Toxin Free Family – Rid Your Home of Chemicals

Many families are seeking to live a toxin free life. Although it’s impossible to avoid all chemicals, avoiding as many as possible can certainly provide many benefits. There are several areas where we can cut the toxins in our homes – cleaning products, laundry products, and personal care products. Sit back and enjoy the information here. It might be depressing at first to see all the toxins that are in our products, but take heart because there ARE wonderful alternatives!

toxin free

Toxins in Personal Care Products

One of the main ingredients in all antibacterial soaps is triclosan. It is believed to disrupt thyroid function and hormone levels. Some studies also say that the overuse of antibacterial soaps has made antibiotic resistant strands of bacteria. This can cause all kinds of problems, one being the increase of MRSA. No one wants more of that!antibacterial soap

Shampoos, creams, deodorants and everything else we put into our bodies go directly into our largest organ – our skin! The beauty care industry is one of the least regulated industries in the world. This is where the buyer needs to do their homework. The main ingredients to avoid include SLS (sodium laurel sulfate), parabens, phthalates, fragrances, proylene glycol, alcohol, DEA, and petrolatum for starters.

Companies are not required to list all ingredients in personal care products and most of them don’t because they want to preserve their trade secrets. If the government doesn’t require ingredients to be listed, companies won’t list them.

Toxins in our Food

When we purchase fruits and vegetables in the store, we don’t realize how many chemicals have been used on them to make them look so good. It is important to buy organic produce whenever possible. Organic produce is becoming more popular and should become even more affordable as more people ask for it.


Toxins in Our Laundry

Even though we think laundry is clean if it smells perfumey, we don’t realize how many harmful chemicals are in detergents and softeners. We breathe these chemicals all day because they are on our clothes and then we breathe them all night because they are in our sheets. Too much of a good thing is too much and too much of a bad thing can negatively impact our family’s health! This graphic shows the link to asthma because of toxin overload. Has anyone noticed how many more people have asthma today than 40 years ago? It’s not just a coincidence!


Toxins in our Cleaning Products

We think that we have to use harmful chemicals to get our house really clean, but that is not the truth. We have been trained to think that killing germs needs to be done with chemicals.

I have used lots of natural and toxin-free cleaners over the years and I found them to be very ineffective. Most of the “green cleaners” that companies produce, usually contain just as many chemicals as the non-green cleaners and are not truly toxin-free. They are just labeled differently. I will share all the effective alternatives we use at the end of this post.


Toxin Alternatives – What to Use Instead

Hand Soap and Toothpaste – Our alternative to toxin-laden antibacterial soap and toothpaste is the Thieves line of products from Young Living Essential Oils. The toothpaste is very good for our gums and teeth and doesn’t have any harmful chemicals in it. It has Thieves essential oil in it which is very supportive of mouth and dental maintenance.

The foaming hand soap smells and works great. It also contains Thieves essential oil which is very supportive of the immune system. The Thieves Waterless Hand Cleaner is also great when we are out and about and feel the need to get the germs off our hands.

thieves toothpaste

Some families choose to make their own toothpaste with natural ingredients and you are certainly welcome to do that. Here is our natural hand soap recipe.

Thieves hand soap recipe

Fruit and Vegetable Wash – Young Living has a fruit and vegetable wash available in a spray bottle or pourable bottle. Another alternative is to use a spray bottle and fill it with 5-8 drops Thieves oil and water. Spray down produce and let sit for a few minutes. Then wash off.

Laundry Detergent – The Thieves Laundry detergent is amazing. It works well and uses just about 1 teaspoon for each normal load in a HE washer. Cost is about 45 cents per load but the fact that it cleans well and contains no harmful chemicals is important to our family. I use wool balls and homemade dryer sheets made with vinegar and essential oils to help soften our clothes and remove static in the dryer.

Air Fresheners and Candles – These products also contain potentially harmful chemicals so we choose to diffuse essential oils instead. They provide a clean fresh scent that is actually beneficial to our family’s health. Always use a cool mist micronizing diffuser and never heat essential oils.

Cleaning Products – Only one cleaner is necessary to clean anything in the house. Thieves Cleaner can replace every cleaning product you have in your house! It is incredibly powerful and there is nothing on the label that says “if ingested call poison control.” I take 1/2 T Thieves Cleaner (capful) and put it in a large spray bottle with water and clean everything in my house for months! PLUS it’s THE most effective cleaner I have EVER used! I have cleared out ALL my other cleaners and just have this one on the shelf. Have you used it yet?

