If you’ve been following me here for the past few years, then you know my love for using Essential Oils. As an essential oils consumer, I needed to find an essential oil company I felt completely good about. I haven’t been 100% satisfied for a few years and I needed a change.

First of all, I want to be clear that I have NO REAL ISSUE with MLM businesses and have used both of the big 2 brands previously (Mainly Young Living). I love YL oils and most of their products. I really do! I simply couldn’t really afford to continue with the demanding $100 monthly minimum purchases in order to remain a part of their Essential Rewards program. That and the new way they pay commissions made me very uncomfortable.

I finally ended it last week. 

This in no way means I will stop purchasing some items from YL, but I will no longer sell for them or purchase monthly. I also love that many of my friends are using oils no matter which company suits their lives. I am honestly happy for you that you found oils and love your supplier. If you have found a brand of oils you’re 100% happy with, that’s AWESOME! However, if you haven’t found your perfect fit, I encourage you to try Rocky Mountain Oils. So here are my 5 main reasons for the switch:


Without doubt, the most important factor when choosing an essential oil brand/company is the quality of their oils. Rocky Mountain Oils, founded in 2004, is a leading non­-MLM purveyor of 100% pure, natural and authentic essential oils, expertly crafted blends and nutritional products. Their mission is to improve the quality of life for each customer by delivering only the best premium essential oils and proprietary blends on the market, which is rooted in their S.A.A.F.E. Promise. I perhaps should have led with this part for my skeptical friends.

All of their oils are 100% pure, are tested for purity and potency by a third party lab, and are free of synthetics and fillers. Those of you who are non-believers please do your research. You will see that RMO sources are top quality. Now, all of the oils they sell are not organic BUT they DO offer some organic options and those are growing all the time. No, they do not own every farm the oils are sourced from but that would be cost prohibitive. Thus the reason for all the 3rd party testing (which they are transparent about). Be a smart shopper and do your own research.

They also stand behind the purity of their product and offer free online access to batch specific GC/MS test results. Simply enter your batch number found on the bottom of the bottle. I find this to be extremely open, transparent and important. This is important to me.

If you’re wanting to see results for an oil you’re considering and don’t already have, you can call and they will give you the appropriate batch number.


RMO offers competitive and affordable pricing. Their products are priced at a reasonable price (even below the MLM companies’ wholesale pricing and there’s no required monthly auto-ship policies) yet not so low that it’s too good to be true.

They also offer some options for cost-prohibitive oils that are pre-blended in order to make them affordable and available to average budgets. For example you can purchase Blend of Melissa for just $21.95 so that you can have the benefits of Melissa without the $108.95+ price tag for pure Melissa essential oil. I appreciate that they offer that option for some of the higher priced oils. 


I have been able to find all the oils I already was using from YL plus try a few new blends I had not seen before. I love being able to find comparable oils so its not a huge learning curve for me. I still refer to my EO Handbook (thank you Kristin for this tip). 


Rocky Mountain Oils is committed to education. They don’t just want to sell you oils, they want to help you learn how to use them safely. To that end, they have an extensive help center, a blog dedicated to offering usage suggestions and more, plus a Getting Started Guide to help you start off on the right foot. It’s simple, easy to understand and very helpful when I am answering questions my friends ask me. I have a place to refer them to which I find reliable. 

I also appreciate that they give you functional usage suggestions on their website, where most other companies shy away. It’s a great time saver, for both beginners and EO experienced folks like me. Want to get some oils to help with sleep? No Problem! They’ve already put together a sleep category for you and you can further narrow your options by their Top Picks, Rest or Relaxation.

These easy to use pre-blended roller balls that RMO offers  have been a life saver for me as well as the Chakra Blends roller collection. With Rocky Mountain Oils’ Kids Line, they take all the research and mixing out of using EOs on children….not that I have any but someone reading tis blog does and this could be important to you so I mention it. You know that the dilution is prefect and each bottle tells you what it’s best used for!

And each bottle has icons on the label showing you how to best use the oil in the bottle!

OK so this may be a little thing for you but for me it’s amazing – each bottle already has a lid label. Yes, I am that organized, or I do try to be. Having to label the lids is an extra step I prefer not to do – with RMO its not needed.

