Sep 5, 2016

Chocolate Ba-Nutter Smoothie

“And you should drink a smoothie every morning for breakfast.”

Suddenly, I felt like Brian Regan when he was facing his doctor: “And no more happiness!”

I was sitting across from my naturopath doctor, listening to my doom. I was already going to have to stop eating pancakes, toast with avocado and crumbled bacon (or toast with nutella and bananas--yum!), and every cereal ever made aside from Cheerios for breakfast because I needed to go gluten free. Now he wanted me to replace all that deliciousness with smoothies?


My first experiences with smoothies a few years ago were not so great. The chunks of blueberry skin made me gag. The ground flax made me gag. The chemical aftertaste and grittiness of protein powder made me gag.

Do you see the pattern here? Smoothies made me gag!
Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie Recipe | Hot Pink Crunch

Aug 22, 2016

11 Tips for Going Gluten Free

I went gluten free recently. It sucked. I literally mourned the loss of wheat in my life.

Then time moved ever onwards as it has the tendency of doing, and I kind of got it over it (sort of). On days when I’m not over it, on days when I would like to visit the grave of my gluten-filled life, I will gluten myself with something like onion rings (because onion rings mmmm).

Then my stomach bloats out to twice its size, and as run to the bathroom for the fifth time to poop my brains out, I think to myself: “Oh yeah, this why I gave up gluten in the first place!”

Also: “I should invest in toilet paper stock because eating gluten sure makes me use a lot of it.”

Clearly, even with the very compelling reason of not wanting to spend my life sitting on the toilet (it makes my legs go numb), going gluten free is still hard. Anyone that tells you differently is selling something.

Going gluten free is difficult, frustrating, and unfair but there are a few tips that can make the process a little less terrible.
11 Tips for Going Gluten Free | Hot Pink Crunch

Aug 8, 2016

20 Secrets of the Mysterious Menstrual Cup

So, you've taken the menstrual cup plunge.

You spent hours reading blog posts about why they're the best thing ever. You measured your cervix (how that'd go for you? #awkwardlifemoment) and determined what size you need. You picked a company, held your breath, and ordered your first cup. Then your little box of joy, containing the supposed cure for all that ails you during menstruation, arrived!

And you stared at it like, "WTF!?"

I know. My dear friend Overthrow Martha first introduced me to the wonderful vampire wine goblet that you shove up your vagina back in 2014, but it took me over almost two years to move from, "This sounds really gross" to "I'm intrigued" to finally "I'm getting one of these things!"

And once I got it in the mail? I didn't know what to do with it! I mean... it was hard enough figuring out how to put a tampon in the first time. My first menstrual cup was 100x more intimidating!

Many months and menstrual cycles later, I've learned a LOT. And I've learned it all the hard way.

Fortunately, I'm willing willing to share my tips and tricks with you!

20 Secrets of the Mysterious Menstrual Cup | Hot Pink Crunch
(pelvi menstrual cup pictured)

Jul 25, 2016

My Monster Has a Name (and It's Anxiety)

“I think--” I started and hesitated. “I think I might have anxiety.” I made this admission to my husband late one afternoon as we went for a lazy stroll together by the lake.

“You think?” he responded incredulously.

“Yeah. I just-- wait, how long have you known?”


This may seem unbelievable to some people, but I really didn’t know.

My personal monster has a name and it's anxiety | Hot Pink Crunch

Jul 11, 2016

Why I Cried at a Farm: A Seed to Seal Story

We drove down the dusty Utah highway. It was only 11am but the sun was already hot. Still, we kept the windows down and let the warm, dry air cool the sweat off our faces before it could fully form.

The bossy voice from Google Maps told me to turn right up ahead. I listened, slowing the little put-put rental car down as we exited onto a country road. Only a half mile off the highway, the fields sprang up on either side: golden, purple, green.

And despite the fact that I like to think of myself as a very unemotional person. Despite the fact that I swore to my friends that I would not be crying when we went to Utah together.

Tears quickly filled my eyes.

We had arrived at Young Living’s Whispering Springs Farm in Mona, Utah.
Why I Cried at a Farm--A Seed to Seal Story

Jun 30, 2016

The Hot Pink Crunch Is Here!

The Hot Pink Crunch has arrived!

Be excited. Be veeeeerrrry excited!

The Hot Pink Crunch has replaced AskOily. We took AskOily out back and left her there. The Hot Pink Crunch is so much more meeeee. And who doesn't want more me!? Exactly!

So be prepared! It's about to get a little wild up in here.

Jun 6, 2016

Drop by Drop: The Real Price of Essential Oils

I’m a budding entrepreneur. I’m a part time administrative assistant at a local community college. I blog. My husband is disabled. I’m thirty years old and live in a bedroom the size of a closet in my parents’ house.

Let’s face it, I’m not rich. In fact, far from it! I know how to scrimp and save with the best of them. I’m that person you almost ran over in the supermarket parking lot because I stopped in the middle of the road to pick up fallen pennies.

