Beauty Redeemed: Overcoming Social Anxiety

About ten years ago, I was diagnosed with social anxiety.

At the age of about 9, I realized I was shy and introverted, in comparison to my classmates, so the diagnosis was not a huge surprise to me.

When I was in social situations, I would get sweaty palms, my heart would race, I’d feel unsure of what to say, what people might think of me, and my mind would run wild with different scenarios of how things might play out, consuming me with worry.

Soon after I was diagnosed, I did try prescription meds at that point and hated the way they made me feel. I also started individual and group therapy and found them of little benefit since they kept my thoughts in a place where I focused on myself and my flaws.

Since then, I’ve spent countless hours reading self-help books, and have learned coping skills in my attempt to naturally tackle anxiety.

I have also learned something profound in recent years. I still wrestle with anxiety, but so does everyone on some level. The more I shared my story with others, the more I realized I’m not so strange and that we all have social anxiety to varying degrees.

My relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ has also given me so much comfort and courage as I have become more and more diligent about reading His word. I check in with myself often and realize that any time I am in a state of anxiety or worry, I’m not trusting Him. I have also found that when I turn my focus to helping others, I take the focus off myself, and consequently I’m a happier person. It helps me to stay out of my head.

Finally, this past month, I’ve tried a combination of oil blends that I knew had worked for many many others and I cannot tell you how amazing it feels to go through my day without sweaty palms, butterflies, muscle tension, heart racing and just being in a constant state of worry! And NO side effects except that my students say I smell good. The oils are not a cure, but have noticeably lessened my symptoms.

So any gal reading this who may think they are alone and perceive everyone else out there has it made and feels confident, I can assure you that is so not the case. Everyone feels anxious, insecure, and nervous. We’re just human. The key is to figure out how to spend as little time as possible in that zone, recognize it and quickly move through it – back to a place of looking outside yourself and trusting Him.


Frugal Oily Mommy: Making EOs Stretch, Part 4


The fourth way I am making my oils last longer is by testing something out before I make it.

It’s the same kind of thinking I use when I make copies. I’m a middle school teacher and if I want 100 packets for my students that are front/back and hole-punched, I’m gonna do a test run and make one copy first, then if it’s right I’ll run the other 99.

I learned this the hard way. I was excited to make rollers and creams and dove right in whipping up several recipes and now have 3 rollers and one big jar of cream that don’t work for me, so the oils I used in those (more than I care to admit) are wasted. I’m currently in the process if rectifying this by using them as bases for larger batches of other recipes. I hate wasting!

When thinking about testing before making a roller, I just dilute each oil per the dilution instructions on the back of the bottle, making a one time use amount in the palm of my hand, and apply and layer each oil to the specified area.

For example, before making the focus roller, I just layered Vetiver, lavender and cedarwood under my big toe for several days. That way I knew it worked and I’m in love with it I am good to make a roller that I know I’ll use.

So, the message here is: get your combo right first, then make your roller or cream!

Ps- I hope you have enjoyed this series on how to make EOs work for you and that you can see now it can be done affordably. If you really want to make a change to this lifestyle, I believe you will do what it takes to make it work! It is oh so rewarding and worth it!


Frugal Oily Mommy: Making EOs Stretch, Part 3

The third major way you should be conservative with your oils is diffusing (actually it’s quite possibly the first).

If you don’t read any farther in this post, read this: whatever you diffuse you will use up fastest. Case in point, I just got RC last month but had to diffuse it nightly for respiratory support for Madeline’s and it is now empty. I diffuse thieves daily for immunity and go through it like crazy. Thankfully neither of these are terribly pricey though.

My first major mistake as a new EO user was being captivated and overly excited about my diffuser. I couldn’t wait to brew all different amazing smells and to play with my new toy. I looked up recipes for different combinations. Mistake.

