Would you like to buy Thieves essential oil with MY discount?

If you’ve been around The Essential Family, you remember that the very first essential oil I tried from Young Living was Thieves essential oil.

You may also remember that Thieves was the essential oil blend that convinced me right away that these oils were for real!  Three and a half years later, Thieves is still the essential oil that we use the most with the whole family.  It’s our go-to immune support oil during the fall and winter, and I want to offer it to you at my cost!  (But only until Wednesday November 24 at 5pm!)

I’ll explain more below, and you can reserve your bottle!

Get a Full Sized (15ml) bottle of Thieves at MY COST!

Thieves promo for friends

Because I am a Young Living Independent distributor I get a 24% discount on all Young Living products, including Thieves, and until Wednesday November 24, at 5pm, I’ll be glad to order a 15 ml bottle for you at MY COST (plus shipping)!

Not kidding, totally for real!  

Reserve your bottle by messaging me below, and I will be in touch with you to arrange payment and to get your shipping info!

Want to know more about Thieves?

Thieves  How do I use Thieves?

  • To support the healthy immune function of our whole family*!
  • In a tea to support good health, and enjoy the delicious taste.
  • I enjoy the holiday-ish fragrance of the Thieves blend of cinnamon, clove, lemon, rosemary, and eucalyptus essential oils.
  • I use Thieves essential oil as a part of my cleaning products because it is fabulous at cleansing surfaces and purifying the air.  Plus, no toxic fumes!
  • I enjoy the respiratory support of the eucalyptus essential oil in the blend*.

It is hands down my favorite winter oil, both for its festive and comforting fragrance and its powerful health supporting properties!

It made a believer out of me, maybe it will make a believer out of you.

*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.

Why I am Returning to Trim Healthy Mama

Maybe you have been like me, tired, overweight and run down, with no hope you could ever make it better.  Maybe you’ve tried the shakes, the points, the boxed meals, and the meetings, all with the same minimal results and feelings of failure.

Finding Trim Healthy Mama

Can I raise my hand tell you that is me to a T?  Well, it was me to a T.  I was ten months-postpartum with my second child and frankly disgusted with myself and my complete inability to lose weight when I found out about Trim Healthy Mama.

Three or four of my online friends had started the plan and were singing its praises on Facebook, and since I had failed at every other attempt to help myself using food, I held off and watched them for several months before I decided to give it a chance.

A year later I was 40 lbs slimmer, emotionally balanced, full of energy, and very thankful for what I had learned, and how my body had changed.  I learned many important lessons from Trim Healthy Mama, that were almost more important than the weight loss.

Once I got to my goal weight I started to allow myself to stray further from the Trim Healthy Mama and as life “got in the way” I started to give myself excuses to make less-optimal food choices.  I’ve noticed a difference in how I feel now, and I want to go back to how I felt when I was following the Trim Healthy way of eating.Why I am Returning to Trim Healthy Mama

So, I don’t need to lose weight, but I do want to feel good, and there were four major things that I learned when I was on Trim Healthy Mama the first time that has me coming back now.

Would it be ok for me to share them with you?  GREAT!

1.  My blood sugar levels directly affect my emotions.

Moodiness, impatience, frustration, negativity, negative-self talk were a daily part of my life.  I honestly wasn’t sure why I felt so bad, and I wondered if was possibly having trouble with hormones, but I didn’t know where to start.

One of the first things that I noticed was that my moods started to even out.  I started to feel more positive, motivated and have more energy.  The more energy and positive moods, the more I got done, which turned into a positive snowball effect of feeling better!  My whole family noticed, especially my husband!

One of the major benefits and principles of Trim Healthy Mama is keeping your blood sugars steady so that you avoid the huge spikes and drops that happen with typical American diet.

Based on how much emotionally more even I felt, I knew that my earlier self had been on a blood sugar roller coaster, and I didn’t want to get back on.

2.  I wasn’t eating enough protein.

Protein is an integral part of a healthy balanced diet, but when I started to change the way I paid attention to my food, and make a  proactive effort to have a certain amount of protein in each meal or snack, I found that most of my diet had been a lot of carbohydrates!

