!

RC has three different varieties of the super fragrant eucalyptus plus the soothing aromas of peppermint, lavender, and myrtle.  It’s a powerhouse oil full of fabulous aromatic benefits!

So while I’m sipping the first pumpkin-spice latte of the season and dreaming about , I’ll make a mental not to be sure that I’m stocked up on my favorite essential oils for fall.  

After all, if I don’t have it, I can’t use it!

The top 3 essential oils for fall:  Thieves, DiGize, and RC essential oil blends are all contained in the Young Living Premium starter kit.  

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Young Living Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Essential Oils for Fall


Superfood Energy Bites Recipe: Healthy Sweets the Whole Family will Love!

I have to tell you something very important, healthy food doesn’t have to make you feel sad.  It really doesn’t!

There are still treats in the whole food world, and these Superfood Energy Bites will make your whole family smile.  REALLY BIG!

In fact, I had the opportunity to catch up with some college friends, Rachel and Levi and their 6 wonderful kids, a few months ago and these treats were a major topic of conversation.  Rachel asked me if I would please share the recipe, and so here it is!

The great news is that the recipe is pretty simple to put together, all you need is a food processor and your hands (but not your hands IN the food processor….that would not be fun!) to put these little bites of tastiness together.  Not only that, but you can really tweak the add-ins to suit your tastes or what you have on hand.  I am actually going to make another version of the recipe later today that incorporates cacao nibs…yum!

Superfood Energy Bites Recipe

So, not only do these energy bites taste amazing, they are packed with nutritious ingredients!

Check out the nutritional powerhouse foods that are in these tasty bites, then scroll down to print out the recipe!

(Nutritional information from: The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods)


Dates form the base of the energy bites recipe, and provide the sweetness.  I’ve tried this recipe with all types of dates, so you can choose the plain ones from the grocery store or go fancy and buy them from your specialty grocer.  Just get the whole dates without the sugar on them.

So dates provide some of the “quick energy” in these energy bites because they are an excellent source of easily digested carbohydrates.  The carbohydrate energy is balanced out by the fiber content that helps to slow the absorption of energy into the body.  Dates contain trace minerals plus nutrients and other minerals including B vitamins, copper, potassium, manganese, magnesium, selenium and potassium.

In addition to the nutritional benefits, dates are considered an alkaline food (based on its pH).  Alkalinity in the body is believed to be a precursor to overall health, and eating alkaline foods is believed to balance out acid promoting foods and stresses on the body.  Not only that, but a special fiber in dates called beta-D-glucan.  This fiber slows the emptying of the stomach and helps provide extra bulk to your digestive system and help you to eliminate wastes efficiently.  Not only that, but the beta-D-glucan is believed to help maintain even blood sugar balance!  So this sweet fruit will help support the good health of your body, and not send it on a roller coaster ride like refined sugar.

Pumpkin Seeds

I add pumpkin seeds to the dates when I put them into the food processor to blend into a smooth paste.  Raw pumpkin seeds contain an impressive amount of essential fatty acids, phytosterols (especially beta-sitosterol which as been studied for its positive benefits to the male prostate) and minerals.  In fact, pumpkin seeds are particularly high in phosphorus, iron, and zinc, as well as vitamin A, and vitamins B1, B2, and B3.

They don’t add a distinct flavor to the the energy bites, but pack in a lot of nutrition and add some fiber.

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Coconut oil comes from the coconut fruit and is filled with necessary saturated fats that help to support hormone production and brain composition.  Did you know that your brain is made up partially of saturated fats?  These fats, in balance with other fats, are an important part of helping the body function well.

Not only that, but coconut oil includes medium-chain fatty acids that are believed to help support the immune system.  Coconut oil also contains lauric acid, a compound that is only found in coconut or breast milk!  The body can convert lauric acid into monolaurin which fights bacteria and viruses!

The saturated fats in coconut oil are known to be quick burning and provide energy, while being less likely to be stored as body fat.  How cool is that?

Chia Seeds

These tiny seeds have next to no taste, but add a fun crunch to the energy bites and a LOT of nutrition!  I buy mine through our local food co-op, but they’ve become popular enough that I’ve been able to find them in some high end grocery stores, health food stores, and even Sam’s Club!  There are several colors of chia seeds that you could buy, but they all taste the same, so don’t worry about which color you pick.

