FANTASTICALLY FRUGAL-ISTIC

FANTASTICALLY FRUGAL-ISTIC

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HEALTH AND BEAUTY

 

Easy DIY on how to turn old lipstick into tinted lipbalm. Melt Vaseline and Lipstick together then store in little pot or container!

To make your own shapeable ice pack:
Mix 1 part rubbing alcohol with 3 parts water in a ziploc bag and put in the freezer. 
(The alcohol will prevent the water from freezing completely.)
When it’s frozen, wrap with a towel or cloth of some sort and apply.


You might be surprised of all of the things Vaseline can do for you. It just celebrated its 141st birthday, so there must be a reason why it has lasted through all of these years!


1. It makes your eyelashes grow:  Lather Vaseline all over your eyelashes overnight and watch them thicken, even without a prescription!

2. Soften dry and cracked elbows.

3. Dry cuticles: Store a mini-Vaseline container in your purse and use for emergency dry cuticle moments.

4. For kissable, luscious lips: Fall is a beast for drying out summery, dewy lips. Vaseline is there for you and your irresistible pout. You can also mix Vaseline with Kool-Aid powder and make a colored (and flavored) lip gloss.

5. Help your scent stick around: Softly rub Vaseline all over your perfume points (i.e. the cleavage, behind the ear, neck, and wrist) and your scent will last longer!



6. It is a misconception that Vaseline clogs pores, so smear it all over your face, neck and arms for softer skin.

7. Lipstick smudges: Spread a little Vaseline over your teeth and lipstick smudges be gone! This is an infamous tip used at beauty pageants. 

8. To remove last night’s makeup: Apply some to a Q-tip and have a pretty day.

9. Perfect for an eye-shadow/blush boost: Apply some under your eye shadow for a glossy effect. Apply on the apples of your cheeks for a dewy glow. Mix with lipstick for a cream blusher!

10. It eases eyebrow plucking: Tame your eyebrows and lube up the under-skin so you can pluck with ease.

11. Prevent hair dye from seeping onto your forehead: Softly dab all over your hairline and keep that box hair dye from dying your forehead the color of your new hairdo.

12. To make your accessories look brand spankin’ new: New job interview or a hot date? Put a small dab on your shoes and shine away!

13. Hide Split Ends: Haven’t had a haircut since your budget only allows you go to Great Clips for a quickie? Hide damaged ends with a small amount on your ends.

14. Remove makeup stains for your clothes. Dab a little with a damp cloth.

15. To Prevent spray-tan streaks: Rub all over the backs of your knees, ankles and hands to prevent seriously frightening spray tan lines.

16. To get those O.P.I. nail polish bottles open: Make it easier next time and rub Vaseline under the cap. Easy to open the next time you decide to do an at-home pedi.

17. It’s your new exfoliating body wash: Mix with sea salt and come out of the shower feeling soft, and sexy.

18. Remove false eyelash glue from your lash line.

19. Can be used to smooth and soothe skin after shaving.

20. Lubricates ear lobes and helps make earring insertion easy and painless.

* Bonus - Once you carve your Halloween pumpkin, rub Vaseline on the exposed edges. It keeps it from rotting or going dry.


Honey Lemon Cough and Cold Syrup

1/2 c. Raw Honey
Half a lemon
2 fresh or frozen garlic cloves- don't use the pre-minced stuff.  It's lost its strong medicinal properties.
a chunk of fresh or frozen ginger* (optional)

Fill a small jar halfway with raw honey.  Raw honey has active enzymes, 'good' bacteria, and tons of other beneficial stuff that normal, pasteurized grocery store honey doesn't have.  Squeeze the lemon half into the honey and stir.  Crush the garlic cloves.  You don't want to pulverize them, or you'll end up with little bitty chunks floating around in the honey...just crush them one good time, to start the enzyme reactions in the cloves.  I like to whack the cloves of garlic with the side of my meat tenderizer mallet, and I do the same thing to the ginger.  Drop them into the honey and stir.  We store this in the fridge, because the cold feels good on hot, scratchy throats.

How to take it:
Take a spoonful of honey as needed, avoiding the chunks of garlic and ginger unless you just reeely like the taste of garlic. 

Keeping it going:
We keep the mix going as long as we have colds in the house by adding more honey and lemon to taste.  I also refresh the cloves of garlic and ginger daily, removing the old ones with a fork, and adding new ones.

*I love the taste of fresh ginger, so whenever I buy some for a recipe, I will chunk up the rest of it into one inch pieces and freeze it for using in remedies or for cooking.  I also buy bulk peeled garlic cloves, and keep them in my deep freezer.  I keep a smaller container of them frozen in my kitchen freezer for convenience. 

SOFT SOAP.

So, I have been obsessed with trying to make my own soap!. I've poured over books, watched tutorials, and absorbed anything soap-making related. It kept coming back to one fatal flaw, lye. Lye (as you know) is extremely caustic and potentially life threatening. Well I have stumbled on a way to omit chemicals and save money without the trouble of dealing with lye. Homemade body wash! It's so easy. All you need is 3 things. Bar soap, 1 gallon of water and some glycerin. In all actuality the glycerin is optional and I've made with and without but I prefer with. So here is how we do it:

1) Grate down about 8 oz of bar soap of your choice. 

2) While grating heat the gallon of water to near boiling.

3) Add the soap flakes to the near boiling water stir until melted. Add 2 tablespoons of the glycerin and remove from heat.

You'll want to cover and let sit over-night. It'll need to be whisked slowly the following day. Add to your bottles of choice. We have enough for both showers and all the hand soap containers and then some. It cost all of 5 bucks for the first gallon of soap less than half that the next because the glycerin lasts for awhile. But even at 5 bucks the savings is huge!

Our feet take a pounding day in day out. Give your tootsies a break and indulge in a do it yourself pedicure with these fantastic foot scrub recipes from around the blogosphere.

Visit each blog for the full recipe, and be sure to leave your comment sharing your favorite at the end of this blog post.Sidenote: Not into making your own foot scrubs but still want to give yourself (or let your partner) give you a fantastic at home pedicure? Then try this sensational ready made all natural foot scrub. Soothing Lavender Foot Scrub from FrugalGranola.comThis Soothing Lavender Foot Scrub is adapted from the Invigorating Foot Scrub recipe in Stacy’s fantastic eBook Simple Scrubs To Make & Give. It helps to clear away dead skin cells and smooth skin while exfoliating and moisturizing. The lavender adds a fragrant scent which calms and relaxes the mind.For the full recipe, visit FrugalGranola.comSimple Strawberry Foot Scrub from HomemadeMamas.netApplying food to your skin is one of the most natural and effective skin care treatments. Strawberries are great since they are packed full of alpha-hydroxy acids which are fantastic for exfoliating dry and rough skin. That makes this strawberry foot scrub recipe great for dry, damaged and rough feet.Visit HomemadeMamas.net for the full recipe.Peppermint Foot Scrub from TheIdeaRoom.netThis peppermint foot scrub recipe will help to soothe and cool your skin. In fact, when I tried Burt’s Bees Peppermint Foot Lotion my feet felt like they were encased in ice for an hour – so peppermint really does cool! This foot scrub, which also contains coconut oil (a real skin miracle) will refresh and rejuvenate and leave your feet feeling brand new!For the full recipe, visit TheIdeaRoom.netEnergizing Pumpkin Foot Scrub from HealthfulPursuit.comHealthfulPursuit.com share two fantastic foot scrub recipes involving pumpkin. Firstly a Pumpkin Ginger Spice scrub which apparently smells so delicious you’ll struggle not to snack on it! And secondly an Energizing Pumpkin Foot Scrub which is the one I like the look of. It is made with canned pumpkin, Demerara sugar, olive oil, ground coffee beans and lemon juice. Simple to make, sweet smelling and wonderful for our feet!Find out how to make it and try it for yourself by visiting HealthfulPursuit.comFrugal Lemony Foot Scrub from ADelightfulHome.comThis foot scrub recipe – adapted from Organic Body Care Recipes – involves just four ingredients: cornmeal, oats, sea salt and essential oil – in this case lemon essential oil.Chances are you already own these ingredients already making this a very cheap, very effective foot scrub recipe.Get all the details and try this one for yourself by visiting ADelightfulHome.comHoney & Lemon Foot Scrub from JulieAnnArt.comThis is another super simple foot scrub recipe involving just four ingredients: brown sugar, honey, lemon and almond oil. The honey and lemon are both antibacterial which helps to keep feet fresh and clean, while the almond oil deeply moisturizes.This recipe will cost just pennies to make so find out how you can create it at home by visiting JulieAnnArt.comRainforest Foot Scrub from OurVanity.comThis is perhaps the most exotic of all the foot scrub recipes shared in this post. It contains an ingredient called bayberry oil which is a new one on me, but after a little research I found you can buy some here on Amazon.For the full recipe, and a few extra foot scrub recipes, visit OurVanity.com

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There we have seven of my top foot scrub recipes. Which is your favorite? Or do you have any others that you’d like to share? Leave a comment at the end of this post sharing your thoughts.Plus, if you are interested in making your own spa quality products at home then I suggest you take a look at The Handcrafters Companion: Create Spa Quality Products For Fun & Profit.It reveals 126 recipes for soaps, scrubs, butters, balms, lotions, creams, fragrances and much more. For more details, click this link or the pretty image below.

Homemade Gift Idea #1
Naturally Tinted Lip Balm
From FrugallySustainable.com

Click Here For Full Instructions

Homemade Gift Idea #2
Lavender Body Oil
from ADelightfulHome.com

Click Here For Full Instructions

Homemade Gift Idea #3
Personalized Body Spray
from CrunchyBetty.com

Click Here For Full Instructions

Homemade Gift Idea #4
Homemade Coconut Milk Shampoo
from OneGoodThingByJillee.com

Click Here For Full Instructions

Homemade Gift Idea #5
Ginger & Coconut Oil Sugar Body Scrub
from FoodForMyFamily.com

Click Here For Full Instructions

Homemade Gift Idea #6
Energizing Herbal Bath Bag
from FrugalGranola.com

Click Here For Full Instructions

Homemade Gift Idea#7
Easy Homemade Bath Salts
from GardenTherapy.ca

Click Here For Full Instructions

Homemade Gift Idea #8
Energizing Pumpkin Foot Scrub
from HealthfulPursuits.com

Click Here For Full Instructions

Homemade Gift Idea #9
Homemade Lavender Gift Ideas
from CrunchyBetty.com

Click Here For Full Instructions

Homemade Gift Idea #10
Avocado Hair Lotion
from RevitaliseYourHealth.com

Click Here For Full Instructions

So which of these ten fantastic recipes are your favorite? Do you plan on making any of them for a loved one? Or even for yourself? Or are you hoping to receive one of these gifts? Why not email your friends and family this page with a gentle nudge towards the product you’d like ;)

Do You Want To Learn How To Make Your Own Spa Quality Products At Home?

Making health and beauty products at home is fun, affordable and healthy. If you’d like to learn how to make your own spa quality products at home, including butters, balms, lotions, creams, soaps, scrubs, fragrances and much more, then take a look at The Handcrafters Companion. It reveals 126 step-by-step recipes for you to follow along with at home.



