How to Safely Store Your Essential Oils and Blends for Easy Use

10:23:00 PM Laura at Fantastically Four 0 Comments



Before I began devouring information about essential oils like it was my job, I had started creating a few simple "products" for myself and my family. But here's how that would go.

My daughter needs to wind down after a hard day and I'm worried about teething pain keeping her up, so before her bedtime, I grab a little plastic lid, put some coconut oil in it and a drop of lavender, mix it, and apply it to the bottoms of her feet and a touch on her upper body so she can smell it as she falls asleep. This oily lid stays on her changing table for a couple days. Sometimes I use it again, other times I'm too worried it could be contaminated, or I knock it off the table altogether and then scoop it out into the trash.

There were lots of situations like this, and it got to the point where I'd have several little plastic lids sitting around the house. I knew this wasn't exactly the best way to go about things. I also had another problem. I wanted to diffuse about two or even three different blends of oils at different times of the day. I didn't know how to accomplish that without things getting awkward or just plain wasteful.

Thankfully, my friend and Young Living sponsor, Heather, straightened me out on a few points, and the internet filled in the gaps. So, here are a few things I learned about storing not only the bottles of essential oils themselves, but products, blends, and even diffuser mixes. It turns out a few simple guidelines will keep your oils in top shape, as well as convenient and safe to use.

Storing Essential Oils

  • Oils should come in amber glass bottles. If you transfer oils to another bottle for samples, or mix them, etc. you should also store them in amber (or cobalt blue) glass bottles with an airtight lid. EOs should come with a plastic topper called an orifice reducer that allows us to pour them out by the drop. You can store your synergies in these bottles as well, of course.
  • Don't store pure essential oils in plastic or rubber. When these materials come into contact with essential oils, they can deteriorate.
  • Store your EOs in a dark, dry, cool place. Light, moisture, and heat can cause an oil to oxidize. You will be able to tell if it becomes cloudy, thickens, or smells acidic. 
  • Young Living essential oils do not expire and will stand the test of time when stored in the conditions I just described. If you create your own products, be aware of the expiration date of any carriers you use. If you use another EO brand, look for an expiration date on the bottle or contact the manufacturer.
  • Get a case for your at home and travel needs. If you have even a small collection of oils, you're going to want a sturdy, convenient way to store them and keep them protected. For storing a larger collection at home, I'd recommend buying a wooden box, but Young Living makes a perfect smaller case for on-the-go needs and travel. You can check out all accessories here.


Storing Skin Products

One of the best ways to use essential oils is to apply them to the skin. Here's how to store those lovely products (any mix of EOs and a carrier) you create. You may also want to check out my post on how to dilute essential oils for the skin.
  • Products for topical application are best stored in dark glass containers. If you make a blend often, buy a few containers so that you'll have that soothing cream, body oil, or respiratory salve on hand. (Trust me! You don't want to end up with weird plastic lids all over your house.) There are some great choices on Amazon in a range of sizes and shapes for any homemade product.
  • Blends that are no more than 3% and that aren't going to be stored long-term are generally ok in PET plastic (recycle symbol 1). This may be best in situations where there's a concern about glass breaking. PET plastic has a high permeability resistance rating.

Storing Diffuser Blends

I've honestly never heard anyone mention this, and I have taken several different classes and I listen to top experts in aromatherapy all the time...so take this for what you will, but here are my thoughts.

When I would like to change out the blend of distilled water and essential oil in my diffusers before it's been used up, I pour the mix I want to save and reuse later into a glass cup, cover it with aluminum foil, label it with tape, and put it in the fridge.

The refrigerator is the best place to store hydrosols (the aromatic water that is produced in the process of distilling plant materials), because they are water and need to be kept fresh. The fridge is also perfect for essential oils too, to safeguard against heat and light. So I think the conditions are just right for keeping diffuser blends of water and EOs fresh, especially because I diffuse often. It's not airtight, and it's not perfect, but it has been working wonderfully for me. When I'm ready to change things up, I swab my diffuser with alcohol and let it dry before pouring in my new mix.