Again, be wary of Pinterest. Some of the recipes would tell me to use 8-10 drops of each EO! That is just crazy! And expensive. For a smaller home like ours, you only need 4 drops or so TOTAL to get the effect you’re after for your diffuser. So if I’m diffusing purification and thieves, I’m using two drops of each.

A final tip I’ll leave you with on diffusing is to think of oils you don’t use much. One I diffuse often now is citrus fresh. I love the smell, it’s uplifting, and I don’t need it for other uses so I don’t feel like I’m wasting it when I diffuse.



Frugal Oily Mommy: Making EOs Stretch, Part 2

The second piece of the puzzle to conserve EOs, is prioritizing.

Think about each oil, and what uses are most important to you. For example, lavender is needed in just about every blend and roller I make. So I ordered a large 15 ml bottle of it (great value!) so I never have to worry about running out. (I will share in a post later this week how I make lavender stretch.)

Likewise, I love Peace and Calming for myself, but it’s Madeline’s happy oil and it offers both girls respiratory support. So I turn to other oils for occasional anxiety and preserve the P & C for Madeline. (Anna Claire has really vivid dreams with P and C and does better with lavender.)

Prioritizing how you will use each oil will help ensure that you don’t waste. It’s really worth your time to think this through. I actually took the time to make a list of each oil I have and what I use each for. If there was a powerhouse, like lavender or thieves, I considered buying bulk (15ml). OR when considering a high dollar oil like Panaway, I save it for when I really need extra muscle soothing. But for day to day I prefer lemongrass which is more affordable.

As you learn more, you’ll discover more cost effective oils that can do the job of the more costly ones and will be able to more wisely reserve the most precious oils for their most intended purposes. This graphic sort of tells the story (note that these prices aren’t current but still a good graphic for comparison purposes):



Frugal Oily Mommy: Making Your EOs Stretch, Part 1

imageThis is the second time I’m writing this post, because I forgot to hit save the first time. I choose to believe everything happens for a reason, and I’m getting to have a do-over and make it even better the second time around!

When I look back on how I used my first YL Starter Kit, I feel a little sad about how much I wasted, overused and mismanaged my EOs. Even though other EO educators I’ve talked to balked and said they were impressed that I made my kit last 4 months, I feel like I could have made it stretch even more, if I knew then what I know now. That’s what I’d like to share with you!

There are four things that I feel like I do, or will do, that make my EOs last longer than your typical user. I’ve decided to share one here, and the other four in subsequent posts so I don’t overwhelm anybody!

1. Dilute, dilute, dilute. This is the number one thing you can do to make your oils stretch. It’s also safer.

I know it may be tempting to slather on an oil and perceive that to be the most effective, but actually, adding a carrier oil allows you cover a larger area and helps to drive the EO into the skin. So more isn’t necessarily better. Also, YL oils are pure therapeutic grade oils and very strong. I have a graphic somewhere that I will try to find and include in this post later, but it shows that for some EOs, you can make a tiny 15ml bottle stretch with a carrier oil to equal a 750 ml bottle of wine! I always try to keep that visual in mind when I’m tempted to put something on “neat.”

One of my biggest frustrations as a newbie to essential oils was all of the contradictory information I found on dilution rates. I was so confused! For this reason: Be wary of Pinterest. Pinterest is a great starting point and some of what is out there is helpful, but there is also some really ignorant and potentially dangerous advice being given. For example, you may do a search for how to treat a child’s fever, and find 4 different graphics with 4 different dilution rates (not to mention that if you click on these you typically get a sales pitch instead of more information). You want to be certain you are giving your child the proper dosage!

As some of you already know, I rely on and trust the Gentle Babies book that you can buy on Amazon. I follow its guidance on diluting to a tee, especially for my kiddos. So I may find a strategy or recipe on Pinterest, then be sure the dilution given there matches Gentle Babies before making it for my family.