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The Top 10 Super-Spices that Protect Your Body

These 10 powerful spices help to control blood sugar, reduce inflammation, boost your metabolism, aid fat loss, and reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease

by Catherine Ebeling - RN, BSN & Mike Geary - Certified Nutrition Specialist
co-authors - The Fat Burning Kitchen


Every time you flavor your meals with herbs or spices you are supercharging your food without adding a single calorie. You can transform something ordinary and bland into something truly extraordinary tasting and good for your body, just by generously adding herbs and spices to your meals.

Did you know that certain herbs and spices contain a wide variety of some of the most potent antioxidants of any food? In fact, many herbs and spices rank even higher in antioxidant activity than many fruits and vegetables, with some spices such as cloves, turmeric, and cinnamon having as much as 10-50x more antioxidants measured by ORAC value (on a weight to weight comparison) compared to blueberries.

The benefits of the antioxidants in spices include some very powerful protection against many serious diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s, and overall aging.

Herbs and spices add tons of extra flavor, and when combined with the nutrition in other foods, they actually exponentially boost the natural antioxidants, phytonutrients, and anti-inflammatory power of the food.

Besides the super antioxidants, herbs and spices can also:

  • Aid Fat Burning and Boost Metabolism - many herbs and spices are thermogenic, which means they naturally help to increase metabolism, partly because they are so nutrient-dense.
  • Help Stabilize Blood Sugar - Some spices are also good at regulating blood sugar and controlling insulin--even as good as some diabetic drugs! When your blood sugar is well controlled, you are more likely to burn fat and not store calories as excess weight.
  • Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Properties –Scientific studies show that herbs and spices can actually work as well or better than some medications at calming inflammation without the negative side effects of isolated drugs.
  • Anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal - Many herbs and spices contain properties that effectively kill dangerous pathogens like viruses, bacteria and stubborn fungi. The natural properties in these foods work against many microbes that are resistant to conventional medications.

Here are 10 of the most potent superfood herbs and spices you can eat:

1. Basil - Basil is a very effective anti-inflammatory herb with extraordinary healing benefits that work for arthritis, allergies, and inflammatory bowel conditions, to name a just a few. In addition, basil helps kill harmful bacteria that cause food poisoning including: Listeria, Staph, and E. coli O:157:H7.

Basil is also an excellent source of beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant that prevents free radical damage. Free radical damage is the primary cause of heart disease, cancer, and many other serious health conditions, as well as aging. Because of its dark green color, it is an excellent source of vitamin K, calcium and magnesium, which is good for the bones. It is also a great source of iron, manganese, vitamin C and potassium.  Use both fresh basil and dried basil generously in your foods to maximize it's benefits.

2. Cinnamon - This ancient spice has one of the highest antioxidant levels of any spice.

Cinnamon is highly effective at helping to stabilize blood sugar levels, making it very effective for those with diabetes (type 1 and type 2). In one study of people with type 2 diabetes, just two teaspoons a day reduced blood sugar as much as 20-30%, as well as lowering LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Cinnamon also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and helps relieve pain and stiffness in muscles and joints, including arthritis. Cinnamon has a positive effect on brain function, and smelling cinnamon, or chewing cinnamon flavored gum, can possibly help improve memory and attention. Cinnamon also reduces inflammation in blood vessels that leads to atherosclerosis and heart disease, as well as having antifungal and antibacterial properties.

You can read another article we have here about how cinnamon can even help control belly fat in an indirect way.

Try cinnamon in your smoothies, yogurt, healthy baking recipes, oatmeal, mixed with berries, or as a healthy addition in your coffee or tea.

3. Cayenne - This hot spice not only heats up your dishes, it heats up your body and raises your metabolism, helping you burn fat faster. And an interesting research study showed that when a person consumed an appetizer with red pepper flakes, they ate 15% less food. And for those of you who avoid cayenne because you think it bothers your stomach, cayenne pepper is actually healing to stomach tissues, it stimulates digestive enzymes, and helps prevent stomach ulcers.

Cayenne reduces LDL blood cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and decreases the formation of harmful blood clots, all of which prevent heart attacks and strokes. And, cayenne is a very effective anti-inflammatory and pain remedy for everything from headaches to arthritis and sore muscles, as well as clearing nasal congestion and boosting immunity.

Try cayenne in your morning eggs, in soups, stews, chili, or meatloaf for a little metabolism boosting spice!

4. Cloves - Cloves have a unique sweet and spicy flavor, but also contain powerful natural medicine. Cloves have strong antiseptic and germicidal ingredients that help fight infections, relieve digestive problems, and arthritis pain. One of cloves’ best known uses is its ability to relieve tooth and gum pain.  Cloves have been measured as having THE highest antioxidant level (ORAC value) of all spices and herbs.

The oil in cloves kills bacteria and is very effective when applied to scrapes, cuts, fungal infections, itchy rashes, bites, burns, or bruises. Cloves also help digestive problems like gas, indigestion, nausea and vomiting, and eliminate harmful parasites, bacteria and fungus in the digestive system. And the smell of cloves helps to encourage mental creativity too.

Cloves can be a great healthy addition to hot teas.

5. Cumin - Cumin is another spice that is especially high in antioxidants, but cumin is known for being especially good for digestion. It stimulates the gallbladder and pancreas to secrete enzymes and bile that break down food into usable nutrients your body can use. Cumin also helps detoxify the body, and is highly effective for respiratory disorders like asthma and bronchitis.

Cumin, like cinnamon, helps keep blood sugar levels stable, which means cumin is great for diabetics or pre-diabetics, and it means less chance of weight gain and excess body fat. Cumin has been proven to work as well as some commonly used diabetic drugs at regulating insulin and glycogen. Cumin is also a very good source of iron, vitamin C and vitamin A, which benefit the immune system. 

Cumin goes great in chili!

6. Turmeric - Turmeric’s yellow-orange pigment, curcumin, is the main active ingredient in this super spice. Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory benefits are actually comparable to drugs like hydrocortisone and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines like Advil and Motrin. But, unlike the drugs, curcumin is not toxic at all.

Curcumin is more effective slowing down the development of Alzheimer’s disease than many medications, because it decreases inflammation and oxidation in the brain. This spice also speeds up the recovery time from strokes as well. Turmeric and its active ingredient, curcumin, are also highly effective against diseases like irritable bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s, and arthritis. Turmeric also improves liver function, lowers homocysteine and prevents heart disease.

Most importantly, turmeric is one of the most potent anti-cancer spices that helps protect you.  Turmeric and it's derivatives are currently being studied in alternative cancer treatments.

Try this trick:  Using black pepper along with turmeric (I use this combo in my eggs every morning) helps to increase the absorption of turmeric's curcumin in the body.  We also have a full article on the super health benefits of turmeric here.

7. Rosemary - Rosemary contains active ingredients that are potent antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory agents. Rosemary has long been known to improve concentration, boost memory, and lift depression. Rosemary also strengthens the immune system, improves circulation, stimulates digestion, and fights cancer, as well. 

Rosemary is highly effective for respiratory problems including asthma, chest congestion, and respiratory infections. While rosemary adds a delicious savory flavor to meat dishes, it also helps digestion by stimulating the gallbladder to release bile as well. Rosemary will protect your body against harmful carcinogenic toxins and prevents colon cancer, stomach, breast, and lung cancer. 

Fun fact:  If you're going to grill meats, marinating meats for hours beforehand in liquid mixtures that contain rosemary and other herbs/spices can dramatically help to reduce HCA's (heterocyclic amines), which are carcinogenic compounds that can form when meats are grilled.  So using rosemary, thyme, garlic, oregano and other spices in a meat marinade before grilling meats can drastically reduce any carcinogens that normally would form on grilled meat.

The antioxidants in rosemary and thyme from a marinade were specifically cited in studies at being powerful inhibitors of HCA formation when grilling meats.  But it was also noted that other spices such as garlic, oregano, and others can help to prevent HCA formation as well, so I suggest using a variety, which tastes great anyway!

One more important point about grilling meat: Remember that the more well-done a meat is cooked, the higher concentration of carcinogenic HCA's can form, so rare, medium-rare, or medium are healthier choices than well-done.  I've never understood why anybody would want to ruin a good steak by burning it to oblivion anyway.  But hey, if you're one of those folks that likes your steaks well-done, just remember that you're eating a lot more carcinogens than a steak that's cooked less, so make sure to load up on your antioxidants (spices, teas, berries, etc) to help combat those extra carcinogens.

Washing down your barbequed meal with a glass of unsweetened iced tea (rich in antioxidants) and also a good salad with lots of raw veggies can provide the antioxidants needed to counteract the effect of HCAs in your body from grilled meat.

By the way, even charring vegetables on the grill creates different carcinogens such as acrylamides, so don't think that the negative effect of charring only applies to meats.

8. Ginger - Ginger is VERY powerful for your health!  Ginger contains over 25 different antioxidants, which makes it extremely effective at fighting free radicals in many different body systems. Ginger is best known for its ability to reduce nausea and vomiting, as well as motion sickness. In fact, ginger may even be more effective than Dramamine, one of the most common drugs used for motion sickness. And because ginger does not have harmful side effects like many drugs, it is very good for nausea from pregnancy. Studies actually show that just 1 gram of ginger before surgery is more effective than the standard anti-nausea medication given for post surgical nausea and vomiting.

Ginger is also a soothing remedy for sore throats from colds and flu because of its antiviral properties. Ginger also helps coughs and is an effective expectorant. Try a tea made with hot water simmered with a few slices of ginger and a small amount of honey and lemon for a soothing tonic when you are sick. 

Because ginger is such a strong anti-inflammatory, it helps reduce the pain and swelling of arthritis, and muscle aches. Ginger also fights cancer, reduces cholesterol, and prevents blood clots that lead to strokes or heart disease.  I like to use a slice of ginger root in my hot teas sometimes, in our batches of iced teas, and of course, I love piling ginger on top of sushi!  I take a couple capsules of ginger daily since it's not as frequently used in dishes as some other spices.

9. Oregano - This herb contains an oil that is a very potent anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral agent, rosmarinic acid (also found in rosemary).   Oregano oil has been used to treat a wide range of conditions from bacterial and viral infections, to parasites and stubborn fungal infections. Although the oil of oregano is most often used for medicinal purposes, the herb itself can provide many of the same benefits when consumed regularly.

Oregano also relieves inflammation, internal or external, and can offer relief from allergies, aches and pain, without side effects.  Oregano is very high on the ORAC scale of measured antioxidant value.

10. Thyme — Thyme’s active ingredient is known for treating bronchitis, sore throats, chest congestion, laryngitis and asthma. Thyme is so effective it is often an ingredient in cough drops and mouthwashes to treat inflammation and infections. Thyme is also effective as a soothing stomach aid to relieve gastritis, indigestion and colic.

Thyme helps prevent cancer, improve memory, treat Alzheimer’s, calm the nerves, and alleviate depression, nightmares, and insomnia. An interesting new discovery about thyme shows that it actually boosts the amount of DHA (an important ingredient in omega 3 fatty acids) in the brain, heart and kidney cells.

