How to Use Young Living Peppermint Essential Oil

Every Friday you can look forward to posts on recipes with essential oils, diffusing combinations, and information on individual oils.  I’m going to start with the oils in the Premium Starter Kit because that is the way that most people start their essential oils journey, and I want to give you the tools you need to know what to do with the oils you purchase.  Haven’t purchased your starter kit yet? I’d love to be the person who helps you learn all about essential oils and their great applications, just click here to get started.

Peppermint is one of the oils that I use on an almost daily basis.  It has so many various uses that it is a great essential oil to keep with you in your purse or pocket! It’s also an ideal oil to share with others as their first experience with Young Living oils.

Peppermint essential oil is found in Deep Relief and Breathe Again roll-ons, Clarity, Cool Azul, Digize, M-Grain, Panaway, RC, Thieves, and Aromaease essential oil blends, just to name a few.

Ready to put peppermint to use? Here are a few ways to use this great essential oil:

*Supports the digestive system (apply to your belly)
*Refreshing and invigorating (great to use before a workout or to open up your airways)
*Diffuse for mental sharpness and concentration
*Apply to temples (careful to avoid your eyes), or one drop to the roof of your mouth for head discomfort
*Peppermint Vitality oil tastes great in a cup of hot chocolate or coffee  (you only need 1 drop)
*Mix with water in a spray bottle and spray along baseboards and corners to keep pests away
*Dilute with a carrier oil and apply to the bottoms of your feet to reduce fever
*Mix with water to make a fresh breath spray
*Combine with lemon and lavender to create a “seasonal discomfort” blend

Peppermint can be intense, so if you use too much, simply add a carrier oil (like coconut oil) to dilute it.

peppermint-oil-sistas-graphic

My first experience with Young Living Peppermint essential oil was this past summer.  In the car, on the way to Atlanta for our family vacation, I got a headache. I had remembered to bring most of my oils with me, so I took out my peppermint vitality oil and placed a drop on the roof of my mouth. Within minutes, I was feeling much better!  I’m not a fan of using Tylenol or Ibuprofen to begin with (I seriously may use them once or twice a year), so instead of just dealing with the headache, as I usually do, this was a great alternative! I also sometimes add a drop of peppermint vitality oil to my coffee in the morning (or afternoon….) for an energizing, sweet treat. My favorite combo to diffuse with peppermint is lemon, lavender, and peppermint, which is called the “seasonal discomfort” blend.  It works very well and smells even better!

What are your favorite ways to use Young Living’s peppermint essential oil?

–Brandi

peppermint-infographic

Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only. I do not diagnose,
treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  If you are suffering from any disease, illness,
or injury, it is your responsibility to consult with your physician.  These
statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.

Some links on our website are affiliate links and we may make a commission from you using our link for your purchase.  However, it does not change the amount you pay for the item.  Thanks for your support!

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How to Organize Your Kids’ Toys Without Them Taking Over Your Home

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and was able to visit with family and friends! The days right after Christmas day always leave me antsy to go through my children’s toys, get rid of the things they rarely play with and organize all the new toys they’ve received. If you have little ones, you know that their toys take up lots of room since they can’t have many little pieces.  I have one child who is old enough to handle toys with little pieces and one child who needs to be kept away from small pieces, so we are in an interesting middle ground.  After a few years of trying various organizing strategies for their toys, the following setup is working really well for us and wasn’t hard to incorporate the new toys received at Christmas into the mix.

First of all, our children do not have a “play room.”  I know many parents who do this and it works for them because all of the toys stay in one centralized location (and you can close the door when it gets too crazy in there haha).  I found that one room with all the toys was simply overwhelming for my children and they didn’t actually play with their toys much.  We also do not have the luxury of an extra room just for toys now that we have two children in a three bedroom home.  As with everything, find what works for you and go with it.

ikea-sofa-table

What has worked well for us is to rotate out toys.  Sometimes it is parent-led rotation, sometimes my son will ask to swap out toys.  By doing so, I find that my children feel like they’ve received new toys since they haven’t seen the stored ones in a while.  So how do I keep everything stored whether it’s being played with or put away? Ikea to the rescue! We purchased this awesome sofa table (IKEA Hemnes Console Table) and the boxes that go in it from Ikea and had it shipped to our home (along with various other furniture purchases to save on shipping) instead of driving 5+ hours to our closest store.