The other super important resources I rely on are our secret groups on Facebook:

Essentially Better Living: Members Only

Essential Exchange


When someone in our household has a symptom, I will turn to that Gentle Babies book first, and I really wish Debra Raybern would change the title because there are protocols for every age child and for moms! I also like to look first to see what has worked for other EO users. I prefer EE to “the lounge” because everyone in there has a kit and there’s just a whole lot of wisdom in there. I also now know which posters are like-minded, the most experienced, frugal, have kids my age, and whose advice I trust so that is priceless. I couldn’t be happier with my decision to use Young Living EOs and join the Joydroppers team for this reason – YL Joydroppers pair high quality EOs with an education and supportive network for its members so that you can safely use them for your family! (Note: Not in these groups yet? You will be added to the EE group and several other groups once you do sign up!)


Frugal Oily Mommy: You + 3 = Free!

imageWhen you get your starter kit, you may be like me…I had no intentions of being a “seller.” But my friend shared with me how she was able to pay for her oils just by sharing with her friends, and that if I could just help three friends or family members get their own kit, mine would be paid for.

I was interested however in making enough money to pay for my oil habit, and happy and willing to share what I was learning about these amazing oils with others.

It came easy because I was excited to share things that are working with my friends and family.

I wrote a few FB posts here and there and posted pics of my oils and my diffuser, just out of excitement. I mentioned things that were working in conversation. Just in doing that, people started asking about EOs.

You are able to do the same. In fact, I feel like when we learn a better way of doing something we have a responsibility to share that with others. Tell others what you are learning and how oils are helping your family.

When your friends are ready to learn more, feel free to add them to the Essentially Better Living group, and tag them in posts you think will help or interest them. You may even give your friend a sample or two to try, or invite them over and show them your stash. Notice none of this entails SELLING. We are just SHARING!

And I truly believe everyone needs this kit! If you have one, then you recognize the value and life-changing potential it has. We have to share that! How can you keep something like that to yourself? I know I can’t.

At the point someone is ready to order their own kit, you can give the link for how to sign up to your friends along with your member number and YL will send you a $50 “thank you” check for each friend who purchases a kit. Three sign-ups cover the cost of your kit. You + 3 = Free!

And there you have it, my tip of the day!


Frugal Oily Mommy: Pulling the Trigger



When I finally pulled the trigger and ordered my kit, I put a plan into place.

I thought of it a lot like when I quit smoking years ago (yes, I smoked). I quit smoking soon after college and used the money I would normally spend on cigarettes to pay for my gym membership. Taking the funds I used toward something unwise and switching it to a better choice.

The month I bought my kit, I had a spending intervention with myself.

One of my weaknesses was little girl’s clothing and toys I thought would make them happy. Matching outfits. Little girl shoes. Boutique brands. Oh my word. I had a problem.

But I also REALLY wanted to make a switch for my family to essential oils, get us off all chemicals as much as possible and for us not to be in and out of the doctor’s office like a revolving door. I was reading how much they were working for others and wanted that for my own family. And I could manage it if I was willing to make some tough changes.

Do I dress my girls in rags now? Definitely not. But I do have a few girls who pass their boutique clothing down to me or offer it to me on the cheap; one gal even has girls a year older than mine and the same distance apart that she puts in all matching outfits. She is a lifesaver to me and my children’s clothing addiction! I buy shoes second hand instead of new. They wear them for such a short time anyway!

Do I buy my girls toys? I can honestly say RARELY since making this lifestyle change. If I’m completely honest with myself, they don’t play with toys much. They like stuff. And art. And books. I have wasted so much money on toys that rarely get played with – it makes me sick sometimes to think about it. The hardest was being used to taking the girls on errands and always getting them things they ask for as reward for good behavior. $15 here, $20 there. It adds up. So guilty of that. I’ve started just expecting them to be good girls and not always rewarding them for it every time we venture out. And you know what? They’re still good girls! And happy!