When I took an inventory of what I had eaten, there was a lot of bread, cookies, large amounts of fruit, and maybe a bit of meat at one or two meals.   Toast for breakfast with coffee and creamer, a sandwich at lunch with some juice, and a dinner with a side of potato and a small portion of meat.  Over the course of the day I wasn’t balancing my food intake with blood sugar stabilizing protein, and I was fluctuating all over the place.

I’d hit the 2 pm slump, and instead of reaching for a protein rich snack, I’d drink another sweetened coffee, and grab a “treat” of some sort to get myself through the afternoon.  At no point was I balancing those empty foods with protein to anchor my blood sugar balance to.

3.  I am worth taking care of.

Feeling un-well is absolutely devastating.  I always felt fat, and unattractive, and unpleasant, and because I felt that way I couldn’t believe that I was anything other than those terrible names that I was calling myself.

I didn’t see that I was a slave to my bad food choices, and that I just needed a chance to break out of the blood sugar hell that I had been in for most of my life.  It took getting desperate for me to see the person that I truly was and am.

Once I started to feel better I started to see how I had shortchanged myself by not taking good care of myself.  I would have never cared for another person the way I “cared” for myself.

I also started to see how I had sold my family short by sacrificing myself “for them”.

Grabbing a quick meal so that I could do “one more thing”, and not taking the time to eat wisely was turning our home, and family, into a never-ending cycle of stress and frustration, in large part because I wasn’t able to pour into my family.  I was emotionally and physically drained with nothing to give.

I also found that making better food choices and balancing my blood sugar reduced my overall pain levels, which made it easier to take care of myself.  I have had varying levels of chronic pain in my back for since a college car accident, and while I do manage it fairly well with chiropractic and alternative remedies, I never completely was free of it until I stabilized on Trim Healthy Mama.

When I am on plan, my overall inflammation and pain is greatly reduced, and reduced pain makes it much easier to take care of myself.

4.  There is freedom in being gracious to myself.

Once I started down the road of helping my body with Trim Healthy Mama from time to time would get upset over how I had eaten before  I knew about the plan and the trouble that it had caused my body.  Any time I would “make a mistake” and eat “off plan” I would be super hard on myself and tell myself I was a failure.  It was my old patterns of punishing myself, and holding myself to an impossibly perfect standard.

But as time went by I started to realize that I couldn’t have known what I was doing to my body until I learned…in other words I couldn’t hold myself responsible for what I didn’t know at the time.  And when I was on the plan, I had to remind myself that I could always make the right choice the next time, and just because I had eaten poorly once didn’t mean I had to continue eating that way.  One meal at a time, one good choice at a time, and I could always get back on track.

It was grace based eating.

Where I am now

It has been three years since I started Trim Healthy Mama, and once I experienced the 40 pound weight loss and emotional renewal during that first year I knew that it would forever be a way that I would want to eat.

Since I had reached my goal weight, I didn’t feel like I needed to stick to the plan strictly and so I allowed myself to eat off plan (but without the dependence on carbohydrate rich foods that I had before).  Over time I felt mostly fine, but I began to notice that it was not as good as I had felt when I followed the plan closely.

That’s why I am sharing this post with you.  I don’t need to lose weight at this time, but I do want the other benefits of the Trim Healthy Mama plan.  It’s about a well-balanced and healthy approach to food, and that has always been my goal.  And since my goal of health hasn’t changed, I am ready to get back to food that makes me feel good in the long run, not just the short run.

Will I be as strict as I was when I was trying to lose weight?  No.

But I will take the freedom that this plan gives me to feel good, and enjoy the foods that will build my body and not tear it down.

What about you?

Maybe you feel like you are ready for a change.  If you are ready to start enjoying food without, and making choices that build your body. Trim Healthy Mama is a great place to start!

There are some wonderful Facebook groups that give a good picture of what the plan is like, and all the delicious recipes that you will enjoy.  These groups are great places to ask questions and learn more, but if you are ready to actually start the Trim Healthy plan, you’ll really need the book and the recipes (they are separate) to get the most out of it.

The plan needs explaining, and I love the convenience of having it on hand to reference and make notes in all the time.

The recipes are DELICIOUS and while you can find many recipes on the internet, the book recipes are hands down consistently good.