To start your toxin free life, Young Living has a nice sampling of home care products that can be purchased in a kit valued at $300 for $160 that includes: Thieves Cleaner (2 bottles), Thieves spray (2 bottles), Thieves mouthwash, Thieves waterless hand cleaner (2 bottles), Thieves hand soap (2 bottles), Thieves toothpaste, Thieves essential oil, Stress Away essential oil, essential oil samples and bottles. This all comes with a Young Living membership that allows you to purchase Young Living products at the wholesale cost. Please contact me if you’re interested and I can answer all your questions and guide you along the way.

I hope this post has been helpful in explaining the toxins in the products we use. Do some research on the chemicals and use the products and recipes I provided here and you should be on your way to a toxin free house.

Organic Grocery Finds at Aldi

I have been shopping at Aldi since my children were little and it wasn’t really cool to shop there. We had to carry cash because debit cards were not accepted. How far Aldi has come! Almost every time I go there, I find more organic products that they are carrying.

Simply Nature Aldi Brand

They have a brand of products called Simply Nature. Although this brand is free of 125 ingredients including artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup, nitrites, propylene glycol and others all listed here, not all are organic. This is still a great improvement over most grocery store products.aldi organic

Organic Groceries at Lower Prices

For those of us that live in less populated areas, organic groceries are very hard to find and if you find them, you pay a premium price. Even in big cities, organic grocery prices can be quite high. Not at Aldi’s! Sure, they are probably more than the non-organic products, but they are WAY better than at many other stores.

Here is a sampling of the types of organic foods you can get here:

Snacks and Sweets – You can find popcorn, chips (tortilla and sweet potato), and various fruit snacks (again, not all are organic) and most are under $2.00!

Frozen Foods – Organic blueberries and strawberries, and organic frozen fruit bars all under $3.00!

Pantry Items – Organic coconut oil (my favorite) for $4.99 a jar in our area! They also carry organic soup broths, granola cereals, coffee cup packets, honey, pasta sauces, salsas, and even noodles and apple juice! They have other granola-type bars and cereals in their Simply Nature line that are not organic.

Dairy – Organic soymilk and cows milk.

Vegetables and fruits – The store where I shop almost always stocks organic carrots, tomatoes, lettuce (including spring mix and spinach), bananas, and apples.

Canned foods – I have seen organic kidney beans and diced tomatoes.

Meats – They even carry organic grass fed ground beef! Yes, it’s $6.99 a pound, but for those that choose to eat this healthy, it’s cheaper than other stores.

Never Any – meats that Aldis carries that have no antibiotics, are 100% vegetarian fed, raised cage free, have no added hormones or steriods, and are fresh, never frozen! These meats include chicken, uncured bacon, chicken sausages, and 2 types of lunch meat.  I enjoy the nitrate free bacon although I’m sure it’s not organic. It’s still WAY better than any other bacon I could buy on those rare occasions when we use it. Being able to purchase this chicken and lunch meat has allowed us to eat healthier meats at a reduced cost.

I have heard of some Aldis stores that carry organic brownie mix, cake mixes, pancake mix, and organic bread. These are not available in our area, but hopefully they will be soon.

Many of the organic purists will probably argue that Aldi’s brands are not healthy enough, but in my book, if you buy organic, you are doing better than most. Yes, not all the Simply Nature offerings are organic or as pure as some people like, but I love their organic line and applaud them for giving us a wide range of options to purchase.






Laundry Tips for Sanity and Organization

Laundry seems to be a major chore for many families. To me, dishes and keeping the kitchen clean is more of a chore so I’m going to share my favorite laundry hacks and why laundry is no big deal in my book. There are simple things you can do each week and there are ways to train your children so that washing clothes doesn’t have to be a stressful experience.


Laundry Room Ideas

Whether you have a laundry room or area, how you organize that space will make a huge difference in how your clothes through in an efficient manner. Here are some necessary elements that every laundry room needs:

At least 2 baskets/bins for sorting – Getting clothes thrown in the right bin when undressing is going to save lots of sorting later. Use one basket/bin for whites and another basket/bin for everything else. If you have room for 3 bins, use one for whites, another for colors, and a third for darks.

Children (and spouses) can be taught to sort. Do whatever you have to do to get this ingrained in their brains to make it an automatic response for them. Bins can be labeled with a color so that young children will know which bin to place their items.