I also had an Amazon problem. I am an Amazon Prime member and it is just way too easy to get things delivered to your door (hello, free shipping). I was ordering things we “needed” left and right and it didn’t even feel like I was spending money at times. Scary, huh? I don’t do that anymore. Nope. Because this new oily lifestyle was that important to me. Grounded myself from Amazon. And the time I spent shopping on Amazon is now spent researching on ways to help my family and friends with EOs. Again. Channeling time spent in an unhealthy way to something productive and helpful.

It’s not easy to admit all of this to you, but if you want to know how I’m making it work, it’s for sure an important part of the plan.

I guess my message in this post is: where are you spending more than you should, and could you funnel that money into an EO lifestyle to improve life for you and your family?

Stay tuned for more ideas this coming week.


Everything’s Coming Into Focus

Yesterday, Larry caught me watching Frozen by myself and shook his head at me. But I didn’t turn it on for entertainment. I use it as a dipstick to test my focus, if different combos of EOs are working for me.

I have never been able to watch a movie or listen to a speaker without missing half of what is said. In fact, if I catch half, that’s a good day. It is frustrating and honestly embarrassing to sit around and discuss a film with others and have literally no recollection of the details everyone else seemed to notice. I have shed tears over it, worried what others thought of me because of it, questioned my intelligence over it. It has been rough.

Once I learned attention and focus were the culprits and that I was not stupid (yay!) I have been on a perpetual journey to find coping skills, meds (hated them), and now oils that might make a difference for me.

YESTERDAY. I watched Frozen with the biggest, goofiest grin on my face. It was as if someone took off the blinders and the fog lifted. THIS MUST BE WHAT IT’S LIKE FOR EVERYONE ELSE! I never noticed the horse pushed Anna into the boat, or that Kristoff passes his knapsack to Anna before jumping off the cliff. I never realized that Anna gives Kristoff a ukelele to replace the one that got destroyed earlier in the movie. I noticed everything. Caught every word. Didn’t get distracted once. And I have seen this movie hundreds of times.

The only two differences I can attribute this to are my use of vetiver as part of my focus combo and Mindwise which I started taking as a preventative measure since my mom had Alzheimers and it’s a genetic disease. Needless to say I will stay the course and I am just so freaking excited!

I have never been so open about my personal faults and ailments as I have since starting this oily journey, but I also am excited to share the successes I’ve had and if they help others, then my vulnerability is worth that.


Starter Kit Oil Series: Melaleuca Alternifolia

Melaleuca Alternifolia (also known as Mel-a or tea tree oil) is definitely the oil in the kit I was least knowledgable about. But it has been so much fun reading up on each of these, online, in my EOPR and in my Gentle Babies book to see exactly what they can do.

What I know Mel-a can do is keep my skin clear. It’s one of those “don’t want to live without it” oils because it’s a must-have in my face blend.

I have several “can’t wait to try” uses for Mel-a.

One I will be trying TOMORROW: put 10 drops in your shampoo to help prevent dandruff, dry scalp and lice? Why wouldn’t I do this?

I also am just waiting for the opportunity to try these uses for tea tree oil:

Cold sore
Mouth ulcer
Bug bite
Raised mole/wart
Yellowing nails
Diaper rash


I didn’t realize how handy Mel-a was until reading up on it! Glad I did and hope it helps you too.


Starter kit oil series: Peppermint

Starting out, peppermint was overlooked by me in favor of more of the ones I knew to help with sleep and kids’ health.

Flash forward a few months later and I am loving peppermint!

I have used it to help with tummy issues for the whole family, for headaches and sinus pressure, and my absolute favorite use in the allergy trio.

I love it diffused for a mood lift and keep a roller of it in my desk drawer for a mid day energy boost and to help with concentration, in lieu of caffeine.

I’m turning to it more often for this use though: oils lay on the skin and you need an oil to drive it on in. This oil is peppermint! I don’t use it every time, but with precious oils like frankincense that I’m using medicinally? Like when treating baby Madeline for her croupy cough? I’m driving in that amazing stuff and want to be sure it gets to do its job.

Peppermint has gone from bottom to near top of the list for usefulness, in my book.