So it’s amusing to me when people talk about my essential oil use like it’s some really expensive drug habit. People just can’t comprehend how I can afford essential oils.

How to afford an obsession with essential oils | Hot Pink Crunch

The secret: quality essential oils aren’t really that expensive.

May 23, 2016

The Sandman Spray

Dear Oily,

I love using my essential oil diffuser at night. Unfortunately, my boyfriend does not like essential oils (yet!). He doesn't want the diffuser running at night when he's there.

Is there another way to use essential oils to help me sleep without using a diffuser at night?

Thanks for your help,

Dear Sleepless,

Oh boy! I guess you probably don't want my solution to be dump that guy and find someone else, huh?

I kid. We'll save that for Plan B!

Sometimes it does take people (men especially) a while to come around to essential oils. Once you get them hooked though? They'll be secretly in love forever. Until you've made a crunchy convert out of him, we can't have you losing any sleep! My solution: The Sandman Spray.

No, I didn’t name it based on Neil Gaiman’s Sandman character. I was thinking more about that creepy little fae creature that sneaks into your room at night to sprinkle dust in your eyes so you sleep better and have good dreams.
The Sandman Spray DIY Recipe Natural Sleep Essential Oils | Hot Pink Crunch

I don’t know if this will make you have good dreams, but it should certainly help you sleep without ever needing to turn the diffuser on!

May 9, 2016

Four Steps to Make a Simple Salve

Dear Oily,

I know it’s important to dilute my essential oils in a carrier oil because I’ve read your post here. But I get really tired of diluting my oils every single time I want to use them. When I come home from the gym, I just want to be able to rub PanAway on my sore muscles without dragging out bottles and jars.

How can I pre-dilute my oils and have them ready to use when I need them?

Please Salve My Problems!

Dear Salve,

This is quite a problem! Who wants to be hunting for the jar of coconut oil every time you want a back rub? We want our oils and we want them now!

Fortunately, I know just the thing for you: a simple salve.

Once you know how to make a simple salve, you’ll never need to be hand mixing your oils on the spot again. You’ll have all sorts of salve jars ready-made and on hand: post workout rubs, sleepy time salves, sexy massage mixtures, and immune supporting ointments!

Don’t worry, “salve” makes it sound fancier and more complicated than it really is. You’re going to blow all your friends away when you tell them you know how to make a salve. They’ll never need to know that all it takes is two ingredients and four simple steps.
Four steps to make a simple salve with essential oils DIY Recipe | Hot Pink Crunch

Apr 25, 2016

Three Problems with Homemade Essential Oils

Dear Oily,

Is there any way to grow flowers, herbs, and so on, to make homemade essential oils? I have room for a large garden, and I think this could be fun (as well as economical).


Distill Me
Dear Distill,

Uhhh you could technically probably make your own essential oils… but I’m pretty sure if you do, it will be neither fun nor economical. Unless you’re a super scientist/botanist/chemist. If you are, why are you reading my blog (aside from my hilarious wit)?

Honestly, I’ve never made my own essential oils. I also never intend to even think about attempting it. It’s not because I’m lazy (which I am), but there is a LOT involved in the process and several problems we should address before you consider getting started.
One Does Not Simply Make Their Own Essential Oils Meme | Hot Pink Crunch

Apr 11, 2016

The Fart Neutralizer

Dear Oily,

I live with men. Between my husband and twin teen boys, our house can really stink! This is especially a problem on hot dog and bean night. I feel like I need to wear a gas mask for the next day.

Is there some way I can clear the air on a particularly gaseous occasion?

Toot toot!

Dear Toots,

Sometimes life stinks. Literally. It just plain smells, right?

Like when you epic fart in your husband’s car about four months after you got married and he has to leave the windows open all night just so he doesn’t puke on the ride to work the next morning.

It happens. He swears he forgave me a long time ago!

For times like those and hot dog and bean night or when you’ve been eating bean salad every single day for lunch and the gas just won’t stop, there is a saving grace: The Fart Neutralizer.

Now even if you dealt it you will not need to smelt it.
Neutralize Farts DIY Recipe Essential Oils | Hot Pink Crunch

Mar 28, 2016

Almost on Empty: When to Refill Your Oil

Dear Oily,

Help! I think I’m almost out of Lavender essential oil, but I’m not sure. How can I tell? When should I order more?


Almost Out

Dear Out,

This is a serious problem. You do NOT want to run out of Lavender oil (or any oil, honestly). Look what happens when you do!

That’s a video of my friend Jo. She was having a serious moment because she *gasp!* RAN OUT OF LAVENDER. I can relate. Running out of essential oil is terrible!

The problem is, oil bottles don’t have a fuel gauge like a car does. There’s no meter to track your oil use or little light flicking on to let you know that you’re running on empty.

Fortunately, you have me! My husband was once an auto-mechanic, and I have used his expertise to develop an Essential Oil Gauge to make sure you never have to suffer from a lack-o-lavender.