Space for stained items – Make sure your laundry room has a place set aside where family members can place their stained items. They can either be trained to take care of the stain on their own or they can place the item in this space so mom will see it and be able to pre-treat the stain.

Sorting in Bedrooms – Some families will choose to have their sorting bins in bedrooms. Where you place your bins just depends on where your laundry room is in relation to your bedrooms. If they are far apart, bins in bedrooms will be important. Other families who have their washing machine near the bedrooms can just keep their sorting bins in the laundry room. Many people say that keeping the bins in this area tends to keep the bedrooms looking neater.

How Often Should You Do Laundry?

Doing laundry daily works for some families, but we choose to do our laundry weekly. I wash mine and my husband’s clothes every Tuesday. The rest of the family members do their own laundry on whatever days of the week work best for them.

Young children – I find it best to do one or two family member’s laundry at a time. Throwing everyone’s pieces of laundry in the washer at the same time just causes a ton of extra sorting. Doing the laundry for everyone in a bedroom seems to work well. If a couple children share a bedroom, then doing their laundry together usually works.

Older Children – When my children are between 10-14 years old, I give them the right-of-passage to be allowed to use the washing machine. I show them how to sort their clothes, use detergent, and turn on the machine. Usually they are happy to have control of an area of their lives. If you have trained them right from the beginning, they have probably been helping you wash, sort, and fold clothes all along anyways.

If doing laundry daily works better for you, then do what works best. The weekly system works best for us because I only need to mess with the whole process for 1-2 days a week instead of daily. I will wash sheets or towels here and there during the week if needed, but our basic clothing just gets handled once a week. The point is to find a good system that works well for your family. If your system isn’t working, find one that will make washing clothes run more smoothly.

Do Less Laundry!

Most families are just plain doing too much laundry! Towels can be used more than once or twice. You are clean when you use them, so why wash them each time they are touched? Install hooks in bathrooms so towels can easily be dried and reused. Wash sheets less often. Wear PJs more than one night. Teach your family to think before tossing a barely worn item into the laundry hamper. Get your family on your side to help create less laundry and less stress keeping all these clothes washed.

Wash and Fold

The most efficient way to have wrinkle free clothes is to fold them right out of the dryer. This is often not as easy as it sounds. If you find yourself with a pile of clean clothes, here are some tips:

  1. Kids need to help fold clothes – They might not fold it as well, but laundry folded by a kid way is better than unfolded.
  2. Multi-task while folding clothes – use this boring time of folding to talk with family members, watch TV, listen to music, listen to an inspirational speaker or talk on the phone with someone. It makes the time go faster and accomplishes two things at once.
  3. Family members should put their own folded clothes away. I put my husband’s clothes away because he has so many other jobs that he does around the house, but other family members are required to manage their own stuff. This is just good boundary training. Everyone carries their own backpack in life and no one in a family should be burdened caring for all other family member’s clothes. Everyone needs to pitch in and share the load.

I hope this information has been helpful to you. Please let me know if you have any questions at all. For more organizing tips, check out how to organize your life with file folders and chemical free cleaning tips.

Habits – How to Develop Healthy Habits

We all have habits. Some of us have the habit of leaving our dirty dishes in the living room and others have the habit of washing our dishes as soon as we use them. Some of us have the habit of making our beds as soon as we get out of them and others never make their bed.

healthy habits

Bad Habits

Not everyone sees every bad habit as bad. Some people think that throwing their keys anywhere in the house is a bad habit, while others see nothing wrong with that. Others think that the habit of bursting out in anger over anything that frustrates them is a bad habit and others just think that is a normal part of life.

Good Habits

Some people think that eating an avocado every day is a good habit and others think avocados are disgusting and that eating almonds every day is a better habit. Whether someone thinks a habit is good or bad, the truth is that we all have habits.

How to Develop Healthy Habits

At the beginning of the year many people vow to improve their life and develop healthy habits. Some healthy habits relate to food, relationships, routines, thoughts, emotions, and more.

When thinking about healthy habits, it’s important to not try to take on too many new habits at once. Think about a couple of areas of life that need updating and focus on those.

Feeling Stuck in an Area of Life?

Think over a couple of areas of your life that just feel out of balance. Does your laundry system stress you out each week? Develop a new system or ask a friend to help you come up with an easy system that will work for you. Does your kitchen system stress you out? Change it! Is one of the relationships in your life out of balance? Get some help to get out of it or make it better.

