Protect Your Family Naturally with Thieves Essential Oil {With GIVEAWAY}

Thieves Essential Oils Vertical

So, I shared on my facebook page a while back that I have been very interested in learning more about essential oils and how I can use them for my family as we move toward more a more natural lifestyle. That post ended up being one of my most highly interacted with, and it became obvious that a lot of you are interested in essential oils as well.

So, when Carrie and Melinda from Essential Oil Living (independent Young Living distributors) contacted me about doing a review and giveaway on my blog, I was very excited to be able to try these products, and offer a giveaway for YOU as well.

About the Products

They sent me the following products:

  • Thieves Foaming Hand Soap
  • Thieves Aromabright toothpaste
  • Thieves Essential Oil

And here is some of what Melinda had to say about the products. I love a good story, and the thieves blend certainly has one!

Thieves is a proprietary essential oil blend created by Gary Young. This blend was created based on a “recipe” from the Middle Ages used by a band of thieves to protect themselves from the Black Plague ravishing Europe. These thieves robbed the possessions of those who had died from the disease, and yet they managed to remain perfectly healthy. When the robbers were apprehended, they were forced to give up their secret. In turned out, that these thieves were educated in which plants provided protection against disease.

Thieves is an essential oil blend comprised of five individual essential oils: clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucaliptys, and rosemary. Each of these oils are powerful fighters of germs on their own, but when they are combined the provide a powerful way to eliminate bacteria.

The essential oils that make up the Thieves blend offer powerful, natural anti-bacterial properties, and can be used in a multitude of ways.

What We Thought

We love these products. I love the smell, which is a rich, spicy aroma. It is a nice change to have that spicy, natural smell as opposed to a chemical perfume-y smell. I am so sick of processed, chemical based things in my life, and this is a good way to keep on that path of getting those things out! We all really love the foaming hand soap for all these reasons.

Thieves Essential Oils products giveaway

The toothpaste was a bit strange to me at first, because I am more used to traditional store bought brands, and not natural toothpaste. However, I quickly got used to the new texture, and, as I remarked to my husband the first night I used it, it really did make my teeth feel clean.

I am excited to continue experimenting with the Thieves essential oil blend. When Melinda sent it to me, she sent me a link to a list of 100 uses for Thieves, so I am very excited to keep trying it out.

Protect Your Family, Naturally

With the start of school (more kids = more germs!), and the impending fall cold season, now is the perfect time to stock up on a natural antibacterial option.

If you’re on a budget, you might want to start with the Thieves essential oil blend. It is a bit pricey, but it is very concentrated, and you can use it to make your own cleaner and other products, as discussed here.

Purchase your own Thieves Essential Oil Blend products by signing up here. You can sign up as a customer, which will enable you to purchase products from Young Living at retail price. You can also sign up as a wholesale member, which will allow you to purchase all of Young Living’s products at 24% off retail price.

Win your own Thieves Prize Pack

Now for the best part!!! Carrie and Melinda have generously offered up a prize pack for one of my awesome readers! You have two chances to enter.

  1. Share this giveaway. (I’ve made that easy, as you can just share this post on facebook).
  2. Leave a comment answering the following question: What is your favorite way to use Essential Oils? OR if you don’t use them, which would you most like to try?

Be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry as that is how I will be calculating official entries. This giveaway is only open to the US.

Want More Info About Essential Oils?

If you’d like to get some more information about essential oils, you can contact Carrie and Melinda via their facebook page, Essential Oil Living, or you can sign up for the upcoming class that they are hosting on September 4th (it’s online and free).

This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure disease.


The Boxcar Children Movie {Review & Giveaway}

I received a copy of this DVD from the publisher for review purposes. They are also sponsoring the giveaway copy for a reader. I received no other compensation for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links.