It is completely doable to follow the plan without getting any special groceries, but can I level with you?  If you love treats, you can actually have some on this plan that don’t mess with your body or blood sugar, so I highly recommend at least some on-plan sweetener and the plan baking mix.  A few special items will make it easier to stay on and enjoy the plan.

And I am ready, ready to go back to feeling balanced.  I am ready to feel energetic and enjoy my food without guilt.  I am ready to bring my blood sugars back under control.   I am ready to come back to Trim Healthy Mama.

Join the Community and Conversation!

The Essential Family site continues to grow by leaps and bounds, we’ve added You U (our online class area), and now I’m pleased to announce The Essential Family Lounge!

essential family lounge on facebook

The Essential Family Lounge is a Facebook based conversation group where we can chat about family, life, health, and more.

Come over and say hello!  Stay around for the conversation, ask your questions and share some of your favorite tips and tricks that are essential to YOUR family!


Why I Always Wear Essential Oils–3 Reasons to Diffuse on the Go

Fall is a really busy time of year for me.  There is always one more thing to try to fit in before the snow really starts to fly.  The kids and I are enjoying the unseasonably nice weather and spending a lot of time running errands, taking walks and visiting the library.  All the fun of a fall that keeps on going and going!

When I am at home I almost always have at least one diffuser running, mainly because I LOVE the benefits I get from diffusing essential oils in my house!  I love it so much that I even shared my five favorite reasons I diffuse (which you should TOTALLY check out, because diffusing essential oils is an amazing way to get their benefits).  In fact…..since it’s November already I am diffusing the Christmas Spirit essential oil blend (I made myself wait until the day after Halloween, just on principle, but it was HARD!).

Diffuser Necklace

So all of that to say, with as much as I love diffusing it’s natural to want to try to get those same aromatic benefits any time I can.

Can I let you in on a little secret?  Most of the time I use a diffuser necklace to help get those benefits on the go.  It’s convenient discrete, and it is right near your face, in perfect range for breathing in essential oil goodness!

I love and use my oils so much that I’d probably use them anyway, but I do actually have three specific reasons I wear my oils everywhere I go.  Want to know why?

Check it out:

  1. I can smell something awesome no matter where I am.  There is no gas station bathroom, crowded waiting room, or stinky diaper smell that stands a chance compared to the essential oil I’ve put in my necklace that day.  I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve discretely put my necklace to my nose for a little smell when there was an unpleasant smell nearby.   (I always get a little kick out of it when I do that because it reminds me of those old movies where some king is walking around with a sachet to smell when he is out among the people.  I guess it’s a history nerd thing, I just go with it. )  
  2. I smell awesome without dealing with toxic chemicals.  If you’ve never researched the chemicals that are in perfumes and cologne, you really owe it to yourself to grade a few of your favorites using the Skin Deep Database.  There is little to no regulation in the cosmetic industry and fragrances fiercely guard the secret “recipes” that make them unique.  What that means is that they rarely disclose what toxic soup lurks within that fancy bottle.  Not good for business, I suppose.  I’ll stick to my essential oils instead!
  3. I get the benefits of genuine essential oils all day long.  There are hundreds of oils to choose from, and something to support the health of literally every part of your body.  Essential oils are known to positively influence mood and help cleanse and purify the air.  I especially appreciate their protective properties during the cool winter months when I am around a lot of people. Ahem.  Just sayin’.

So what do I use to diffuse?

Over the last few years I’ve tried a few different types of diffuser jewelry, and so when Sara from Drops of Joy Jewelry messaged me and asked if I would like to review one of their stainless steel diffuser necklaces I was excited to accept!

I have enjoyed the Signature Sunburst diffuser necklace for the last couple of weeks, and it has already become my favorite piece of diffuser jewelry by far.

I showed it off earlier today on Periscope, and shared about my experience with the diffuser necklace.

I really like a few things about it:

  • It is simple, and beautiful.  The starburst pattern is really stunning and lets just the right amount of essential oil fragrance out.
  • I like that it has a closed back.  Since the back of the necklace was not open, I was able to avoid getting any oil on my clothes,.  Been there, done that, ruined my T-shirt! So having this necklace be solid backed, that was a VERY  nice plus!
  • It feels solid and is very well made.  It is built to last, you can really see that it is designed to stand up to daily wear.
  • I REALLY like that it uses a leather insert to hold the oil instead of felt or cotton.  I am able to use just a single drop of essential oil on the leather pad and it lasts all day.  When I use a felt pad I typically need 3-4 drops to get the same effect.