Here are some other health benefits of some of the most popular herbs and spices:

• Rosemary, turmeric, ginger and basil are powerful anti-inflammatories.
• Cumin, turmeric, and sage help fight dementia.
• Cayenne, cumin, coriander and cinnamon help to regulate insulin and blood sugar, aiding fat loss.
• Lemon grass, nutmeg, bay leaves and saffron have a calming effect.
• Garlic, mustard seed, hawthorne, and chicory are excellent for the heart.
• Basil and thyme help your skin become softer and smoother.
• Turmeric, garlic, basil, cinnamon, thyme, saffron, garlic and ginger boost the immune system.
• Coriander, rosemary, cayenne, allspice and black pepper can help banish depression.

There are 3 specific spices that I personally believe are so powerful that I try to take them in daily capsule form as well, since they may not always be used in my daily meals... and those are:

Turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger.  They're very cheap in capsule form too.  I usually take 2 capsules per day of each of these spices unless I use large amounts in certain dishes like a curry dish for example.

Spice up your life a bit, and enjoy all of those super health benefits!

Note: Always check with your physician to be sure certain herbs and spices don’t interfere with medications you may be taking—and check with your doctor before you quit any current medications.

Soothing Classic Homemade Deodorant

Before I get to the actual post, let me share something with you that I’ve decided is rather important:Always use arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch in your homemade deodorant.

After making the switch late last year, I can attest that it’s not irritating like cornstarch; and, even better, you don’t have to worry about GMOs. At least, I don’t think there’s GMO arrowroot yet. Who knows. I can’t keep up with it.

(Side note: If you’re fine with the cornstarch, go for it. I’m not the boss of you. The rule, though, stands for anyone who has ever ditched homemade deo due to irritation.)

Soothing Homemade Deodorant – Step 1

Okay, so here’s how it goes, in a nutshell: You’re going to infuse coconut and another oil (I used sunflower, but you can use sweet almond or avocado or apricot kernel, if you’d like) with calendula and chamomile. So you want to plan ahead for this one – it’s going to take about two weeks.

Here's what you need for soothing classic homemade deodorant.

For the first step, you take 2 Tbsp dried calendula petals and 3 Tbsp dried chamomile and put it in a jar. Please make sure you’ve sterilized your jar with boiling water for 10 minutes first (and then dry it out COMPLETELY).

Then, you’re going to cover that with about 5 Tbsp coconut oil and 3 Tbsp sunflower oil. If you need to, warm your coconut oil gently to get it to liquid form. This is easiest if you just pop it in a small cup and put the cup in another larger cup of very warm water.

But, actually, I just left my coconut oil out in the sun for about 10 minutes, and it was mostly liquified. Believe it or not, the sun is our friend.

Mostly liquified coconut oil and sunflower oil, ready to infuse.

Now just pop your lid on, give it a good shake, and leave it in a darkish place for 2-3 weeks. Shake it whenever you remember.

For the record, I used sunflower oil because it has some really outstanding antibacterial properties, as well, but it’s also very, very good for irritated (see: recently shaved) skin.

Soothing Homemade Deodorant – Step 2

Grab your jar of infused oils, and it should look a little like this. Here’s the difference between immediately after you add the oils to the flowers and after 3 weeks:

As you can see, the oil turns a beautiful shade of yellow, thanks to both the calendula and the chamomile. This is how you know it’s full of good stuff.

Now, make sure your infused oil is nice and warm. Again, warm it up in the sun or place your jar in a cup of very warm water. The sunflower (or other) oil helps the coconut oil stay more liquified, but it still solidifies a small amount if it’s cool.

Strain the flowers from the oil by using a coffee filter (my favorite) or piece of doubled up cheesecloth. Twist the top of the coffee filter or cheesecloth and squish out as much oil as you can get.

The resulting oil amount should be somewhere between 6 and 7 Tbsp (you lose a little in infusion).

Add you dry ingredients to the oil – about 1/4 c. plus 2 Tbsp each of baking soda and arrowroot powder. Stir well.

Drip in your desired essential oils (I like lavender and tea tree oil, for extra antibacterial protection) – no more than 20 drops total.

Put the lid on and keep it in your bathroom. It’ll be nice and gooey, which, to me, is the fun part of putting it on. (With your fingers, massaging your armpit seductively. It likes that. Makes it feel special, like the most important armpit in the world.)

A Few Important Notes:

  • Always use a fresh, sterilized jar when creating your final deodorant formulation. Don’t just keep piling new deodorant onto old at the bottom of your jar. That would be a pretty invitation for a contamination party.
  • Again, choose arrowroot powder over cornstarch, if you can.
  • If you’re allergic to the ragweed family, you might want to skip the chamomile (a member) and just use calendula – or even calendula and dried lavender would be lovely.
  • If you use a coffee filter to strain your flowers from your oil, be careful not to break it in the “squeezing” process. The filters can be delicate.

And here’s the entire recipe, in printable form:

    Print This!    
Soothing Classic Deodorant Recipe
  • 3 Tbsp dried chamomile
  • 2 Tbsp dried calendula
  • 5 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 Tbsp sunflower oil (or other oil, like avocado, sweet almond, or apricot kernel)
  • 1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp baking soda
  • 1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp arrowroot powder
  • Essential oils of your choosing (lavender and tea tree are my favorite antibacterials)

In a small, sterilized jar, add the flowers and the oils (making sure your coconut oil is liquified first). Shake well. Store in a dark place for 2-3 weeks, shaking occasionally.

After 2-3 weeks of infusion, strain the oil from the flowers (again, heating up the oil slightly if it’s in a solid-ish state). In another sterilized jar, combine the infused oil with the dry ingredients and stir well. Add your essential oils drop-by-drop, stirring constantly. Store in your bathroom. This should keep for 3-4 months.

Five More Homemade Deodorant Options = No More Excuses! Yay!

If you’ve tried one and it didn’t work, today is the day to start trying another one.

Something, I PROMISE, something will work for you.

And, as always, for those of you who are wondering where to get any of this stuff:

  • Mountain Rose Herbs carries dried calendula and chamomile, as well as arrowroot and baking soda and a plethora of high-quality essential oils
  • Vitacost (and that link there will take you to a $10 off coupon for signing up) carries calendula and chamomile teas (the same thing), as well as Bob’s Red Mill baking soda and arrowroot powder, in addition to essential oils
  • Your local natural food store should carry most all of these things. Check the tea aisle if they don’t carry bulk herbs/flowers/spices.

Interesting article ran across today!!

home remedies


Strange but true: you’ve probably got an amazing assortment of stuff in the kitchen, the tool box or the medicine chest that can do double duty as remedies for all kinds of common ailments. What’s more, there’s actual scientific research to back up some of these do-it-yourself treatments. Here’s a rundown on the most intriguing nine: 

Didgeridoo for Sleep Apnea

Okay, so this probably isn’t something you’ve got lying around the house. You may not have heard of it either, but if you’ve got sleep apnea, this strange-soundingAustralian wind instrument may be just what you need.

According to a study from Switzerland, four months of learning to play the didgeridoo worked well for patients with moderate sleep apnea, made for a better night’s sleep, and reduced daytime sleepiness. Even more, their bed partners slept better, too. Playing the instrument addressed sleep apnea by strengthening the upper airway, which prevents it from narrowing as you inhale.

10 Natural Ways to Sleep Better

Biting on a Pencil for Headache Relief

This won’t work for migraines, but if you get common tension headaches, the pencil trick may help prevent them. We tend to automatically clench our jaws and teeth when we’re anxious or stressed, and this is a subconscious reaction that can lead to a tension headache.

When you feel your jaw clench, put a pencil between your teeth (don’t bite down) and hold it there. This simple strategy will cause your jaw to relax, easing tension, forestalling the headache, and easing the pain.

How to Avoid a Migraine Before It Happens

Listerine for Blisters

You know it as a breath freshener and an antiseptic, but Listerine can also dry out blisters. Dab some on a cotton ball and apply it to your blister three times a day until it dries and the pain vanishes. Integrative medicine pioneer Andrew  Weil, M.D., recommends applying petroleum jelly on a blister for temporary pain relief.

Lemon Balm Tea for Cold Sores

Lemon balm is a member of the mint family and packs an anti-viral punch that can heal cold sores caused by the herpes simplex virus. A big study in Germany found that once treated with lemon balm, not a single cold sore recurrence occurred.

Duct Tape for Warts

This is not an old wives tale. Using duct tape to remove warts has been shown to work better than freezing them off. In one study, duct tape eliminated 85 percent of patients' warts in two months (freezing eradicated only 60 percent).

Here’s how it works: make sure the wart and surrounding skin are clean, then cut a piece of duct tape a bit larger than the wart and press into place. Remove the tape every three days, rub the wart with an emery board or pumice stone, and repeat until the wart is gone.

Ginger for Motion Sickness

Crystalized ginger, ginger tea, ginger syrup, or capsules of ginger powder can combat motion sickness and nausea in general (ginger ale or even ginger snaps may help, too). One study found that ginger worked better for motion sickness than anti-nausea medication, and Danish researchers report that ginger helped quell seasickness in susceptible naval cadets better than a placebo.

Papaya for Smoother Skin

The active ingredient is papain, an enzyme that dissolves dead surface cells that give skin a dull, rough look. Try this fruity facial to soften and smooth your skin: wash and peel a ripe papaya and swirl about two tablespoons in a food processor. Add a tablespoon of dried oatmeal and apply to your freshly washed face for 10 minutes. Remove with warm water or a wet washcloth.

Banana Bonanza

You can do a lot more with a banana than slice it on your cereal. Among the fruit's other uses: slap a banana peel (the inside part) on an itch caused by a bug bite or poison ivy; this will dial down the inflammation and relieve the itch. You can also use mashed banana as a facial--it’s great for moisturizing dry skin. Banana peel also has anti-acne properties: just rub the inside part of the peel over your clean face to get the anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial effects. 

Mustard for Minor Burns

Slather mustard on seared skin. After an initial sting, the mustard will relieve the pain and prevent scarring and blistering. No science here, but lots of enthusiastic testimonials.

Cinnamon and Honey; Bet the drug companies won't like this one getting around.

Facts on Honey and Cinnamon: It is found that a mixture of honey and Cinnamon cures most diseases. Honey is produced in most of the countries of the world. Scientists of today also accept honey as a 'Ram Ban' (very effective) medicine for all kinds of diseases. Honey can be used without side effects for any kind of d
iseases.
Today's science says that even though honey is sweet, when it is taken in the right dosage as a medicine, it does not harm even diabetic patients. Researched by western scientists:

HEART DISEASES: Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder, apply it on bread instead of jelly and jam and eat it regularly for breakfast. It reduces the cholesterol in the arteries and saves the patient from heart attack. Also, those who have already had an attack, when they do this process daily, they are kept miles away from the next attack. Regular use of the above process relieves loss of breath and strengthens the heart beat. In America and Canada, various nursing homes have treated patients successfully and have found that as one ages the arteries and veins lose their flexibility and get clogged; honey and cinnamon revitalize the arteries and the veins.