Hopefully this information made your life a lot easier. Happy diffusing, creating with, and using your essential oils!

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Why I Love Essential Oils

10:22:00 AM Laura at Fantastically Four 0 Comments

Five years ago, my husband (who is a licensed mental health therapist) brought home a bottle of Young Living's lavender oil. He bought it from his coworker, a Christian nutritionist, therapist, and naturopath. We loved the oil, but we may have used it in a few misguided ways. We didn't purchase a diffuser and when it ran out, we simply moved on, though we told ourselves we needed to order it again.



Fast-forward to three years ago, and we'd just had our first baby. He was happy and perfectly healthy, and I wanted him to stay that way! I knew that children's over-the-counter cough medicines and other pharmaceuticals had been pulled from the shelves years ago (and for good reason), but I wanted to be able to protect him, and to combat anything that would keep him from health.

Something in the back of my mind recalled our experience with that first drop of lavender, and I remembered that there was something special about therapeutic-grade essential oils. We had since moved away and lost contact with my husband's coworker, but when one of my best friends mentioned she was placing an order with Young Living, I jumped on board, asking roughly a thousand questions along the way.


Essential Oils are powerful

These days, essential oils are a big part of my life. In my book, they are the only way to safely and effectively keep my kids healthy (even in the face of preschool). But they do so much more than that...I turn to essential oils for everything from cleaning the air, to lifting my family's spirits, to addressing and supporting health. I use them to guard myself and my family against those sick days that hit us in the fall and winter. I use them when I need energy or calming, and I use them to help me focus and clear my head.

There are a million positive benefits to using essential oils, and I plan on discovering them all. ;) But truly, I love them because they are natural, yet very powerful.

Essential Oils are a beautiful part of God's creation

I believe these oils are amazing gifts straight from God. Using aromatic oils and plants for health and worship is an idea that's actually mentioned in the Bible, and there are all sorts of biblical references to aromatic substances, perfumes, and essential oils. God makes it clear in his word that he loves plant fragrances, and to show us what our prayers mean to him he often describes them that way. I love that essential oils work in perfect harmony with my faith, as long as I have my priorities straight and put God first.

It all comes down to the science behind the oils. To put it briefly, essential oils are made up of molecules that give the oil its specific properties. Those molecules are grouped into chemical families, so if you're interested in the chemistry side of EOs, that's a fantastic thing to learn too. One of the things that gets me so excited about EOs is the scientific facts that provide a foundation for their use. I'm not just out here smelling nice things and imagining they help me, twirling around with them in a field of flowers (although that does sound fun). And speaking of fun...

Essential Oils smell amazing

I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a fragrance addict. I adore things that smell good, and as you can imagine, I've been known to go down the path of using commerical products that are damaging to me as well as the environment. Having kids meant getting more serious about what I allow in my home for safety reasons, and I felt good about making positive changes, but sad about losing some of those typical fragrances you find in the stores as perfumes, candles, wax melts, air fresheners, etc.

That's where essential oils came in! Some of them have absolutely delectable smells, and some have rich aromas that smell more like an expensive perfume. They can smell spicy, sweet, refreshing, floral, juicy, crisp, fresh, earthy, and herbacious. Yes, every time you diffuse oils you are and experiencing some physical and mental health benefits, but they are also great for refreshing a room and making your kitchen smell fantastic again (even after fish night!). I use EOs to replace all the products mentioned above, and I'll go into more details on that soon.

Essential Oils are fun to work with

One of the best uses of essential oils is putting them into a carrier oil and creating a product. It can be as simple as little coconut oil and lavender for soothing skin and emotions, but there's something really significant about being able to creatively work with essential oils to address a need in my life. Once I started working with my oils and creating blends for my diffusers, mixing a couple of oils into a natural unscented lotion, or adding a drop of Thieves to my toothbrush to keep it sanitized, I was hooked.

Sharing the EO love

I'm not a doctor, or even a certified aromatherapist (though I may be one day!). This is my place to pursue my passion and share what I'm learning each step of the way, through the online classes I take and the books I read. I can't wait to pass along quality information and my sheer enthusiasm for essential oils. The fact that you are taking the time to read my blog and learn more about essential oils means so much. Thank you, from one aroma lover to another!

