How I Use Essential Oils For Mental Health

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How I Use Essential Oils to Support Mental Health

I’ve shared about how I use essential oils in my home and with my family (if you missed my original post explaining how I was a former skeptic-turned-believer and how I use oils in conjunction with other holistic approaches to health as well as Western medicine, then read this one first) but I think the biggest use I have for essential oils is for my own mental health and that of my family. From uplifting our moods to calming our minds, from helping with focus and grounding to helping with relaxation — essential oils have been a huge help to me. I’ve had requests to see a post on what oils I use in this capacity, as well as how I blend them and use them. So today this post is for those readers and anyone else that would like some help.

How I Use Essential Oils to Support Mental Health

In an effort to be transparent and share as much as I can so it can help you understand where I am coming from, I feel I should include some backstory. I have struggled with postpartum depression and quite a lot of anxiety (with several anxiety attacks) since becoming a mother. I’ve tried talk therapy, medication, exercise, rest, and essential oils, among other things, and found those to be the most helpful. I do believe in medication for severe anxiety and postpartum depression (and am still taking medication myself) but when I feel my anxiety increasing or a dip in my mood, or when I find that my oldest seems anxious (he is showing signs of inheriting yet another trait from his mother) then I’ll add essential oils in to our routine. I love to diffuse Tranquility or Happy Joy. Or if I want to go with single oils and blend myself in a roller or diffuser I sometimes choose Lavender, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Chamomile, Frankincense, or a combination. Or sometimes I’ll put a few drops of some of them into epsom salt and put them in a nice bath.

How I Use Essential Oils to Support Mental HealthI also struggle from autoimmune and thyroid issues, which negatively impact my mental health as well. This year I also discovered I was dealing with hormonal imbalance and adrenal fatigue which were causing my fatigue, mood swings, inability to lose weight, and irregular and heavy periods. That realization changed a lot for me — my diet, the products I use in our home, and the skincare and makeup I use myself. Stay tuned for a post focused on how I’m healing my hormones (it is a work in progress) but the three big things were switching any dairy and beef we consume to grass-fed exclusively, using all natural products to clean our home, and changing out my skincare to Beautycounter. You can eat all the right things and take all of the supplements you need but if you are still surrounded by toxins and carcinogens that negatively affect your endocrine and adrenal system, you aren’t going to see and feel the progress you want. And you could even get worse or end up with long term illnesses, including cancer. I believe in this so much and loved what Beautycounter stands for that I decided to become a consultant. I’d love to answer any questions you might have and share my favorite products (maybe even send you a sample if I have any available!) If you are at all interested, please reach out via email. And look around their site and do your own research as well.

Diffusing oils is a great way to both start and end the day. I like to diffuse Happy Joy in the morning to get everyone in good moods. If I’m working from home I sometimes need Energy Boost instead of that afternoon cup of coffee. And Peace and Quiet or Tranquility (or both!) in the evening during dinner gets everyone calmed down. I also like to diffuse Sleepy in our bedrooms to help with, well, sleep. I also sometimes use a Sleepy roller (made the same way as I linked to above but with relaxing oils) and roll on the bottoms of feet before bed.

We’ve also been using oils to help our son who has struggled with anxiety and ADHD this year. I made a roller that I use on him before school and I think I see an improvement, and his teacher has as well. This is the roller I made if you are interested: 10 drops of lavender, 5 drops of peppermint, and 5 drops of vetiver, then fill the rest of the roller bottle with a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil. Always do your research on specific oils to make sure they are ok for use on or around children.

My Essential Oil “Essentials”

If you are interested in trying to incorporate essential oils into your home here are some good things to have on hand to start:

How I Use Essential Oils to Support Mental HealthWhy I buy the brand of oils that I do.

Without getting into a bunch of rumor or negative claims about any essential oil companies (it exists and can be found with a simple google search if you are interested) let me just say that there are a few things about a couple of essential oil brands that give me pause. I have tried and used some of their oils, however. But then I discovered Simply Earth, and I gave them a try and haven’t looked back. I love that their oils are 100% pure, farmed ethically and responsibly, distilled properly, 3rd party tested to ensure purity, and packaged and stored properly. Also, their oils are reasonably priced for the quality. The oils work great, smell great, and are packaged beautifully. And the company donates 13% of profits to fight human trafficking, which I think is fantastic and I am always happy to support with a purchase. I’m saying this only because I know I’m going to be asked what oils I use or why I choose these over other popular brands. I think you need to try oils out and do your research and choose what works best for you and what you feel good about. This is a company I feel good about.