Chia seeds have been called the “Aztec Running Food” because they are full of nutrition that promotes sustained energy.  Filled with B vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, manganese and phosphorus, it is no wonder that chia packs an energy punch.  Chia seeds are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Coconut Shreds

Unsweetened coconut shreds contain some of the benefits of the coconut oil since they have a small amount of oil in the meat of the coconut still, but have other healthy benefits all of their own!  When you are gathering your ingredients make sure you buy the unsweetened shreds since sweetened coconut has added sugar and has been treated with propylene glycol, an ingredient in anti-freeze. You don’t want that junk in your energy bites!

On their own coconut shreds are filled with healthy fiber as well as manganese, molybdenum, and copper.

Goji Berries (also called Wolfberries)

Goji berries go by many different names, but are all from the species Lycium barbarum.  Goji berries are grown mostly in China and have an impressive amount of protein for a fruit: 4 grams per 1 ounce serving!  Goji berries are also filled with amino acids and Vitamin A.  Each goji berry contains over 20 trace vitamins and minerals and is known to be high in antioxidants.

I use a dried goji berry, and you can buy them at most grocery stores in the dried fruit section or at a specialty grocery store/health food store.  I’ve also used the dried wolfberries from Young Living, and found them to be very good as well!  They are a mildly sweet berry, and usually are sold unsweetened.

So now that we’ve seen what makes these superfood energy bites so super, let’s get on to that recipe!


Superfood Energy Bites: Whole Food Fun for the Whole Family!
Recipe type: Superfood Energy Bites
Cuisine: Snack
Prep time:
Total time:
These energy bites are packed full of nutrition and are amazing for the whole family. Grab a few for times on the go and know that you are not only getting amazing taste, but you're getting something that is good for you, too!
  • 16 oz. Pitted Dates (unsweetened)
  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup extra virgin coconut oil
  • ¾ cup chia seed
  • ¾ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup dried unsweetened goji berries (also called wolfberries)
  1. Put dates, pumpkin seeds, and coconut oil into your food processor and process at full speed until mixture becomes a smooth paste (about 3 minutes).
  2. Remove mixture to a large bowl and add in remaining ingredients, mixing by hand.
  3. Form into bite sized balls and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
You can switch out all of the ingredients except the dates, chia, and the coconut oil.

For example, you can replace the pumpkin seeds with an equivalent amount of nuts, or replace the goji berries with dried cranberries or any other dried fruit.

Just keep in mind to replace products with others that have similar properties and you'll get a consistent product.

Additionally: You may want to try flavoring these with a few drops of orange or tangerine essential oil. Just add a few drops to the mixture while mixing in the ingredients by hand. Only use a brand that states that internal use as an option on the bottle. (We trust Young Living.)

You can play with the recipe and switch out some ingredients.  You just want to make sure that you always have the dates, chia, and coconut oil because they are key to the energy bites staying together.

You may want to even consider adding a protein powder or supplements like maca powder to the energy bites.  They truly can be customized!

Leave me a comment and let me know what special goodies YOU add to this recipe, or did you make it just like it was written?

Superfood Energy Bites Recipe

A Tour of Your Healthy Digestive System

Your Healthy Digestive System

Let’s talk about the digestive system.  We all have one, but we probably rarely think about it even though it is working for us all the time.  In fact, most of the time, we probably only really think about it when it is “telling us” something.

“You’re hungry, send food.”

“You’re thirsty, send water.”

“You need to pass waste, go to the bathroom.”

Otherwise, our digestive systems mostly work in silence doing the constant work of breaking down food into macro-nutrients like fats, carbohydrates, or proteins and the other micro-nutrients that the body needs to both survive and thrive.

A Tour of Your Healthy Digestive System

What does a healthy digestive system look like?

The digestive system is made up of many body parts like the mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum and anus that essentially form a long tube from your head to your tail.  Pretty straight forward, but since it is the primary gateway for anything you put into your body, it is important to treat it right.  After all, it will provide those building blocks, whether good or bad, to your body to use as it builds and regenerates itself.

There are supplements and essential oils that may help to optimize your healthy digestive system’s ability to do its job.  Let’s take a look at some of them!