ARTHRITIS: Arthritis patients may take daily (morning and night) one cup of hot water with two tablespoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder. When taken regularly even chronic arthritis can be cured. In a recent research conducted at the Copenhagen University, it was found that when the doctors treated their patients with a mixture of one tablespoon Honey and half teaspoon Cinnamon powder before breakfast, they found that within a week (out of the 200 people so treated) practically 73 patients were totally relieved of pain -- and within a month, most all the patients who could not walk or move around because of arthritis now started walking without pain.

BLADDER INFECTIONS: Take two tablespoons of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of honey in a glass of lukewarm water and drink it. It destroys the germs in the bladder.

CHOLESTEROL: Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of Cinnamon Powder mixed in 16 ounces of tea water given to a cholesterol patient was found to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood by 10 percent within two hours. As mentioned for arthritic patients, when taken three times a day, any chronic cholesterol is cured. According to information received in the said Journal, pure honey taken with food daily relieves complaints of cholesterol.

COLDS: Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon cinnamon powder daily for three days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold, and, clear the sinuses.

UPSET STOMACH: Honey taken with cinnamon powder cures stomach ache and also clears stomach ulcers from its root.
GAS: According to the studies done in India and Japan, it is revealed that when Honey is taken with cinnamon powder the stomach is relieved of gas.

IMMUNE SYSTEM: Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacterial and viral attacks. Scientists have found that honey has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. Constant use of Honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles (where DNA is contained) to fight bacterial and viral diseases.

INDIGESTION: Cinnamon powder sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey taken before food is eaten relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals

INFLUENZA: A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural 'Ingredient' which kills the influenza germs and saves the patient from flu.

LONGEVITY: Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, when taken regularly, arrests the ravages of old age. Use four teaspoons of honey, one teaspoon of cinnamon powder, and three cups of boiling water to make a tea. Drink 1/4 cup, three to four times a day. It keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age. Life spans increase and even a 100 year old will start performing the chores of a 20-year-old.

RASPY OR SORE THROAT: When throat has a tickle or is raspy, take one tablespoon of honey and sip until gone. Repeat every three hours until throat is without symptoms.

PIMPLES: Three tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder paste. Apply this paste on the pimples before sleeping and wash it off the next morning with warm water. When done daily for two weeks, it removes all pimples from the root.

SKIN INFECTIONS:Applying honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected parts cures eczema, ringworm and all types of skin Infections.

WEIGHT LOSS:Daily in the morning one half hour before
breakfast and on an empty stomach, and at night before sleeping, drink honey and cinnamon powder boiled in one cup of water. When taken regularly, it reduces the weight of even the most obese person. Also, drinking this mixture regularly does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body even though the person may eat a high calorie diet.

CANCER: Recent research in Japan and Australia has revealed that advanced cancer of the stomach and bones have been cured successfully. Patients suffering from these kinds of cancer should daily take one tablespoon of honey with one teaspoon of cinnamon powder three times a day for one month.

FATIGUE: Recent studies have shown that the sugar content of honey is more helpful rather than being detrimental to the strength of the body. Senior citizens who take honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts are more alert and flexible. Dr. Milton, who has done research, says that a half tablespoon of honey taken in a glass of water and sprinkled with cinnamon powder, even when the vitality of the body starts to decrease, when taken daily after brushing and in the afternoon at about 3:00 P.M., the vitality of the body increases within a week.

BAD BREATH: People of South America, gargle with one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in hot water first thing in the morning so their breath stays fresh throughout the day.

HEARING LOSS: Daily morning and night honey and cinnamon powder, taken in equal parts restores hearing. Remember when we were kids? We had toast with real butter and cinnamon sprinkled on it!

Lemon Balm Tea


Lemon Balm is a cheerful, uplifting herb. Easy to grow in the home herb garden and it makes a wonderful tea. Lemon Balm is very calming and is a good herbal remedy for stomach ailments and aids in digestion. It has antibacterial/antiviral properties and is also beneficial for fevers and body aches associated with colds and flu.

Supplies:
Lemon Balm (fresh or dried)

Tea Strainer/Kettle


Lemon Balm Tincture


A tincture is a much more concentrated version of your tea. They tend to work faster and are more effective medicinally than the teas and are administered by 'dropperfuls'. Storage life is a year or better on tinctures and for some indefinitely.

Supplies:
Lemon Balm Leaves (dried or fresh for tinctures -- but for Lemon Balm, dried is recommended)

80-100 proof Alcohol (vodka is usually used -- can also use gin or brandy)

Distilled Water (optional)

Pint Jar




Eye Shadow


One of the hottest make-up trends out there right now is mineral make-up -- make-up that you can easily and affordably create yourself right there at home.

Supplies:
  • Cornstarch
  • Mica powders
  • Oxide powders


  • Lip Gloss


    Tinted lip balms are easy to create and an excellent way to use up those lipsticks that "weren't just the right shade", This recipe courtesty of our friend Caitlin fom OlivU is sure to make your smile shine!

    Supplies:
  • Tasteless olive oil
  • Beeswax
  • Cocoa butter or shea butter (found at health food stores)
  • Fragrance, orange, lime, or strawberry
  • Old lipsticks
  • Microwave

  • After Bath Body Oil


    A wonderful after shower/bath body moisturizer. Enjoy the moisturizing benefits to your skin in combination with the aromatherapy for your senses that goes with each application.

    Supplies:

    4 oz. Sweet Almond Oil

    4-5 drops Grapefruit Oil

    4-5 drops Carrot Seed Oil

    Visit Aura Cacia online for more information on essential oils and to take advantage of their incredible library of aromatherapy recipes.


    Facial Moisturizer


    To aid in a more youthful complexion, Argan Oil is an excellent moisturizer.

    Supplies:

    3 pumps Argan Oil

    6 drops Rose Oil

    2 drops Lavender Oil

    Visit Aura Cacia online for more information on essential oils and to take advantage of their incredible library of aromatherapy recipes.


    Homemade Sweet and Spicy Sugar Scrub {with Valentine Day Printables}
    I have a little special treat to share today that makes a sweet inexpensive gift for the upcoming holiday. I have shared a couple of sugar scrubs in the past and this one is my favorite for this time of year. The cold winter air takes it's toll on your skin and this scrubs revives your dry hands and leaves them silky, smooth and moisturized. {The scrub is also fantastic for your legs and feet}


    This sugar scrub is extremely easy to put together using items you probably already have in your pantry. And if you are looking for a quick and easy gift - you can make a double batch and fill a couple of jars at once.

    Ingredients Needed:
    1 Cup of Granulated Sugar
    1 Cup of Brown Sugar
    2 Teaspoon of Sea Salt
    2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
    2 Teaspoon of Nutmeg
    2 Teaspoon of Ground Ginger
    1 Cup of Sunflower, Safflower, Almond or Vegetable Oil

    Additional Supplies Needed: Clean glass or plastic container that seals


    Mix the Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Ground Ginger together really well - slightly grinding them together.


    Thoroughly combine together the Granulated Sugar and Brown Sugar - making sure to crush any lumps. Add in the Sea Salt and mix well.


    Add the oil of your choice. You can use Sunflower, Safflower, Almond or even Vegetable Oil. I like to use Sunflower Oil, found in most health food stores. Sunflower oil, like other oils, help to retain moisture in the skin. {Safflower Oil is very similar to the Sunflower} Alternately, you can use plain Vegetable Oil as well. {I would omit using Olive Oil with this scrub as the scent can be a little too powerful}


    Package the scrub in a well sealed, clean, dry, glass or plastic container. Mason jars work very well. One batch yields approximately 16 ounces of scrub.


    I made a few printable labels that can be found {here}.


    Here are a few tips to keep in mind for this homemade sugar scrub:

    Store in a cool space out of direct sunlight.

    The scrub does not need to be refrigerated if made using the ingredients above.

    The addition of sea salt acts as a natural preservative and recommended if you are not planning on using the scrub right away.

    It is important to keep water out of the scrub. The addition of water to the scrub mixture makes it prone to growing bacteria. Use a spoon or scoop to remove the scrub from the container.

    The scrubs that I have previously made have lasted up to six months when used with the care described above. If a scrub goes bad you will be able to smell it and tell. If you see any signs of bacteria growth in the container toss it out immediately and make a new batch.

    Homemade Massage Oil

    Homemade Massage Oil.

    Giving a massage, whether to someone else or even giving yourself a self massage, is a very gratifying experience. You can give it dry - without oil, especially when you are on the run. But using a nice aromatherapy massage oil adds a fabulous dimension, aromatherapy being a healer all by itself.

    You can purchase massage oil, but you really can make the best massage oil at home.

    I was told that when you smell a flower of any kind, even a stinky flower, it improves your mood immediately.Adding massage oil adds the aromatherapy and can make your massage even more relaxing or invigorating.

    Homemade massage oil consists of two parts - Essential Oil and Carrier Oil.

    Essential Oil: Mountain Rose Herbs carries a complete line of high quality, reasonably priced essential oils.
    • How? My mentor described it this way: "An essential oil is a fluid that is generally distilled from the leaves, stems, flowers, bark, roots or other elements of a plant. This is usually done by steam or water distillation."
    • Feel. Essential Oils, contrary to the use of the word," oil", are not really oily-feeling at all.
    • Smell. Essential Oils contain the true essence of the plant that it was taken from, though it does not always smell exactly like the plant does.
    • Healing. Essential Oils contain hundreds of molecules that work together to kill viruses and bacteria and to support our bodies health.
    • Concentration. They are highly concentrated and a little goes a long way. It is almost better to use a little less than a little more. They need to be understood, and used with caution and care.
    • Purity. Long ago when I first started this journey, I didn't realize that there was a difference in Essential Oil and other fragrant oils such as fragrance oils, potpourri oils and perfume oils.

      These other oils are not pure and some can do damage to the skin. They are usually made from synthetic substances.

    • Cost. Essential Oils are usually expensive and fake oils are generally very cheap. If cost is an issue, it is best to bite the bullet anyway, and purchase a high quality essential oil.

      Because of its high concentration a tiny bit goes a long way and one small bottle will last you a long time.

    • Shelf Life. Most essential oils deteriorate. If stored properly an essential oil will last a year or longer. To be sure, it is best if you use them within 1 year in their pure form.

      Once you have mixed them with carrier oil you should use them within 3 months, so don't make big batches unless you do a lot of massaging.

    • Storage. When you purchase essential oils they will come in dark glass bottles, if they are in clear bottles do not buy them.

      They should be stored in these dark bottles with a tight lid and kept in a cool, dark place such as inside a cabinet that is away from heat and is generally closed. If you have room, it is really best to store them in the bottom drawer of your refrigerator. This will extend their shelf life.

    Safety Concerns.

    When using essential oils to make homemade massage oils, there are several things you should keep in mind.

    • Keep all essential oils away from children.
    • Never take them internally.
    • Always dilute essential oils with carrier oils before using on your skin.
    • If using a new essential oil, use a q-tip and apply a small amount on your skin on the inside of your wrist, cover it with a band-aid and wait for 8 hours. If you have a reaction don't use that particular oil.

      Remember that every oil comes from a different plant. If you have a reaction with one oil, try another. They are all different.