So, are you an essential oils user already or are you interested and want to know more? I’m happy to answer any questions, although I’m certainly not an expert. I’m just a mom who is willing to try natural solutions to things and finds oils helpful.


This post does contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support.







how I finally got our family photos off our devices and onto our walls + tips for creating your own gallery walls

Sharing how I finally got our family photos of my devices and onto our walls + tips for creating your own gallery walls with Artifact Uprising |

I’ve always been good about staying on top of having our family photos taken each year (it helps to be friends with an amazing photographer) but I have not been good about doing anything with those photos. I’ve printed a few family photo albums — though I’m about 2 years behind on those now too — but I haven’t framed a family photo in like 7 years. We had a few baby photos of our almost 8 year old, but the younger two were not represented at all. Once we moved into our new home I decided it was the perfect opportunity to finally frame some of our favorite family photos, all of which have been taken in different places we love in Los Angeles, and hang them in our new home. I partnered with Artifact Uprising to share some tips on how to do this yourself, and the finished product in our house.Read More

My Sons’ Swim Lessons + Why We Chose Goldfish Swim School

Our Swim Lessons at Goldfish Swim School |

Swim safety is so so important and something that I think is sometimes taken for granted. Now that we’re settled into our new hometown and sending three kids to swim lessons at the same time doesn’t cost as much as college tuition, it was a priority for me to get the kids into swim lessons before the summer swim season starts so the little ones are comfortable in the water and my oldest knows more about water safety. Only Charlie had had lessons before, and they were when he was three. We hadn’t been swimming in quite a long time so we knew he needed lessons again. He has always been reluctant to participate in classes and sports so I was nervous about how he would respond. Calvin, my 3 1/2 year old, had never had swim lessons and Quincy, age 2, has barely been in a swimming pool (third baby problems). Needless to say, I didn’t have high expectations.

Charlie took a few lessons here at our local YMCA but in watching him in class he didn’t seem to be progressing and mostly just looked like he was playing. So when we discovered Goldfish Swim School I knew I wanted to work with them. I heard so many wonderful things about their swim program and it seemed like the perfect fit for my little guys. I’ve shared some of their swimming in my Instagram stories (there’s a Swimmers highlight so you can watch their progress and decide if you think it is the right fit for your own little fishies) and I’ve gotten a lot of direct messages about their lessons and progress. So I thought it would be helpful to share here on my blog and update our experience and progress every other month throughout the year. This post is based on our first month of lessons at Goldfish Swim School.

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A Girls’ Trip to Ojai

Girl's trip to Ojai: Where to stay, eat, shop, and relax in Ojai, CA

I was lucky enough to get a little solo mama trip to Los Angeles a few weeks ago (it was the best thing I’ve done for myself in a looooong time — like, since I became a mom). During that time I escaped to Ojai with a couple of mama friends for 24 hours and it was such an amazing refresh for us. I thought I would share some of our favorite places to eat, shop, and stay while we were there so you can plan your own Ojai refresh. You’ll be like “oh, hi Ojai!” 🙂
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Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for the Mama in Your Life


Gift Ideas that Every Mom Will Love this Mother's Day 2018 | ohlovelyday.comMother’s Day is just around the corner, and while most of us mamas are perfectly happy with a homemade card and some cuddles (and maybe a morning of sleeping in), I thought I would share some of my favorite gift ideas this year for every type of mom.

(click the pink titles below to be taken directly to the websites)

For Any Mom

Gift Ideas that Every Mom Will Love this Mother's Day 2018 |

ARISE Self Care Gift Box

Most moms I know do not prioritize their own self-care, and are desperately in need of some rest and relaxation. The ARISE self-care gift box is a brilliant gift idea that helps the mama in your life nourish her mind, body, and soul. Instead of sending flowers or a traditional food or sweets basket, you could send the gift of self-care. I love that the gift acknowledges the hard work and sacrifice mothers make and how they too deserve to be cared for. I also love that ARISE supports women-owned businesses in the US and donates 1% of profits to Girls, Inc. — a nonprofit inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. What an incredible thing!