I definitely love my Drops of Joy diffuser necklace, and really love the quality.  Not only is the diffuser necklace wonderfully made, but they donate $2 from every sale to St. Jude’s Research hospital.  As a mom, that really touches me!

So when you hop over to Drops of Joy, tell me, which piece of diffuser jewelry do you like best?

Share in the comments!



Dear Twenty Year Old Me

Today I officially hit my “mid-thirties” and I’ve come to a lot of realizations in the last year or two.  I’ve probably had more epiphanies in the last several years than I had in my whole life up to that point.

Gosh, I don’t want any of you to miss out on the things that I’m telling my twenty year old self, that would just make me so sad, so go ahead and peek over my shoulder…Consider it your older self giving you a little love tap today!

Dear 20 year old me

Dear Twenty-Year Old Kristen,

Wow, you are twenty today!  Welcome to the third decade of your life!  You quite literally are at the most wonderful part of your life right now: the part where all of life is open before you, all possibilities and wonder at your fingertips!

You have opportunities to make choices for yourself, so take some risks while you can!  You will fail, but when you succeed you will succeed BIG!  Those successes will be worth taking a chance for.  I wish I had been more daring and less afraid of “what if”.  Because, if you want to know the truth, the “what ifs” almost never happen.  “What ifs” are just a game your mind plays with you to justify playing it safe.

So when you think you want to try something, JUST DO IT!  Throw your fear to the wind and allow yourself to embrace living your life to the fullest.  Someone told me recently, and it is SO true, this life we are living, it is not a dress rehearsal, you are on stage RIGHT NOW!  So whatever you want this life to be, you need to do it NOW!  Don’t wait!

I used to wish I could have a window into the future when I was twenty, to see what was in store, and the person I would become.  Be glad you don’t have that window!  There is so much to be gained from walking ahead in faith, in patient expectation, and in reliance on the goodness of God.

God will prove himself to you over and over.  You will doubt, but He will lovingly hold you close to him, even when you want to rail against him with every fiber of your being.  He will hold you and love you through it all.  And when you come out on the other side of it, you will see how deeply he loves you.

In the future you will experience un-imaginable pain.  If you knew about it now, you wouldn’t be able to walk through it with courage when it comes.  But out of that pain will come tremendous beauty, growth, and an appreciation for the gift that this life is.

Here’s the thing I want you most to remember, though, don’t spend your life looking around the corner for the bad things that will happen.  Living life waiting for the other shoe to drop is a huge waste of your time, and the biggest thief of joy.  Just know that if you stay close to God, He will give you the grace, the compassion, and the strength to keep putting one foot in front of the other, no matter what comes.

Here’s the other thing, don’t live your life to please others.  It is YOUR life, you only get one, so make the choices that will enrich your vision of the life you want to create.  You don’t have to prove yourself to anyone!

I know it seems really important to have the approval of the people around you, but I’ve learned one thing that has set my heart free:  most of the people I was so afraid of displeasing aren’t in my life now, so all of the hours I spent worrying about their opinion were a waste!  A wise person told me once that when I was afraid of a person’s opinion I should ask myself “will this person cry at my funeral?” and if the answer is no, to not let myself get too emotionally involved.  It has helped so much.

Push yourself.  Don’t just do easy things.  Do worthwhile things!  You actually grow the most from doing the things that scare you the most.  The coolest part of that, though, is that once you do the scary things, they stop being scary, and you turn into a rockstar.  Not a literal rockstar (unless what you are afraid of is public performance), but a rockstar at the things that you though you never could or would do.

Don’t take for granted that you will have a family either.  Treasure each person you have in your arms because you don’t know how long you will be together.

Treasure the children you have, because the years will pass much faster than you realize when you are hiding out in the shower trying to get 5 minutes of peace.  You will blink and they’ll be someone new.  You don’t want to miss the process, you don’t want to regret how you spent your time.