Digestive System Support

Image Used with Permission.  Image Credit: Oillionaires

Essential Oils for the Digestive System

DiGize:  DiGize is a blend of tarragon, ginger, peppermint, juniper, fennel, anise, patchouli, and lemongrass essential oils.  This blend of essential oils is meant to promote healthy digestive and calm occasional stomach discomforts when taken as a supplement.  The blend contains the natural constituents of menthol, citrol, and zingiberen and is helpful for a daily wellness routine.   DiGize is a featured oil in the Young Living Premium Starter Kit.

AromaEase:  AromaEase is a blend of peppermint, spearmint, ginger, cardamom, and fennel essential oils.  This blend provides a comforting aroma when applied to the abdomen or Vitaflex points.  This oil can be used topically or diffused and contains the natural constituents menthol, l-carvone, zingiberene, linalool, and ocimene.  AromaEase is an alternate Flex oil that may be in the Young Living Premium Starter Kit.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita): Peppermint essential oil can help support normal digestion and intestinal function* when taken as a dietary supplement.  This oil is comforting to the gastrointestinal system*.  Peppermint is a featured oil in the Young Living Premium Starter Kit.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare): Fennel was used traditionally to support women’s wellness and healthy digestive system function.  Its aroma is energetic and balancing.  Fennel essential oil is typically used as a supplement and is useful for women’s health and normal digestive comfort.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale): Ginger essential oil is traditionally used to support the normal comfort of the digestive system*.  The spicy aroma may stimulate feelings of energy and comfort.  Ginger essential oils may also be used to add flavor to a favorite recipe.

Lemon (Citrus limon): Lemon essential oil may be added to a glass of water for a refreshing beverage.  Lemon essential oil also contains the natural constituent d-limonene.  Fun fact:  Did you know that it takes the rinds of 75 lemons to make one 15ml bottle of Lemon essential oil?  Lemon is a featured oil in the Young Living Premium Starter Kit.

Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans): Nutmeg’s spicy and warm aroma is comforting and soothing.  Nutmeg is an excellent oil to add to food to add flavor.  Nutmeg may also support the good health of the endocrine and nervous systems*.

Supplements for the Digestive System

Detoxzyme:  This vegetarian capsule contains enzymes,  anise seed essential oil, and fennel essential oil that support digestion.  The ingredients also help to promote normal cleansing and detoxifying in the body.

Balance Complete: Balance complete is a nutrition and fiber packed meal replacement powder that is designed to energize and cleanse.  The vanilla flavored powder is tasty in your favorite milk and blended with fruit.  You may also enjoy a drop or two of your favorite citrus essential oil to add some flavor.

Alkalime:  This acid-neutralizing alkaline pH mineral supplement is meant to support normal acid levels in the digestive system.  Alkalime includes biochemic cell salts, lemon essential oil, and lime essential oil to help support good digestive health.

Digest and Cleanse:  Digest and Cleanse is a soft gel filled with peppermint, lemon, ginger, and fennel essential oils.  This supplement supports the body’s digestive process.  The soft gels are designed to release in the small intestine to get maximum digestive benefits.

Comfortone:  Comfortone is a supplement capsule that contains fiber, minerals, herbs, and essential oils carefully selected for their ability to support digestive healthy.  This supplement contains peppermint and ginger essential oil to target the colon’s natural process of healthy elimination.

Life 5:  The probiotics in Life 5 are designed for their ability to support healthy immune function and intestinal health.  Life 5 contains 5 strains of probiotics, 2 of which are considered “super-strains” and are considered to be very effective at healthy gut colonization.

ICP:  ICP is a powder that you can mix into any liquid to support colon health.  Filled with insoluble fiber, enzymes, and lemongrass essential oil, it helps scour out residue that may be in the digestive tract to maximize the body’s ability to absorb nutrients*.

Want even more details on digestive health?  Watch this informative class taught by Shannon Hudson:

Your body was formed with the ability to properly digest foods, absorb nutrients, and detoxify and eliminate waste products.  With a healthy diet and appropriate essential oil and supplement choices, your digestive system will have all the tools it needs to continue to work at its best!