Made By Mary Personalized Jewelry

If you’ve been a reader of this blog for a while then you are already very familiar with my love of Made by Mary. Their personalized pieces are beautifully made, allowing the wearer to add meaning to their jewelry and share or remember their own special stories. I have several pieces and they are my most favorite treasures.

Beautycounter Skincare Products

Every mom I know could use some good skincare products that help us look refreshed, less tired, and just take better care of our skin. And many mamas are becoming more and more conscious of using clean and safe products in their homes, eating cleaner foods, and using safe bath and body products on their kids. But many still need help remembering that it is important to clean up their own skincare and beauty routine (which I learned when my health started to suffer — read more about that here). So I think a perfect gift idea for any mom is some clean skincare or beauty products from Beautycounter (I love them so much I became a consultant!). You could buy her a whole starter kit collection (such a nice gift!) or start her off with a new day and/or night moisturizer and cleanser (the two linked at left are my favorites that work for most skin types). Or get her a gift card so she can pick something out for herself (which also gives her the gift of shopping 😉 ). I’d be happy to help anyone select the right products for them, just shoot me an email! And just a note: these products are free from over 1500 harmful or questionable ingredients that many other brands use in their products. Also, they are really concentrated, so a little goes a very long way. While the price tag may seem high, the products are far more effective and last much longer than drugstore or department store brands — making them as affordable and more effective in the long run.

Paloma’s Nest Ceramic Silhouette

Another longtime favorite gift guide pick is pretty much anything from Paloma’s Nest. Each piece is custom made, can be personalized, and are beautifully unique heirloom pieces. We love their ornaments but I also cherish my ceramic silhouettes of the boys (I still need to add one for Quincy to my collection). While the silhouettes would not be ready by Mother’s Day this year you could order a gift certificate for one to give the mom in your life. It’s the gift sure to make any mom melt into a puddle.

Artifact Uprising Photo Gifts

Similar to the silhouette above, every mom (especially of the grandma variety!) would love to have a photo book or print of their kids or grandkids. If you are ever in doubt, a photo gift is a sure fire win. My favorite source for photo gifts is Artifact Uprising — their prints are stunning, their books simple and classic, and their frames modern and high quality. I’m such a fan of their work and products.

Gift Ideas that Every Mom Will Love this Mother's Day 2018 | Gift Ideas that Every Mom Will Love this Mother's Day 2018 | Gift Ideas that Every Mom Will Love this Mother's Day 2018 |

For the New(ish) Mama

Wildbird Sling

Babywearing was one of my favorite parts of being the mom of a newborn, infant, and young toddler. It’s also one of the things I miss most. Since I didn’t have or use a sling until my third baby I’m always telling new moms about the magic that is the Wildbird ring sling. It’s a great gift idea for a new mom, or a mom who just hasn’t gotten one yet 😉 And if you are looking for some help or info on babywearing read this post.

Koko’s Nest Heirloom Blanket

While I love a cutesy baby blanket as much as the next mama, the blankets that are my favorite to receive are more modern and classic, making them instant heirlooms that your kids can pass to their own kids. The Heirloom Blankets from Koko’s Nest are so lovely and so beautifully made that I actually want to steal ours for myself. Quincy has the Bloc design in the Grays color way but I’ve been eyeing the new Line design for myself — if only they made grown-up sizes! Any new mama would be stoked to be gifted one of these beautiful blankets for her new baby.

Oat Mama Bars

I fell in love hard when I discovered Oat Mama bars. The lovely ladies behind Oat Mama sent me a few bars to try while I was still pregnant with Quincy and I put them away for a low supply day. I packed a couple in my hospital bag, and it was love at first bite. They are delicious granola bars that are made from healthy ingredients and also help you with your milk supply. I’m not saying they work miracles, but due to a thyroid condition I have never been able to produce enough milk to exclusively breastfeed my babies, or to go as long as a year. The only thing different to help with my milk that I did after having Quincy was to eat Oat Mama bars (the peanut butter chocolate chip was my favorite because I had to give up dairy with Quincy and their chocolate chips are dairy-free!). And I was able to exclusively breastfeed him until he self-weaned at 20 months. That’s why they are such a great gift — because the mama you give them to won’t even realize how much she needs them or how much they could help her.