Healthy Food Habits – Developing healthy habits related to food is a great place to start. Food affects many of the areas of our lives; how we feel, how we react to stress, how much we can exercise, etc. There are thousands of diet books out there, each with their own premise and secret to maintaining a healthy weight.

I have tried many of these and have found that eating real foods is the best way to work on the habit of eating healthy. Eat mostly vegetables and meat, a little fruit and stay away from processed foods.

Cleansing the body is also a great way to reset it and help it to desire good foods again. The most effective cleansing program I have used is the Isagenix 9 or 30 day System. It’s a great reset program that helped me lose 11 pounds and almost 14 inches in 9 days a few years ago.

Other successful food resets I have found include:

  • 7 Day Jump Start Plan that comes with exercises and recipe guides with over 40,000 satisfied customers
  • The Bulletproof Diet – Find out how non-moldy coffee and the right fat helped this guy lose all the weight he wanted.
  • Trim365 Sprays – an easy way to reduce stubborn inches that my friend is having great results.

Laundry Habits – For those that need to develop a better laundry system, I suggest not washing more than 1 or 2 people’s laundry at a time. Those that wash everyone’s laundry together end up getting bogged down by tons of sorting when it is clean. I only handle our personal laundry once a week. I wash mine and my husband’s clothes once a week and fold it when it comes out of the dryer.

Once my children get to be about 10-12 years old, I upgrade them to be able to use the big machines and “let” them be responsible for their own laundry. Do I swap out the loads for them once in a while? Sure do, but it’s ultimately their responsibility to get it all done and in the right places.

If your laundry is out of control, take back control and decide which part to start with. Will you work on folding each load as it comes out of the dryer? Will you upgrade your children to be allowed to do their own laundry? Will you get a couple of baskets to put in each bedroom so that lights and darks can be sorted when the clothes are taken off? Will you set up a reward system for those children who forget to put their dirty clothes where they need to go? Feel free to use my free chore chart if that is the case.

Healthy Cleaning Habits – Chemical free cleaning is possible! I use Thieves Cleaner for all our cleaning. This product is incredibly effective and is much less expensive than any other products I have used. Get the details on Thieves Cleaner here.

Mail/Paper Habits – Are the paper piles in your house out of control? Change how you handle paper! Read books or ask friends how they manage their paper piles and don’t let that paper overtake your house! I open all mail at once and make a recycling pile and an action pile right away. The recycled paper get put away and then I take action on the other papers. It really only takes a few minutes, so don’t stress about this part. Just do it and don’t think too hard about the process.

Time Habits – Developing good time habits is key to living a productive life. Making lists works for most people. I prefer to have a master list of projects and circle or highlight only those items I plan to get done that day. Assigning times during the day to certain tasks works for some. Sometimes when I feel like I have too much to do, I write next to the item on my to do list the number of minutes that item will take to accomplish. Many times the items on my list take 5-10 minutes and I just get those done fast. Or I tackle the longer jobs and do the short jobs at the end. Do whatever works best for you.

Here is a graphic of the master project list system that I use. The circled items become my to do list for that day.

to do listThis post could go on for days covering every area of our lives where we can develop healthy habits. The point is to pick one or two areas that need help with habits and do them well. There is no reason to stay stuck in life! If you are stuck, there is always a way to get unstuck. It might take some reading or talking, but it will always be worth the effort.

Healthy Snacks for Kids and Adults

Finding healthy snacks can sometimes be a challenge in the fast paced world we live in. If we are convinced that healthy food is best for our families, we can make good choices when it comes to snacks.

It takes time to make changes so sometimes it’s best to take it slow. Adding some good snacks is a good place to start. It’s important for parents to be an example to kids in this area, so plan on using these snack ideas for yourself too.

healthy snacks

Good Healthy Snacks

Organic Granola Bars – We enjoy Cascadian Farms and Cliff Kids bars best for this category. When you use the Subscribe and Save feature at this site, they are much more affordable.

Trail Mix – This is not the best choice because of the dried fruit, but it is a lot better than chips or candy, so pick your favorite tastes and try to choose organic when you can.

Rice Cakes – These are not my favorite, but some people like them. Be sure to watch the sugar content when reading labels. Plain is best, of course, but not always as tasty. Some people like to put nut butter on these to avoid sugar.

Energy balls – Here is a yummy energy ball recipe that you can mix in a food processor. Mix 1/2 c peanut or almond butter, 1/2 c honey, 1 t vanilla. Then add 1 c oatmeal, 1 c coconut flakes, 1/2 c ground flax seeds, 1/2 c mini chocolate chips. Chill for 1/2 hour. Roll into balls. Store in airtight container up to 1 week.