    • If you are pregnant or have a medical condition, consult both a qualified aroma therapist and a doctor before using essential oils.
    • For baby homemade massage oil use only chamomile or lavender essential oil and use the proper dilution (more about this coming).

      Their nervous systems are still developing so use discretely. You can also use straight sweet almond oil, apricot, avocado, or grapeseed oil without essential oil added.

    • Citrus oils, especially bergamot, increase sensitivity to sunlight. When using these essential oils in your homemade massage oil, avoid sun and sunlamps for 6 hours after use.
    • If you get essential oil on you that burns, do not dilute it with water - that will only make it spread. Instead use any type of vegetable oil or carrier oil. This causes the oil to absorb and the burning should go away quickly.
    • Don't use in eyes, nose, mouth, or ears or any other body opening.
    • If you get essential oil in your eye, immediately flush with cold milk or vegetable oil to dilute. If burning persists contact a doctor.
    • Don't use on pets.
    • Remember that the oil will make marks on fine wood furniture so don't sit the bottles carelessly down.
    Now on to our next type of oil.

    Carrier Oil:

    To avoid skin irritation when making homemade massage oil, essential oils must be diluted in carrier oils before being used in massage.

    Carrier oils not only dilute the essential oil, but they moisturize, and help keep the skin smooth and supple, and they also contain vitamins, proteins, and minerals that are good for the skin and can even be healing.

    • Olive Oil.There are many types of oils you can use in your homemade massage oils. Many people have used olive oil with great success - olive oil has a rich, full bodied flavor with a strong aroma. It is very stable in nature and does not go rancid quickly and is very easy to find.

      You can also blend it with other oils for the vitamins and stable effect. Grapeseed, Sweet Almond, and Olive Oil is a nice blend.

    • Some other oils include:

    • Sweet Almond oil. This is one of the most common oils used in homemade massage oil as it is great for all skin types. It acts as an emollient and is best known for its ability to soften, soothe, and re-condition the skin. It is very high in fatty acids which is a good thing.
    • Apricot Oil. Very much like sweet almond oil but as a homemade massage oil it works great with sensitive skin and skin that has prematurely aged.
    • Avocado Oil. Mountain Rose Herbs explains it this way, "This ultra rich organic oil is a delightful treasure containing high amounts of Vitamin A, B1, B2, D, and E. Also contains amino acids, sterols, pantothenic acid, lecithin, and other essential fatty acids.

      Highly prized to those with skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, and other skin ailments and our variety makes a lovely salad oil for dressings and condiments. Highly recommended to those with sensitive skin, problem skin and other irritations that require vitamin rich oil."This oil is often added to another oil for homemade massage oil to enrich it with it's amazing properties.

    • Grapeseed Oil. This oil works well for skin that doesn't absorb oil well - it does not leave a greasy feeling. It is also good for people who have sensitive skin because of its natural non-allergenic properties.
    • Jojoba Oil. This oil is actually like the queen of carrier oils. Mountain Rose Herbs says, "It is regarded as the most favored in the carrier oil family because of its advanced molecular stability.

      It is wonderful for the skin because it has absorption properties that are similar to our skin's own sebum." Jojoba is also an oil that is often added to other oils because of it's great properties.

    • Coconut Oil. This oil, which comes slightly solid, but turns liquid upon contact with the skin, works as a protective layer while it keeps the moisture in your skin. It helps with inflamed and irritated skin, and sensitive skin. Coconut oil is also used for producing lather in soaps!
    • Soybean Oil. This is a healing oil that works especially well for outer epidermal healing. It is easily absorbed and is high in lecithin, sterolins, and vitamin E.
    • Sunflower Oil. This oil is wonderful and deeply nourishing and conditioning for really dry skin, skin that is weathered or aged or damaged. It is full of Oleic acids and vitamins A, D, and E, as well as lecithin, and unsaturated fatty acids.
    • Wheat Germ Oil. This oil, like sunflower oil, is awesome for rough, cracking skin, or skin that is chaffing. It has been used successfully to help reverse wrinkling. It is full of good vitamins such as E, A, D, as well as proteins, lecithin and squalene. Adding 10-20% of wheat germ oil to other oils also helps prevent rancidity and extend shelf life.

    Some of these oils can be found in health food stores, or all of them, plus many others, can be purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs. They are very proud of the high quality of oils that they carry and will explain more to you about the methods that are used to extract these oils, and explain stabilization and whether it is used or not.

    Making Massage Oil.

    Now, finally after all that information, comes the fun part.

    1. Before making your blend, first decide the effect you wish to achieve - you can see by the above list that you have a great variety to choose from. Our page onNatural Sleep Remedies includes a few essentail oils and what they are effective at doing.
    2. Choose the essential oils you want to work with. Make sure the aroma appeals to you. This is important. The smell will linger with you for a long time and if you don 't really like it, it will undo the result you are hoping for.
    3. To mix an essential oil with a carrier oil you should place your carrier oil inside a dark glass bottle, Mountain Rose Herbs has these for purchase individually or in bulk, then add a few drops of your preferred essential oils - you can use just one or chose up to three.

      You will typically need about 4 teaspoons (20 ml, 2/3 fl. Ounce) of oil for a full body massage. Shake the bottle gently to mix.

    4. Label the bottles with the types of essential oils used, the types of carrier oils used and the dilution (more on this in a minute), and the date you mixed them.
    5. Store in the refrigerator when not using.

    Guide to Dilution when Blending Oils

    • Normal dilution is 2 1/2%. For every 4 tsp (20 ml, about 2/3 fl. Oz) of carrier oil, use 10 drops of essential oil.
    • Low dilution of 1% is for sensitive skin and for use during pregnancy. For every 4 tsp of carrier oil, use 5 drops of essential oil.
    • Extremely low dilution for very sensitive skin, children, and babies. For every 4 tsp of carrier oil, use 2 drops of essential oil, or sweet almond oil, apricot, avocado, or grapeseed oil without adding essential oil at all.

    Applying the Oil.

    Never pour oil directly onto the skin. Pour a small amount into the palm of one hand and warm it between your palms.

    Stroke the oil evenly over the desired area. When you need more, you can just drizzle a little over the back of your hand, then stroke it onto their skin.


    Here are a few recipes for homemade massage oil for you to try. Remember, the sky is the limit and with a little experimenting you can find something that is perfect for you.

    Blends:

    We will assume that you are making enough homemade massage oil for a full body massage. Therefore, begin with 4 teaspoons of a carrier oil or a carrier oil blend. Then add the essential oil to that.

    Lavender Massage Oil:

    4 t. carrier oil
    4 drops lavender essential oil
    (Pure and simple)

    Homemade Massage Oil For Relaxation:

    4 t. carrier oil
    2 drops Roman Chamomile essential oil
    2 drop Lavender essential oil

    Sooo relaxing. All you need now is a nice cup of herbal tea.

    Homemade Massage Oil For Happiness:

    4 t. carrier oil
    2 drops Orange essential oil
    2 drops Grapefruit essential oil
    1 drop Neroli essential oil

    This will brighten and uplift your day, like a ray of sunshine coming in the window.

    Homemade Massage Oil For Congestion:

    4 t. carrier oil
    2 drops Peppermint essential oil
    2 drops Eucalyptus essential oil

    Great for opening up the lungs by applying to neck, chest, throat or back. Also great for inhaling to open sinuses.

    Homemade Massage Oil For Circulation:

    4 t. carrier oil
    2 drops Ginger essential oil
    2 drops Marjoram essential oil
    1 drop Rosemary essential oil

    Great for getting circulation to those cold feet and hands, or getting circulation to sore muscles.

    Homemade Massage Oil For PMS:

    4 t. carrier oil
    2 drops Clary Sage essential oil
    2 drops Geranium essential oil
    1 drop Rose essential oil

    Homemade Massage Oil For Memory:

    4 t. carrier oil
    2 drops Rosemary essential oil
    2 drops Black Pepper essential oil
    1 drop Cypress essential oil

    Arnica Massage Oil:

    Many people like Arnica Massage oil for using on sore muscles. Arnica is the most amazing herb for using in a bruise salve that I have ever seen. It works like a miracle bringing circulation to damaged tissues.

    There is no Arnica essential oil. So in order to make a homemade massage oil using Arnica, I think you would infuse the Arnica in your choice of carrier oil or blend of carrier oil - using the instructions for making infused oil (you will find some recipes there also) or by using steps 1 through 3 for making organic salve - then, use:

    4 t. carrier oil infused with Arnica (order dried Arnica from Mountain Rose Herbs)
    3 drops Rosemary essential oil which also stimulates circulation
    3 drops Ginger essential oil which also stimulates circulation

    And that will probably be amazing. I will try it too.

    I hope this page will help you with your massage experience. Make a few blends and it will become part of the enjoyment.

    Homemade Treatments for Painful Toothaches
    Kassidy Emmerson, Yahoo! Contributor Network
    Mar 5, 2007 "Share your voice on Yahoo! websites. Start Here."
    [[PASTING TABLES IS NOT SUPPORTED]]
    If you rate the pain of a toothache on a scale from 1 to 10, most people would probably tell you the agony can blow way past the top of the chart. It can be that bad. There are two main causes of toothache: accidental damage to a tooth and decay. Anytime you experience misery caused by one of your "pearly whites", you need to visit a dentist as soon as possible. However, that's not always possible, especially if the toothache happens after the dentist's office has closed for the day. So, in the meantime, use these homemade treatments for painful toothaches to help relieve the distress:

    1. Numb the Toothache Pain With Ice
    One of the easiest and most effective homemade treatments for painful toothaches is using an ice pack or just plain ice. You may wince at the thought of using this method if drinking ice cold beverages makes your tooth hurt. But, in this case, the ice doesn't touch your tooth. Instead, you need to apply an ice pack, or three or four ice cubes wrapped in a dish towel, to your face at the location of the hurting tooth. The ice will help numb the nerves in your tooth and deaden the pain. It will also help relieved a swollen, inflamed gum.

    Note: Heat can make a toothache feel better as well. However, if the tooth is infected, applying a heating pad to your face can worsen the problem. The heat can actually cause the infection to spread! Instead of having just a toothache, you can end up with a swollen face as well!

    2. Crushed Aspirin Can Help Deaden a Nerve
    To use this treatment, take one real aspirin- not Tylenol™ or Motrin™- and crush it into a fine powder between two metal teaspoons. Then, pile the powder up and carefully place all of it directly on the affected tooth. If the tooth is damaged, try to press the aspirin into any cracks or crevices that may exist. Allow the aspirin powder to set undisturbed for twenty to thirty minutes, and you should feel relief from the pain.

    3. Alcohol is a Homemade Treatment for Toothaches
    Although drinking enough alcohol will surely kill the misery of a toothache, this remedy calls for putting alcohol directly on the tooth instead. Beer isn't strong enough. It doesn't have a high enough alcohol content. Full-strength whiskey or a comparable intoxicating beverage will do the trick. If you don't have any drinkable alcohol on hand, real vanilla extract will also work.

    Douse a cotton ball with the beverage or vanilla extract. Gently squeeze out the cotton so it's not sloppy wet, then place it directly on the affected tooth. Hold it in place by lightly biting down.