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Getting Started with Essential Oils

5:16:00 PM Laura at Fantastically Four 0 Comments


When I was a little girl, my family would climb in our car at 5:00 in the morning and make the long drive from Iowa down to Southern Texas almost every year at Christmastime. We'd go to the beach, visit the zoo, stop by Mexico, and then we'd pick fruit in my grandfather's citrus orchard. To this day, I don't think there's anything better than fresh-squeezed orange juice or homemade lemon meringue pie made from lemons plucked that morning off the tree. The beloved scents of a freshly peeled orange or lemon zest take me straight back to the sunshine that warmed me even in the deep winter. And that's exactly what it's like to experience essential oils!

If you've ever noticed how the scent of a rose makes you feel serene, or a whiff of peppermint makes you feel alert and satiated, you are experiencing aromatherapy. But what gets me really excited is the fact that essential oils provide more than just a nice fragrance, they are powerful plant essences that can improve our lives and help us feel better inside and out.

Why choose Young Living essential oils

Only pure essential oils are effective in aromatic healing. So as my hubby and I got serious about essential oils, we researched Young Living as a company and were impressed by their quality (above organic) and seed-to-seal process. They own most of the farms themselves, they weed by hand, they use their own oils for pest control, and they gently distill their oils without chemicals.

Here's a quick example and quote from Young Living's recent newsletters:

All Young Living essential oils are produced the way nature intended them—free of synthetic chemicals and fertilizers.
They also rigorously test their final product both in-house and by a third party to meet therapeutic standards. Plants and their oils are powerful, yet delicate in nature. By using Young Living, you can be completely confident of the quality of the oils, and that their natural chemical makeup is an exact match for what's on the label. Their essential oils are 100% therapeutic grade, effective and safe for their intended use.

Plus, Young Living has the best and most affordable starter kits out there. They make it easy for a newbie to get started!

“What do I actually do with Essential Oils?”

That was my question the first time I held a bottle of lavender, but I soon found oils quickly get incorporated into daily life. I have diffused oils to uplift my son's spirit during a meltdown, and to soothe my teething baby to sleep. I use essential oils in several different ways every day. They can be used to support the respiratory system, hormonal, digestive, and cardiovascular systems, address all kinds of skin concerns, and I could definitely go on. Not only are they a fantastic way to maintain health, they are my go-to choice for a safe alternative to cosmetics, perfumes, and cleaners. Essential oils can provide energy for your day, or a serene mood for your night.

Are you curious about Essential Oils?

If so, give Young Living a close look. One of the most popular ways to get started is sign up as a distributor and get their Premium Starter Kit with the diffuser.

This kit retails for over $300, but as a Wholesale Member, you get the kit at a 50% discount.
Here's what's inside the Young Living Premium Starter Kit. In my opinion, it's an incredible way to start with Essential Oils and there's nothing better out there. Just take a look at what it includes:

  • 5 mL bottles of the following essential oils:
    • Lavender
    • Peppermint Vitality™
    • Lemon Vitality™
    • Copaiba Vitality™
    • Frankincense
    • Thieves® Vitality™
    • Purification®
    • R.C.™
    • DiGize™ Vitality™
    • PanAway® 5-ml
  • A home diffuser (a $96 value. I have two diffusers and use mine daily.) 
  • A bonus oil! 5 mL bottle of Stress Away™ (A personal favorite. Smells heavenly!) 
  • Aroma Glide roller fitment (to turn any oil into a roll on; I recommend doing this with Stress Away)
  • 10 sample packets total of Lavender, Peppermint, Peace & Calming™, Lemon, and Thieves® for travel or sharing with family and friends 
  • 2 NingXia Red 2-oz. samples (a yummy antioxidant supplement)
  • Product Guide and Product Price List 
  • Essential Oil Magazine 
  • Essential Edge (newsletter)
  • Member Resources

(Here's a little more info on the Vitality line.)