The Boxcar Children review and Giveaway


I have been so excited about this review and giveaway of the Boxcar Children Animated Feature! My boys LOVED this movie! But, before I get into that too much, I’ll tell you a bit about it…

About the Boxcar Children Film

About the Film

Four orphaned and homeless siblings happen upon an abandoned boxcar, which with a little creativity and hard work, they gradually furnish with all the comforts of home. Fearful that they will be sent to live with the reputedly cruel grandfather they have never met, the children keep their new home a secret – until a serious illness forces them to reveal themselves in order to save young Violet.

About the Cast

Featuring an all-star cast of voice actors, including Academy Award Nominee Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now), J.K. Simmons (Spiderman), Zach Gordon (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), Joey King (Fargo), Mackenzie Foy (Twilight series), and Jadon Sand (LEGO: The Movie), this is the very first full-length, animated feature adaptation of Gertrude Chandler Warner’s best-selling classic!

Our thoughts

I remember enjoying The Boxcar Children book as a child, so I was very excited to see this, and the fact that it came from well-known and respected publishers of family-friendly entertainment made it even more exciting. However, I admit to having my doubts about it. Not all animated features are created equally!

This one did NOT disappoint! My boys loved it so much that they chose it, repeatedly, every time they were allowed to watch TV–probably 3 times in the same week.

But, it’s more than just another kid show. This film is so well done that it is truly a delight for the whole family. My husband and I enjoyed it nearly as much as the children, and that is great when we can find something that the whole family appreciates.

It was great to see the characters of Gertrude Chandler Warner really come to life, and to see that new life breathed into a timeless classic of a story was nothing short of inspiring.

This is just such a sweet, sweet story and I was very pleased to see that the film demonstrated that well. The children demonstrate such kindness and thoughtfulness toward one another! We loved to see that, along with the creativity, hard work, and diligence. As a homeschooling mom, I am always looking for lessons in things, and this movie is a great one to build a character study around as there is just so much to learn from this movie and these characters.

My boys are 5 and 7 and the loved it. If you enjoyed the boxcar children as a child, or if you’re just looking for some great family-friendly entertainment, I strongly recommend this video. It will not disappoint.

Purchase the DVD here.

Win a Copy of the DVD!

Now for the exciting part! The publisher has generously allowed me give away one copy of the DVD to one of my awesome readers!! I love being able to bless my readers with giveaways, and have been especially excited about this particular one since we enjoyed it so much.

To Enter:

I’m making this super easy. Simply leave a comment letting me know why you’d like to win.

*Bonus Entry* Share this post on facebook.

The giveaway closes at midnight EST 8/26/2014.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway and is responsible for prize fulfillment. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”


Hope for the weary homeschool mom…right on your computer!

Omnibus--the biggest bundle sale in homeschooling! Over 100 resources for just $25! And a special bonus if you purchase from @ServingJoyfully! Check it out!

I am SOOOO excited about the information I am about to share with you!

Most of you probably know that I am a member of iHomeschool network. It is such an honor to team up with these ladies to bring you the 2014 Homeschool Omnibus!!!

I look forward to this sale each year, and am honored to be participating as an author this year!

What is the Homeschool Omnibus?

Omnibus--the biggest bundle sale in homeschooling! Over 100 resources for just $25! And a special bonus if you purchase from @ServingJoyfully! Check it out! The homeschool omnibus is a digital collection of curriculum, planners, practical tips, and encouragement. You will receive over 100 resources just for homeschool moms like you. Plus, if you’re like me and have enjoyed the previous Homeschool Omnibus collections, you can enjoy 94 new titles that have not been a part of previous homeschool omnibus collections!

My favorite resources in the Omnibus

With over 100 resources, I could never fully discuss them all! So, here are a few of my favorites.

And that’s just the top 10 (with a bonus, since I included my own)! There are over 100 total resources, PLUS lots of other free bonuses and discounts! See the complete list of resources here.