A lady I am acquainted with left to go to work this week, and got a call that her home was on fire.  On her way back home to get to her family, she was critically injured, lost the baby she was carrying, and ultimately lost all six of her remaining children.  When she got up that morning, life was normal, blissfully boring, and it changed on a dime.  Everything was gone in a moment.  Savor the moments, just savor them.

Put down the phone, put down the laptop,  stop wasting time!  Your life is worth more than just “passing time”.  I get that you need some downtime, but losing yourself into a pit of electronic entertainment is never going to make you happy.  It will only steal you from your own life and what is around you.  So close the laptop, put down the phone, and be present in your own life.  PLEASE LEARN THIS NOW!  It will be so much more difficult as you get older.

Avoid the tyranny of the “urgent”. Text messages will always ding, emails will always show up, people will always need something “right now.”

Live your life on PURPOSE!  Don’t live your life reacting to things around you.  CHOOSE what you will do with your time, because someone or something will always try to choose for you if you let it, and that will almost NEVER leave you with the life or the day that you woke up wanting.

Your life is beautiful!  It is laying before you bright and full of possibilities!  Keep looking at it that way, no matter how hard the days may get because every morning that you wake up you have anther chance to do something wonderful.

Above it all, live a life where you will look back and say “I have no regrets.”  I have some now, and I promise you, it is better to have tried something and failed than to feel that you had played it too safe and can’t get that time (or opportunity) back.

Be daring.  Be adventurous.  Be passionate.  Love selflessly.  Leave it all on the table.  

Enjoy the years, because they go by fast!  

Don’t tell yourself you will be happy when you get married, have a baby, buy a house, get a better job, or whatever the next thing is!  If you don’t choose happiness where you are, it won’t matter where you are going….when you get there, you still won’t be happy.

Life isn’t a set of milestones to be achieved.  Life is a journey with twists and turns, highs and lows, and happiness that you choose throughout it all.

Oh, and I know you don’t see it now, so I’ll tell you myself….you are beautiful, you are valuable, you can do great things, you are likable, you have something valuable to offer.  Every day you have is a beautiful gift.

Don’t wait to unwrap it.





Tell me, if you could go back in time and talk to yourself at twenty, what would you say?

Share with me in the comments!

Follow me on Blog Lovin’!

Maybe you’ve already subscribed to get my blog posts via the email box, or maybe you like a feed reader better!  Well you are in luck, my friends, because you can use the super awesome, easy to follow feed reader Bloglovin to follow me now!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin!

Can’t wait to see you there!

Toxins in your Shampoo? Hidden Chemicals in Personal Care Products

Do you ever wonder about the chemicals in your everyday life?

I first started to wonder about the chemicals in our home when I started to use a popular brand of plug in air freshener in our home and within several weeks began experiencing daily nosebleeds.  When we removed the plug in air fresheners from our home, my nosebleeds stopped!

It turned out, when I investigated the chemicals in the product, the Environmental Working Group gave it an  F grade, meaning it is of “Highest Concern: Potentially significant hazards to health or the environment or poor ingredient disclosure.”


hidden chemicals in personal care products

Luckily we trashed those plugins soon after I started having the recurring nosebleeds, and we’ve never brought them back into our home!

We re-visited the idea of cleaning up our environment and removing household toxins when my son was diagnosed with environmental and food allergies, and frankly felt, I felt overwhelmed.  The plus side to that was it got me reading and researching and I found some very scary things, but also started down the road to remove common hidden toxins from my home.

Before that I never considered that there would be anything particularly harmful in the everyday products that I used in my home and on my body.  I made the assumption that companies wouldn’t be allowed to sell unsafe or potentially harmful products.  When I started to dig further I found that the cleaning and personal care industries are very loosely regulated, and many products do not even disclose their ingredients!  They are largely self-regulated, which means that the companies hold themselves accountable for the quality and safety of their products.

There are very sneaky places where household toxins hide, but I’ll show you some of them, and my favorite easy tips to help reduce your toxic load at home.  Don’t feel overwhelmed though, if you can change one thing a month for the next year, by the end of the year you will have removed 12 potential sources of chemical load from your home!

Hidden Chemicals in Personal Care Products

My favorite way of finding out what chemicals are lurking in personal care products is the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database!  It’s an extensive listing of personal care products, the chemicals they contain, and what those chemicals can do to the body.  They also have a Skin Deep App for your smart phone so you can check products when you are out shopping.

