Author: Susan | Joyful Tiny Living

Why I Switched to Dollar Tree for Greeting Cards

Why I Switched to Dollar Tree for Greeting Cards

In the age of email and text messaging, receiving a greeting card, especially in the mail, is one of life’s greatest joys! Where I live and work, I am constantly reaching for a card to gove to a co-worker, friend, or resident. I love seeing […]

Super simple DIY Vapor Rub

Super simple DIY Vapor Rub

What is vapor rub? When I  have a cold and feel congested, I like to use a vapor rub to help relieve those symptoms. Vapor rub is a topical ointment that many use to help relieve nasal congestion and coughing. I used to use a […]

My Favorite Top 10 Essential Oils – These Are Always On Hand

My Favorite Top 10 Essential Oils – These Are Always On Hand

My Top 10 Essential Oil Favorites


When I was first getting started with essential oils, I was very confused about the oils I really needed to have on hand. I mean – there are so many oils to choose from! Today, I want to share the 10 essential oils I have on hand at all times and how I use them! If you are wondering which oils you should start with, keep reading as I share my absolute favorites!


*There are affiliate links sprinkled throughout this post. If you click on one and make a purchase, I may be compensated. Please know this is at no extra cost to you, and it is a way  for me to cover my costs of production.

My Top 10 Essential Oils

The Top 10 Essential Oils You Need to Have Right Now


Here are the 10 oils I LOVE and how I use them! There are so many ways that an oil can be used, and I encourage you to do your research, but this is how I’m using these oils right now in my home and office. 



Lemon is honestly my most favorite oil, even though it wasn’t my first purchase. When I open the bottle, I get instantly happy, because it has such a fresh scent!

Besides using it to brighten my mood, I like to use lemon oil to clean countertops, clean my cell phone screen, removing sticky labels, polishing wood surfaces. I also add a drop of lemon oil in a cup of warm water first thing in the morning to help detoxify my system.

Some people will say that taking an essential oil internally isn’t safe – but I say if you know that your oil is  Therapeutic grade, and you know that it doesn’t contain anything synthetic, it’s safe.

And right now, with seasonal allergy season happening here in South Texas, I combine lemon, peppermint, and lavender together in my diffuser – 2 drops each to help relieve allergy symptoms naturally. I don’t know how it works, but these essential oils together work fabulously for me, and I am so grateful! I love not relying on allergy meds – life changer!



Peppermint essential oil is such a great oil to have on hand! I love it’s uplifting scent, and just like lemon, I get instantly happy when I open the bottle.

I like to use peppermint oil in my allergy relief diffuser blend, and I also will add a drop to water in the afternoon when I want a natural pick me up. If I have head tension, I will add a drop of peppermint essential oil to my temples and the back of my neck. I will sometimes use it to relieve muscle strain. I use it to cool off, especially in the summer. If I have tummy trouble, I will rub it on my belly with a carrier oil.

When I make homemade toothpaste, I add peppermint. Get my favorite recipe right here!



This was the very first essential oil I ever purchased. In all honesty, I only purchased it to use as a fragrance for my house. Lavender has always been my favorite scent, and before I started living a more natural lifestyle I would purchase anything lavender scented just because. My friends used to call me the crazy lavender lady haha.

Since I’ve learned more about what an amazing oil it is, I’ve changed how I use it.

It’s the 3rd part of my favorite allergy diffuser blend of course. It’s honestly found its way into just about everything. I use it with my daily skincare routine for its calming effects. Another way I use it when I get a burn from my hair straightener or from cooking. I add it to my DIY household cleaner because of its antibacterial properties. When I’m doing laundry, I will put a few drops of lavender oil of my dryer balls, along with eucalyptus oil. It’s my favorite combination.


Melaleuca (Tea Tree)

Melaleuca (Tea Tree) is an oil that I have found I can’t live without! The ways I most often use this oil is when I have a skin blemish. I add a drop to my nails to keep them healthy.

I will use melaleuca when I want to disinfect a cut.

When I have a canker sore  I will add a drop of oil to a tablespoon of coconut oil to swish in my mouth. I will do this 3 times in a day, and i have found that generally helps me to wipe it out.

I will sometimes use melaleuca in my laundry, especially if something has a strong odor. It helps to get rid of that.

If I’m beginning to feel under the weather, I will often add a couple of drops to my diffuser to help purify the air. When I do this, I almost always blend with lavender or lemon.



Lemongrass essential oil is the oil I keep close everyday to help repel mosquitos – I have found it is the best way  for me to minimize bites.

It’s a favorite one of my husbands, he loves it’s uplifting scent, so I will often diffuse it with ginger and lime oil. It’s said to have antidepressant properties, so that blend is great for us on a gloomy day.