Still have questions? They have amazing customer service and their contact info is easy to find. They have team members who are ready and willing to answer any questions you may have via email or phone.


While most often when people think about customer service they only focus on how well a company responds to issues and complaints (which RMO is exceptional at) BUT customer service starts well before issues arise.

I was shocked to see how many customer perks that RMO offers to all of their customers. Not just the ones selling their products or placing large orders, every customer gets the same treatment.

  • 90-day money back return policy – RMO stands behind their products and want to be sure you are 100% happy with your purchase. There no risk with their 90 day money back return policy.
  • Pre-Stickered Bottles – Being honest with you, this is probably my favorite part of RMO. I’m an organized person and having each oil bottle come with identifying labels on the cap is amazing, am I the only one?
  • Oil’ty Rewards Program – You earn points with each purchase to use towards future products. I love free stuff and know most of you do too.
  • No Auto-Ship or Membership Fees – I still get emails from both MLM companies about my failed auto ship every month, it’s ridiculous how much money I wasted previously trying to maintain my monthly minimums so that I can retain my discount with them. There’s none of that nonsense with RMO. You only buy why you need when you need it, but still get treated like family.
  • Affiliate Program – RMO shows their appreciation to those who help share their oils with their friends, family and colleagues.

Other than RMO coming to your house and filling your diffuser for you, their customer service can’t get any better!


Making the switch to Rocky Mountain Oils couldn’t be any easier! There’s not complicated membership programs or secret handshake, just head over to the RMO site and start shopping. And even if you’ve got a favorite blend from another company, RMO made that super easy for to switch too! With a page dedicated to helping you find the blend you need, comparing RMO, DoTERRA, and Young Living blends.


If you regularly follow this blog and if you have read the website then you already know how important I feel it is to remain with your pets during feeding times. Watch them carefully not only to make sure they do not steal each others food, have a snarky moment with another or in the worst case – your dogs food becomes lodged in your dogs esophagus. If you are not present to monitor these situations you could end up with a very bad event, including loss of life.

Today while I was monitoring lunchtime one of our girls gulped her food and a large half frozen turkey gizzard became lodged in her airway. She was unable to force the food back up on her own. I quickly realized she was in distress and I intervened. I first attempted to reach inside her mouth and pull the food out myself but I was unable as her tongue had already begun to swell. I then performed Heimlich on her which efficiently produced the offending gizzard which I quickly grabbed to prevent her from grabbing it first.

As you might imagine my heart was racing and it would have been easy to panic but I remained calm so that she wouldn’t panic. I remembered my training and did what was needed to save her. Meanwhile it seemed like it took forever and my mind was playing all the horrible scenarios despite my feeling in control. I was lucky. She was lucky.

Afterwards I gave her a massage using YL DiGize on her belly and a blend of Lavender, Jade Lemon, Sage and Rosemary in a massage on her back and limbs. I diffused P&C (mostly for myself) and we all relaxed for about an hour while I watched her carefully for any issues or trouble she might experience. Thankfully she is totally ok.

I have decided to remove turkey gizzards (even when frozen) from their diets – we already no longer feed chicken necks and only duck heads when completely frozen.

If you do not know how to perform Heimlich on your pets PLEASE learn how! There are many videos available on You Tube that you should watch and learn.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

Melissa Oil


I truly believe in the benefits of using essential oils in our everyday life. I have been a distributer with Young Living for over ten years (#1166695). I tried other brands but always came back to Young Living. Recently I saw a post where a couple of people were laughing at those of us who believe in and use EO’s and compared us to those who believe in Santa Claus. To those people I say – believe in whatever works for you but don’t make fun of those with differing beliefs from your own..

Melissa essential oil is one of the most costly oils available and for good reason. Commonly known as balm or lemon balm (as well as bee balm and sweet balm), melissa is a hardy herbaceous perennial native to southern Europe. It was introduced to northern Europe by the Romans. It has wrinkled and toothed, pale-green, nettle-like leaves, with tiny white flowers in June and July. The whole plant is fragrant, with a strong lemony smell. It makes a good garden plant, but it also grows wild in Europe, carpeting fields and woods, particularly around Angers in France. The name melissa derives from the Greek word for bee because the plant is irresistible to bees and has been grown for this purpose for centuries.