We love Young Living products, and get ours at a discount. You can, too!**

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Young Living Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

**This page may contain affiliate links.  Read our full disclosures.

Healthy Digestive System Support

Tangy Potato Salad Recipe with Bacon, Dill, and Chives

Summer is synonymous with a few things: watermelon, barbecue, and potato salad.

But not that pasty, bland stuff that passes for potato salad that you get at the deli.  This is real potato salad that will make your taste buds stand up and say “well, hello!”.

We’ve done a lot of grilling so far this summer, and so I had to find the perfect potato salad recipe to go with all of that delicious grilled food.

This is that recipe.

Zesty Potato Salad Recipe with bacon and chives

In fact my husband said that this is the best potato salad he’s ever had, worthy of being brought to a picnic or family reunion.

Since you probably don’t know my husband, let me say that level of praise does not come often!  He really loved it.

So whether you’re looking for something to eat in your own backyard, or something to share with friends, this potato salad will beat any deli version all hollow.

So, what do you need for this tangy potato salad recipe?

  • 1–5lb bag of red potatoes
  • 1/2  cup apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • a handful of fresh chives, chopped
  • 4 slices un-cured bacon
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (we like this one because it is egg-free)
  • 1 Tbsp reserved bacon drippings
  • 5 drops Dill Essential Oil (I used Young Living brand) or 1tsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp pure stevia powder (I use this one, because it is minimally processed)

It is definitely worth getting this potato salad recipe made up ahead of time so it has plenty of time to sit in the fridge and let the flavors marry together.  Believe me, it will be time well spent!  Your taste buds will say, “thank you!”

 So are you ready for your potato salad recipe?

Here you go!

Tangy Potato Salad Recipe
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: American
Serves: 16
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
This tangy, bacony, chive and dill-ey potato salad will impress a crowd. Have less than a crowd? Half this recipe and enjoy!
  • 5 lbs red potatoes
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp reserved bacon drippings
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ground pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • 5 drops dill essential oil (Young Living brand recommended) or 1 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • A handful of fresh chives, chopped
  • ⅛ tsp pure white stevia powder
  1. Boil the potatoes for about 30 minutes, or just long enough to be just barely tender enough to insert a fork.
  2. Drain, and set aside to cool.
  3. While the potatoes are cooling, fry the bacon and set aside the drippings.
  4. Prepare the dressing for the potato salad by whisking together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, bacon drippings, salt and pepper, dill essential oil, stevia, and chives together.
  5. Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks.
  6. Toss lightly with the dressing and crumbled bacon pieces.
  7. Chill for several hours to allow flavors to blend. Then serve!

This article may contain affiliate links.  For our full affiliate policy.

Zesty Potato Salad recipe with bacon and chives ef

When Essential Oils Do Not Work: 5 Reasons

In the three years that I’ve been working with people and coaching them with essential oils, there have been some times where the essential oils don’t work.

Did you read that right?  Yes!

There are times where essential oils do not work.

Essential Oils Do Not WorkI’ve gotten a few frustrated calls and emails over the years asking “what gives?” These are the five most common reasons that essential oils do not work for everyone who tries them.

This video was originally recorded on Periscope.  You can download the app for your smart phone or tablet and see more live broadcasts like this when you follow me @TheEssentialFam.

1.  Low quality essential oils do not work as well as authentic and complete essential oils.

Let’s just keep it real.  Most people agree that quality often affects the experience of using a product.

With food, a higher quality food is more nutritious for your body and helps it to run better than junk food.  Chia seeds are higher quality than packaged snack cakes, and they cost more too.  I don’t think most people would dispute the value that you get in the Chia vs. snack cakes comparison.

Comparing restaurants, you expect a different experience when you roll through a fast food burger joint than when you go to a 5 star steakhouse.  You also expect the price difference.

You get what you pay for in those cases.  Why would it be different with essential oils?

A designer hand bag will always look better, the key is the attention to detail and the quality of the source materials.  Many luxury items are hand sewn, piece by piece.  Go to a discount store and pick up a plastic and rayon clone and you can easily see the difference!

With essential oils it is easy to think that it is a standard process, like buying an apple, or a box of peppermint tea, but the attention to detail, and the exact way the oil is created, tested, or distilled will greatly impact the results you get.  It’s not the same as the difference between name-brand cereal and the generic.  Not at all.