One way I have begun using this oil is adding a drop to a carrier oil and massaging my knee. I’ve had knee pain for years, and I has read this is a way to alleviate the pain, so I’m all for not having to take something like an ibuprofen. I’ll keep you posted.

I have also used lemongrass oil for muscle pain relief and head tension.


Wild Orange

Wild Orange is an oil that has found a soft spot in my heart – I keep it on hand to brighten my mood, to help keep my skin bright (note: all citrus oils are photosensitive. If used on the skin, minimize sun exposure for up to 12 hours after use to prevent burning.)

I use it as a mouthwash sometimes if I want to switch up my normal peppermint. I will add it to my household cleaner, and I also keep my wood polished with it. Sometimes I combine lemon and orange together for an extra burst of citrus scent.

I use it in my 2 ingredient room spray all the time. I add it with my dryer balls along with lavender and eucalyptus.



Ginger essential oil is an oil I keep on hand mostly for tummy issues. I will adda  drop to a carrier oil and rub on my belly after indulging in too much food. Sometimes I will add a drop of ginger oil to a cup of tea for the same reason.



Eucalyptus essential oil is my favorite oil to keep my laundry smelling super fresh and clean! I always have 2 bottles on hand so I don’t run out.

I will sometimes add a couple of drops of eucalyptus to my diffuser.  With lavender and orange, it brings in a fresh scent to my home or office. It feels like late spring early summer!



Copaiba is the essential oil I always keep at the ready for all those quirky pains. I’ve applied this with a carrier oil to my husband’s back . He swears it’s the only thing that seems to bring relief.

I add a drop of copaiba under my tongue if I’m feeling anxious about something, or extra stressed. It’s also becoming a staple in my skincare routine, along with Frankincense.


On Guard

On Guard is a proprietary essential oil blend that I’ve used for the past couple of years to keep the germs away. I use this on the bottoms of my feet at night, especially in the fall and winter. I diffuse it in the office, especially if someone has a cold. It’s my go to to help keep me healthy.


I really hope you found this helpful! Do you use essential oils? If so, which ones are your favorites? Be sure to subscribe below to get more awesome essential oil tips and hacks!


10 Ways I Use Lime Oil Now + Its Surprising Benefits

10 Ways I Use Lime Oil Now + Its Surprising Benefits

I love lime essential oil – like REALLY love it! It was probably one of the first 5 oils I added to my collection when I started getting serious about incorporating essential oils into my daily personal and home routines! If you are curious about […]

5 Interesting Reasons to Make Tiny Living Work for You

5 Interesting Reasons to Make Tiny Living Work for You

  With everyone it seems these days choosing to live tiny (well not everyone, but it sure seems like it), you might be wondering why it could be a good choice for you and your family. I know these are the questions I had when […]

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2018: A Year in Review

2018: A Year in Review

2018 in Review


I’ve always loved the tradition of the end of the year Christmas letter, that wraps up the entire year in one letter. This is my version.

A Short Review

At the beginning of 2018, we were living in Cottonwood, AZ, a couple hours north of Phoenix, and 25 minutes from Sedona. What I loved about living there was being able to take in so many gorgeous hikes around the Sedona area! Devil’s Bridge, Cathedral Rock and Chicken Head were all breathtaking, and I will always cherish that time!

Because we were primarily working in the Gilbert/Mesa area, the drive to and from Cottonwood honestly became too much. Because we full time RV, we were able to utilize our Thousand Trails membership to take advantage of the resorts in Mesa and Apache Junction. It was really our first time experiencing a resort lifestyle, and to be perfectly honest, I will probably always prefer that lifestyle now! (Yes, I’m spoiled.)

At the end of May however, the company we were both working for laid us off due to what they called budget cuts. While we were sad, we were also ready to embark on what we thought would be full-time travel. The plan was to head to Texas, to see E’s daughter’s high school graduation, then see Southern Texas before we took off for the upper Midwest and East Coast to experience fall color.

Once we made it to South Texas, plans completely changed! On a day trip to South Padre Island on a beautiful sunny day, the kind of day that makes the Gulf water a jewel tone, I took one look at E, and said we needed to stay here. I missed the ocean, and felt at home.

I landed a job almost right away (within 2 days actually) as an office manager at one of those resorts I’ve fallen in love with, and so here we are! As it turns out, I absolutely love what I do, and we still get to live our RV lifestyle with all the amenities! I’m looking forward to growing with the company I’m employed with, and know that this is where I’m supposed to be right now. E is still trying to find his way, but we are confident that the right opportunity will fall into place when it’s supposed to.