The plants are harvested in France in May or June just before the first flowers appear for the aroma is less interesting when the plant is in bloom. The oil is steam distilled from the melissa leaves and tops, and is pale yellow with an agreeable and subtle, warm, lemony aroma. Melissa oil is not common and it is very expensive because 7 tonnes are needed to produce 1 kg (21/4 lb) oil. It is very special.

The principal constituents: Citral, citronellol (responsible for the lemony smell), geraniol, limonene, linalool and pinene.

The expense of manufacturing melissa oil leads to falsification, usually with citrus oils or lemongrass (itself sometimes called melissa grass). As a result, you should buy melissa very carefully, as the remedy is more or less useless if the oil is not pure. Melissa is often confused with citronella. I recommend only buying from Young Living.

The oil is classified in France as a ‘stupifiant’ (narcotic), thus great care must be taken with its use. Research in the nineteenth century by Cadeac and Meunier revealed that the oil taken internally without food could provoke most unpleasant reactions – severe headache, sudden low blood pressure, and difficulty in breathing. Melissa oil must be administered extremely carefully, especially so with children, and I do not advise its use by non-practitioners. Personally, I use it as a diffused inhalant or very diluted in a roller. A little goes a very very long way!

Add 1 drop of Melissa essential oil with 1 drop Lavender and 1 drop Peppermint to several ounces of water, swish around in the mouth and swallow (only if using a brand suitable for internal use). Or apply this formula to the bottom of your feet.

Melissa essential Oil is a mild sedative in small doses, and believed to calm anxiety.  Place a drop in your palm, rub between your hands, cup over your nose and mouth and breathe slowly for up to 30 seconds or more.

Bacterial Infections
If possible, apply 1 drop over the infected area or massage on the foot reflex points.

Massage 1 drop onto the throat and chest up to 3x a day, or work into the reflex points of the feet.

Place a drop of Melissa in your palms, rub between your hands, cup over your nose and mouth and breathe slowly for up to 30 seconds or more.

Massage 1-2 drops onto the feet or over any symptomatic area.

Cold Sores
Such a great use for melissa essential oil! Dab a small amount directly on the area as soon as you feel a cold sore coming on, and repeat several times throughout the day.

Massage 1 drop into the throat and chest up to 3x a day, or work into the reflex points of the feet.

A recent study quoted in the Journal of Complimentary Medicine showed that Melissa Essential oil is a safe and effective treatment for the management of agitation in severe dementia. Place a drop of Melissa in your palms, rub between your hands, cup over your nose and mouth and breathe slowly for up to 30 seconds or more. Do this as often as needed for aggravation.

Place a drop of Melissa essential oil in your palms, rub between your hands, cup over your nose and mouth and breathe slowly for up to 30 seconds or more. Do this daily or as desired.

Dilute 1 drop of Melissa essential oil with 3-4 drops of carrier oil and apply a small amount of the area 1-3 times a day.

Emotional Support
Massage 1 drop over the solar plexus and heart. It is a mild sedative in small doses, and believed to calm anxiety.

Inhale 1 drop from the palms of your hands for a pick-me-up, or diffuse throughout the room. Alternatively, you can mix 2 drops Melissa essential oil with 4 drops Wild Orange and 1 tablespoon carrier oil to gently rub onto the bottom of your feet or wherever it feels soothing.

Massage 1-2 drops into the reflex points of the feet or over any symptomatic area.

Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease
Dilute 1 drop of Melissa Oil with 3-4 drops of a carrier oil and massage a small amount over any symptomatic area, or the reflex points of the feet.

Headaches and Migranes
Add 2 drops Melissa to 1 teaspoon carrier oil and apply to forehead, temples, or neck.

Only one drop is needed on lesions to promote remission… a doctor at the Technical University of Munich reported that application on Melissa Oil caused a complete remission of Herpes Simplex lesions. Place a small amount (up to 1 drop) directly on any outbreak 3x a day, and/or use for ongoing support.

Massage 1 drop over the solar plexus, heart, or brow. Diffuse throughout the day.

Inhale from the bottle 3 or more times a day, or use melissa topically over any symptomatic area.

Mix together 4 drops Melissa, 4 drops Grapefruit, 2 drops Peppermint and 1 tablespoon carrier oil to massage onto abdomen, using clockwise strokes.