Chemicals in Personal Care Products for Adults

I would encourage you to take a few moments to go to the Skin Deep Database and look up the personal care products that you have in your home.  I’ll post a few commonly used toiletries and their scores below, so you can see what some of the potential chemicals are in shampoos, soaps, and deodorants.  Products are rated on a scale of 1-10, where 1 is very pure and low toxicity, and where 10 is extremely toxic and potentially dangerous.

It is worth understanding that any product that you put on your body can enter your body in a few ways.  At minimum, you will absorb some of the product through your skin and accumulate chemicals in the fatty tissue under the skin, some others may migrate into the blood stream.  Additionally, any fragrance chemicals will be breathed into your body and could impact delicate lung and throat tissues.  In the case of certain cosmetics, you may actually ingest some of them, especially in the case of lip balms and lip sticks.

The most scary part of this for me as a mother is that the chemicals that I put on my body will be passed on to any babies I carry!  A study by the Environmental Working Group detected 232 chemicals in the cord blood of newborn babies, making a compelling case for mothers to clean up the products they use on their bodies and in their homes (Source).

Because of my history with miscarriages, I try very hard to avoid chemicals as much as possible.  I want to make sure my future children have the best chance possible.   I don’t want my personal care choices to negatively impact my fertility.


  • Popular Chapped Lips Balm:  Given an overall 5 (moderate) rating, but contains OXYBENZONE (rated 8) which is believed to cause “cellular changes”, reproductive toxicity, and endocrine disruption.  This same lip balm contains proplyparaben (rated 7), which is an exotoxin, edocrine disrupter, and potential developmental and immune system toxin.  YIKES!  Millions of Americans will put this on their lips this year!
  • Popular Women’s Clinical Strength Antiperspirant/Deodorant:  The Skin Deep database gives it an overall rating of 4, but contains fragrances rated an 8 for how they accumulate in human organs!  Not quite what I want to put on my skin!
  • Popular “Herbal”  Shampoo:  This brand offers standard shampoo offerings and a “natural” dye free, paraben free, and silicon free “naked” brand.  The irony is that the “naked” brand has a WORSE score (EWG rates it a 6) than their conventional shampoos (average rating of 5).  The shampoo marketed as more natural actually contains fragrances rated an 8 (for allergies and organ toxicity), METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE rated a 7 (for allergies and neurotoxicity), and METHYLCHLOROISOTHIAZOLINONE rated a 6 (for cancer risk and immunotoxicity).

There are so many chemicals to watch out for, you will probably want to check your favorite products HERE.

Note: Not every product on the market is in their database, but you can look up individual ingredients (if they are disclosed) to see the overall safety of the ingredients in your favorite products).

Non-Toxic Solution:

I personally use quite a few personal care products from Young Living Essential Oils, and have been very happy with their comittment to chemical-free living.  So I always highly recommend their products.  But there are quite a few other companies with really good non-toxic products that we enjoy, too.

I have some other recommendations, all which get a rating of 2 or lower from the Skin Deep Database.  Hopefully it will help you find some good non-toxic alternatives.

Here are a few of my favorite things!

The Good News

The good news is that while the vast majority of the products that you will be able to grab at your local mega-mart are not pure or low in chemical load, you can find many products that will work well AND keep your toxic load low.  You just have to get started looking!  The internet puts a wide variety of safe and helpful products right at your fingertip, and in some cases, just two-day’s shipping time away from your front door!

Oh, and don’t forget to check back for our next article where I’m sharing what I found out about the chemicals found in personal care products for kids and babies.

How about you?  Did you get a chance to check your favorite personal care products?

What surprised you?  Did they score well or badly?  Comment below!

Like this article?  Please share with a friend!

This article is linked up at Simply Natural Saturdays!

Announcing online essential oil classes at “You U” here on the Essential Family!

I am so excited to tell you about the new feature here on the website!

It is called “You U” (aka. You University) and it is going to be the new home of our online health and wellness and healthy living classes!

Online essential oil classes

Because I love essential oils so much, and have learned a great deal over the years, I started with two online essential oil classes, just for you!

The best part about You U is that it is free!  You can check out classes any time of day or night, follow along and leave a little more informed and ready to tackle your life than before!