Biggest Lesson Learned

I learned that nothing is forever. Losing a job that I was very good at was a gut punch, but more to my ego than anything else. When I think about it now, it’s probably the best gift received this year. I’m grateful for that lesson.

I think the biggest lesson I learned this year is that I don’t have it all figured out, and that is totally ok. I also learned that I’m a lot stronger than I ever thought, and much more open to the fluidity that life likes to throw at me. I never ever thought that I would get laid off from a job, and I never thought that we would end up in Texas. these things just never occurred to me.

As it turns out, I love this place. I love my job. I love having the time to work on this passion project of mine. I love the community of other like minded people I’ve met this year. through this platform, I’ve been given the gift of community. A gift I didn’t even know I needed, but I am so very grateful for.

As we wrap up this year, I want to take a moment to thank you. I am grateful for what you fill my heart with every single day. Some say that blogging is a lonely journey, but I can’t say that’s been my experience. I. have never felt more love from a community than I do now.

It’s my hope that your journey this year has been filled with challenges that have made you stronger. It’s my prayer that you are happy, healthy and ready to see what lies ahead in 2019.

Happy New Year!



5 Books That Made a Huge Impact for Me in 2018

5 Books That Made a Huge Impact for Me in 2018

Reading has always been an important part of my life. I used to only read fiction, getting lost in the pages of whatever story I’d be immersed in at the time. Over time though, I began using books as part of my personal development plan. […]

Easy Ways to Beat Sugar Cravings

Easy Ways to Beat Sugar Cravings

  Now that the holidays are over, it’s a great time to become more mindful of our daily food choices. If you are one of the fortunate ones who can avoid overindulging, this isn’t the post for you… BUT if you are anything at all […]

DIY: Simple Toothpaste

DIY: Simple Toothpaste

DIY Simple Toothpaste


Did you know that having good oral health is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy? It’s so important! Ever since I learned this bit of information, I’ve made it a priority.

I also have made it a priority to do my best to try and keep plastics out of the environment. Fun fact: a lot of the polishing ingredients in toothpastes are actually little plastic beads! When I learned this, I knew I needed to find a better solution. After a lot of research, I have found a solution that works perfectly for me. It’s simple, cost effective, and the best part: I can customize it to keep me from getting bored.

Have you ever wanted to find an effective solution for your oral healthcare? If so, keep reading to learn what I do to keep my teeth and gums healthy!

Baking Soda

I’ve started using baking soda as a main part of my oral healthcare, and wish I had learned about it sooner! It’s so inexpensive! A 16oz. box at the grocery store can be purchased for less than a dollar. Besides being readily available, it also offers the following benefits:


  • Balances levels of acid to help treat and prevent halitosis

  • Discourages the formation of plaque to help prevent gum disease.

  • Promotes healing to soothe ulcers and sores

  • An effective whitening agent to help remove stains from the teeth

Essential Oils

Adding essential oils to the mix not only livens up the flavor (let’s face it, baking soda by itself doesn’t taste all that great), they bring their set of benefits to the table:

  • Cinnamon essential oil is great helps to fight inflammation and is helpful at fighting off viruses.

  • Clove essential oil is antibacterial

  • Peppermint essential oil boosts energy, is also antibacterial, and is a flavor that is familiar to many used to using conventional toothpaste.

I will switch up the oil that I use depending on the season, or what I have on hand. Most often, I use peppermint, but during season changes I will switch it up and use cinnamon, or On Guard if I want to keep from catching a cold.

Baking Soda Toothpaste Recipe

4 Tbsp coconut oil

3 Tbsp baking soda

1 Tbsp sea salt

*10-20 drops essential oil of choice

Small glass jar with lid (I like this one)


  1. Add coconut oil to jar and place jar in hot water to liquify.

  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to liquified coconut oil, blend well.

  3. Seal jar with lid.

*Essential oils are potent. Play with what feels best for you. I typically use 10-15 drops in my own recipe, but know that some like a stronger toothpaste.

This recipe lasts me a week. If you are making this for your family, just double or triple the recipe. Or make a couple of different batches so that everyone can have their own.

I store my toothpaste in the refrigerator, as I live in a warmer climate, and after I mix it up, I prefer a more solid mixture. I just dip my toothbrush into the jar  to use.

Would you make your own toothpaste? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave me a comment and share!


The Liebster Award – 2018

The Liebster Award – 2018

I was blessed to be nominated for The Liebster Award by the fabulous Ann Marie Ruby – check out her post right here! I’ll be honest, I hadn’t heard of this award, and so I did a bit of digging to figure out what it’s […]