Essential Oils for Back-to-School

Incorporating essential oils into your routine during the school year is a great natural option to stay healthy. Whether you’re a teaching considering diffusing oils in your classroom, a parent looking to help their student with first day jitters, or a college student ready to conquer the semester; there’s literally an oil for everyone.
One way to use oils during the school day is by wearing aroma therapy jewelry. Simply place a few drops of essential oil on the lava bead or leather and enjoy the scent as the oil diffuses. The bracelet is a great option for students! They can smell their oil while sitting at their desk. How can oils help with school? There are oils to help with focusing, feeling anxious about a test, sleep, relaxation and more!

Here are two of my favorite back to school oils!

New school year butterflies? Lavender is great oil to use for sleep support. Before bed, place a few drops in the diffuser and roll onto the feet to help your student get the sleep they need! Lavender can also be used for battling seasonal allergies (add it with Peppermint + Lemon to make the Allergy Fighting Trio!). Got a little too much sun at the football game? Spritz it on for aftersun relief. It has so many great uses!



Definitely my go to oil year round. Working at a university means I come in contact with a lot of people (and germs) all the time, I use Thieves on the bottom of my feet to boost my immune system and diffuse it in my office during cold and flu season. You can also dilute the oil in a roller ball bottle to use with kiddos each morning before school! I keep the Thieves hand purifier in all of my handbags and backpack during the year.


Lemon is a “cleansing” or “clearing” oil which can be helpful for the respiratory but also for the emotions. Roll this one onto the feet and diffuse for nervousness. Lemon can also be used for: removing gum or sticky residue; calming allergens, especially when mixed with lavender; and building
your respiratory system during winter.


What are your favorite oils to us during the school year?


One Oily Lovin’ Lemon


Want to learn more about my favorite oils? Check them out here:

Gimme Vegan Meatballs…

Hello my Lovelies!

I’ve missed you! Life has been full blast this year. I’ve been intentionally trying to eat more plant based and make smarter choices. That’s a blog post of itself so I’ll save that for another day. But I wanted to share with you a recipe I’ve picked up along the way this year :)

Vegan meatballs! I stumbled upon a blog called Vegan Heaven a few months ago and they’ve go some great recipes! This one included, so I decided to give it a whirl.

When I think of spaghetti and meatballs, the first thing that always comes to mind is the scene in “Lady and the Tramp” with the spaghetti slurp kiss and the meatballs….  I still remember how mad I got at the two Siamese cats for bringing Lady into trouble haha. You can’t go wrong with the Disney classics!

Vegan meatballs with Spaghetti The challenge…making meatballs…without meat. The irony right? But guess what? It can be done :) All you need are kidney beans and oats. They’re super delicious, easy to make, and incredibly healthy!! I absolutely love pasta and I could eat it at least once or twice a week…but I’d be a blimp if I did that…plus gluten and I aren’t best buddies….so alternative options here we are :)

This recipe is suuuuuuper easy! All you need is a can of kidney beans, sunflower (or flax) seeds, rolled oats, garlic, half an onion, and some spices. The sunflower seeds are a great source of vitamin E, magnesium, and selenium!

For the vegan meatballs:
  • 1 – 15 oz can kidney beans
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil (I used water to replace the oil because I’m going oil free)
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce (I omitted this)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 heaped cup sunflower seeds
  • salt
  • black pepper
Vegan meatballs with Spaghetti
– Vegan Meatballs –
A note of caution! Make sure you read the label on canned beans. I’ve recently found that two brands I normally buy have started adding in oil. So if you’re going Plant Based and Oil Free, read….read….read :)
For the chunky marinara sauce:
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil (I used water to replace the oil because…..oil free)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • fresh basil leaves, cut into small pieces
  • salt
  • black pepper
For the dairy free Cashew Parmesan:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted cashews
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt


  1. Cook the spaghetti according to the instructions on the package.
  2. Rinse and drain the kidney beans. Put them in a medium bowl and mash them well with a fork. In a medium pan, heat some oil (or water) and sauté the onions for 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute. Add the sautéed onion and garlic to the mashed beans together with the spices, tomato paste, soy sauce, and oats. Put the sunflower seeds in a food processor and pulse until a fine meal is achieved. Add to the bean mixture and combine well. Season with salt and pepper. Form about 12-14 balls.
  3. Make the marinara sauce: In a medium pan, heat the olive oil (or water) over medium heat. Sauté the onions for 3 minutes, then add the garlic and the carrot. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Then deglaze with red wine and allow to evaporate. Add diced tomatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes. Season with oregano, salt, and pepper. Before serving add some fresh basil leaves.
  4. In a medium pan, heat some olive oil (or water) over medium heat and gently roast the bean balls for about 4 minutes until they are golden.
  5. Make the Cashew Parmesan: Put the cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, and garlic powder in a food processor and pulse until a fine meal is achieved.
  6. Serve the spaghetti with the marinara and vegan meatballs and sprinkle with Parmesan and fresh basil leaves.

