My Top 10 List – There’s an oil for that!*

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Just in time for Fall, and Halloween, and all things that go “bump” in the night, I got hooked on essential oils.  I had heard about them, but just didn’t have the energy “to go there.” Seriously, I thought, who has time for this and I cannot keep all the different blends, potions and recipes straight, and am still learning new things daily.  Initially it felt overwhelming.  But, ever since I opened the starter kit (a must have if you want to try out oils), I am addicted and with my handy potions book (as I call it), it is nice to be able to make different things and try to relieve pain, address a rash, or just relax.  During massages in the past, I experienced some essential oils, and they were great for what ailed me at the time, but I had no idea the various properties and uses for essential oils until I took the plunge myself.

I like to call this post “There’s an OIL for that” and these are my top 10 oils so far, and the list is growing daily.

16868090496_010ed357e5_z1. LAVENDER (of course)-  lavender has been my favorite for sometime now.  I used to get it with massages, and it smells so good diffused with just about any oil.  The house smells great, and it is great for relaxation, sleep and a nice hot bath to relieve sore muscles.  Love my lavender.  It is good for allergies too.  Who knew?

4407850304_db8138c0aa_z2.  Thieves- Do you know the history of the oil named Thieves?  It used to be called the FOUR THIEVES.  It is not clear whether the history is correct or whether a guy surnamed “Forthaves” creating this blend back during the time of the plague, but it helped people, and kept the plague away, well, allegedly.  But, this blend is marvelous.  It is not a single oil but so many in one, and it is my new favorite, and diffused or applied directly or through a carrier oil (recommended), it works great to keep the germs away, clear the air, clean surfaces, and all.   I have used it directly for a sore throat (with peppermint) and to help with a minor rash.  My new favorite is the Thieves hand gel that we take on the road and the sprayer bottle so we can clean surfaces quickly and effectively.*  I absolutely love my Young Living(TM) Thieves and the entire line.

16966300232_f52eeabd89_z3.  R.C.- Combine the two above and R.C (a blend of oils), and mix in a sunflower or grape seed oil base and it makes for a great nightly application for kids and adults alike.  R.C. is a great oil during the fall sniffle season – congestion, allergies, and sinus, and it has worked well in our home for a few weeks now.  Does it prevent cold? I do not know.  I just know the house smells great, and I feel better and the kids are not waking me up all night due to night terrors. There’s an oil for that!  RC has helped me during a cold already, and I’ll probably keep it up as the winter gets going.

15046134936_11f0367862_k4. Stress Away–  Another blend I love, for which I bought some extra rollers, is the STRESS AWAY blend.  It really has a calming effect, whether I roll it on my wrists or just diffuse it.  One of the favorite blends for the kids at night is Dream Catcher, Stress Away and Lavender – so relaxing.  I use it too!  Helps me sleep like a baby and I generally do not sleep well.

8356408259_8fb89c5903_z5.  Peppermint –  Peppermint and Lemon are tied for me-  I love them both and they both have so many uses, but for headaches and body soreness, peppermint is a God send. When I had a sore throat and coughing, I drank it, and it relieved my sore throat instantly.*  It can also be mixed with herbal tea and thieves to relieve a sore throat.  I love peppermint in a bath with lavender and lemon to relieve congestion and pain.  The Peppermint is soothing on my muscles too when I was experiencing muscle soreness.  I woke up in the middle of the night once with a headache and rubbed one drop on my temples, and was able to relieve the headache and go back to sleep.

9662369021_ffbfe67924_z6.  DiGize- I have had stomach pain twice in the middle of the night – likely from indigestion or poor diet, and DiGize blend has helped me.  I rub 2 drops on the affected area, and try to go back to sleep. Now, if I had massive pain and symptoms of an appendix flare up, would I rub oil on it and suffer through it?  No way! I am going in, but what I have found is that more often than not, that which ails us is NOT life threatening.  The kids have growing pains, and DiGize has alleviated their pains and I think helps them sleep better.  I even tried this when I had minor cramping (ovulation), and it helped me relax and go to sleep. Generally I have to take pamprin or 2 advils.*

16754765318_fa72b6ef9e_z7. Lemon–   I absolutely love this oil which blends well with all the oils to diffuse or apply.  It helps as a cleaning agent with thieves, and helps the whole house smell great. At the office, I blend this with lavender and it smells fresh and keeps those microwave smells at bay.  I like putting lemon in with tea and it soothes too.  Lemon is versatile and its citrus smell is not strong or overpowering.  In combination with Peppermint and Lavender above, I have used this in a bath or diffused and it helps with allergies and sinuses.  Ahhh, breathe again!