The baskets on the top shelf come from Homegoods (another one of my favorite stores).  They hold mostly books and puzzles, with a basket or two for the random little toys children acquire that don’t really fit into any other categories. The boxes, from Ikea, are perfect because they have lids (to contain and hide all the “mess” of toys) and can be taken out and brought to whichever room the kids are playing in at the time.  They also limit the amount of toys that can be kept – if it doesn’t fit in the container, it needs to go or something else needs to go to make room for it.  (This is a great opportunity to teach your child about donating to those who have less.)

As far as the toys that are out of rotation at the time, they are kept in clear plastic containers (that can easily be found at Walmart or Target) at the top of my son’s closet.  He also has a few bins at the bottom of his closet for some of the larger accessories.  For example, all the superhero action figures and their small accessories are kept in the box at the top of the closet (or the gray box in our living room if he’s chosen that set at the moment), but the bat cave, bat car, etc. are kept in the orange bin at the bottom of his closet because it just doesn’t fit in the clear container at the top.  If you have the room for it, you can simply buy larger containers to keep it all together, but we are working with the setup we have currently.

Another advantage to this system is that its easier to say “you have to pick up all the toys from this box before taking out another,” if you chose to do so.  I don’t usually, however, simply because I like the creativity that is encouraged by mixing the types of toys.  Maybe my son has chosen his box of Magna-tiles and his box of cars at the moment.  He may build a garage for all the cars with the Magna-tiles, for example.

toy-box

My daughter is still young, so she has less collections of toys (although they are growing), so she has a few toys in the gray boxes and then the rest are in a toy box (from when I was a child) that is in another room in the house.  I’m sure in the next year or so, I’ll begin to set up a system for her similar to the one I have for my son.

How do you organize your children’s toys? What works for you? Let us know in the comments below.

–Brandi

What’s Cooking? Praline Pecan Bacon Wrapped Cocktail Sausage

Merry Christmas!  I pray you had a blessed day with your family and friends.
The first thing I placed in the oven the morning of our Christmas celebration were these praline pecan bacon wrapped cocktail  sausages.  They baked while I began preparing our Christmas Meal.  In less than an hour they were on a platter.  With a hot cup of coffee these were breakfast for my family as I continued fixing the Christmas dishes.  On my last post I promised to share this recipe with you.  It is a twist on the popular bacon wrapped cocktail sausages. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Ingredients:
1 pound of sliced bacon, cut into thirds
1 package of cocktail sausage
¾ cup of brown sugar
½ to ¾ cup of chopped pecans

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cut the slices of bacon into  thirds.
Wrap each cocktail sausage with a piece of bacon and place on a baking sheet.  I did not use a toothpick to secure, but you can if you prefer.

Sprinkle ½ cup of  brown sugar over the sausages.

Bake for 30 minutes until bacon is lightly brown and sugar is melted.
Mix the remaining ¼ cup of brown sugar with the pecans.
add-pecans-to-cocktail-sausages-wrapped-in-bacon
Sprinkle this mixture over the sausages and bake another 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove from oven.  They will be very hot, so allow them to cool before eating.
Enjoy.

–Penny

praline-pecan-bacon-wrapped-cocktail-sausages

How to Use Young Living Frankincense Essential Oil

Every Friday you can look forward to posts on recipes with essential oils, diffusing combinations, and information on individual oils.  I’m going to start with the oils in the Premium Starter Kit because that is the way that most people start their essential oils journey, and I want to give you the tools you need to know what to do with the oils you purchase.  Haven’t purchased your starter kit yet? I’d love to be the person who helps you learn all about essential oils and their great applications, just click here to get started.

This week we are learning all about Frankincense.  It’s pretty fitting since this weekend is Christmas, and one of the oils believed to be brought by the kings for Jesus’ birth was Frankincense. I love to wear Frankincense in my diffuser necklace so that I can smell it throughout the day.  It’s a rich, woodsy aroma perfect for grounding and spiritual connectedness.frankincense-oil-sistas

Ready to try out Frankincense? Here are a few ways to use it:

*Use 1-2 drops on temples and back of the neck to help with concentration
*Mix with lavender for overall skin health
*Promotes meditation and spiritual awareness
*Supports skin health and cellular regeneration
*Add to your favorite unscented body lotion or facial moisturizer
*Great for supporting your immune system

This is one of the first oils I tried (right after stress away & lavender). I started by wearing it in my diffuser necklace to mass every Sunday morning.  I now like to diffuse it and to apply it topically for great skin (especially with lavender) and immune support as well.

Here’s a little more about Frankincense:

frankincense-infographic

Have you tried Frankincense yet? What do you love to use it for?

–Brandi

Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only. I do not diagnose,
treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  If you are suffering from any disease, illness,
or injury, it is your responsibility to consult with your physician.  These
statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.

