Carrier Oils and Their Benefits

I’ve been posting a lot of recipes lately, and I hope you’ve been enjoying them. When a recipe has an oil, I give the one I used and sometimes recommend a few more oils. Sometimes I say that any carrier oil can be used. A few readers have asked what carrier oils are, so I decided to dedicate an entire post to them. I just picked up several new oils, so you’ll be seeing new oils in the near future.

You can usually safely substitute one carrier oil for another oil with great results. Coconut oil is one that doesn’t interchange well because it is solid at room temperature. Otherwise, you can pick the one that meets your needs or based on what you have on hand unless the recipe states otherwise. Some oils are better used mixed with other oils, such as avocado oil.

What Are Carrier Oils

Carrier oils are vegetable oils made from the seed, nuts, or kernels of plants. They carry essential oils and other absolutes so you can apply them to your skin. You can’t apply most essential oils directly to your skin, so you have to dilute them with a carrier oil. These oils are also used in sugar scrub recipes, lotions, balms, lip balms, and salves.

Carrier oils shouldn’t have a strong smell, except for unrefined coconut oil. They will have a slight nutty aroma that doesn’t affect your final product. If your oil has a strong odor, it could be rancid. Discard it and do not use it.

When you’re shopping for an oil, make sure you buy cold pressed oil. Heat can damage the good qualities of the oil, so it’s very important to get cold pressed oils.

  • Almond oil (sweet almond oil) is moisturizing for your skin. It is very versatile, so it works in many types of recipes. It’s high in vitamins A and E to nourish your skin. Do not use this oil if you have a nut allergy.
  • Apricot kernel oil is very gentle, so it’s great for sensitive skin or recipes that you make for children. It’s also very versatile, so it’s a great substitute for almond oil. It’s often used in lotion recipes and for hot oil treatments.
  • Avocado oil is high in essential fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins. It’s great for sensitive skin or problem skin and eczema. Avocado is usually combine with other carrier oils and not used alone.
  • Castor oil is antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal. It’s often used on irritated skin. It’s usually combined with other oils and not used alone.
  • Coconut oil is one of my favorite oils because of the heavenly smell. It is also naturally antifungal and antibacterial, so it ‘s great for lip balms and lotions. It’s solid at room temperature, so it will harden a recipe when added. It can be combined with other oils so the final result isn’t so hard. Look for unrefined coconut oil, which is the kind that smells like coconut. Refining may use chemicals to extract more oil, and it also bleaches and deodorizes the oil. They may also add sodium hydroxide to extend it’s shelf life.
  • Evening primrose oil is used to combat skin dryness and skin irritations. It’s great for the skin and hair and is said to reduce the effects of aging. It’s also great for eczema.
  • Flax seed oil is high in vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. It’s especially great for your hair because it promotes hair growth.
  • Grapeseed oil is a dry oil, so it isn’t as oily on your skin. It’s used in hair recipes and skin recipes. It’s a natural astringent, so it’s great for acne prone or oily skin.
  • Jojoba oil is a popular carrier oil because it’s very close to the oils your body naturally produces. It absorbs in to your skin easily without being greasy. It can clog pores though, so it’s best used with other oils.
  • Macadamia nut oil is a dry oil, so it absorbs quickly without leaving an oily residue. It’s great for skin and hair.
  • Olive oil is readily available in nearly any supermarket, so it’s a popular beauty recipe ingredient. It’s great to use to infuse herbs. It has good fats for your skin and hair, but it will leave behind excess oil that doesn’t soak in to your skin right away.
  • Rosehip seed oil is high in vitamins A and E for the skin. It also has essential fatty acids to promote elastin and collagen production. It’s often used in creams and balms for stretch marks, burns, wrinkles, eczema, and sunburns.
  • Safflower oil is high in linoleic acid, so it’s a great oil for acne prone skin. It’s also often used for oil cleansing because it removes oil and dirt from the skin without drying your skin or hair. It lubricates the skin, which traps moisture next to your skin.
  • Sesame seed oil is a light oil, so it’s often used in massage oils. It moisturizes the skin without being overly oily.
  • Sunflower Oil is often used in recipes to treat psoriasis, eczema, dry skin, or damaged skin. It’s a light oil, so it can also be used as a massage oil.