Organic string cheese – This is a great source of protein.

Better Healthy Snacks

Popcorn made with coconut oil – Use 2 T coconut oil in a pot with 1/4 c popcorn and sea salt to taste. Keep shaking the pot until you don’t hear any more kernels popping. Remove from heat.

Beef jerky without nitrates or chemicals

Ningxia yogurt – Organic Greek yogurt mixed with Ningxia Red drink for flavor and amazing health benefits.

Organic applesauce – This can be found at most local grocery stores.

Fresh fruit – Buy as much local and organic as possible.

Best Healthy Snacks

Celery with almond butter spread on it

Protein shake – I choose the Pure Protein Complete for my family. It comes in chocolate and vanilla. Contact me for details on the best way to get this.

Sliced vegetables – Buy local and organic as much as possible.

Avacado pudding – here is a free recipe link

Hard boiled eggs – Buy from local free range farms where no antibiotics or steroids are given to the chickens if possible.

Dates, Bubbies pickles, guacamole, seaweed snacks

The most important drink our children can drink is water. If they don’t like the taste, use some essential oils in the water to jazz up the taste.

Here is a great recipe that I use all the time when I feel I need a sweet after a meal:

Chocolate Almond Bars

Mix in food processor –

1/c coconut oil, melted

1/2 c cocoa powder

1/2 c smooth almond butter

1/4 c raw honey, pure maple syrup or THM Sweet Blend

Line 8×8 pan with wax paper and pour mixture in and smooth out. Chill 30 minutes or freeze for 10 minutes. Slice into cubes and enjoy.

Make good choices as often as you can. Use stevia in place of sugar as much as possible and avoid artificial sweeteners. Good choices will lead to healthier bodies. We need to take care of the bodies that have been given to us and not beat ourselves up too much when we falter.

Taking the bad choices out of the house and replacing them with good choices will help your family in their wellness journey. Your family might not like it at first, but when you educate them about what their body is truly craving, they will get used to the new snacks and possibly feel better in the long run.

Memorize Bible Verses Easily – Here’s How

When trying to teach my children how to memorize Bible verses, I have failed a lot over the years. We have used various methods but nothing really seemed to stick unless they were on a Bible quiz team.

The verses that I know well were all memorized when I was a child or teen. Since my last child is a teenager now, I felt even more frantic to find something to help him memorize Bible verses easily.  memorize

Memorization Techniques

After thinking about the best way to memorize verses, I came up with this simple method that has been working for us. After selecting a verse or set of verses to memorize, download this free Bible Memory printable.

  1. Write one word from the verse in each box provided.
  2. In the second set of boxes, write every other word of the Bible verse – skipping every other box.
  3. In the bottom set of boxes, choose 5 of the most important words in the verse(s) and put them in their respective boxes.

Have your child read over the verse in the first set of boxes a few times out loud. Then fold down the top part of the paper so that the bottom 2 boxes are showing and have your child try to say the verse even though they only see every other word. Bible memory

After a day or 2 of saying the verse with every other word missing, your child should be about ready to work with the third set of boxes on the page. Those five words with the blank spaces at the bottom of the page should give your child the confidence to recite the verse without looking at the page at all.

Verse of the Day – Memorize and Review

Whether your children memorize a verse a week or a verse a day, revisiting the verses they have memorized will be key. You can file the completed papers in a pendaflex file that has a slot for every day. As your child memorizes more and more verses, there should eventually be a verse of the day or more for every day of the month.

It will only take a few minutes a day to review these because they have already learned the verses. Spending just a few minutes a day going over the verses they have memorized will reap great rewards in the long run because those verses should really stick in their memory.

I hope this printable and instructions help your family memorize Bible verses easily in the future.

Chemical Free Cleaning Tips

When thinking about chemical free cleaning, I used to think it meant using cleaners that were diluted and didn’t work. Most of the green cleaning products I used were not very effective, but then I found one that exceeded my expectations. chemical free cleaning tips

First, I believe we have to have the motivation to avoid chemicals and to get that motivation, we need education. Here are some of the chemicals we want to avoid: triclosan, parabens, phthalates (these make plastics flexible. Plastics with the recycle code 3 on them contain this), Sodium Laurel Sulfate SLS, and propylene glycol (this is antifreeze. Nothing that goes in my car should go in my body except for water!).