17726567528_60e8e413b6_z8. Tangerine/Orange–  Love them both and they both have different uses, but orange and thieves just smells lovely together and with Thanksgiving approaching, you can have the combo diffusing for your guests, so they smell this and not all that stuff you cooked.  Tangerine is good for dizziness and vertigo along with peppermint and lavender.  I like diffusing them the most, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I tried (ingested) Grapefruit water for the first time today and I may never go back to plain water again.  You can add a drop or two of these and grapefruit or lemon to a drink, and it’s quite refreshing and doesn’t taste bitter at all.

16304941704_80d83e91d9_z9.  Valor – It didn’t come with my kit, but it’s my new favorite, and combined with Joy, it is my new favorite diffused scent too.  Reduces stress, and muscle tension when applied, and stimulates the senses.  So many uses for Valor, and it is out of stock right now, so I am using Valor II.  It is a blue color and smells absolutely lovely when diffused and inhaled.  It has uplifted my spirits and when I was down, given me focus and energy.  I have anxiety sometimes when traveling, and I cannot wait to put the roller on, and take this one with me when I travel.  I loved valor and a sample of aroma siez I had for muscle pain.  It’s a good one to put in a massage oil.

5097849770_e60971abba_z10.  PanAway- speaking of muscle soreness, I had an incident back in September, and my quads were killing me.  I could see veins broken from the stress, and PanAway to the rescue!  All natural, and it helped within a day to get rid of the soreness.  I also got in the bath and did peppermint and lavender too and took 1 advil, but it helped relieve the pain immediately.  I used it with a roller ball on.  But you can use and mix with a carrier oil.  PanAway is strong, so be careful and keep away from the eyes.


Starter Kit



I am a person of science, modern medicine, and most of all, evidence and data. I believe in evidence, and I think the oils are working for us.  I hope they can work for you, but do not substitute this for medical or urgent care, unless it works.  For me, we are treating it like Netty pot, taking a steam bath when congested, honey and lemon in herbal tea, and such. These oils and some of the recipes have helped us for various things- muscle pain, congestion and the cold, stress, and minor rashes.  Thankfully, most of the things that ail or nag us are not life-threatening and the various single oils and blends have helped us.

If you are interested, check out my post on the essential oil kit and get started today!  If you are not, sign up as a retail member anyway, and you can buy the oils a la carte at retail prices, but if you don’t want the starter kit, and still want the wholesale prices, please email me and order with me to get oriented. You can pick and choose and then see if you find the evidence that it works for you.*

*DISCLAIMER:  This post is not a paid post.  I am a wholesale distributor for young living and all claims made here are my opinions based on our use and experimentation with essential oils.  These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. 

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Do you want your own Essential Oil Starter Kit?

The best way to get started and learn about essential oils is to buy the Young Living Starter Kit.   That is what I did and it has been a great journey thus far.  Check out my post on my Top 10 favorite oils – there’s an oil for that!  When you buy a Young Living Starter Kit you become a Wholesale Member and then you will receive a 24% discount on all future Young Living essential oil purchases.  Plus, the starter kit is already discounted for new members than if you bought each oil and a diffuser separately.  Get ready for an exciting journey… and make sure you read my other posts on essential oils too.  I only recently started this journey, but am very excited about it.


THE 2015 YOUNG LIVING PREMIUM STARTER KIT CONTAINS (see picture above- with the Home Diffuser):

Re: Young Living Diffusers -you get a choice between the Home, Dewdrop Diffuser, Bamboo Diffuser or Aria Diffuser (price ranges-Home diffuser may be substituted for the Dewdrop based on availability). I only have the home diffuser at this time and it’s perfect, and lasts up to 5 hours with the timer.  I have the ORB Diffuser at work – it is tiny and perfect for the car too.  I have yet to try the other home diffusers, but it depends on your home decor and personal preferences.  If you want to check them all out, check out this link.  More importantly, the kit includes these fabulous essential oils- singles and blends:

Lavender Essential Oil 5 ml
Young Living Thieves Essential Oil 5 ml
Copaiba Essential Oil 5 ml
Purification Essential Oil 5 ml
DiGize Essential Oil 5 ml
Peppermint Essential Oil 5 ml
Frankinscence Essential Oil 5 ml
Young Living Lemon Essential Oil 5 ml
R.C. Essential Oil 5 ml
Panaway Essential Oil 5 ml
Stress Away Essential Oil 5 ml
10 Samples packets of essential oils which are perfect for traveling, or to share with a friend who may want to take the journey too.
Ningxia Red sample packs so you can taste this Wolfberry blend for yourself – it’s delish, even my kids liked it. 
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Let me know if you have questions, and get ready for this amazing journey.  If you click on my link and sign up through me, I will guide you through it all.  If, however, you are not ready to become a wholesale member, feel free to click on this link, and order as a retail member.  Either way, contact me and I’d be happy to help you.  The best thing is to become a wholesale member (have to buy the starter kit), so you get your discounted products, and can earn your own rewards for purchases too!  If you have questions, you can email me at   Below is a screen shot of what you will see when you click on this link.  If you wish to order with me every month, email me and I can work with you.

Snapshot of your Screen when you sign up

Disclaimer: *These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease and statements made by me have not been evaluated by the FDA.  I am not compensated for this post, but am a wholesaler for Young Living(TM) oils and products.  Any opinions or statements made are my own.


Paper Planes movie review

paperplanes2We reviewed the movie, Paper Planes, and it was a treat!  This uplifting family film, starring Sam Worthington (Avatar, Wrath of the Titans) and Ed Oxenbould (Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day), just received the Common Sense “Great for Families” Seal of Approval for kids 10+ and called it “an inspired look at what creativity really means, and what winning ought to be about”. You can read another review for the movie here and see others’ reviews. You can read all about the movie, what it is about, and based on below (see more).

The movie is set in Australia, produced by Entertainment one, and on the review version we received, we could not turn captions on, so if you watch this movie, I highly recommend captions for the kids.  Sometimes it is hard to make out words even when it’s English – British and Australian accents are tough for kiddos to make out at times.  The recommended age for kids watching this movie is 10 and older, but I think 7 and up (based on maturity) is fine too.

paperplanesMy girls were just making paper planes and flying them today to see how high theirs would go.  Inspired by the movie, they love making creations and seeing how high and how far theirs can go. They both liked the movie, but the kids under age 7 were getting distracted easily – the movie is inspiring, but if your attention span is short, you may not stay engaged.  I would definitely recommend this for kids, ages 7 and up.  Our 5 and 6 year-old kids in attendance started running off and playing 30 minutes into the film.  We had 5 kids in attendance at our screening of differing ages.

Great movie, inspirational, and only 96 minutes long. I loved the actors, even the child antagonist. It is a good movie,with many lessons to be learned – it will make your eyes water, and it’s a unique concept – paper planes, you can get it on DVD now.

*Disclaimer: I was given a review copy of the movie for an honest review of this film.  The opinions expressed here are my own.

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LEGO Brick Fest Live- Denver Review

Last weekend, we were very fortunate to be able to attend LEGO© BrickFest Live here in Denver, and had a blast!  We did not know what to expect because the sessions August 28 through Brickfest pictureAugust 30, were four hours for each session. Your ticket allowed you entry into one of those 4-hour sessions.  We were not sure what to expect since it was a 4-hour session.  For planning, you do not need the full four hours, and likely will be in done in 2 hours tops.

There were various stations for the kids and grown up kids to enjoy – pits where you can build your own creations (sad to say you cannot take it with you).  Also, unlike going to LEGOLAND© or previous BrickFest events, the kids do not get a small token to take with them.  So that is a little disappointing.  I think at the entrance or exit, each paid admission should get a small Lego or token to take with him or her.  For $25 per ticket, I think it would really go a long way.  Plus, we were not aware we would have to pay for parking.  20150829_162513Granted, it was only an extra $5 at a venue where parking is generally free, but still unexpected.  I have been to the merchandise mart many times for shows and that is the biggest advantage we thought to this event being held at the Merchandise Mart as opposed to Downtown Denver (we despise going downtown for anything).  We do love the Mart- it is easy to get in and out of, right off of I-25, and close to us, and convenient.  When we went a couple years back to the Convention Center, it was tough to get in and out and parking was not cheap.  But the tickets that year were cheaper I believed – like $12-$15 with discount codes.