Seriously! This is a fantastic array of oils that will impact your daily life. I'm a little jealous, as the kit has been expanded since I joined years ago. Take advantage of it, friends!

Soooo...Want to try Young Living essential oils?

Hooray! You are going to love it. You can get Young Living Essential Oils in two ways.
  1. As a Wholesale Member (highly encouraged) or 
  2. as a Retail Customer via the Young Living website (don’t recommend it because you don’t get the discount!) 
I highly recommend joining as a Wholesale Member, even if you’re a beginner. Wholesale Members get access to the *amazing* Starter Kit that I mentioned above, and they get a hefty 24% discount off every product they order. There are no tricks or gimmicks, no automatic charges to your credit card, etc. If you only buy the starter kit and buy nothing more again, your membership will simply lapse after a year and that will be that. But if you want to keep your wholesale membership going, all you will need to do is buy 50PV (usually $50) worth of oils/products in the course of the year following.

For Wholesale Members there is no requirement to sell or meet monthly quotas or anything like that.

But if you’d like to earn some extra income…
Wholesale Members do have the option of sharing oils with their friends and family in order to earn commissions and participate in promotions for free oils. Some mamas even turn this into a business for themselves. If this is something you’re interested in, sign up with me and I’ll help you get started!

Here’s how to begin 
You start by purchasing an enrollment kit. There are three options to choose from. However, I only recommend the Premium Starter Kit with the diffuser (pictured above). It is by far the best value and will help you actually start using essential oils. It’s the only kit that gives you the 10 Everyday Essential Oils (plus a bonus oil, StressAway, which is many people’s favorite). These 11 oils will give you endless options in treating your family and yourself.

Sign me up!

To get started, just follow these steps.

Follow this link to Sign Up As a Young Living Wholesale Member

Be sure to get the “Enroller ID” and “Sponsor ID” number from the person who referred you! (My sponsor ID is 2056917, but the link will automatically populate this info.) That way they get credit for your purchase and you get to team up with them.

Fill out your name, billing address, shipping address, and contact info. (The reason you are asked for your SSN is for tax purposes; if you make over $600/year selling Young Living products, you will receive a 1099 form in the mail, as is required by law. Young Living never shares this info with anyone.)

Fill out the form. Create your password and pin which you will use to log in to your account and order your oils. Select your enrollment order. This is where you can specify which starter kit you would like. You must sign up with one of these kits to become a Wholesale Member.

Here there's an option to join the Essential Rewards Program. Buying one of the ER kits is not a requirement to sign up as a Wholesale Member! This is a rewards program you can opt into to start earning money back to help pay for your oils. At this point, you can skip this step by selecting “No, thank you. I plan on enrolling in the Essential Rewards Program later.” If one of the ER kits looks valuable to you, then go for it in addition to your starter kit. Agree to Terms & Conditions.

CONFIRM YOUR ORDER. Many folks miss this step and end up not fully checking out. To confirm, the tool will log you in and it will show you your order again and it will make you enter in your payment information again.

Congratulations! Welcome to the amazing world of essential oils! You’re going to love this next phase of your natural living journey!

So, now what?
I'm here for ya. It may seem like there's a lot to learn, and there can be if you like it that way, but otherwise, I promise to keep things simple. Once you sign up with my sponsor ID, I'll support you in learning about and using your essential oils! Young Living will help make it easy too, and their 2016 product guide (comes with the premium starter kit) has fantastic information on nearly every oil they offer.

Follow my blog and pay attention to the posts in the Essential Oils 101 series for insights and tips in using your oils.

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How to Pursue Your Dream ... even when you don't know what it is

9:33:00 AM Laura at Fantastically Four 0 Comments

I wrote this little post five years ago! Rediscovering it today was actually so encouraging. (Isn't it nice when you can give yourself good advice?) If you're ready to embark on a new direction in life, but you could use a little direction or encouragement, here are a few thoughts just for you.

For the Dreamer with a Free Spirit

I've always admired those people who have a singular passion and pursued it tirelessly until they achieved their dreams. Having that kind of vision seems like a luxury. But recently, I've realized that not knowing what you want out of life doesn't have to be a disadvantage.