Avoid anything that says “fragrance” on the label. This usually means there is something in this product that the company doesn’t want you to know about.

Many of the chemicals listed above have been banned in other countries or are known to be harmful to humans. Companies think that if we get just a little bit of these chemicals, we will be okay. But the truth is that we are getting hundreds of little bits of chemicals each day and it is taking a toll on our country’s health.

Companies are not required to list all ingredients. Green cleaning products tend to have just as many chemical in them as regular products. Sometimes they are just diluted more. Since all ingredients are not listed, it’s important to research and make sure chemical free cleaning products are on your shelves being put to use.

How to Clean Without Chemicals

Always use natural plant based cleaners – always! When you breathe in chemical cleaners,  it takes just 26 seconds for them to get into your bloodstream. The plant based cleaner I have chosen is called Thieves Cleaner. Nothing on the label says, “If ingested, call poison control”. This chemical free cleaner has cleaned things that even bleach couldn’t get clean! I have replaced all the cleaners in my house with this one cleaner and my house smells wonderful and clean! I can mix up .38 of this cleaner in a large spray bottle of water and clean my whole house for months!

Here are some of the things I use this chemical free cleaner for: washing floors, kitchen counters, oven, everything in the bathroom (including hairspray overspray), carpet refresher, laundry, dishes, fruit and vegetable wash, dusting and more. This has simplified my cleaning and reduced all the clutter of cleaning products I used to store.

Chemical Free Cleaning Recipes

Normal cleaning – mix 1 capful (1/2T) Thieves cleaner in 32 ounce spray bottle with water.

Use for general household cleaning of bathrooms, kitchens, floors, and surfaces

Medium cleaning – Mix 1 capful (1/2T) Thieves Cleaner with 2 c water.

Use for tougher stains and dirtier surfaces.

Heavy cleaning – Mix 1 capful (1/2T) Thieves Cleaner with 1 c water.

Use for really tough and greasy areas that the lighter cleaning recipes didn’t seam to conquer.

Window cleaning – mix 1/4 t Thieves Cleaner with 1 quart water in a spray bottle and clean as usual.

I use the Normal Cleaning recipe for 99% of the cleaning I do in my house. Feel free to experiment with these recipes and make them your own.

Cleaning without chemicals does not have to be expensive or complicated. Thieves Cleaner can be purchased on it’s own here, or as a kit of cleaning products here with ID#1342358 (choose Thieves starter kit on 3rd page) or as a wholesale member with if you are already a Young Living member.

I’m glad to answer any questions about chemical free cleaning that you may have. Feel free to contact me and I will do my best to help you.



Essential Oils for Homeschooling

Using essential oils for homeschooling can be quite simple. Opening the bottles and diffusing different blends is the simplest way to get started. Many homeschool families use essential oils each day with great success.

The most common essential oils used for everyday health can also be used in the homeschooling environment to help increase focus and mood. Diffusing essential oils is just basically putting water and about 5 drops of essential oil into a cool mist diffuser. You don’t want to heat essential oils so a cool mist device approved for essential oil use is the best way to diffuse oils into the air. The oil kit I talk about at the end includes a free diffuser, so read all the way to the end. Using essential oils for homeschooling

Most common essential oils for homeschooling and how to use them

Lemon – Lemon oil has a wonderful scent and can be diffused to help increase mental alertness and lift the mood of those in the area. Students and parents can put a drop or two of lemon oil in a glass cup with water and enjoy a refreshing drink all day. Most people say that they feel more energized at the end of the day when they have been drinking their lemon water.

Lavender – Lavender oil is very relaxing and many people use it to help them sleep. When families sleep well, they can enjoy a better day together. Some students find that using lavender during the day helps them to settle down and focus better too. This oil can also help to calm anxiety and stress. For more information on essential oils for homeschool and recipes with lavender, check

Peppermint – This oil is very beneficial for the respiratory, digestive and muscular systems of the body. It can help provide energy and focus. Many school teachers provide peppermint candies on test day because it is a proven fact that peppermint helps you retain the material you have learned. My daughters in college use this oil a lot. It is such a versatile oil that can be used very effectively to support the whole body!

Thieves – This is an oil blend that is very supportive of the immune system. Many parents diffuse this oil every day in their homes and others just use it when their families need immune support.

Purification – Every home has smelly places at one time or another. Some have smelly cars, smelly shoes, smelly basements, or burned dinner smells. This is oil blend is soothing to the skin and can help make an annoyance free environment when applied outdoors.