Some links on our website are affiliate links and we may make a commission from you using our link for your purchase.  However, it does not change the amount you pay for the item.  Thanks for your support!

Frugal Living: How to Feed Your Family With Just One Chicken! Recipe #6: Chicken Alfredo Pasta

This is post six in the series that started with the crockpot whole chicken.  Just finding out about this great series? Start here to catch up.

I am back again with a new recipe to add to your collection of ways to use your crockpot-cooked whole chicken.  Actually, I have two “recipes,” if you will, for you today because one is from scratch and one is the -it’s been a crazy day, I need something quick to keep me from going through the fast food drive-through- “recipe”.  Haha.

During the time when I was learning how to improve the meals that I was cooking for my family, moving more towards whole-food from-scratch meals and away from pre-made processed foods, this was one of the recipes I found and used.  It felt like I was cooking pasta from one of those boxed-pasta meals (easy!), but I knew it was better for my family because it included whole food ingredients that were commonly found in my home and it even had some veggies in it! Bonus points! My son loves pasta, so anytime I can feed him pasta with veggies in it, it’s a plus.

My favorite part of this recipe? It’s a one-pot meal, meaning that there’s only one pot to clean when I’m done cooking! Thankfully, this recipe is not very difficult even if you haven’t cooked the whole chicken ahead of time.  The only thing that changes is that you will have to cook the chicken breast thoroughly during the first step of the recipe, instead of just browning it a little like I explain below.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or the cooked breast of your crockpot chicken) *If you’ve already used the breast of the crockpot chicken, simply clean off enough of the rest of the meat from the chicken*
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups of chicken broth (use the chicken broth you made in recipe 2)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 lb your choice of pasta (I like to use rotini for this)
  • 2 cups shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 bag of frozen peas
  • Salt and pepper, as needed

Steps:

1. If you already have your cooked whole chicken, cut the meat into bite-sized pieces, and season with salt and pepper as needed. (If you are starting with raw chicken breasts, cut the chicken into 1 inch pieces.  Season with 1/2 tsp of salt and a few turns of pepper.)

2. Brown the chicken in olive oil over medium heat. (Brown raw chicken over medium high heat until cooked).

brown-chicken-with-garlic3. Once chicken is browned, add minced garlic and sauté for about one minute.

add-all-ingredients-into-the-pot

4. Add chicken broth, cream, and uncooked pasta to pan and stir.

5. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer.

chicken-alfredo-add-peas

6. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until pasta is tender.  Add in frozen peas during the last 8 – 10 minutes.

chicken-alfredo-add-peas-2

7. Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheese.

bowl-of-chicken-alfredo-2

8. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Enjoy!

 

If you are scrolling for the even easier recipe, here’s your “recipe” for chicken alfredo pasta:

Ingredients:

1 box of fettuccini noodles
1 jar of alfredo sauce
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 chicken breast from your crockpot whole-chicken
*peas optional – will need to be defrosted beforehand if frozen*

Steps:

1.) Put noodles boiling in water, according to instructions on box
fettuccini
2.) Cut up chicken into bite-sized pieces, brown slightly in pan with garlic


3.) Add Alfredo sauce from jar to the pan with the chicken, heat sauce.
add-alfredo-sauceto-chicken
4.) Add cooked pasta (and peas, if desired), mix thoroughly.
completed-chicken-alfredo

Remember, our site is all about taking little steps to improve your life.  If you use this second recipe, you’ve at least taken a step of improvement from the boxed pasta dinners.  Want to take a step further? Use the first recipe given.  This is one of the ways I slowly made the transition from processed foods to more whole-food meals.

–Brandi
bowl-of-chicken-alfredo

Missed the previous recipes? Find them all here:

Recipe #5: Chicken Salad Sandwiches 
Recipe #4: Chicken Quesadillas 
Recipe #3: Chicken Caesar Wraps
Recipe #2: Homemade Chicken Broth 
Recipe #1: Crockpot Whole Chicken 

 

 

My Little Way to Make a Big and Bountiful Meat and Cheese Board

On my last post, I shared with you that we belonged to a supper club and that this month it was our time to host the supper.   My plan was to place a large meat and cheese platter as the center piece of our table.   As I searched for just the right board to use, I remembered a simple wooden desk that my Dad had made for me years ago before he passed away.  My son removed the four legs from the table and there was my large (5 feet long by 2 feet wide) beautiful wooden board..  Perfect!  Now to fill it with food.  Over the last two months, I scanned the sale circulars from local stores.  This allowed me to purchase a variety of cheeses and meats at sale prices and then store them in the freezer until I was ready for them.  Last week I prepared the mini cheese balls in advance.  This week I took the cheese and meat out of the freezer and placed them into the refrigerator.  During the week, I prepped as much as possible ahead of time.  I cubed and sliced the different hard cheeses.  I rolled and folded the slices of deli meat.  Next, I prepared the sugar coated pecans and the spicy nuts. ( I will share these recipes in a future post.)