In fact, without going on a huge tangent, distilling an oil at too high a temperature, for too short a time, or in a poorly fabricated “cooker” can create an oil that lacks critical botanical components that make an oil beneficial to the body.  That will yield an oil that may smell pleasant, but won’t give the same level of benefits of an oil distilled with high standards.

The short story is, many essential oils are not pure (despite the labeling) and are altered with undisclosed ingredients and synthetic components.  They aren’t required to tell that to you.  (Essential oils are not regulated in the US, and quality/botanical composition varies widely between brands).

Seeking out quality oils will require some research, but wouldn’t you rather do a little reading and get results than just jump on something that sounds good and take your chances? I know I like results!  I’ll bet you do too.

In fact my whole journey with essential oils was almost derailed by using a low-quality essential oil brand found at the health food store.  My son was hurt by using those low-cost oils and my husband and I didn’t have any positive benefits from the nearly $200 worth of those oils.  Thankfully I had a very different experience with a different, high-quality brand.

In the many cases I’ve helped to troubleshoot, using low quality oils is the most common problem.

2.  Essential oils do not work if you use the wrong oil for your body type.

Browse your local discount store and you will see a lot of products all meant to address the same concerns.  Have you ever wondered why there are so many options?

The answer is pretty simple, what works for me may not work as well for you.   We come from different backgrounds, lifestyles and histories, and our bodies are as unique as we are!

Does that mean that if it doesn’t work for you as well as me that the product isn’t of value?  No, it just means that it isn’t the best option for your needs.

Inside of each human is a custom genetic code that tells our bodies how to work at peak performance.  It stands to reason, that with such a wide variety of differences, our bodies will respond to the same input differently.

My favorite oil for relaxation and sleep is Roman Chamomile, but you may not find it as soothing as I do.  For you, Lavender or Cedarwood may unlock the Sandman!

Reference books will nearly always suggest 5-10 different essential oils for a given concern, and experimenting and paying attention to how you feel will tell you all you need to know about which oil will be best for you.

Sometimes you will find that you will use different oils for different members of your family.  I use the same immune supporting oils as my son, and my daughter uses the same as my husband.

Moral of the story?  If your first choice of oils isn’t giving you the results you want, try another on the list!  There is a reason there are many options!  Your body will tell you what you need to know.

3.  Essential oils do not work if you are using the wrong method.

Western society has conditioned us to believe that for the best results, we should take things by mouth.  Sometimes the best course of action IS to take an essential oil internally (with proper direction), but not always.

In fact, most of the time, you’ll get the results you are looking for by using the other two methods first. In modern aromatherapy there are three primary ways that you can use genuine essential oils:

  • By applying them to your body (Topical Use)
  • By breathing them in (Aromatic Use)
  • By using them internally (Ingestion, or Suppository/Bolus usage)

The good news is that it is much easier to know which way to use your oils for the results you want if you have a good reference book that explains the preferred method for your circumstance.

I’ll give an example, if I’ve just come in from a hard workout and I want to soothe my stressed muscles, the best method to give me the results I want would probably be to apply some oils topically to my body.  I could certainly TRY to inhale some oils instead, but I wouldn’t necessarily change how my muscles felt.

I could try using some oils internally by mouth, but again, the most direct way to soothe my muscles would be to put some oils ON them.

So if your results are a bit lackluster, try changing up your method and see if maybe you can start to see different benefits.  Your reference book will give you the guidance you need.

Don’t have a reference book yet?  Check out Amazon, Abundant Health, or Life Science Publishers.  They are all good potential places to find quality books.  You’ll be glad to have the expert advice at your fingertips.

4.  Essential oils do not work if you don’t use them often enough.

This is point is pretty straight forward, but you don’t need to worry about following a pre-set schedule when it comes to using essential oils.

I manage my oil use based on the instructions in my reference and how I feel.  If I feel I need the oil again, I use it.

So let’s say that I used an essential oil an hour ago, and I am noticing that it has worn off, I’d probably use the oil again and continue to enjoy those aromatic benefits.

So listen to your body!  I use the oils when I feel I need to.

5.  Essential oils do not work if you follow bad advice.

If you watch me on Periscope you’ve probably heard me say this a lot but I’ll say it again.

Please, I beg of you, do not get your essential oil advice from social media or from a search engine!  PLEASE!