20150829_162721Also, since this is BrickFest, another thing which would go a long way is discounted kits for the kids to buy.  The kits were either at retail or pricier than Walmart/Target.  I am truly grateful that we were able to attend since my kids spend hours upon hours building kids, and sometimes are running late to school due to the distraction.  But, those were some recommendations that I saw from this otherwise fabulous event.

20150829_163112The kids built their own cars and raced them, played 9 rounds of putt-putt, lego-style, visited storm troopers, a mini Darth Vader, and met R2D2, and we saw the model Lego© villages, and even a battle of the ships in a display of water.  There was a stand there selling LEGO© jewelry – you name it, you imagine it, you can build it.  All the stations were fun, including 20150829_171228the quilt where you make your own square design and post it up.  All in all, a great time at BrickFestLive, and if you used discounts code from U.S. Family Guide or others, the tickets were a bit cheaper.

Disclaimer:  Our tickets to attend were free in exchange for a post prior to the event and a review of it after the event. Opinions expressed here are my own.


Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread – a family favorite

wpid-20150824_213735.jpgNot sure what to do with all that zucchini from your garden?  You can make bread out of it, or freeze the zucchini after grating, and make bread all winter long.  I am sure these would make great teacher gifts too!  My favorite recipe that I like to use is this one at Simply Recipes, and then I modify as you see below.

I like how this is the one recipe that tells you to drain the zucchini after grating.  I didn’t realize how much water was in this stuff, and you do not need all the water, although maybe my bread would not be so dry if I left it some of it in – I will try that next time.  All I know is that this bread tastes super yummy and with some icing on top, the veggie properties of this bread can easily be shielded from prying young taste buds.

wpid-20150808_105128.jpgI base this recipe on needing 4 cups of shredded zucchini, but lots of others out there only call for 2 cups and split the instructions from wet mix and dry mix and keeping the zucchini separate.  You can cut this recipe in half if you choose to do so or have a small zucchini.  I like to add chocolate chips to the entire batter, and for my husband and I, I like to add in chopped walnuts- yum!

  • 4 cups grated zucchini – I recommend a food processor to shred/grate.  I did it by hand the first time, it was a nightmare and messy.  When I used the food processor, it was done in 5 minutes, and less messy.  If you only have a small zucchini to yield 2 cups of grated zucchini, cut the rest of the recipe in half.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (white granulated)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1.5 sticks)- melt in microwave safe container
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (natural unsweetened cocoa)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (not milk chocolate)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans) – optional, or add to your batch
  • 1-2 or more greased pans- whatever size you want (loafs, square, or cupcakes) –  I like to make a combination of all
  • preheat your oven to 350 degrees at this time


Shred it, and put it in a colander over a bowl or over the sink so it drains a bit while you do other things.  I have shredded it by hand or by food processor, and a food processor takes the cake (pun intended)!

Wet mix

You need a larger bowl for this because you will end your mixing in this bowl.  Beat together the eggs, the sugar, and the extract – use a mixer or your hand.  I have tried both ways, and it is fine either way.  Make sure to get the consistency to where it is a smooth mixture and not lumpy.

Dry Mix

In a smaller bowl, you can mix together the flour, cocoa, the baking powder (or soda), salt, and cinnamon.  Mix it together so it is not lumpy – I use a small egg whisk to just mix it all up.  I also add in the chocolate chips here, but it is optional. You can add nuts too, or add them later if your kids do not like them.

First, put the Zucchini into the wet mix, then slowly (about a quarter of the mix each time), stir in the dry mix.  Stir and put in the dry mix fully until mixed in well.  You do not want to put it in all at once or it creates giant lumps.  But, fermenting apparently has begun the minute you mixed wet and dry, so get the pans ready, and scoop in the right portions for the pan you chose.  I generally leave enough for the “adult” pan or loaf of this bread and then mix in the nuts into that smaller portion.  Then, scoop it into the pan.


Bake for 50 minutes (if at lower altitudes) at 350 degrees, depending on size of pan, but in Colorado, you need only bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  I like to check it after 30 minutes for cupcakes, 35 minutes for a loaf size pan, and 40 minutes if you go 8×8 brownie pan.

Happy baking and yum!