Saturday morning I began setting the table. Each place setting was simply a plate, fork, knife, and wine glass. Instead of a dinner plate, each guest had a small dessert plate which I used to serve the seasoned bread dipping oil.

Although I was serving a variety of finger foods, I still wanted us to be sitting around the table instead of walking around the room.  Therefore I had to strategically place the different  meats, cheeses, fruits, veggies and nuts within arms reach of each guest.

First, I arranged the fruit on the board.  I washed the grapes and placed them on the board.  I cut a cluster of satsumas and leaves from our tree and used this as the centerpiece.  I added dried fruit around the oranges.  Then, I placed the sugar pecans and spicy nuts on the board.

grapes-and-satsumas
Next, I put some praline pecan bacon wrapped cocktail sausages into the oven.  The idea to add pecans came to me when I was rolling the cheese balls in the bacon and pecan mixture.  These turned out scrumptious.  I will share this recipe in my next post.  While these were baking my husband grilled some smoked sausage, pork boudin and shrimp boudin .  Boudin is a Cajun dish made with rice, meat and seasonings and stuffed into a sausage casing.  When cooked, I placed them on the board.

fruit-and-cheese-board-overhead
Now, I added the rest of the food.  I used a variety of sweet, sour, and spicy foods.  I also chose foods with different textures such as soft, hard and crunchy.  In the end I had sliced hams, sausages, boudins, smoked salmon with cream cheese, pepper jelly with cream cheese, mini cheddar cheese balls, habanero cheese logs, pepper jack and monterey jack cubes, cheddar, Swiss, smoked Gouda, and muenster slices, guacamole, olives, sweet pickles, sour pickles, cherry tomatoes with mozzarella and balsamic vinegar, and kumquat preserves.  Lastly, I placed a variety of crackers, (plain, garlic, Parmesan, spinach, and sweet potato) around the board.
completed-fruit-and-cheese-board
When the board was complete, I drizzled the seasoned dipping oil onto each of my friends plates.

As our friends arrived, I placed the bread (one cheese and bacon stuffed pull apart bun and plain bun for dipping per guest) into the oven. When the bread was ready, I placed them onto white cupcake liners above each plate. Everyone found their seats and poured themselves a glass of wine.  Good times and good friends.  I truly am blessed.

–Penny

table-setting

My December 2016 Young Living Essential Rewards Order (and freebies!)

Want to see what I ordered in my December Young Living Essential Rewards (ER) order? Watch below to view my YouTube unboxing video. Have you started your oily journey yet?

In case you are not able to watch the video, here’s what I ordered this month:

(1) Thieves Household Cleaner – 14.4 fl oz
(1) Thieves Foaming Hand Soap Refill – 32 oz
(1) Thieves Foaming Hand Soap – 3 pack
(1) Cedarwood Essential Oil – 15 ml
(1) Slique Essence – 15 ml
(1) Orange Vitality Essential Oil – 5 ml
(1) Rosemary Vitality Essential Oil – 5 ml
(1) Tranquil Roll On – 10 ml
(1) R.C. Essential Oil – 15 ml (this was backordered)

Since I met a certain PV amount, I also got this oil FREE!!!:

(1) Orange Vitality Essential Oil – 5 ml

Finally, since I met a certain PV amount AND my order was an essential rewards order, I also got these oils FREE!!:

(1) Nutmeg Essential Oil – 5 ml

(1) Tea Tree Essential Oil – 5 ml

On top of all these rewards, I also received a free 5 ml of Peppermint Vitality essential oil because I’ve been on essential rewards for three consecutive months since the program was revamped in September (I’ve actually been a member since June).  

Ready to start ridding your home of toxins and replace them with all natural, healthy products? Email me, or visit this page.  *Note: In order to be a part of the essential rewards program, you must be a wholesale member.