Hope this helps answer questions about carrier oils, my favorite oil to use is coconut oil.

Love & Sparkle,


10 Uses for Thieves Essential Oil

Have you ever heard of Thieves essential oil blend?

Chances are you have a friend who raved about it, or a family member who swears by it. Well, I’m here to demystify it for you and explain what it is and what it can do for you. I’ll also explain how to order and where to get Thieves essential oil (trust me, you can’t just get it from a health food store).

What is Thieves Essential Oil?

Thieves is an essential oil blend and one of the best-selling products available from Young Living. It’s a blend made with Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptus Radiata, Rosemary and Lemon essential oils. It’s one of my favorite essential oils. It smells like fresh-baked cookies (it’s spicy and earthy), and can be used as a dietary supplement.

But trust me, not all Thieves is created the same. Young Living has the original Thieves essential oil blend.

And they actually have two options: Thieves (for topical and aromatic use) and Vitality (the white label – for dietary/internal use). Why two bottles? It’s the exact same oil, but a product cannot be used for topical and dietary, according to product labeling standards. But do know that it IS the same oil.

So how do you use Thieves essential oil? I’ve got 10 great uses – keep reading…

  1. Make a Wellness Tea

Add a drop of Thieves Vitality and a spoonful of raw honey to a warm cup of water. Enjoy in the morning or anytime you need a boost.

  1. Spice Up Apple Cider

Add a drop of Thieves Vitality to a cup of warm apple cider. It can help to spice it up and enhance the flavor of the apple.

  1. Add Flavor to Applesauce

Add Thieves Vitality to a batch of homemade applesauce to spice it up. Start with a drop or two and add more Thieves as needed.

  1. Support Healthy Immune Function*

When taken internally, Thieves Vitality can help to support health immune function*. Add a drop to a spoonful of honey or even add a vegetable capsule and top with coconut oil to take as a dietary supplement.

  1. Support a Healthy Respiratory System*

The Thieves Vitality essential oil blend contains Eucalyptus Radiata essential oil, which may help maintain a healthy respiratory system, when taken as a dietary supplement.*

  1. Add to Your Toothpaste

If you like to DIY, you can make homemade toothpaste and add Thieves Vitality essential oil. It tastes fantastic. Ready-made Thieves toothpaste is also available from Young Living (how to order).

  1. Ditch Your Air Freshener

Make your home smell like fresh-baked cookies (that’s what I think Thieves smells like in the diffuser) or like your favorite fall scent. Just add a few drops to your diffuser. If you have friends or family over at your home or need to showcase your home (realtors, listen up), Thieves is the perfect essential oil to diffuse. Everyone will be looking for the batch of cookies.

  1. Clean Your Home

You can make your own DIY household cleaner with Thieves essential oil or use Thieves Household Cleaner to clean virtually every surface of your home. It smells great too.

  1. Enjoy with a Shot of NingXia Red

One of my favorite ways to enjoy Thieves Vitality is to add a drop to a shot of NingXia Red, an antioxidant drink made from wolfberries (which are gogi berries from China). It’s spicy, refreshing and great for helping to support a healthy immune system.*

  1. Make a DIY Breath Spray

I have a fantastic recipe to make a DIY breath spray with Peppermint Vitality essential oil to freshen breath, but Thieves Vitality is another alternative – kind of like a red, hot cinnamon gum flavor. Just add 2-3 drops of Thieves essential oil to a mini spray bottle and fill with water. Use as needed to freshen breath.

What’s your favorite use for Thieves? Please comment below and share with us.

Love & Sparkle,



Essential Oils for Women’s Health

I don’t know a single woman who doesn’t say she needs to take better care of herself. All the wives, moms, grandmothers, career women, stay at home moms, homeschoolers, volunteers… they ALL seem to say that taking care of themselves is next on their to-do list. Well, essential oils are a helpful and effective way for us women to make some progress in this area. Here are some essential oils for women’s health that are fantastic for physical and mental well being, with some fun ways to use them.

Clary Sage – Antidepressant, immune support, respiratory support, hormone balance, etc.

Oregano – Antiseptic, edema and cellulite remedy, respiratory health, intestinal health., etc.

Frankincense – Mood lifting, immune and respiratory support, aches and pains, skin care, etc.