First step: let’s figure out how much oil you have left in your tank.. I mean bottle.
When to Refill Your Essential Oils | Hot Pink Crunch

Mar 14, 2016

Top 5 Essential Oils for Gaming Nerds

Dear Oily,

I’m a bit of a gaming nerd. Should I use essential oils? They seem kind of like hippie stuff.


Natural Nerd

Dear Nerd,

I’m going to let you in on a not-so-secret: I am a gaming nerd.

We’re talking 100%, role playing, New York City ComicCon attending, going to have carpal tunnel syndrome by age 35, cosplaying nerd.

You may have also noticed that I love essential oils. Therefore, I think it is safe to say that yes, you absolutely can and should use essential oils.
top 5 essential oils for gaming nerds gamers geeks | Hot Pink Crunch

In fact, I’ve compiled a list of the top five oils that are perfect for gaming nerds like you and me! These oils will keep you feeling emotionally and physically well, which means you can game more :)

Feb 29, 2016

How can I possibly work Orange Essential Oil into my cooking?

Dear Oily,

I love all the citrus oils. I put Lemon Essential Oil in my Ningxia Red, I take Grapefruit Essential Oil in a capsule daily, and I diffuse Citrus Fresh like it is going out of style. But my favorite citrus essential oil has got to be Orange! Yum!

I want to cook with my Orange Essential Oil but don’t know where to start. I love a drop in my Chamomile tea but I haven’t moved beyond the beverage stage of cooking with EOs.

When searching online, I’m just finding complicated recipes. Do you know any simple recipes using Orange Essential Oil that will not have me running for the hills?


Orange you glad I asked?

Dear Orange,

Ask Oily here! I’m going to let my good friend Darlene from Sitting for Carrots answer this one. She’s awesome at using essential oils for cooking. While she answers your question, I am going to take a nap. Cold and flu season has totally caught up with me!

Darlene says: You have no idea how happy this question makes me! I too am obsessed with Young Living Orange Essential Oil!

I totally understand where you are, trying to crossover to actually cooking with oils and graduating from the “I put them in my beverages sometimes” phase. Even though I love to cook I was in this beverage phase for almost a year!

I’ve got THREE super simple recipes that will knock your socks off and impress family and friends!

Feb 15, 2016

How do I make bath salts?

Dear Oily,

I just had a new soaking tub installed in my house, and I’d love to put it to good use. Unfortunately, I just saw this really scary article about a woman who used some store-bought bath fizz thing and it turned her skin purple!

I want a relaxing bath but I don’t want to be soaking in some chemical concoction that will turn my skin purple. I also want something easy to make.

Got any ideas?

Soak It Up

Dear Soak,

Are you sure you don’t want purple skin? You’d probably look really cool. I always wanted purple hair when I was younger. Sigh!

Annnnnyway, you’re very wise to stay away from store bought bath fizzies and salts and bombs and torpedoes and bazookas… yeah. Whatever they’re called, they can contain artificial fragrance (yuck!) and chemical dyes and coloring.

Don’t ingredients like Yellow 5 & 10 + Blue 1 + Red 28 sound like they’ll give you that lovely purple skin you never wanted?

Fortunately, you can avoid the chemical-colorful-cocktail and get a relaxing soak in the tub all without too much work. All you need is bath salts! Yep, homemade bath salts. I’ve made them many times, and they are one of the easiest and best DIYs ever! Seriously.. so easy.

homemade DIY basic bath salts with essential oils recipe | Hot Pink Crunch

Feb 1, 2016

How can I make sexy massage oil?

Dear Oily,

This weekend, our kids were away so my husband thought he’d treat me to a sensual massage. Unfortunately, the massage oil he bought from the store was awful! It smelled terrible and I had a horrible reaction to it.. everywhere!

Can I use essential oils to make a sexy massage oil?


Chemical Reaction

Dear Reaction,
DIY Naturally Sexy Massage Oil How To | Hot Pink Crunch
Yikes! It does not seem like you had a good weekend at all!

I can understand why your body had a reaction though. If you check out the back of the massage oil (if it even has a list of ingredients!), it may contain some gems like parabens and fragrance.

Fragrance can be a crazy concoction of thousands of different artificial/chemical/synthetic components. That doesn't sound sexy at all!

Fortunately, you can absolutely use quality essential oils (I would only ever use these) to make a natural, sexy, massage oil. You'll know exactly what's in it, and it’s really easy to whip up!

Jan 18, 2016

How do I make capsules with essential oils?

Dear Oily,

I have a few oils that are labelled as dietary supplements. I tried taking one on a spoonful of coconut oil and totally ended up dry heaving because the taste was far from pleasant.

I understand you can make capsules with essential oils? How do I go about doing that?

Please and thank you!


Jan 4, 2016

How do I make a roll-on bottle?

Dear Oily,

I really love using my essential oils all day long. Unfortunately, it’s pretty inconvenient to be dragging around several bottles of oils and carrier oils so I can properly dilute them!

I think it’d be much easier if I could carry my oils around in roll-on bottles, but I don’t know how to make them! Where do I get the bottles? How much essential oil do I add versus carrier oil? What kind of carrier oils do I need?

Please advise!

Rolling Along