Just because someone posted an article, wrote an article, made a graphic, or posted a protocol doesn’t mean that they should give you that advice or that the advice is accurate.

I’ve seen oil instructions posted with the names of aroma-experts or oil companies attached to them that are NOT correct representations of what that expert or company teaches, and I’ve watched people blindly follow that information without every questioning whether it was accurate.

Please do not be that person.

Just keep in mind: Internet access is cheap, and just because someone presents themselves as an expert on the internet, or has beautiful and professional looking graphics, or runs a website does not mean that they have any business diagnosing or prescribing what you do next.

This goes for any source of information.  There are tons of references that can help you to verify whether the information you are reading is correct.

The loudest voices on the web are not always the most accurate.  Become a voracious consumer of second-opinions!  Trust, but verify.

Probably the best thing you can do for yourself is to understand the context behind the differences in essential oil advice in the United States.  Knowing that background will help put much of what you find on the internet into perspective.

Bonus:  Essential oils do not work if you don’t get them out of the bottle and use them.

Ultimately you will learn more about essential oils and how they interact with your body if you try them and see how you respond.

You wouldn’t be able to believe the number of times that a person hadn’t even TRIED the oils that they had bought before they called me with a million thoughts whirling around their heads.

So here’s my super scientific advice: if you’ve got it, try it!

What do you have to lose?  What if it DOES work?

And even if it doesn’t, go through the checklist of the five other reasons and see what you need to troubleshoot first.   After all, there are millions of happy essential oil users, so it is working for them!  You can join them!

When Essential Oils Do Not Work

Berry Fresh Fruit Salad Recipe with an Orange and Mint Kick!

What can I say?  I love picnic food and I love summertime!  There is something absolutely lovely about making a bunch of delicious cold salads ahead of time and then just serving them alongside some grilled food that just makes my heart swell!  Plus it helps me to not have to spend so much time in the kitchen, but who’s counting, right?

So today is Independence Day here in the United States and in honor of this special day, I decided to whip up a fresh and citrus-y berry fruit salad recipe!  It’s all the best things about summer all in one delicious bowl of fruity goodness.  Try it, you’ll see for yourself!

Berry Fresh Fruit Salad with an Orange and Mint Kick HorizontalI made it for the kids and they devoured it!  It was an instant hit, and I can promise you, your family will love it too!

Bring it to a barbecue, take it to the beach, eat it for breakfast, wake up in the middle of the night and sneak some…it’s just that good!

Just go get the ingredients and make it already!  You won’t be disappointed!

Berry Fresh Fruit Salad Recipe with an Orange and Mint Kick

Your shopping list:

  • 6 oz. fresh blackberries
  • 6 oz. fresh raspberries
  • 2 pints fresh blueberries
  • 2 lbs. fresh strawberries
  • 6 oz. vanilla yogurt (we used So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut)
  • Fresh mint leaves (we used peppermint)
  • Orange essential oil (we used Young Living) or orange extract
  • Pure white stevia powder

So are you ready for the recipe?

Here you go!

Berry Fresh Fruit Salad with an Orange and Mint Kick!
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 8 servings
Prep time:
Total time:
  • 6 oz. fresh blackberries
  • 6 oz. fresh raspberries
  • 2 pints fresh blueberries
  • 2 lbs. fresh strawberries
  • 6 oz. vanilla yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp thinly sliced (chiffonade) fresh mint leaves
  • 6 drops orange essential oil or ½ tsp orange extract
  • ⅛ tsp pure white stevia powder
  1. Wash and drain berries, removing the hulls from strawberries, and cut strawberries into smaller pieces.
  2. Combine the yogurt, sliced mint leaves, orange essential oil, and stevia powder in a bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Gently fold the yogurt and berries together, cover and refrigerate for several hours before serving.



Berry Fresh Fruit Salad with an Orange and Mint Kick Vertical

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Video: My Top 5 Favorite Essential Oil Books (non-company specific)

I love essential oils and I love essential oil books even more!  I have close to 25 different books from a variety of authors and perspectives on aromatherapy.  Many of the books I have are specific to the brand of oils that I use, but the majority are not!  Today I’m sharing my 5 favorite non-company specific essential oil books with you!