    The alcohol will help numb the pain until you can get to a dentist.

    4. Salt Water Can Bring Toothache Relief
    Table salt has many more uses than just seasoning your food. After you have a tooth extracted, your dentist may tell you to rinse with salt water several times a day. The salt water helps remove food particles from the empty space in your gum. It also will help take away the soreness and help your gum heal.

    Mix up a strong solution of table salt and warm tap water, and use this mix as a homemade treatment for painful toothaches too. Stir in a teaspoon of salt in a small glass of warm water until it's thoroughly dissolved. Then, take a swig of it and swish it around your mouth for a minute or two before you spit it out. Repeat this process until all of the salt water has been used.

    You can use this remedy as many times a day as needed to relieve toothache pain.

    5. A Tea Bag Can Help Kill Toothache Agony
    If your toothache is caused by an infected tooth, the pain can be relieved by using a tea bag. Place the bag in a cup and pour enough very hot water on it just so it's completely wet. Allow it to set for a few minutes to cool down some. Then, gently squeeze the tea bag out so it's not sloppy wet. Place it in your mouth and hold it firmly on the affected tooth. Hold it in place for several minutes. The toothache pain should begin to subside.


    "Scrub-a-dub-dub I was playing in the tub!" This is what your kids will be saying when you make this fun bathtub soap. Food coloring adds color and the gentle Ivory soap flakes are safe on the skin. So why not let them get clean and have fun too?

    MAKE YOUR OWN BATH TUB CRAYONS

    1 cup. grated ivory soap

    1¼ cup warm water

    Food coloring

    Cookie cutters, soap molds, etc

    Mix the ingredients together and mix till it starts to get a little hard. Spoon the mix into molds or cookie cutters. Put in the freezer to help them get hard. You need to let these dry a day or two after popping them out of the mold.



    Homemade Baby Powder


    Create a healthier variety of Baby Powder with these simple ingredients. Mix equal parts Corn Starch and Arrowroot Starch (1/2 cup each is a good batch size) and about 12 drops of Lavender. Pour into a convenient shaker. Repurposed glass spice jars work great.

    Supplies:

    Corn Starch

    Arrowroot Starch

    Lavender Essential Oil

    Glass Shaker


    Homemade Baby Wipes


    Reusable is always a better choice than disposable and homemade baby wipes that can be washed and reused is a healthy alternative to the disposable variety. They're inexpensive and easy to make.

    Supplies:

    Receiving Blankets
    or
    Baby Washcloths
    or
    Cloth Wipes

    Castile Soap

    Sweet Almond Oil or Olive Oil

    Tea Tree Oil

    Lavender Oil

    Spray or Squeeze Bottle

    Container to store wipes




    SUNDAY, MAY 1, 2011
    DIY Clean eyes!
    Eye make-up remover is so darn expensive!
    Here is a quick and cheap DIY Eye Make-up Remover recipe.
    If you have kids, you’ll have the materials!
    If you don’t… and you have to buy ingredients,
    well, you’ll spend less than 3 dollars!
    And get at least 30 bottles of remover.
    Ingredients:
    1 C water
    1½ TBSP Baby Shampoo (tear free)
    ⅛ TSP Baby Oil
    (Cocunut Oil or Olive Oil) EDIT! Due to the overwhelming response to my use of Baby Oil. Please Note: Some say you should not use Baby Oil on your face, others say you should not use it period. If you are worried about it’s effects, just use Coconut Oil or Olive Oil. I will say that I have super duper expensive eye cream, that has mineral oil in it… andddd I don’t see a problem with it, BUT that’s just me. =) I mean c’mon… it’s like literally a DROP of oil you’re using. LOL. To each his own. Next time I make it I’ll probably try the coconut oil.
    Materials:
    Mixing Bowl
    Measuring cup/spoons
    Bottle to put finished product in
    (I used an empty medicine bottle; an empty baby oil bottle would work GREAT)
    Small funnel (or improvise like me)
    Combine ingredients.
    Stir
    Pour
    I didn’t have a funnel.. and didn’t feel like messing with a  make-shift one.
    I poured the mix from the bowl into a plastic cup (I guess I could have just mixed it in the cup?!)
    I squeezed the top of the cup into a point and poured. Worked just fine.

    I didn’t have enough room in my little bottle.
    So I’m storing the rest into little glass jars.

    Verdict:
    It works PERFECT! Actually better than some super expensive brands I’ve tried!
    It doesn’t leave a greasy film like most, and takes off the make up in one swipe.
    WAIT!
    Don’t put that Baby Oil away just yet… there are soooo many uses for it!
    My favorite:
    Stick it in your shower.
    Rub it all over right before you get out next time.
    Let the water rinse it away for about 30 seconds.
    And VOILA, your skin is as soft as a baby’s bum… and has a glow to it too!
    Edit: AGAIN… use Baby Oil AT YOUR OWN RISK.
    What are some of your favorite uses for baby oil??
    Hope everyone’s having fantástico weekend!



    I’m telling you, I could not think of ANYTHING to get Elias, our third son, who turned six today.  He doesn’t need any more stuff and I certainly didn’t want to spend any money on more stuff. (I’m trying to get rid of stuff around here!)

    The ONLY thing I could think of that he might like for his birthday was bubble bath.  He has asked me for bubble bath several times in the past because he knows it is soooo much fun.  But I’m not a big fan of the kind from the store (even though they are so cool cause they have Buzz Lightyear on the bottle!).  Many of us have very sensitive skin at our house and soaking in a bathtub full of colored chemicals scared me (sorry, Buzz).

    And so, I went online and looked for a recipe for homemade bubble bath.  I found a great one here!  It was super easy to make, cost VERY little and was so much fun to do.  I even found this empty maple syrup bottle to put it in!  (I knew I was saving that bottle for a good reason!)  Then I made a fun label with HIS name on it  which he thought was the greatest! (even better than Buzz!)

    Here’s the recipe:

    Homemade Bubble Bath

    1/2 cup shampoo
    3/4 cup water
    1/4 teas. table salt

    In a bowl, mix the shampoo and water until well combined.  Add salt and stir until it thickens slightly.  Use a funnel to pour it into a bottle.

    And that’s it! 

    This bubble bath costs pennies to make and makes a wonderful gift or stocking stuffer.  Add a personalized label to make the gift even more special!

    How to Make Homemade Hand Salve (aka Eczema Fighting Lotion)

    2 oz Shea Butter
    .45 oz Avocado Oil
    4 Vitamin E tablets (or .025 oz)
    All three ingredients help with eczema, however if I could have waited a few days for a Mountain Rose Herbs order to come through, I might have tried Sea Buckthorn Oil in place of the Avocado Oil. I may still try it in my next batch, it sounds like a wonder ingredient (update: I tried the sea buckthorn oil, it stained her poor little skin and clothes orange!). I did know I could pick up Avocado Oil at Whole Foods that day (though it is cheaper at MRH), so I went with that. Like I mentioned before I had the shea butter and Vitamin E Tablets on hand for my deodorant.

    First, I measured out the shea butter and avocado oil on my digital scale then put them in my trusty Pyrex measuring cup. I put that into a pot of simmering water and let them melt together. When they were completely melted and mixed, I took them off the heat and added the Vitamin E, then I let it all cool to room temperature.

    The next step is to whip it up into a meringue like consistency. I did this by putting the soon-to-be-lotion into a bigger bowl and setting that bowl into a bowl filled with ice water and blending it with a stick blender. It must be cool to be able to whip up correctly. I then finished it off with a hand whip until it looked like meringue.

    I put that into an old lotion container and I store it in the fridge. When I need it, I pull it out and scrape off a bit with the back of my fingernail. It almost immediately melts with the heat of my hand and it’s so easy to spread on. I’ve been putting this on her about 2-3 times a day, sometimes alternating with my other lotion or with straight coconut oil. This recipe is indeed fussier than myhomemade lotion recipe, however I think it’s worth it. The total cost for making it is about $2 and it does such a nice job on her skin (and my hands) that for me it is worth the extra effort.

    How to Make Hard Lotion Bars for Dry Skin

    Ingredients:

    4.5 oz beeswax
    4 oz shea butter
    4 oz coconut oil

    Combine pre-measured ingredients in a double boiler. Melt, stir well, and pour into molds (or use turkey baster to fill mold with melted lotion). Molds can be plastic or metal. Ice cube trays and cupcake pans both work great. I used one of the silicone molds I ordered off of Amazon.com for my Bath Fizzies. :-)

    Allow lotion to completely cool before popping out and using. For ease in removing from mold, place in freezer for 30 minutes and then remove.

    For more skin care recipes, check out MadeOn’s ebooks.

    HOMEMADE COLD CREAM

    1/4 teaspoon borax
    1/4 cup distilled water
    1/2 cup mineral oil, or another oil that is liquid at room temperature (Almond is nice)
    1/2 ounce (by weight) grated beeswax (or just a little over two tablespoons)

    Dissolve the borax in the water in a (one cup) glass measuring cup. Set aside.

    Add together the oil and beeswax in a larger (2-cup) glass measuring cup.

    Heat the oil/beeswax mix in a microwave until the beeswax is melted and the mixture is clear. (Start with 30 seconds at a time).

    Heat the borax/water mix in a microwave for a minute – almost to boiling.

    Slowly pour the borax/water mixture into the oil/beeswax mixture, using a stick blender to mix as you pour. Now beat well with the stick blender until the mix is glossy white and thicken.

    Pour the (hot) cold cream into an 8-ounce jar with a lid.

    Let it cool to room temperature.

    Done!

    Lemon Sugar Hand Scrub {for Mom}
    We all have them {well at least I do}; poor, exhausted, DIY doing, spray painting extraordinaire, crafters hands. I have been using this simple mix for a few years and it is the best recipe to rejuvenate your skin and bring your fingertips back to life. The sugar is an excellent exfoliate to remove the craft leftovers from your nail beds and cuticles too! It takes only minutes to mix and you most likely have all the necessary ingredients sitting right in your pantry.
    Packaged up just right this makes another inexpensive Mother's Day gift; a perfect addition to tuck in a little gift basket.

    Begin my mixing 2 1/2 Cups of Sugar with 1 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add in 4 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice {or scented essential oils to your liking}. This mixture will make enough to fill a 12oz. Mason Jar {and you'll have just enough left over to clean your hands afterwards too}

    Mix really well until a gritty paste forms and spoon into a glass container. {make sure your container has a lid that seals}

    I have to say I love this mix and use it all the time. After sitting for awhile you may need to mix prior to using as the sugar may settle. A tiny bit is all you need and it leaves your skin extra soft and smooth. {plus not to mention it scrubs away all craft evidence so my hands do not look like a mechanics out in public}Enjoy!


    My Favorite Vanilla Brown Sugar Body Scrub {for Mom}
    I have another homemade scrub to share today as part of the 'Projects for Mom' series. If you have missed the previous three projects for easy and quick Mother's Day treats you can find the links at the end of this post.

    This is my favorite body scrub. {not just because it is yummy Brown Sugar and Vanilla either} It's the perfect exfoliate for your heels, knees and elbows and great for your tan legs in the summer time too.