Lavender – Relaxation, sleep aid, antidepressant, digestion support, skin care, etc.

Bergamot – Calms stress and anxiety, helps with yeast issues, relieves water retention, etc.

Ginger – Stimulates circulation, digestion aid for nausea, flatulence, morning sickness, etc.

Neroli – Aids with better sleep, depression and anxiety, and skincare issues such as fading stretch marks, etc.

Lemon – Deodorizing, digestive care, immune booster, relaxation, concentration, etc.

Rose – Skin care, reducing scarring, helps aging skin, aphrodisiac, mood lifting, etc.

Chamomile – Skin care for sensitive skin, cleansing, reduces puffiness, hair care, first aid, calming, etc.

Basil – Mental clarity and concentration, digestive aid, pain reliever, anxiety, etc

Love & Sparkle,


5 Reasons to Ditch your Dryer Sheets and Use Wool Dryer Balls

Dryer Balls are a MUST for those of you who want to save money on Laundry Care.

If you don’t currently use dryer balls or haven’t heard of them, they are a great way to shorten your dryer time to save you money.   I am not big on using softener sheets, I can’t really remember the last time I used them or even bought them.

5 Reasons to Ditch your Dryer Sheets and Use Wool Dryer Balls

Why NOT Just Use Dryer Sheets?

Have you ever looked up the EWG rating on Dryer Sheets? Very very disturbing. And the reason I never buy them anymore. And when I say never, I mean never.

If you haven’t checked it out you should take a look – those of you who are truly concerned about what goes in and on your body will appreciate checking out that site to see how your other products are rated too.

Dryer Balls are an inexpensive and non-toxic alternative to dryer sheets.


5 Reasons You Should Switch to Wool Dryer Balls

Making the switch is SO easy… not to mention it’ll save you so much later on. Here are my 5 reasons to jump ship from softener and move onto something better.

#1 – Fabric Softener makes your towels LESS absorbent – TRUE. The chemicals leave behind a plastic film on your clothing and on your towels. Yes, it might smell good, but at what cost? What’s the point of using a towel if it’s not absorbent?

#2 – Dryer Balls can replace dryer sheets AND liquid softener – they are reusable. Which means you can cross the softener and the sheets off your list, pocket that money and redirect somewhere else.

#3 – Dryer Sheets and liquid are SO bad for your skin (and your health). Think that I’m a little extreme? You can see the rating on the EWG.

#4 – Dryer Balls make your dryer run more efficiently. They cut down on dryer time at least 25%. That’s huge if you are trying to trim your budget.

#5 – They can perk up any of your laundry-line dried “stiff” clothes. Don’t want to use the dryer at all? That works for me – if you put your clothes outside, they tend to get stiff though. So when you bring them in, throw them in the dryer for a few minutes with your dryer balls to soften them up.

How do Wool Dryer Balls Work?

Wool Dryer Balls shorten your drying time – they do that by circulating air into the load of laundry and soaking up excess water. The more you use, the faster the clothes dry.

Although they don’t eliminate the static they reduce it quite a bit. They are a great alternative to softener sheets – which will affect the absorbency of your towels after multiple uses.

Use your Essential Oils with your Dryer Balls

It’s SO easy to use Essential Oils with wool dryer balls. Once the balls are ready for the dryer, scent them with 4-5 drops of Essential Oil on each ball.

That scent should last 3-4 cycles – you can always add more if you wish.

Oil Combinations

Here are some oil combinations you can use for your dryer balls:

  • Lime and Stress Away is a great combination
  • Sheets and towels do well with Rosemary & Lavender
  • Regular clothes smell terrific with 3 Lavender and 3 Orange
  • And if you have sick kids and you are washing sheets or pillowcases, use Purification and/or Tea Tree
  • Bergamot is another one of my favorites!

Love & Sparkle,


Essential Oil Diffuser Blends For The Holidays

The weather is getting chilly, and the snow is falling in many parts of the country. I love this time of year, and I especially love trying new essential oil diffuser blends to get in the Christmas spirit. I have a diffuser running in my house most hours of the day, which gives me plenty of opportunity to experiment with different blends to see what I really enjoy. And of course, what is being diffused changes for the seasons. In spring and summer I love to diffuse fresh scented oils like lemongrass and citrus oils, like lemon, grapefruit and lime. In fall I love cedarwood, orange, and all the spicy oils like cinnamon bark, nutmeg, ginger and clove. And in the winter it’s all about the smell of fresh pine trees, Christmas, more spice (hello holiday baking!) and getting in the holiday spirit.