Omnibus--the biggest bundle sale in homeschooling! Over 100 resources for just $25! And a special bonus if you purchase from @ServingJoyfully! Check it out!

A special gift just for YOU

Because my book is included in this sale, I will make a commission from each purchase made directly through my link. I only promote products that I believe in! If you do wish to purchase this digital library through me, I want to THANK YOU for doing so! My family appreciates every single bit of income brought in from this blog, as it is helping us to maintain a debt free lifestyle, and save up for our dream home–an old fixer-upper house on some acreage…yes, we’re simple people with simple dreams, but they are ours.

Anyway, as a thank you, I want to offer you a free $25 gift certificate to my printable shop!

To get the $25 gift certificate:  Make your purchase through this link (<–you must use that link to qualify for the bonus), forward the receipt to Crystal (at) Serving Joyfully (dot) Com and I will get the gift certificate to you asap.  And again…Thank you :)

The sale is only for one week, and then it will never be available again. The sale ends at 11:59 pm EST August 24th.

PS–Did I mention you can enter to win one of 3 kindles?!? Get the details here.


Ready to purchase this eLibrary?

Have you seen the awesome list of resources, considered my$25 bonus gift certificate and you already know you want to purchase? Click the buy button below. Don’t forget…this is only available through 11:59 pm 8/24/14.

buy now button

Note: The deadline for refunds is September 5. Positively no refunds will be given if the file host shows that you have downloaded any files. The ebooks will only be available until September 25, please do not delay in downloading them. See the FAQ or contact iHomeschool Network  for more information. DVDs can be purchased until September 20.


Thriving Thursday 8/14

Don’t miss my great list of nearly 40 free books for kindle that you can get right now…all from the best publishers and authors in Christian fiction, so definitely check that out.

What I’ve been up to this week…

I shared some of my thoughts on depression and suicide.

I also shared my method for preserving corn.

How to preserve corn for the freezer. A step by step tutorial with tips and photos.

Finally, I shared a new pirate-themed free printable pack, that I would love for you to check out and share with your readers if you think they’d be interested.

Pirate Fun Activity Pack

What have you been up to this week?

There were so many FANTASTIC posts linked up last week and I can’t wait to see what you ladies have to share this week :)

Thriving Thursdays Link Up!!!

Thriving Thursdays is a link up for family-friendly bloggers, who are choosing to THRIVE in their lives. It’s a place for us to encourage and inspire one another to live life to the fullest–in Jesus Christ. Link up your posts about thriving–in marriage, faith, parenting, homemaking, relationships, in the kitchen, in frugality.

Everything we do can be a ministry and worship to our Lord. Link up as many posts as you want, and I hope that you’ll take the time to visit some other participants as well.

I am so blessed by the posts you all share! I really look forward to seeing all of the encouragement shared here each week. Keep it coming! Sometimes I highlight posts here, and I also pin my favorites to the Thriving Thursdays Pinterest Board.


What I want you to know about Depression and Suicide.

I’ve been fighting this post.

Every time I read about another precious person who took his/her own life, which has happened far too often lately, I fight it.  My heart begs me to write it, but I don’t want to be a downer. And I just don’t know how to put words to the depth of my feelings on this particular topic.

And then, yesterday.

What I want you to know about depression and suicide. RIP Robin Williams

I wept at learning of the death of Robin Williams. I read a status that referred to suicide and my heart beat faster and I felt panic as I did a google search, begging that information to be incorrect. But, that seems to be the case for now.

Heartbreaking doesn’t begin to describe it.

Depression doesn’t always look like you think.

Even as open as I am about the fact that I suffer from severe, chronic depression, people still don’t get it.  Even those closest to me. I’m sure a part of it is that I don’t want to be a downer. I want to be uplifting. But when I do mention depression, the comments are always the same…

“Really? You suffer from depression? I would never have guessed it.”

“You seem like such a happy person.”