Top 5 Essential Oil Books

I’m showing my non-company specific favorites because I really believe that there is good information out there that comes from a variety of sources.  I am a firm believer in both trusting and verifying my sources, so I try to pick high quality and qualified reference authors and compare their perspectives to find where I feel comfortable.

So here are my five favorite non-company specific essential oil books:

So those are my favorite go-to guides!

Do you have any favorite essential oil or aromatherapy books?  Leave your non-company specific titles in the comments!

See videos like this LIVE using the Periscope app on your smartphone.  Follow me @TheEssentialFam to be invited to my live natural living chats on Periscope!

Top 5 Essential Oil Books Pinterest

Spotlight on Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense Essential Oil: The Oil of Kings

Long known as the “oil of kings”, Frankincense essential oil (or “Frank” as I affectionately call it) has been a coveted essential oil for thousands of years.

Frankincense is a holy oil in many religions and is often used in ceremonies and special rites, and is even used today to help focus during times of prayer and meditation.
Spotlight on Frankincense Horizontal

Types of Frankincense

Young Living sells three different species of Frankincense essential oil:  Boswellia carterii, Boswellia sacra, and Boswellia frereana.

The one I’m talking about with you here today is Boswellia carterii.  Generally when I talk about Frankincense on this site, this is the species that I am talking about.  This is my all around go-to Frankincense, even though I own both other species as well.


Frankincense has a woodsy and spicy scent, fairly exotic and warm.  I enjoy diffusing it with citrus oils like orange or tangerine to create a warm and inviting environment for having guests.  It also pairs very well with Lavender or Clary Sage for relaxation and rest.  I also diffuse it by itself for times of focus and spiritual thought.

Body Systems Frankincense Supports*:

Skin and Hair:  Frankincense is an exotic and helpful addition to natural skin care.  I  apply it to my face for a glowing and even complexion.  I use an essential oil infused skin moisturizer already, but will often add a little extra Frankincense to help soothe my skin and support an even skin-tone*.

Immune System:  Whenever I want to support my immune system*, I will apply Frankincense topically or diffuse it in the room where I am spending the most time.  I will often apply it to the VitaFlex points on my feet.

Respiratory System:  Frankincense also can help support a healthy respiratory system.*  I enjoy applying it to my chest and neck for a soothing moment of relaxation.

Spiritual Health: Because of its long, rich religious history, Frankincense can promote spiritual focus during times of prayer or meditation.  I  like to use few drops on my palms and then cup my hands over my nose and mouth to breathe deeply before times of prayer.  It is also very focusing for times when I need to calm myself and soothe nervous energy*.

Where to get Frankincense Essential Oil?

The brand I recommend is Young Living Essential Oils.  Frankincense essential oil is available as part of the Premium Starter Kit with Everyday Essential Oils, a super deal that saves you a lot of money on all the oils you will want to get a great start (and it earns you a 24% on all your future purchases!).

*The FDA has not reviewed this information.  This product is not meant to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.
Spotlight on Frankincense Vertical

15 Quick Chores that Take Under 5 Minutes

I am still a work in progress, my houses is getting cleaner and more organized as I go, but I am certainly not a perfect housekeeper yet!  I keep trying to incorporate more of the 1 minute chores into my daily routine, and as I do I’m finding that things are staying much nicer overall.  As I get more of these down I started to think beyond the shortest chores and see whether there were other things that I could do, but wouldn’t chain me to a mop all afternoon.

Enter 15 quick chores that will take you less than 5 minutes.

15 Quick Chores that take under 5 minutes

I think you’re going to love them, and that they don’t take you as long as you might think is really freeing.  Anyone’s got five minutes, right?

I actually find that one of the best times to knock out a few 5 minute chores is when I am on the phone with a friend.  After all, I can go grab the dishes that may have escaped my kitchen or wipe down my table without interrupting a good chat, right?

Good, I’m glad you see it my way!