Stress Away – This is another oil blend that Young Living has created to help moms, dads, and kids everywhere. It can be diffused or put in a drink like water or milk to help promote relaxation and tranquility.

DiGize – Who doesn’t need some digestive support once in a while? This oil blend promotes healthy digestion and can soothe and support the digestive system.

RC – Diffuse and apply this oil blend to support the immune and respiratory systems. This is a great blend to use in the winter when respiratory systems can sometimes get stressed.

Frankincense – Mentioned 22 times in the Bible, this oil supports the immune and respiratory systems and can help balance emotions and promote meditation.

These oils are some of the most popular essential oils that Young Living provides and are all included in the starter kit with the diffuser. Many homeschool families use this kit with great results. For more advanced oil information, uses and recipes, and more about essential oils for homeschooling go to oils to use for homeschooling

More oil blends for homeschooling

Brain Power – This is a favorite blend that has a rich invigorating scent. It can be inhaled or diffused for an uplifting aroma. Apply topically and enjoy its inspiring scent.

Clarity – When feeling sleepy, this oil can help restore mental alertness. It can also help promote mental sharpness and a clear mind.

Cedarwood – This oil includes sesquiterpenes and its powerful scent creates a relaxing, calming, and comforting atmosphere when diffused. Its woodsy, warm, balsamic aroma can be added to skin care products and applied topically.Cedarwood is an important ingredient in Brain Power™, Grounding™, Highest Potential™ Essential Oil Blends.

Awaken – This oil helps bring about inner awareness and awakening. It is an inspiring combination and can help make successful changes and desirable transitions. This blend may help students progress to their highest potential.

Highest Potential – This is an exotic blend that can help students achieve their highest potential and can bring a greater sense of purpose.The Jasmine oil in this blend is added to enhance self-confidence.

Valor – As a popular blend among Young Living oil users, this oil can be applied to wrists, chest, the base of the neck and the bottoms of the feet to build confidence and balance. It can also be diffused or inhaled for a calming aroma.

Peace & Calming – Another favorite among Young Living oil users, this is wonderful smelling blend that is comforting to many. It can be diffused to create a calming and peaceful atmosphere throughout the home. Peace & Calming is a must have for every household, especially those with young children.

Harmony – What home couldn’t use a little extra harmony? This exquisite blend promotes physical and emotional well-being and harmonic balance. The calming aroma of this blend helps contribute to an overall feeling of well-being.

Don’t try to figure all of this out alone! Fill out the contact form on this site and get the mentoring and help you need directly from me. I’ve been using these essential oils for 3 1/2 years and can walk you through customizing a plan for your family within your budget and needs.

The only oils I will put on my family are Young Living oils. They are the purest and work the best for us. I have visited their farms and have done my research and these are the best to use. Get started with essential oils by contacting me or using the instructions on the right side of this page.

Quick Healthy Meal Ideas When You Have Little Time

Since we live such busy lives, I thought I would share some of my quick healthy meal ideas. These are our tried and true go-to favorites that don’t take much time to make and are fairly healthy.

When you are busy, planning ahead is key. Maybe you know a certain season of the year is busy. Take some time the rest of te year to make some freezer meals ahead so that during the busy season, you have something easy to fix. If you don’t plan for the busy season, then life will get out of control and you will feel guilty that you are always eating fast food or snacks for dinner.

quick healthy meal ideas

Planning Meals

Planning only takes a few minutes, so take your down time to think through your plan. Use the waiting times like when you are waiting to pick up your children or at the end of the day. Thinking ahead with questions like, “What do I need to be prepared for tomorrow or next week?” will help you get prepared and make life run a little smoother.

Quick and Easy Recipes:

Here are some recipes you can use to help you get started:

Mexican Medley

2 c brown rice or combination of brown and white rice

1 can organic black beans

2 c cubed cooked chicken

1-2 c salsa

1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese

Cook brown rice according to package directions. This will take about 45 minutes, so go do some laundry, set the table, and/or straighten the house.

When rice is cooked, add beans, chicken, and salsa (to taste) and mix together. Heat over medium heat until everything is cooked through. You may want to add some water if you don’t use much salsa. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a salad.

Stir Fry Chicken or Beef

2 c chopped vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, peas (no need to chop), mushrooms, etc.

2 c raw or cooked cubed chicken breast or beef

2 T olive oil

2 T Braggs Liquid Aminos or low sodium soy sauce

Noodles or rice

1 c water

2 T flour or corn starch or 1/4 t glucommanan powder

Start a pot of water for noodles or rice or use leftover or frozen noodles or rice.