For those of us whose dreams change with each new season, we can feel a little lost at times. What do I really want? What would make me happy? What can I do to share with, serve, and help others? What do I actually have talent for? These are questions I ask all the time. I imagine the life I could have lived in any number of glamorous vocations or ministries. It sometimes feels like there may be a perfect activity or hobby for me that would translate into a dream job, but I just haven't discovered it yet. And that's a frustrating feeling.

So what's a dreamer to do? First of all, pray. Seeking God and putting him first goes a long way in finding a path that feels right. Then, take a little action. God will speak to you through your pursuit and give you guidance, even on a very winding road.

It's ok to take advantage of your imaginative, free spirit. Having different interests and even going through phases will make you a well-rounded person who never stops growing and learning.

And when I catch myself daydreaming of becoming a florist, for example, I give myself a reality check. What would it be like to gain the education and design skills? How would it change my lifestyle? And if it does seem like a good fit, is there a way I can dip my toe in the pool without diving right in?

Of course, there are lots of free ways to explore a new interest without spending any money or even much time. You can...

  • Check out library books on the topic 
  • Read blog posts 
  • Search for You Tube videos
  • Take an online free course in the area of your interest
  • Try it out for yourself (unless it's too expensive...and if so, try borrowing supplies from a friend)
  • Most importantly: Ask questions of people who are already pros. If there is any way you can network with people in the field you're dreaming about, do it! See if you can arrange a job shadow or a lesson or two.
Finally, don't get caught up in dissatisfaction. Remember that your life as a whole will reflect your faith, values, and abilities, whether through family life, volunteering, serving at church, developing hobbies, or using your unique gifts (even at your currently imperfect job). You don't have to wait for your dream career to be a reality in order to make a difference in the world.


For the Trigger-Shy with a Passion

Maybe you are past dabbling, and are certain that you'd like to turn a hobby into a career. Let me encourage you to start pursuing it. There will always be obstacles to changing the direction of your life, but don't be discouraged. Take it one step at a time.

First, come up with a career plan and a series of goals to meet along your journey. The goals should be pretty small at first.

You may be able to achieve your dream without additional education or a loan, but if not, it will be worth the investment as long as you are committed. Take the leap. Make friends with people who already do what you'd like to do, and make friends with novices who have the same dream. Even if you're learning from the best, interpret their instructions according to your own goals. Everyone brings something special to their work or ministry, and you will too.

Don't be afraid to pursue your passion, even if you know there are a series of mistakes in front of you. Learn from them and keep going! Everyone brings something special to their work or ministry, and you will too.

For the Discouraged

Maybe you've had a dream or two that didn't work out. Ok, you definitely have—we were all kids once with lofty dreams that may not have fit our skills. But you know yourself better now, and that's a serious advantage—in fact, knowing yourself and sharing your passion is what a career should be about. So surround yourself with encouraging people who will support your dream, and wait for the others to catch up. Someday everyone will be inspired by you.

And don't think that it's too late to try. No matter your age, you have plenty of years to make your dreams come true. Julia Child, one of my personal inspirations (even though I'm not a foodie), didn't take her first cooking class until she was 36. Martha Stewart, originally a stock broker, didn't start catering until she was 35. Stan Lee didn't start creating comic superheroes until he was 43. And Laura Ingalls Wilder didn't write her Little House books until she was in her 80s.

So have fun, make a difference, take a leap, and pursue what you love. It will be worth the investment and sacrifice to do something you were made for.


Good Reads

My Life in France by Julia Child
The Pursuit of Happyness by Christopher Gardner
Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time by Howard Schultz
What Color Is Your Parachute? 2017: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers by Richard N. Bolles
I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was: How to Discover What You Really Want and How to Get It by Barbara Sher

Recommended Oils

Common Sense essential oil blend by Young Living
Inspiration essential oil blend by Young Living
Valor essential oil blend by Young Living
Valor II essential oil blend by Young Living

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All information on a drop of lavender is informative in nature and not to be construed as medical advice. I am not a doctor or medical professional, but I am passionate about aromatherapy and the safe use of essential oils.