These blends are some of my favorites. And the favorites of many others. From the moment I wake up and turn on my diffuser, I’m instantly ready to get the holiday party started, or to relax and unwind while sitting in front of the fire with a glass of wine. It all depends on the blend. But no matter which blend you choose, you’ll enjoy breathing in the heavenly smells of a non-toxic holiday scent.

Oh Christmas tree: This is a blend that smells amazing to diffuse, but you could also stick both oils on a cotton ball and stick it in your artificial tree. Balsam Fir also has a calming effect.

2 drops Christmas Spirit and 4 drops Idaho Balsam Fir

Oh Holy Night: Both Frankincense and Myrrh date back to biblical times (yes, biblical times people….essential oils are not something new). After all, these oils were two of the gifts that the Wise Men brought to the baby Jesus at his birth. Both oils are used for relaxation and have grounding properties that help bring a sense of spirituality. (*Both are also amazing to use as part of a healthy skin care routine.)

4 drops Frankincense and 2 drops Myrrh

We Wish You A Merry Christmas: Christmas Spirit is one of my favorite oils to use during the holidays. It has such a complex aroma that it’s great to diffuse on it’s own to really get you in the Christmas Spirit (see what I did there. #imsopunny).

6 drops Christmas Spirit

Santa Baby: Oh Thieves how I love thee. Top 3 oils on my list, for so many reasons that would take an entirely separate post to explain. Thieves has a spicy aroma, and when combined with orange it adds a smooth, spicy scent to your home. And not only does it smell amazing, it helps remove odors from the air. Whenever anyone in our house is feeling sub-par, out comes the Thieves and it is diffused day and night.

3 drops Thieves and 3 drops Orange

I’ll Be Home For Christmas: This is what I have in my diffuser right now. It smells a-mazing! Spicy and sweet and complex, but still all holiday.

3 drops Christmas Spirit and 2 drops Thieves and 3 drops Orange and 1 drop Nutmeg (P.S. you can substitute Nutmeg Vitality for the spice in your baked goods!) and 1 drop Cinnamon Bark

Baby It’s Cold Outside: Spicy and evergreen scents combine to make a perfect winter’s day aroma. The Black Spruce brings a freshness to the spice of the Christmas Spirit and cinnamon. And it works so well! This blend reminds me of pre-artificial tree days, when we’d cut our own tree down. We’d haul it home, cut a few limbs off and the house would smell like the forest.

3 drops Christmas Spirit and 2 drops Northern Lights Black Spruce and 1 drop Cinnamon Bark

I think I’ve had at least 3 or 4 of these combinations going in my diffuser over the last week. And Thieves is an oil that I diffuse year round for all the health benefits it provides. The holidays are in full swing in our house and thanks to these holiday essential oil diffuser blends our house smells like it too.

What is your favorite holiday scent?

Love & Sparkle,



Candy Cane Essential Oil Blend

Everyone LOVES candy canes – or at least every child that I know. Candy canes are all over the place at the holidays – gifts from teachers, gift from Santa, inexpensive in stores… crushed on cookies, hot chocolate and even hung on the tree… Candy Canes are just a tradition for most each year.

A candy cane here and there isn’t a bad thing – but if you are trying to cut back on your sugar intake, then you won’t want to eat too many.

But.. one type of Candy Cane that I don’t mind is the diffuser scent.

Stress Away Essential Oil:

With an aroma that is the perfect blend of tropical and citrus, Stress Away is uniquely relaxing and comforting. Copaiba and Lavender help support a healthy equilibrium. Cedrol found in Cedarwood and Eugenol that occurs naturally in vanilla can help support occasional nervous tension.

Peppermint Essential Oil:

Peppermint essential oil’s scent invigorates the mind and senses, while inspiring a sense of peace. It works wonderfully to support healthy muscles, support seasonal changes, elevate mood, and help to provide relief to occasional headaches. Peppermint is great to ward off pests… just as amazing to help support healthy digestion.