Inhale directly from the bottle, or massage 1 drop over the solar plexus, heart, or brow.

Massage onto bottom of feet or onto abdomen. You can also mix together formula 4 drops Bergamot, 4 drops Fennel, 3 drops Melissa 1 tablespoon carrier oil and add to a warm/hot bath. Relax and enjoy until the water cools.

Skin Issues
Use a single drop of the Melissa essential oil over the issue (I would recommend diluting with a carrier oil) 1-3x a day.

Stomach Issues
Melissa soothes stomach, tones it up and strengthens it. It helps heal the wounds, scratches or ulcers in the stomach, maintains proper flow of gastric juices and bile into the stomach and also protects it from infections. Use a drop over the abdomen (I would recommend diluting with a carrier oil) and massage using clockwise strokes 1-3x a day.

Place a drop of melissa oil in your palm, rub between your hands, cup over your nose and mouth, and breathe slowly for up to 30 seconds or more. Do this daily or as desired.

Inhale directly from the bottle as needed, or apply a small amount over the forehead.

Viral Infections
Apply one drop of melissa essential oil over the infected area or massage onto the feet 3x a day.

Place 1 drop (or less by dabbing a q-tip on the top of your dropper bottle) directly on the wart 1-2x a day until it falls off.

Prematurely gray

There are times I question why I decided to breed dogs.

This week is one of those times. If you follow this blog then you already know about our last litter – it was bittersweet, exhausting, expensive, educational and fulfilling all at once. Multiply those emotions and facts for this past few days and you will understand my feelings a little better. I have included some interesting (to me) photos above from this litter experience. If you think all breeders are alike then you must not follow this blog or you live under a rock. What I show/do/describe/experience doesn’t make me better/worse than other breeders. I write about what I experience mostly for my own sanity, but also in the hopes that readers can learn a little bit – about breeding, about Staffords and about me. I also hope it educates them on the ‘ART OF PUPPY BUYING’ and everything that can, and should be a part of it.

Above you will see how we take photos of each bitch and he progression in her pregnancy and we can compare her to generations before her. We keep detailed notes from the moment she is born, on each season, each mating and throughout her pregnancy, whelping experience and raising the puppies. It doesn’t stop there but this blog today is mostly about this particular breeding experience.

We knew the semen we used was of good quality and we knew the bitch was healthy and young. The veterinary clinic we use is one of the best reproductive clinics in the country with two board certified Theriogenologists on staff.  We did all health testing, timing, driving, sparing no expense – we did a surgical AI using frozen semen shipped to us from Italy. It was of very good quality upon thaw. The bitch conceived and progressed as expected without incident. We fed an appropriate diet, supplemented as directed and kept her in shape, not over feeding. Check ups went well, ultrasound showed 6-7 fetuses, all normal. We knew she had resorbed some at the x-ray and saw 4 good sized normal looking lined up puppies waiting to be born days later. Stage one began as expected and progressed normally. I move into the whelping room with each bitch approximately two weeks prior to due dates. I like to get them accustomed to the room. We use a guest room so she can be away from the other dogs in the home, in a dark quiet space but not too far from my husband in our room. The night before her due date (based upon progesterone, LH, ovulation) I slept on the floor beside the whelping box carefully monitoring her as she progressed. I take notes and photos along her journey as well as using Young Living oils to diffuse and massage.

I wont post the actual whelping photos here because for me thats personal for my experience and comparisons for each whelping. I will tell you that with each litter I gain experience and education that I never knew I lacked. In past blogs about the last litter you read we learned to tube feed, give oxygen and FFP and sub q newborns. With this litter I learned about stuck puppies (how to get them delivered and also how sometimes you just can’t), new (to me)  resuscitation methods (including but not limited to accordion method, DeeLee catheters and CPR).