October ER Order

September ER Order

August ER Order

DIY Make-Up Remover Pads and Lavender Orange Bath Salts

Last week I gave you lots of information on Young Living Lavender essential oil.  While I did include a few ways to use it, and a few recipes, the following two are some of my favorites that include Lavender.  I recently went to a Make & Take where I made lots of various oily products in beautiful containers, including these two recipes.  I’ve been using most of my products almost daily, so it’s time to refill them.  Here are the step-by-step instructions so that you can make these for yourself also (or maybe even for a few Christmas gifts this year!).  Don’t have Young Living essential oils yet?  I can help you get started.  Click here, or email me at ourlittleways@outlook.com

Make-Up Remover Pads
Ingredients for a 6 oz jar:
*2 tablespoons of fractionated coconut oil
*4 drops of Young Living Lavender essential oil
*2 teaspoons of witch hazel
*2 tablespoons of distilled water
*14 cotton rounds

  1. Pour coconut oil, lavender oil, witch hazel, and water into jar.
  2. Tighten lid and shake thoroughly.
  3. Open lid and place 14 cotton rounds in the glass container.
  4. Tighten lid and rotate until solution soaks into all the cotton rounds.
  5. Enjoy removing your makeup (or simply wiping your face down) at the end of a long day.

Lavender is great for your skin as well as such a calming, relaxing smell – perfect for preparing for bedtime.

Lavender-Orange Bath Salts
Ingredients:

*1 1/2 cups of Epsom salts
*1 cup of baking soda
*12 drops of Young Living Lavender essential oil
*12 drops of Young Living Orange essential oil

  1. Add 1/2 cup of Epsom salt and 1/3 cup of Baking soda
  2. Add 4 drops of Lavender and 4 drops of Orange, mix (or close lid and shake)
  3. Add 1/2 cup of Epsom salt and 1/3 cup of Baking soda
  4. Add 4 drops of Lavender and 4 drops of Orange, mix (or close lid and shake)
  5. Add 1/2 cup of Epsom salt and 1/3 cup of Baking soda
  6. Add 4 drops of Lavender and 4 drops of Orange, mix (or close lid and shake)
  7. Enjoy adding anywhere from a few tablespoons to a 1/2 cup of the bath salts mixture to a tub of hot water.  Soak and relax.

Check back here next Friday for information about a new oil with more recipes to follow!

–Brandi

diy-lavender-makeup-remover-pinterest-2          diy-lavender-orange-bath-salts-pinterest

 

Over the Door Gift Wrap Organization

We are almost done with our Christmas shopping!! My secret? Black Friday shopping online.  I love the deals offered on Black Friday every year, but now that we have two little ones at home, it just doesn’t make sense for us to go out shopping on Black Friday morning.  Thankfully, most of the deals are still available online with FREE SHIPPING! (Y’all know I love a good deal).  Between that and Amazon Prime, let’s just say that we keep our postal workers busy here.  Our kids are also having lots of fun with all the empty boxes. Anyways, now that most of the packages have been delivered, it’s time to wrap presents!! While I do already love wrapping presents, the gift wrap organizer that I set up about five years ago does make it so much easier!!Read More »

What’s Cooking? Mini Cheese Balls Appetizer

A couple of years ago my husband and I, along with 2 other couples, started a supper club.  Our supper club has grown to five couples since then.  This month it is our turn to host the supper.  Although the supper isn’t until next weekend, these mini cheese balls are one of the things that I am preparing in advance.  With the busy holidays ahead, and many invitations to parties, you might want to make a couple of batches of these ahead of time.  Just make them and freeze them. When you need to bring something to a party, take them out of the freezer, let them defrost, add a pretzel stick (optional), place on a platter, and you have something to bring to the party.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients
8 ounces cream cheese
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
Pinch or two of salt
1 cup cheddar cheese
½ cup pecans
6 slices cooked bacon
¼ cup chives
pretzel sticks (optional)

Directions:
Mix cream cheese and seasonings together until smooth. Add cheddar cheese and mix.

Using a small melon ball scoop as a measurement, I scooped up the cheese mixture and rolled them into mini balls.  Cover and refrigerate until firm.

Chop the pecans, bacon, and chives and mix.  Place in a shallow bowl.
When the mini balls are firm, roll them into this mixture and press until they are fully coated.  They are now ready to eat.  Place them on a platter or wooden board.  Adding a pretzel stick makes it easy to serve, but is optional.

cheese-ball-in-pecan-mixture

When freezing them for a later date, place them on a cookie sheet, making sure that they are not touching.

cheese-balls-rolled-in-pecan-mixture-1

After they are frozen you can place them into a freezer bag and place back into the freezer.
Remove from freezer as needed, defrost, add a pretzel stick if you’d like, place on a platter, and enjoy.

–Penny