So there you have it! Eight gift ideas that will cover the gamut of every mom — whether she’s a new or expecting mama or a grandma or falls somewhere in between. All make such nice treats to truly spoil or honor the mama in your life. So get to shopping! And make sure you follow me on Instagram for a special treat tomorrow!

Made By Mary, Paloma’s Nest, Koko’s Nest, and Artifact Uprising are all member’s of the Chandra’s Favorites Guide. If you are interested in being considered, apply here.



Ways to Help Kiddos Stay Organized & On Task

Things to help kids stay organized and on task | #adI’m always looking for ways to teach my kids how to take responsibility for their belongings, for teaching them some age-appropriate household tasks, and learning good behavior. It is usually easier to do during the school year because we have such a regular routine and schedule. On weekends things get a little lax as far as cleaning up after ourselves or staying on task — and that’s ok. And sometimes I realize we’ve gotten out of regular habits of chores or behavior charts due to our busy schedules. So I’m trying to get prepared for the summer, when I want to take advantage of a more laid-back schedule to implement more age-appropriate chores for the boys and a regular routine of cleaning up after themselves and being responsible for their own belongings. I also want to set clear expectations for them and for myself. I found a few things that I think will help us to stay organized and on task this summer without getting out my whistle and implementing a military-style strategy, ala The Sound of Music.

Chore and behavior charts are great in theory, but I’ve yet to find one that really works for us and that we stick to for longer than a week. I think it is partially because we don’t have a consistent routine of checking off boxes or getting stickers for each category successfully completed. I also think it is because I’ve only really used one for my oldest son. I got these behavior charts from Pickett’s Press that you can customize with both behavior and chores or tasks and personalize for each child. I had one made for each of my boys and plan to hang them in a very prominent place in the kitchen where we will see our progress and remember to track and reward timely. I love that the styles are so cute and aren’t an eyesore hanging in my kitchen. I think they will really help my 7 year old keep a consistent behavior routine and remember expectations (which we need because we are navigating what we think is ADHD with him and consistency is huge). My 4 year old will benefit from a behavior chart as well, though he doesn’t need one to motivate good behavior as much as his older brother. And my 2 year old will want one just because his brothers have one 🙂

Things to help kids stay organized and on task | #ad Things to help kids stay organized and on task | #ad Things to help kids stay organized and on task | #ad

Another thing I stocked up on are personalized bookplates. The mess of books in our house is a problem. I love that my kids love books and want to read them so much, but I cannot handle the piles of them left out and the fight over who made the mess. So I’m putting bookplates in my kids’ books. Each are personalized by color and name so that they can lift the cover and see who is responsible for putting that particular book away. And at the end of the day if there is a pile left out I will put the books in “jail” and the owner will have to earn them back. We’ll see if that works…

I’m not a stickler for continuing school work when we’re on break, but I do like to encourage writing and reading in the course of our play. Charlie loves to write stories and books, Calvin has started practicing writing because he wants to be like Charlie. And Quincy loves to color. So I got each kid a personalized journal so we can do “journal time” over the summer. Charlie might write down his ideas and thoughts, or dedicate the journal to just one story (he’s very particular about his writing and “books” that he writes). Calvin and Quincy will likely just scribble in them. But my thought is that I’ll write the dates and save them from each summer to see what we did and worked on at that time.

Those are a few of the ways I plan to stay somewhat organized and on task with my kids this summer. I mostly hope to relax and have fun and just play outside in our backyard, gardening and learning through play. But using those tools will help to keep some consistency and routine that will help us transition back into our regular routine once school starts again.

What is your summer vacation style? Are you laid back, do you through structure out the window, or do you try to keep a consistent routine? What tools help you?


This post is sponsored by Pickett’s Press, which is also included in Chandra’s Favorite’s Guide. But the opinions are my own and the love is real.