When she threw open the online door to “The Encouraging Home” as a blogger in 2011, Mary Clendenin’s experiences as a homeschooling mom and her life on a large, working dairy farm quickly found an audience online. She wanted to inspire hope, health and happiness at home and, it turns out, people liked what she had to say.
Mary’s readers got to know her, her husband Andrew, and their two boys, Timothy and Phillip. They were curious about lives lived 30 minutes from anywhere, the 800 cows that needed milking three times a day, bottle-raising calves and the Clendenins’ organic approach to living.
They found common ground with Mary as a mother and with her desire to do what was best for her family. Following the example of her now late father, she was passionate about natural health and raised her kids using supplements, herbs and homeopathic ways. So when she discovered Young Living Essential Oils, Mary eagerly shared her family’s delight for them on her blog, www.theencouraginghome.com.
Peppermint Essential Oil quickly became a family favorite. With its strong, fresh and minty aroma, peppermint invigorates and energizes. It’s widely known that Peppermint Vitality™ can assist and soothe digestionë, so Mary began working it into her family’s food and drink. A drop added to herbal tea or water boosted the beverage’s refreshment on a hot summer day. And, of course, blending it into chocolaty treats made them all the more scrumptious.
It didn’t take long for Mary to integrate Peppermint and other Essential Oils into her family’s everyday life. She even adds it to calf nursing bottles to improve their digestion. (Always consult a veterinarian before using essential oils with animals.) She says, “When I started seeing the power and benefit of Essential Oils on my family and friends and started sharing, soon it started snowballing.” People from all over the United States and in several countries around the world read her blog now and she has over 1,100 people on her Young Living Essential Oils team.
“Reaching people around the world is nice, especially with the blog. It’s a blessing to hear their stories,” Clendenin says. And it’s also a blessing to know that she’s helped so many people.
Mary, a trained teacher, may have left the classroom when her children were born, but once a teacher always a teacher. She not only homeschools her boys, but also educates a worldwide audience about the role Essential Oils can play in our lives. It’s a role she takes seriously.
Mary earned her CARE certification to use Essential Oils as a Raindrop Massage Technician and is a student of health nutrition as well. “I always said if I ever did anything after the kids were grown, I would become a natural health practitioner because it has always fascinated me and it has blessed me in so many ways. It’s a passion in my life and the Essential Oils are part of that,” Clendenin says.
Make Me Smile
Mary concocted recipes for all sorts of yummy goodies that bring smiles to her family’s faces, including what she calls a Get Moving Chocolate Peppermint Shake, Peppermint Bark candy and a Peppermint Hot Chocolate that puts all others to shame. In fact, Timothy, who is now 15, loves the blend of chocolate and peppermint so much that he created his own Easy Gooey Brownie recipe from scratch. Mary, along with Kayla Howard, combined their kitchen creations using a number of Young Living Essential Oils, including peppermint, into a free, e-book called Essential Chefs: A Beginner’s Guide to Using Essential Oils in Your Kitchen. Mary’s blog readers loved it!
Easy Gooey Brownies
1 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
1 cup flour
Drops of Peppermint Oil to taste
Combine melted butter and cocoa.
Beat eggs and sugar and Peppermint Oil until fluffy and add to cocoa mixture.
Add flour to the mixture slowly.
Bake in greased 9" x 13" pan at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Breathe Me In
But beyond the kitchen, Mary utilizes peppermint as an aromatic. “This time of year, we love to cold water diffuse with a combination of Peppermint, Lavender and Lemon Essential Oils,” she says.
Pick Me Up
The energizing characteristics of peppermint are particularly helpful on midafternoons when the homeschool day feels long. It was also beneficial to Andrew when he worked as a long-haul truck driver. A small drop onto the tongue and then pressed to the roof of the mouth has an invigorating flavor, Mary says. It also does wonders for the breath.
Calm Me Down
Tending to chores on the farm is hard work. to bring a cooling sensation to a tired body at the end of the day, Mary mixes Peppermint Oil into non-fractionated coconut oil to make a muscle rub cream. A small jelly jar filled with the mixture lasts about two weeks. Peppermint Oil is also one of the nine Essential Oils applied to the spine to bring the body back into harmony.
Cool Me Off
The family also likes to keep a mix of peppermint oil and water handy on the farm during the summer months. A spritz to the back of the neck provides a cooling refresher for hot, humid days. But Mary cautions to keep the spray away from the eyes, and when using peppermint oil on the skin, it’s important to dilute with carrier oil like coconut or olive and then test on a small area of skin. This is especially true for children. Mary recommends testing on the tough skin on the bottoms of the feet first.
About Mary Clendenin
Mary Clendenin is the writer behind the blog “The Encouraging Home,” where she inspires hope, health and happiness at home. She loves helping others add value to their lives and helping them make ordinary days special. A former elementary school teacher turned homeschool mom, she lives on their family farm of over 800 cows with her husband and 2 sons, all who play an active role in the family farm and the family essential oil business. Her family has been using essential oils for several years. She is currently a Gold leader and loves educating locally and worldwide through her blog. She is CARE certified and holds several certifications in natural health. She enjoys encouraging others to live a better life and find joy in their journey each day.