So check out these 15 Quick Chores that you can do in under 5 minutes each:

  • Put away folded laundry.
  • Empty and put away clean dishes from the dishwasher.
  • Hand wash the dishes from one breakfast or lunch.
  • Clear table of dishes and wipe the table clean.
  • Sweep kitchen and clean up crumbs.
  • Scrub down toilet bowl and wipe toilet surfaces.
  • Take out the trash and replace with a new trash bag.
  • Vacuum a room with an uncluttered floor.
  • Scrub a bathtub.
  • Clean a shelf in the fridge.
  • Quickly mop a bathroom floor.
  • Find dishes around the house and return them to the kitchen.
  • Remove appliances currently in use from counters and put away.
  • Clear off one surface, throwing away all trash and filing any papers that must be kept.
  • Do a quick put away in any room: return out of place items to their appropriate place.

 Download the PDF Printable of the 15 Quick Chores under 5 Minutes

I hope that this list will help you to be able to add a few more chores back into your routine without feeling overwhelmed.  We will just keep taking 1 and 5 minute chunks out of the whole and our homes will get easier to manage bit by bit!

What other chores would you add to this list?  Any other chores that take you less than 5 minutes to do?

15 Quick Chores that take under 5 minutes

A Guilt Free Tip to Tame the Dirty Dishes Monster

I recently asked the Essential Family Facebook community what chore you would give up if you could pick one to never do again.  My pick AND the overwhelming answer I got was DISHES!

Over the years with our family on food allergy friendly, whole foods, mostly homemade diet I have grown to hate washing dishes.  Since almost everything our family eats is completely made at home, the dishes pile up in the sink, and on the counters, and any other flat kitchen surface FAST!

Dirty Dish Monster for FB

The dishes have been a struggle for me my entire adult life.  It got so bad after the birth of my youngest child that I felt ashamed to have house guests because the kitchen was always so perpetually behind.  I wondered if my mother or sister-in-law was silently judging me for being a poor housekeeper or thought that I should be less lazy or try a bit harder. The truth was, I was exhausted by the amount of dishes that I had to manage and almost always left at least an entire sink full to deal with the next day.

I am in a season of massive de-cluttering right now, and have really been re-assessing my priorities and what I really want out of my home.  As I have moved more and more things out of the house I have started to experience an increasing sense of peace as I let go of things that I had thought I needed.  When I really made myself answer “When was the last time I used this?” I realized that I had a LOT of things that I hadn’t used in a very long time, or that was a uni-tasker that I rarely needed.

Then I came across the idea to drastically reduce my dish load.  My biggest problem it seemed was that I kept piling dishes into my sink and my counter because I always had more to use without washing everything else.  So my dirty dishes sat there longer and longer, crusting up and becoming hard to clean.  Not good.

My experiment started by reducing the amount of dishes in my cabinet to only one plate or bowl of each size per person in my family.  Since we have four people, that meant only four plates, four bowls, and four mugs.  I decided to pick the dishes I liked the most so that any time I was using them it was my absolute favorites and so I’d get the most enjoyment out of them.  I want to wash my pretty dishes so that I can use them again!

It has made a DRAMATIC difference in how I do dishes.  I have only four plates, so they have to get washed right away.  Thankfully washing four plates, four forks, four spoons and four cups is really very fast.  That means that my sink is much easier clean between meals, and even if I slack off and don’t wash them after the meal, it is only a few dishes to wash before the next meal.  No more massive piles, no more dread and guilt when I walk into my kitchen.  Having only just enough handy helps to cultivate habits that make life more peaceful and easy to keep up with.

Honestly, I think a lot of messiness comes from having too many things to arrange, organize or keep up with so paring down the “options” has made it easier to keep the dishes done.

I’m even considering downsizing the amount of pots and pans I have as well.  That way I won’t have as hard of a time digging through cabinets for cookware and I’ll have less to let pile up along with the dishes.

I can hear you thinking though, “What about having people over?” I am so glad you asked!  We didn’t toss the extra dishes, we just put them in an out of the way cabinet.  They are just enough out of the way to be inconvenient to get when I need a clean dish, but still handy enough to have available for when we entertain.

It has really provided a lot of peace of mind.  Even though I know that I am still technically doing the same amount of dishes overall, being forced to break up the washing into smaller, more bite-sized chunks makes it not as overwhelming and makes it easy enough to knock out in five minutes.  Being able to see quick results is so much better than having to slog through 45 minutes of dishes to be able to see the counter!

And all by putting away some dishes.

How about you?  Have you found a way to make managing your dishes easier?  Please share with me in the comments!

Dirty Dish Monster for Pinterest