Essential Oils aren’t just for smell – they can support your wellness in ways that Western Medicine cannot. They can support a healthy immune system, provide support with hormones (male and female), thyroid and respiratory support, help you sleep better and more.

If you are interested in learning more about how oils can support your wellness, you can find a great deal on the premium starter kit with Young Living. It affords you the chance to score your oils at a significant discount {for life}. You can try several oils, and see how they work all while receiving an education about oils at the same time.

Love & Sparkle,


20 Ways to Clean Your Home with Thieves Household Cleaner

With so many things to clean, I can’t stand to stockpile a cabinet full of cleaners. I don’t want to remember what is used for where. I just want simplicity.

And then I found Thieves Household Cleaner. This stuff is like the equivalent of Windex in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Got stains in the shower grout? Got stains on the carpet? Need a tough degreaser? Need hand soap? Thieves Household Cleaner will clean it all!

In fact, you can even add Thieves Household Cleaner to a mini spray bottle and use it to clean on the go – like the grime off your hands when you pump gas for your car or to clean little messy hands from eating in the car.

What is Thieves Household Cleaner?

It’s hard to believe, but this is truly an all-in-one natural cleaner that’s non-toxic, yet super effective.

It’s made with 100% plant- and mineral-based ingredients, including

  • Vegetable-based surfactants like alkyl polyglucoside that are compliant with Green Seal and EPA Design for Environment (DfE) standards
  • Biodegradable cutting agents like sodium methyl 2-sulfolaurate and disodium 2-sulfolaurate from renewable sources (both ingredients rated 0 on a 10 point scale on the Environmental Working Group’s health hazard score – which is the best score possible)
  • Therapeutic-grade Thieves and Lemon essential oils (the highest quality and purity essential oils) for natural cleaning

Why It’s Economical

Save time and money by buying one cleaning product. You won’t have to make trips to multiple stores or order from multiple online sources. Thieves Household Cleaner is an all-in-one cleaning product that will replace most of your household cleaners.

Thieves Household Cleaner is a concentrate. For most all-purpose cleaning, dilute 30 parts of water to 1 part of Thieves Household Cleaner. That breaks down to one 64 oz bottle of Thieves Household Cleaner concentrate = about 128 all-purpose spray bottles (30 oz. each) for about 88 cents a bottle. That’s cheaper than most all-natural cleaners on the market.

BUT there’s a way to save even more money. I can help you to get wholesale pricing to save even more. With a wholesale membership, you’ll pay just 67 cents a bottle and get wholesale pricing on all Young Living essential oils, cleaning products, vitamins, supplements, personal care products and much more.

Dilution Ratios

  • All-purpose cleaning – 30 parts water to 1 part Thieves Household Cleaner
  • Heaving degreasing – 15 parts water to 1 part Thieves Household Cleaner
  • Light degreasing – 60 parts water to 1 part Thieves Household Cleaner
  • Glass and windows – 50-100 parts water to 1 part Thieves Household Cleaner

20 Ways to Clean Your Home with Thieves Household Cleaner

It REALLY does clean everything and the kitchen sink. It can literally replace every cleaner in your home.

  1. Refrigerator

Remove all items from the refrigerator. Mix 1 capful of Thieves Household Cleaner with 2 cups of water. Clean the outside of the fridge, including top, doors, and exterior water and ice areas. Clean the inside of the fridge, including shelves, produce drawers, doors, ice tray, etc.

  1. Kitchen appliances

Mix 1 capful of Thieves Household Cleaner with 1 cups of water. Clean stovetops, ovens, microwaves, toasters, toaster ovens, blenders, mixers, etc. To clean the interior of a microwave, fill a microwave safe container with 2 cups of water. Place in microwave and heat for 5-10 minutes. The steam will make it easy to clean up food and food particles.

  1. Light fixtures

First, dust light fixtures and bowls. Then, mix 1 capful of Thieves Household Cleaner with 3 1/2 cups of water. Clean fixtures, glass bowls, etc. to remove dirt and sticky residue.

  1. Kitchen pantry, bathroom vanity, cupboards, inside drawers, under sinks

Mix 1 capful of Thieves Household Cleaner with 2 cups of water. Wipe down kitchen surfaces to remove dirt, sticky residue, etc. Consider placing a cotton ball with 2-3 drops of Thieves essential oil to keep areas under sinks, cupboards, etc. smelling clean.