Add uncooked meat to a heated saucepan with 2T olive oil. If your meat is already cooked, then cook the vegetables first and then add the cooked meat. Add 2T Braggs Liquid Aminos or your choice of low sodium soy sauce. Stir ocassionally and stir often.

When meat is fully cooked and vegetables are crisp-tender, combine 1 c water with 2 T flour or corn starch or 1/4 t glucomannan powder and add to meat/vegetable mixture and stir until sauce thickens.

Serve over prepared rice or noodles.


1# ground beef or ground turkey

2 T homemade taco seasoning or store bought brand

Tortillas (warmed), shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and chopped tomatoes if available.

Brown ground beef or ground turkey. Add water and taco seasoning. Mix and simmer on low for 10 minutes. Serve with warmed tortillas and toppings listed above.

Serve with vegetable and salad.


This sounds like a lame suggestion, but there are many great varieties of frozen hamburger patties that can be purchased. All you have to do is provide the pan (make sure you cover with a lid) or grill along with buns, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, mayo, ketchup, mustard, or relish. This is a much better alternative to fast food burgers and takes just minutes to cook.

Serve with cooked or raw vegetables and a salad.

Tortilla Pie

4  tortillas 8-10″ size

2 c leftover chili or 2 cans chili beans

1 c shredded cheddar cheese

This is a great family favorite if you have leftover chili, but if you don’t, a can of chili beans will work just as well. Grease or spray a 9″ pie pan. Lay a tortilla in the bottom of the pan.

Add 1/2 c leftover chili or 1/2 c from a can of chili beans and spread over tortilla. Add 1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese. Top with another tortilla and repeat until you have a total of 4 tortillas ending with cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees. Feel free to make as many pie pans of this recipe as needed.

I hope these suggestions have been helpful to you. Let me know if you have any suggestions of recipes that you have found that work well to provide good healthy meals in a short amount of time.


How to Tell if Your Homeschool Curriculum Is Working or Not

Whether you are a homeschool mom or a mom who does preschool or other educational activities with your children, sometimes it can seem like your curriculum isn’t working for you. How do you know whether to keep going or to stop and re-evaluate your plan?

I’ve been homeschooling for over 20 years and I’ve seen lots of curriculums and lots of things that moms use to supplement their children’s public school education. Here are some quick tips to use to evaluate whether you should keep going with what you have or whether you should move on to something else.

how to tell if your homeschool curriculum is working

Teaching Your Children

Is It Necessary? – Are you using a book, resource, or homeschool curriculum that is essential to your child’s development? Is it important for them to do every page in their preschool letter workbook when they cry every time you bring it out? Is it important that your child do every single math problem on a page when it causes them hours of frustration? On the other hand, just because they complain because they have to do a grammar page in a workbook every day or write a paragraph for you every day doesn’t mean you should stop having them do that.

Basically, pay attention to why you want them to do this activity or task and why they might not like it. Do they not like it because they are being lazy? Do you want them to do it because it will build a skill or character quality into the that they will need in the future? Are you wanting them to do this activity or task because you are trying to impress someone?

In the end your relationship with your child is most important. If this curriculum or task is causing some damage to your relationship then you need to seriously consider whether this item is truly necessary.

Have you prayed about it? – If you are a Christian, prayer should be an important part of what you do with your children. Many times we see another parent who is using a certain book or homeschool curriculum with their children with success and we think that we need to use it too. Most of the time we don’t pray about these new things that we take on and find out later that our decision to choose that book or curriculum came either from pride or just laziness.

I still find myself slipping into this non-prayer mode thinking “I got this God. I’m not going to bother you with this one, thanks.” The truth is that God created both you and your children and knows you best. He knows what each of you need and what books or resources would best serve your needs. All we have to do is LISTEN to Him and He will guide us.

Evaluate – The important thing is that you, as a parent, evaluate whether the item that your child is complaining about is truly necessary to their development. Sometimes doing that grammar page or writing that paragraph IS important to their development and other times it might not be. Are they already a proficient writer and are frustrated by this busy work or do they truly need the practice?

Most of the time children get frustrated because something is too hard for them, it doesn’t fit with their learning style, or because they already know it and are being forced to do something that seems like busy work to them. If something doesn’t feel right with this book or curriculum that you have chosen, then I encourage you to seriously evaluate whether you need to use it or if another resource or activity would be a better fit for your family.