    You want to begin by mixing 2 Cups of Brown Sugar and 1 Cup of Granulated Sugar together until there are no lumps. Add in 1 Cup of Sunflower Oil and 1 Tablespoon of Pure Vanilla Extract. {I like to use Sunflower Oil for this body scrub because it does not carry the strong scent that Olive Oil does}

    Mix together well and scoop into a sealable glass container.

    I purchased a few of these vinyl decals at Joanne Fabrics a few weeks ago at 70% off. {and my nearby store still has a ton left} I got this 4 1/2 X 4 1/2 decal for just 30 cents. The scoops were purchased from Walmart - you can find them in the kitchen utensil section and they run about $2.00 for a set of three. Super cute just to have around for party scoops!

    I be sharing one more Project for Mom tomorrow then I'll be back to some home decor. I have some exciting things I'm working on for The DIY Club that starts this Friday. {I can't wait to share} Below are the other Projects for Mom that have been posted that last couple days {click on each picture for the tutorials} Enjoy!

    WEDNESDAY, MAY 5, 2010
    Soap Balls {for Mom and Kiddies too!}
    I'm not sure who's going to love these more....

    I started making these little guys when my son was diagnosed with severe allergies; He can only use Dove soap and I just had to find a way to make that plain white bar a little more fun! I thought I would include this recipe in the 'Projects for Mom' series because these make adorable little hand soaps too that mom is sure to love. {plus you can get really creative with them and customize them to her liking}

    All you need for this project is bar soap... yep, that's about it. There are a lot of soaps on the market that are already colored {like Caress [peach] and Irish Spring [green]} however you can get a little fancy with plain white soap by adding natural organic food coloring. {I am talking one drop per ball} Oatmeal can also be added for some texture or even some additional essential oils for various scents too. I simply use classic Dove Soap and Select Brand organic natural food coloring.

    Start by grating your bars of soap on a hand kitchen box grater. I use the course side so the flakes are a little larger and easy to work with. One bar of soap generally makes two good sized soap balls. {this part smells really good!}Once you have the soap grated you are ready to start mixing. I like to use a small separate bowl and start off with 1/2 Teaspoon of plain tap water. Then add approximately 4 Tablespoons of the grated soap. If you are going to use any additives you want to add them now. {Again, if you are using organic food coloring ONE drop is plenty...you don't want anyone turning colors on you} Give it a good toss and let sit for one minute.
    Then all you have to do is stir. You may need to adjust the mix a bit by slowly adding more soap until it starts to form the ball on it's own. The consistency is very important as you do not want a soapy wet mixture. It should be a bit on the dry side but sticky enough to stay together. If you pick the ball up and gently squeeze it, no water should drip. If it's wet you'll need to add more soap.
    Using your spoon compact the mixture together as much as you can, then pick it up in your hands and roll into a ball shape.
    They will dry to handle with in 24 hours and should be completely re-cured {hardened} within 48 hours. Have fun! Enjoy!

    Homemade Sweet and Spicy Sugar Scrub {with Valentine Day Printables}
    I have a little special treat to share today that makes a sweet inexpensive gift for the upcoming holiday. I have shared a couple of sugar scrubs in the past and this one is my favorite for this time of year. The cold winter air takes it's toll on your skin and this scrubs revives your dry hands and leaves them silky, smooth and moisturized. {The scrub is also fantastic for your legs and feet}


    This sugar scrub is extremely easy to put together using items you probably already have in your pantry. And if you are looking for a quick and easy gift - you can make a double batch and fill a couple of jars at once.

    Ingredients Needed:
    1 Cup of Granulated Sugar
    1 Cup of Brown Sugar
    2 Teaspoon of Sea Salt
    2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
    2 Teaspoon of Nutmeg
    2 Teaspoon of Ground Ginger
    1 Cup of Sunflower, Safflower, Almond or Vegetable Oil

    Additional Supplies Needed: Clean glass or plastic container that seals


    Mix the Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Ground Ginger together really well - slightly grinding them together.


    Thoroughly combine together the Granulated Sugar and Brown Sugar - making sure to crush any lumps. Add in the Sea Salt and mix well.


    Add the oil of your choice. You can use Sunflower, Safflower, Almond or even Vegetable Oil. I like to use Sunflower Oil, found in most health food stores. Sunflower oil, like other oils, help to retain moisture in the skin. {Safflower Oil is very similar to the Sunflower} Alternately, you can use plain Vegetable Oil as well. {I would omit using Olive Oil with this scrub as the scent can be a little too powerful}


    Package the scrub in a well sealed, clean, dry, glass or plastic container. Mason jars work very well. One batch yields approximately 16 ounces of scrub.


    I made a few printable labels that can be found {here}.


    Here are a few tips to keep in mind for this homemade sugar scrub:

    Store in a cool space out of direct sunlight.

    The scrub does not need to be refrigerated if made using the ingredients above.

    The addition of sea salt acts as a natural preservative and recommended if you are not planning on using the scrub right away.

    It is important to keep water out of the scrub. The addition of water to the scrub mixture makes it prone to growing bacteria. Use a spoon or scoop to remove the scrub from the container.

    The scrubs that I have previously made have lasted up to six months when used with the care described above. If a scrub goes bad you will be able to smell it and tell. If you see any signs of bacteria growth in the container toss it out immediately and make a new batch.


    Happy Friday my friends ~ Enjoy!

    DIY Body Scrub Favor

    Eeeek! I am so excited about today, guys. I have so many fun little pieces of news to share with you but first is this fun DIY that the super sweet Kelly Braman and I collaborated on last week. I’ve been dying to get this easy peasy Body Scrub Favor photographed for months and am so thrilled that Kel was able to be my left-hand girl. As a huge fan of easy to make stuff and an even bigger fan of cute packaging, this scrub (made with things you can find in your kitchen) and the most adorable labels designed by the girls over at the Wedding Chicks (you can download the labels here!) totally go hand in hand.


    For your supplies you’ll need some sort of airtight container to store the scrub in. I purchased the metal lid ones you see below at Hobby Lobby for about $3.99 each (that wasn’t the sale price). You’ll also need about 2 1/2 cups of Sugar in the Raw, 3/4 of a cup of white granulated sugar, 4-5 tablespoons of vanilla extract (or coconut, almond, orange, etc) and 1/4 cup of almond oil. You’ll also need those fancy labels you see there and some pretty ribbon, as well as a spoon to mix everything together.


    {Step 1} First, make sure your bun is crooked on top of your head (duh). Then mix together your sugars.


    Make sure you smile while you’re mixing like I did, too.


    {Step 2} Mix in your oil and vanilla extract with the sugar and combine until a scrub like consistency is achieved. While I absolutely love how this scrub made my hands feel extremely soft and smooth thanks to the moisturizers in the oil, I have to admit the scrub itself doesn’t smell like anything wonderful. There was a very natural organic smell to the mixture which I think comes from the almond oil but nevertheless it’s a body scrub and in that regard does just that for your body and hands :)


    {Step 3} Scoop the scrub into the container until full. The above measurements made enough scrub to fill one container which was a pretty big batch but you could easily scale it down to make more containers. Seal with lid and fasten with ribbon.


    Remember to save a little leftover for yourself. Who knew hand washing was so funny?


    {Step 4} Adorn with the cutest Scrub Sweet Scrub label courtesy of the Wedding Chicks. Awe.


    Homemade Natural Chapstick

    by LINDSAY on NOV 17, 2010 in NATURAL & GREEN, RECIPES & KITCHEN TIPS

    I frequently experience dry and chapped lips and often use chapstick as a means of solving the dryness and providing me with moisture and comfort to my lips. Today, I want to share with you a simple tutorial on how to make your own chapstick with 3 completely natural ingredients. They happen to be my favorite: shea butter, coconut oil, and beeswax. These ingredients help moisturize, sooth, heal, and restore dry lips naturally. They grow in creation and team up together for a very effective lip balm! The balance in the ingredients gives it a very moisturizing and non-greasy affect. It blends into your lip in a matter of a few seconds and does not leave a glistening oil appearance. This recipe is so easy, it would make great Christmas stocking stuffers. And the beauty of it is that this simple recipe also makes a fabulous hard lotion bar – perfect for dry and cracked skin. You can easily make a smaller or larger quantity as desired. Any extra can be made into a hard lotion bar by pouring into ice cube trays.

    Ingredients:

    2 Tablespoons beeswax (about 1 oz)
    2 Tablespoons coconut oil
    2 Tablespoons shea butter
    12 lip balm containers
    dropper

    Directions:

    1. Melt beeswax in a small pan or crockpot over low heat. Add coconut oil and shea butter until all ingredients a melted. Add a few drops essential oil if desired. I did not use any essential oil and it is smells wonderfully like honey!
    2. Using a small medicinal dropper, pour the melted liquid into your lip balm containers. Add a few extra drops to the top after filling each container as the ingredients will shrink as they cool.
    3. Cool completely to harden. Cover with cap and decorate or label as desired.

    Enjoy nice cool and refreshing natural lips!

    Homemade Toothpaste Recipe

    by LINDSAY on AUG 12, 2008 in NATURAL & GREEN, RECIPES & KITCHEN TIPS

    Have you thought much about fluoride? This lovely product is added to many water supplies and toothpaste. Dentists supposedly say it prevents tooth decay. When I discovered this product has been banned from adding to water in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Austria, France and The Netherlands, I questioned why it is still being promoted as a healthy product here in the States.

    Andreas Schuld describes fluoride as follows in an article on the Weston Price Foundation:

    “Fluoride is any combination of elements containing the fluoride ion. In its elemental form, fluorine is a pale yellow, highly toxic and corrosive gas. In nature, fluorine is found combined with minerals as fluorides. It is the most chemically active nonmetallic element of all the elements and also has the most reactive electro-negative ion. Because of this extreme reactivity, fluorine is never found in nature as an uncombined element.”

    Highly toxic? Corrosive gas? I am not sure about you, but that concerns me. These references are referring to the addition of flouride to most water systems in the US, but there is another form of flouride that is added to your average container of toothpaste.

    Fluoride Deception

    You might be interested in checking out these videos…

    Fluoride Deception – interesting video on harm of fluoride
    Cure Tooth Decay
    – can tooth decay be related to what kind of food you eat?
    Fluoride Alert – professionals sign document to end fluoride in water due to its toxic content. Two interesting videos about flouride.

    Fluoride Free Alternatives

    Fluoride is added to most toothpastes you will find in the store, and although your consumption may be minimal, it is something to consider. Finding flouride-free toothpaste is a spendy pursuit, costing up to $5 per small tube. Sodium lauryl sulfate is included in most natural toothpastes, which is the foaming agent that is added to toothpaste and other bathroom products. There is much controversy whether it is safe as well, so I am seeking to avoid, if possible, and stick to the ingredients that are safe to consume, especially for the little one, as she very well may swallow it.

    Here are a few alternatives:

    Toothsoap – I have not tried this, but have heard many rave reviews from others. The ingredients are all natural, based upon coconut oil, olive oil and a few other products. The price might sound a bit high at first but I have been told a tube lasts three months for a family of four. Toothsoap is preferred over natural toothpastes because not only does it not contain fluoride but it also does not have sodium lauryl sulfate.