Right now these two classes are live :


Future classes may include:

  • Cooking with Essential Oils
  • Essential oils for Babies and Children
  • How Essential Oils Work
  • Essential Oil Safety

I’ll make an announcement here on the blog any time that we have a new class, that way you can check it out right away!

But that’s not all, I want YOUR INPUT!  What other classes should I create?

So please comment and let me know, what topics would interest you the most?  I would love essential oil topics, but I am also looking into expanding the classes into ALL areas of health and wellness.

So please comment with your ideas!

And don’t forget to hop over and see the new online essential oil classes at “You U”!



Wyoming Baked Beans Recipe

As fall gets more and more beautiful, I take out my favorite hearty, warm, comforting recipes.  When it is cooling down outside my tummy is warming up inside with this delicious baked beans recipe!

Wyoming Baked Beans Recipe

We enjoy making baked beans in our house, they are a frugal, nutritious meal that everyone in the family loves.  Plus, pair them with a side of rice and you have a meal packed with complete protein for a song.

This baked beans recipe got the kid stamp of approval in our house, too.  When my son came up for air several bites into his dinner his first question was “Mom, this is good!  You should put this on the blog!”

So I will!

I know, you could buy a can of baked beans in the store, and it would probably be ok, but this recipe is SO GOOD!  Because it uses dry beans, it is extraordinarily frugal, and made with only whole food ingredients.  We love it during the fall and winter, but it could just as easily make an appearance on a summer picnic table.

So why “Wyoming Baked Beans”?  Well, I live in Wyoming and Wyomingites love meat, so there is ground beef in this recipe, making it hearty enough to be a full meal all on its own.  And while I have used ground beef in this recipe, you could just as easily use ground venison or ground elk, if you are one of the many hunting families who depend on game for meat every year.

So, what’s in the Wyoming Baked Beans Recipe?

I chose the following whole foods ingredients:

  • 1 lb dry Great Northern Beans (soaked overnight, then cooked fully–I recommend pressure cooking for the speed of cooking)
  • Bacon Grease or Oil (I highly suggest bacon grease–you save that when you make bacon, right?  Well, if you don’t you should, because it MAKES this recipe what it is…but I guess you could use olive oil if you have to.)
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup finely diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef, browned (or any ground meat will do)
  • dry mustard
  • mild yellow curry powder
  • blackstrap molasses
  • organic ketchup
  • apple cider vinegar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper

Lots of good things!  So let’s get that recipe!

Wyoming Baked Beans Recipe
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6-8
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 1 lb dry Great Northern Beans, soaked and cooked
  • ½ lb ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 1 TBSP bacon grease or oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped fine
  • ¾ cup carrot, finely chopped
  • ½ cup celery, finely chopped
  • 2.3 cup hot water
  • ¼ cup organic ketchup
  • ¼ cup blackstrap molasses
  • 4 tsp dry mustard
  • 4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp mild yellow curry powder
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. In a large dutch oven, saute onion, celery, and carrot over medium heat until just soft.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients and stir gently to combine.
  4. Put the lid on the dutch oven and bake covered for 4 hours (add some extra water if the beans start to look dry)
  5. Remove cover for the final 15-30 minutes of baking.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy my Wyoming baked beans recipe as much as my family does!

Free Printable Fall Coloring Page

Fall is the most beautiful time of year to me.  I grew up in Florida, so we never had change of seasons.  It was always hot and less hot, and that was about it.

I remember that once a year we’d get a little package from my aunt who lived in Massachusetts and inside it would have a little sheet of pressed fall leaves inside of  some wax paper and that was the extent of my experience with fall!

Now we live in rural Wyoming and get our fair share of changing seasons and some BEAUTIFUL leaves!

I originally put together this fall coloring page as a fun fall activity for my kids as the leaves are changing around us.  We gave this fall coloring page a test drive this morning and they LOVED IT!

Fall Coloring Page


So I’d love for YOU to enjoy this fall coloring page!  I promise I won’t tell anyone if you want to color it, too!  (Moment of truth, I LOVE to color, so this will be a fun one to color for me, too!)

Download this  Fall Coloring Page

Hope you and your kids enjoy this fall coloring page!  Oh, and please share with a friend!