Mamma Mia!!!

Soooo goood! What’s your favorite vegan pasta recipe?



One Lady & The Tramp Watching Lemon


Images Courtesy of Vegan Heaven.

Strawberry Lemon Popsicles

Hey Lovelies!

This past weekend I had the pleasure of being a part of the first Ag + Art Tour of Florence County. It was a fabulous weekend of meeting local people and farmers! Fresh produce was everywhere and there were the most gorgeous strawberries I have ever seen!


They were so gorgeous they sold out before lunch on the first day of the tours! I was talking with Mrs. Jan (she and her husband own the farm) and she told me about some of her favorite strawberry related desserts – strawberry cheesecake, shortcake, chocolate dipped. As we were sitting outside rocking in the heat (it was 94* on Saturday! eeekkkk), I thought to myself “Boy…I sure would love a popsicle right now”.

Here’s a fun new recipe for you to try based off of the gorgeous strawberries from the Davis Farm :)

Strawberry Lemon-Lime Popsicle

Makes about 6 popsicles

  • 2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup raw cane sugar (can substitute Stevia)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 drops Lime essential oil
  • 2 drops Lemon essential oil
  • 1 drop Black Pepper essential oil (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

Place sliced strawberries, sugar and water into a bowl for 15 minutes. Pour mixture into a blender. Blend on medium for 1-2mts or until smooth. Add Lime, Lemon, Black Pepper (if using), and salt, blend to combine. Divide between popsicle molds, leaving 1/4-inch space at the top for expansion.

Freeze overnight or until completely frozen before removing from molds. Dip in lukewarm water for 10 seconds to unmold each popsicle.

If you want a softer popsicle that’s more chewy, transfer mixture to a saucepan after it’s soaked, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. You can hasten this along by transferring the mixture back to the bowl and setting that in a bowl of ice water.  Once cool, divide between popsicle molds.

I’ve only paired strawberry with lemon, and I was missing out because lime is the perfect contrast to strawberry’s spun sugar/cotton candy/pink frosting earnestness! It’s second only to the black pepper, which you can add at whatever level you’re comfortable with. You’ll be amazed by how well strawberries and black pepper go together!

Hosting a Summer Cocktail Party? Try this!


Looking for a fun adult version for a summer cocktail party? Put a shot of white tequila in a glass wide enough to dip popsicle. Yes, you can double-dip!

What popsicles are you whipping up this summer? I’d love to try some new recipes!



One Popsicle Loving Lemon

The Search For The Perfect Birthday Cake…

Hello My  Lovelies!

It’s begun…the search for the perfect birthday cake!! One only turns 29 once right? So a few of my favorite things…lemon and chocolate. I was talking with HB the other night and he asked me what was my favorite kind of cake…and I replied and said well I LOOOOOVE lemon cake….but I LOOOOOVE chocolate too…and then he sent me this….

Hello Best Birthday Cake Ever! #LemonChocolate

So this weekend I shall be trying my hand at the Cake Walker’s Lemon Chocolate Cake recipe. HB and I share a birthday week so we shall critique it in honor of turning 29.

How cute are those little beehives and lemondrop drips? (You do realize that I’m so OCD making those little beehives perfectly is going to kill me right?)


One Drooling Lemon


Wanna make it? Check out the recipe below!

Lemon Chocolate Cake

Source: Lemon Chocolate Cake

This delightful cake will quickly become your “go to” favorite when you desire something unique and special—it has surely become a favorite in my house. The moist, lemony crumb is a citrus celebration, but the tango it does with the dense chocolate frosting is completely tantalizing. What’s more, the surprise burst of zest in the chocolate ganache leads the delicious dance, pleasing the palate much like a fresh lemon twist does to the first sip of espresso.

Makes one 8 or 9-inch two-layer cake.