I also learned that sometimes the vet you choose to join you on this journey can be so invaluable! I always loved and trusted Dr Ana and she has made puppies from nothing for us – she is fantastic and words cannot describe how much respect I have for her. This time we worked with her colleague Dr. Bob and wow did we connect! He is another veterinarian whom I hold in admiration and have a tremendous amount of respect for as well. I consider myself quite lucky to have developed a good working relationship with both of these talented and kind doctors. I also learned that my local emergency clinic can be amazing! We have used them in the past with mixed results but there is one Dr there we have worked with a few times now who was a HUGE part of this delivery, Dr Houghton.  Our fourth and final puppy was stuck and our bitch was suffering dystocia. I knew something wasn’t right with the puppy and that I would not be able to free her. Dr. Houghton was kind, understanding and helped me through the tears of losing the one bitch in this litter as she removed her from the birth canal.  The puppy was stillborn. She understood how we did not get a bitch last litter, lost one of the two puppies last time and had three boys this time, the first one being stuck himself. She spoke with Dr. Bob (who was on a day off I need to add and who answered his phone at 5am anyway) and together we made sure our bitch was safe and would be ok. She was our main priority.

We took everyone in the next day and Dr. Bob assessed all was well – we did sub Q for everyone and added Arnica 6c and more probiotic. With another 12 hours of constant monitoring and care today on day 3 we are doing well. The three handsome boys are gaining weight, Bay is being an amazing mama ad finally getting the sleep she desperately needs. I am still in the whelping room (as I type I can hear her snores in the box next to the bed) and I will remain here for the next two weeks.

Our wait list consisted of extremely patient people who have been waiting through three litters now and two families who already purchased puppies from us. All wanted girls.

Why did I decide to become a breeder? If you could hear the snores and  squeaks I am listening to right now you would totally understand.


Waiting for a puppy?

So here you are waiting for a puppy from the breeder you have developed a relationship with after a lengthy search. You both have agreed that your expectations and theirs are a good match. You have passed the breeders detailed interviews, home checks, reference checks and enjoyed many lengthy conversations over the last few months or years possibly. Now what?

Now is the time for you, and your family, to continue the education you began when you first researched the breed you were seeking. Does your breeder offer mentoring and education materials? If so take advantage of these! I cannot stress enough that NOW is the time to immerse yourselves in any and all education materials offered to you.

Now is also the time to be proactive – reach out to your breeder and talk about questions, concerns you may have. Now is the time for all adults to speak to the breeder. Now is the time to discuss your childrens puppy experience. If they have none or only a little – educate your children now! Do NOT wait to bring a puppy home to teach your kids the correct and safe way to interact with puppies and adult dogs. Now is also not the time for bravado and machismo to take over. Your kids do not know everything you think they know. Explain to them the importance of being safe, gentle and kind to dogs. No screaming, sudden wild movements, no loud noises, no jerking, poking, pulling. Sit down to hold puppies. Be gentle with puppies. Teach your kids to be patient. A little good parenting now will pay off later. Your breeder is more concerned about the puppies experiences than your kids, trust me on that.

For our new owners, we have this incredibly detailed website chock full of articles, blog posts, book lists, puppy raising protocols, nutritional and natural rearing  information, essential oils,  health, exercise  and training advice and more! Read about Breed Specific Legislation and Breed Bans. They exist and are very real. We give everyone a copy of the suggested exercise schedule written by Puppy Culture. We also upload 100’s of files pertaining to the breed, the litter, health testing documents, history and advice for our buyers to print, download and read on a FB group they have the link to. We have The Stafford Knot , rescue fund raiser pages and SBT Mentor websites and FB pages. These are excellent places to learn more about the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. We post a book list we suggest new owners to read from. We make suggestions on safe breed appropriate toys and warnings about those that can be ingested causing obstructions or broken teeth. We are here to answer any and all questions for the life of your dog so please – take advantage of this!

We suggest they join other groups on FB as well. Examples of these groups include a debates page where you can follow along with many topics pertaining to the breed from fellow owners in America. There is a page for Stafford Rescue and Re-homing which all SBT owners need to participate in. We need help with transport, breed ID and foster care. There are fun pages such as Stafford Ink where you can show off your SBT related tattoos.

Do it! Now. Now, before you take home a puppy.

We ask that all buyers purchase and watch Puppy Culture – you can live stream so its super convenient to watch anytime you have free time. You will want to follow along each week with your puppies PC experiences and by watching the videos it will make more sense to you and make it easy to continue when you bring home your new puppy. We ask buyers to go online and read past issues of The Stafford Knot online magazine to see photos and read about the history of this breed. The more you know now, the easier it will be later. I cannot repeat this advice strongly or often enough.

Never. Stop. Learning.