This is scary for me. I feel like there is an unspoken conclusion–it must not be that bad. If you seem happy and you say you’re depressed, then it must not be that bad.

And while I won’t get into details, I want to say, unequivocally… you’re right. It’s not “that bad.” It’s worse. If you don’t suffer from depression, I can say with some certainty that depression is worse than you think. Because there are no words to accurately describe it.

Depression is more than feeling down

So often I hear people make comments against depression and say you should “focus on the positives.” Depression is so much more than just a bad day. There are physical symptoms, and it can be completely debilitating. 

I have read over and over about the awesome power of the human spirit. People who are severely disabled go on to do amazing things because of the power of the human spirit.

There is a great poem about cancer and how it can destroy everything but the human spirit.

That spirit is exactly what depression attacks. 

The same drive that allows people to overcome obstacles is the very thing that is attacked by depression.

My friend, Michelle, wrote a beautiful piece about why she cried at hearing of Robin Williams’ death. In it, she shares with a lot of accuracy some of the thoughts a depressed person battles.

It’s not about being sad. It’s about never being happy. Literally. Never.

It’s about a dark, oppressive cloud of sadness hanging over you every second of every day, even when you look around and you KNOW that you are so very blessed.

It’s about the lies of the enemy (and the illness) telling you every second of every day that you are worthless and that the world would be a better place if you weren’t in it.

But even with all that, it’s more.

Suicide is Not {Necessarily} a Selfish Act

I know to outsiders, it appears that suicide is entirely a selfish act, and I get that. I really do. I can’t imagine the pain of having a loved one take their own life .

But just try to imagine for one second, living in the pain of your worst day ever…every single day. But above that, it’s not always about escaping the pain.

Sometimes, it’s about the idea that your family would be better off without you. I have been in that place. I am not trying to elicit sympathy, but just to inspire understanding. I have literally felt that the best thing I could do for my family would be to remove myself from the picture. If I were gone, my husband could find a better wife. The boys could have a mom who wasn’t depressed. Who wasn’t sick. Who would be so much better for them.

I have been there.

And that’s why it absolutely breaks my heart every time I hear of someone taking their own life. Because I know that pain.

There isn’t always help

Some people will say they should have got help. Here are just some of the reasons that isn’t always a possibility:

  1. It doesn’t always work. That’s the sad truth. For some people there is not enough counseling or meds to pull them out of that dark place. My friend Holly writes more about that here.
  2. Finances. Some people just can’t afford the help that they need. Counseling is expensive and meds are expensive, especially when it usually requires a lot of visits and experimenting with treatments and meds to get the right combination.
  3. Some meds can increase risk of suicide. Yep. The sad, ironic truth is that most medicines prescribed for depression can actually increase the risk of suicidal thoughts.

And sometimes, the help just isn’t there. When people do reach out from their pain, they are judged. I have been told that my depression is a sin against God, that it is proof that I am ungrateful, that if I really appreciated my children or my life I wouldn’t be depressed.  I’ve been told if I loved God more or had more faith, or prayed harder I wouldn’t be depressed.

That is not the kind of “help” that anyone needs.

When someone reaches out

I’m planning to write a couple more posts about this, with some things that you should not say to a depressed person, and some things that you can do to help.

But for now, if there is one thing I can leave you with it is this:  if someone reaches out to you about depression, please take it seriously.

Most of the people I have known who suffer from depression want to hide it. They don’t want to bring others down. They don’t think they deserve your help. They are deeply ashamed because of all the things our culture has taught them about mental illness.

If they are reaching out to you at all, it’s because they feel very desperate. Take it seriously.

If YOU are suffering

If you are one of the people suffering, please know that you are not alone. You are not worthless. No matter what the illness tells you. There is hope.  I pray that you will find someone in your life to speak that truth to you.

Crystal Paine shares about that hope in her post about her own struggle with post-partum depression.

Photo Credit: By Eva Rinaldi  [CC-BY-SA-2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons


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