  1. Wooden cabinets, tables, furniture

Mix 1 capful of Thieves Household Cleaner with 1 cup of olive oil (add 2-3 drops of Lemon essential oil for a fresh lemon scent). Wipe down wooden cabinets, tables and other wooden furniture to remove dirt and clean surfaces.

  1. Sinks and countertops

Mix 1 capful of Thieves Household Cleaner with 3 1/2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Spray sinks, countertops and backsplash and wipe clean to remove dirt and grime.

  1. Garbage cans

For interior garbage cans, mix 1 capful of Thieves Household Cleaner with 3 1/2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Spray trash cans and wipe clean to remove dirt and grime. Consider placing a cotton ball with 2-3 drops of Thieves essential oil to keep trash can smelling clean.

For exterior and heavy duty garbage cans, mix 1 capful of Thieves Household Cleaner with 2-3 cups of water (use less water for heavier degreasing) in a bucket. Take garbage cans outside and use cleaning cloth to thoroughly clean. Use spray hose to rinse and let dry outside.

  1. Toilets

To clean inside toilets, mix 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1/2 capful of Thieves Household Cleaner to a toilet brush. Clean inside of toilet bowl and let sit for a few minutes before flushing.

To clean outside of toilets, mix 1 capful of Thieves Household Cleaner with 3 1/2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Spray outside of toilet, flusher knob, on top and underneath toilet seat to naturally clean.

  1. Tile and grout

Add 1 capful of Thieves Household Cleaner with 1/2 cup of water in a spray bottle. Spray tile and grout. Let sit for a couple of minutes. Use a small brush to get stains out. You may use less water for stronger concentration as needed.

  1. Windows, window sills and mirrors

Mix 1 capful of Thieves Household Cleaner with 4-5 cups of water (add 2-3 drops of Lemon essential oil for a fresh lemon scent and/or 1 tsp of white vinegar for streak-free clean). Clean windows, sills and mirrors to remove dirt, sticky residue and grime.

  1. Walls, outlets and vents

First, dust all wall and outlet surfaces. Then, mix 1 capful of Thieves Household Cleaner with 3 1/2 cups of water. Clean walls, outlets and vents to remove dirt and grime.

  1. Floors

Mix 1 capful of Thieves Household Cleaner with 4 cups of water (add 2-3 drops of Lemon essential oil for a fresh lemon scent and/or 1 tsp of white vinegar for streak-free clean). Clean windows, sills and mirrors to remove dirt, sticky residue and grime.

  1. Carpet and upholstery cleaner

Mix 1 capful of Thieves Household Cleaner with about 6 cups of water and add to carpet or steam cleaner. Clean rugs, carpets and upholstery to remove dirt and grime. Be sure to spot test in an inconspicuous location first.

  1. Dishwasher detergent

Add 1 capful of Thieves Household Cleaner to the bottom of the dishwasher to clean dishes.

  1. Pots and pans

Mix 1/2 capful of Thieves Household Cleaner with 3 cups of water to clean pots and pans.

  1. Laundry detergent

Add 1-2 capfuls (depending on load size) of Thieves Household Cleaner to washer to clean clothes.

  1. Baby and kids toys

Mix 1 capful of Thieves Household Cleaner with 3 cups of water in a spray bottle. Spray toys, play equipment, train tables, doll houses, toy organizers or shelves, etc. to remove dirt and naturally clean.

  1. Exercise equipment, yoga mats, weights, exercise balls, etc.

Mix 1 capful of Thieves Household Cleaner with 2-3 cups of water in a spray bottle. Spray toys, play equipment, train tables, doll houses, toy organizers or shelves, etc. to remove dirt and naturally clean.

  1. Hand cleaner

Mix 1/2 capful (about 1 tsp) of Thieves Household Cleaner, 1 tsp witch hazel, and 1/2 cup of water and add to a small spray bottle. Use as needed to naturally clean hands.

  1. Stain remover

Got a tough stain on your clothes? Use Thieves Household Cleaner without dilution on the stain. Scrub gently with a small brush until the stain is gone.

Happy Cleaning!

Love & Sparkle,