  • 2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Zest and juice of 3 lemons (approximately 2 loosely packed tablespoons zest and about 1/3rd cup juice)
  • 1/2 cup lemon curd (from your favorite recipe or store-bought variety)
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature


  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks), room temperature
  • 2 lbs. sifted powdered sugar (32 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3rd cup milk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate (Use chips or cut bars into small pieces. For best results and flavor, select a brand with 63% cacao content.)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest.

Lemon Drop Drips

  • 1/2 cup hard Lemon Drop candies


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Grease two 8×2”, or two 9×1 1/2″ round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, grease the paper and then flour the pans. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together; set aside.
  • With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the vanilla, zest, lemon juice and lemon curd, beat in until incorporated. Scrape the bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add the dry ingredients and wet ingredients to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. After the last addition, mix the batter until just incorporated. Scrape the bowl and stir gently to mix in. Divide batter evenly between the two pans. Smooth the tops with an offset spatula.
  • For 8-inch pans* bake approximately 43-45 minutes, 9-inch pans bake for 34-36 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The tops will be golden brown and the cakes should just start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove cakes from the oven and cool on racks for 12 minutes; remove from pans (discard the parchment). Cool completely on racks.
  • While the cakes are baking, make the Lemon Drop Drip garnishes. Fit a sheet pan with parchment paper and tape the paper to the pan along one long edge—this will be the “top” of the pan; set aside. In a small non-stick pan over medium-low heat melt the lemon drops until completely melted to a viscous syrup state. Turn the heat to low and work quickly to spoon small puddles on the parchment-lined pan. Once you have a few puddles, tilt the pan up to create drips, maintaining the tilt until the desired drip length is reached; lay pan flat. Repeat in different places on the paper until you have about 12 or so drips. You may not choose to use all 12, but it’s good to have extra in case of breakage.
  • Prepare the frosting. Add the measure of instant espresso powder to the milk and stir to dissolve; set aside. In a large mixing bowl add the butter, half the powdered sugar, cocoa, vanilla, salt and half the milk mixture. With an electric mixer, begin mixing SLOWLY at first to prevent a cloud of dry ingredients from pluming out all over, and gradually increase the speed to medium until incorporated. Add the remaining sugar and milk mixture?mix in slowly at first, increasing speed to medium low; blend until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Recipe yields enough to frost the cake including a bottom border and piped dollops on top with perhaps a small amount of leftover.
  • Assemble the cake. Place one cake (bottom or flat side down) onto a serving plate; frost the top with a nice fill. Place the second cake (bottom or flat side up) on top. Crumb coat (thin application) the top and sides. Place cake in refrigerator for a few minutes to set the frosting. Leave the crumb coat as is on the top, but frost the sides with a nice finish coat. Return the cake to the refrigerator to set for several minutes.
  • In a small sauce pan over medium low, heat the heavy cream until it just begins to slightly simmer. Reduce heat to low and add the chocolate chips; let sit for about a minute. Remove from heat. Stir or whisk the ganache to blend until completely smooth, uniform in color and pourable. Stir in the lemon zest. The ganache should be lukewarm*. Pour the ganache onto the top center of the cake. With an offset spatula, quickly spread the ganache outwards toward the edges of the cake; gently nudge some of the ganache with the spatula over the edge to drip down in multiple areas around the perimeter.
  • In an icing bag fitted with the tip of your choice (a #12 circle was used on the cake in the photo), pipe a border around the base of the cake. Similarly, choose a tip of your choice (a #24 round was used) to pipe dollop decorations on the top of the cake evenly spaced around the perimeter. The photo depicts 8 of these, but you may make as many as desired or have garnishes for. Pipe the dollops wide and tall enough to provide a sturdy base to support the lemon drips. Garnish each dollop by inserting a Lemon Drop Drip into the center of each dollop?gently pressing the candy drip through the dollop until it touches the cake. The cake is best served at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator covered in plastic for up to 3 days.


*If you choose the 8-inch pans you must be sure you have the ones that measure 2 inches up the side, otherwise your batter will overflow during baking. When filling the 8×2 pan with equally divided batter, the fill level will be about three quarters full for each. The batter should not overflow during baking. The benefit of using the 8×2 pan is you get a taller cake. There should not be overflow issues with the common 9×1 1/2 pans other than a shorter baking time as indicated. Please use caution when working with melted candy or any hot liquid sugar. If the chocolate ganache is too warm, it may slightly melt the frosting when poured on top causing it to sag. Additionally, not all heavy cream is manufactured with consistent fat content. Therefore, if the ganache is too thick to pour once it’s blended together, you may want to add an additional tablespoon or two to thin it.   //   Cakewalker 2016

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