    I reviewed the list of ingredients and I thought…why not? These are simple enough to combine together at home. I wanted a toothpaste with quality ingredients that I had on hand, without spending too much on a tube of toothsoap. Here is what I came up with:

    Homemade Toothpaste Recipe #1

    You can actually just us Dr. Bronner’s as a natural toothpaste, but the texture is very liquidy and very powerful in taste (soap here we come!). Definitely not something the hubby or baby would like. I tried mellowing and sweetening it a bit with these ingredients and all are quite satisfied!  Still under a little experimentation. This recipe provided a nice moist but thicker consistency than Dr. Bronner’s alone.

    1 Tbsp Dr. Bronners castile liquid soap or any natural castile liquid soap -  contains coconut, olive, palm oils – we use Baby Mild unscented (because it is more versatile for us, and covers multiply uses in one product) and then flavor with an essential oil or two
    5 Tbsp coconut oil
    1 Tbsp or more olive oil or water – to get the consistency you want – this makes it pourable to put in the soap dispenser
    Essential oil (20-25 drops), I use orange and peppermint together, as peppermint alone is a little strong for me, but you can use whatever combination you like. If using Peppermint Dr Bronner’s soap, you can skip this altogether.
    Stevia, or  to sweeten to your taste – a few dashes or so works

    Warning: Do not test this product more than a few times at a time or just a dab at a time, or else you can burn your mouth (if using peppermint oil/soap), as I experienced. Best to taste by putting it on a toothbrush and brushing your teeth, as flavor is a bit different from just tasting the toothpaste directly.

    I store mine in a new soap dispenser in our bathroom. No scooping it up, just pump it out right onto your toothbrush. No messes in the draw from spilled sticky toothpaste tubes either!

    Homemade Toothpaste Recipe #2

    1/4 cup baking soda
    1/4 cup vegetable glycerin
    1 Tbsp castile liquid soap
    A few drops peppermint, anise, wintergreen essential oil, optional
    dash of stevia or  xylitol

    Combine ingredients with a hand mixer or by hand as desired. Store in a old toothpaste dispenser by cutting the end off and filling with your toothpaste. Seal the end with masking tape until it is ready for a re-fill.

    Both of these recipes work well for cleaning your teeth and are completely safe and natural…so no fear for the little ones! Just make sure to only give them a little dab on the toothbrush because the ingesting essential oils is the only concern here. So please use less essential oils if you are concerned.

    The Face

    I am not a huge banana fan as a food, but as a facial mask, bananas are wonderful. Full of antioxidants, bananas help not only smooth skin, but relieve puffiness. Along with oats, honey and olive oil, you can create quite a treat for your face.

    Banana soothing mask and scrub

    2 tsp. medium ripe mashed banana
    2 tsp. rolled oats
    1 tsp. olive oil
    1 tsp. honey
    1 2-cup plastic container (if storing)

    The key to this mask is to make it when you are about to use it. If you want to make a larger batch for a few treatments, then you will need to refrigerate it. I recommend making no more than a one-banana batch. That’s about a week’s worth for the scrub and about 3 masks.

    You’ll want to take all the ingredients and food process in at least 3 30-second spurts until everything is blended but not past the point where the oats are still a little coarse.

    For the scrub, use your fingertips to gently rub about 1 tbs. over your face for a few minutes and then rinse with warm water.

    For the mask, use several tablespoons and apply a thin layer over your face and let sit for 15 minutes until dry. Rinse with warm water and pat your face dry.


    Lips like sugar

    Often a forgotten part of your body during a beauty regimen, your lips are no less important. Soft lips mean a bigger, sweeter smile, so treat them with a yummy exfoliating lip scrub.

    Coconut-Honey Lip Scrub

    1 tbs. pure coconut oil (available at most grocery stores)
    1 tbs. honey
    1 tbs. brown sugar
    1 small jar (You can use a recycled baby food jar or something similar)

    Let the coconut oil get to a softened stage – it can be hard sometimes when you first take it out of the jar. Mix the other ingredients with it until you’ve got a paste and place into your jar.

    For exfoliating, use a small dollop on your finger and scrub gently onto your lips for about a minute and then rinse off.

    Give yourself a hand

    Our hands are the most seen and most used part of our body and daily chores can do damage. With a little olive oil and lemon, you can turn around your dishpan hands.

    Keep this scrub next to your kitchen sink. Use it whenever you are cooking or cleaning to alleviate the damage done by your daily household routines.

    Vanilla-Lemon Hand Scrub

    1 cup white sugar or light brown sugar
    ¼ cup kosher salt or sea salt
    Zest of 1 extra large lemon (or other citrus)
    ½ cup olive oil
    1 medium Mason jar with lid

    Use a food processor to blend the citrus zest with 2 tbs. of sugar. Dump the blended zest and sugar into the jar with the rest of the ingredients and shake until well mixed.

    Scoop out about a teaspoon for each use, whenever you want to treat your hands after washing dishes or doing other rigorous housework where harsh chemicals could dry your skin.

    Twinkle-Toes

    Feet don’t fail me now! And hopefully they won’t if you use this refreshing foot scrub. The aroma of peppermint wakes up tired feet while the salt scrub gets rid of scratchy skin.

    Olive Oil-Peppermint Foot Scrub

    1 cup Epsom salt
    ¼ cup olive oil
    1 tbs. Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint castile soap
    OR
    2 tbs. peppermint oil
    Medium Mason jar

    Place all ingredients into a jar and shake until combined. Use about a tablespoon for each foot, massaging into your skin with a little warm water. Rinse and pat your feet dry.

    The finale

    What’s better than a nice, long soak in the tub at the end of a hard day? In my world – not much. Making your bath smell and feel good is a great way to relieve stress while softening your skin all over.

    Epsom salts are good for drawing out any bad mojo, like toxins and stress. Lavender and vanilla is a great combo for a relaxing aromatherapy session.

    Vanilla-Lavender Bath Salts

    1 ½ cup Epsom Salts
    ½ cup sea salt
    3 tbs. olive oil or almond oil
    3 tbs. lavender blossoms ( order some online here, or find them at a health food store or international grocery)
    1 tbs. vanilla extract
    Large Mason jar with lid

    Put about 1 tbs. of olive oil, 1 tbs. Epsom salt and the lavender blossoms in your food processor and pulse three times, about 20-30 seconds each time.

    Pour that mixture into your Mason jar and add everything else, seal and shake until everything is well mixed.

    Run yourself a warm bath, and add two heaping tablespoons to the water so it can dissolve. Soak until you’ve washed all your cares away!


    What you will needMethod
    1. Choose 3 or 4 essential oils. Using the basic rules of choosing at less 1 from each note, top, middle and base (see list below)


    2. Place a few drops of your chosen oils in the proportions that you wish to use them onto a strip of blotting paper


    3. leave for about 5 minutes then take a sniff to see if you have reached your desired effect, then correct if needed.


    4. Pour the 2 teaspoons of jojoba oil into the glass bottle using a funnel or eye dropper if needed, each teaspoon equals 40 drops.


    5. Add your essential oils. You will need about 20 drops of essential oil in the proportions you have worked out.


    6. Cover and then give it a good shake and then sniff to test, correct if needed adding only one extra drop at a time until you reach your desired fragrance.


    7. Leave the homemade perfume to blend and mature in a cool dark place for 12 hours before using.







    Perfume Scents - The Piesse Scale

    Top notes: Are light and fresh smelling, they are usually the first scent that you will detect in a blended perfume, and often the most volatile.
    Bergamot, Lemon, Lime, Mandarin, Spearmint, Peppermint

    Middle notes: Form the main body of the perfume. They have a lasting fragrance that becomes noticeable after the top note.
    Cedarwood, Clary Sage, Geranium, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Rosemary

    Base notes: Are rich and heavy, although they are the last to detect in a perfume they linger the longest and work as a fixative to the lighter top and middle notes, helping them to retain their aroma for longer.
    Frankincense Jasmine, Neroli, Patchouli, Rose, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Ylang Ylang

    Here Is A List Of My Favourite Blended Oils
    Sweet and Exotic with a trace of CitrusJasmine 8 drops - Lemon 4 drops - Patchouli 4 drops

    Fresh and SweetNeroli 4 drops - Lavender 4 drops - Spearmint 2 drops

    Oriental with a touch of LemonSandalwood 4 drops - Lemon 3 drops - Musk 4 drops - Frankincense 2 drops

    Floral with a bite of SpiceJasmine 6 drops - Orange 3 drops - Sandalwood 2 drops

    Rich and SweetRose 8 drops - Jasmine 4 drops - Bergamot 2 drops

    Sweet and FloralYlang Ylang 6 drops - Clary Sage 3 drops - Lemon 2 drops - Lavender 2 drops

    Woody and SensualMusk 8 drops - Sandalwood 4 drops - Oakmoss 3 drops - Patchouli 2 drops

    Fresh and CitrusyGrapefruit 3 drops - Lemon 3 drops - Spearmint 2 drops - Bergamot 1 drop
    Homemade Cologne and Eau De Toilette Spray

    If you prefer to use a spray perfume then this section is for you.

    Using a slightly larger bottle with a spray nozzle, you can easily recreate your favourite perfume blends from above into a cologne spray by simply adding 1cup (4 floz) of vodka or ethyl alcohol.

    Then follow the same procedure as with the oil perfume recipe keeping in mind that its easer to add more essential oil to the alcohol than it is to add alcohol to the oils.

    If you are still finding the cologne a little too strong then you need to go with the milder eau de toilette water. Once again this is easy just add 1 cup of distilled or spring water when adding the cup of vodka or ethyl alcohol.

    To clarify the different strengths


    TUESDAY, MARCH 27, 2012
    Homemade "Vicks Vapor shower disks"
    Have you seen the commercials for the Vicks Vapor shower disk thingies?  You put one of these disks in your shower, and voila thanks to the vapors in it, you're magically healed, your cold is gone, and your face is shockingly free of snot.  I always used to watch the "Noxema girl" splashing water on her face and wondered how she was able to wash her face without being completely overrun with boogers.  I'm the only one?  Yes?  Ok, moving along then...

    Regardless, Vicks makes these things and I'm sure they're super expensive for something that is just going to wash down your drain.

    You know where I'm going with this, right?

    Yep.

    I made them myself.

    The idea started a few weeks ago when my sweet little nephew Parker came down with Croup for like the 1,438th time.  My sister mentioned that they were taking long steamy showers with him to try to clear out his lungs.  My brain started churning and I thought "surely there can be something they could add to the shower to help him even more".  Homemade Vicks Vapor shower disk thingies were born.

    And they couldn't be any simpler.

    Sarah's Homemade Vicks Shower Disk Thingies
    -Baking soda
    -Water
    -Essential oils: eucalyptus, rosemary, and lavender.
    -Muffin tin
    -Muffin liners

    1) Add baking soda to a mixing bowl.  Updated to add - I don't really measure.  Maybe 2-3 cups?
    2) Slowly add water until you've made a thick paste.  Updated to add: add just a little water a time.  You'll want the mix to feel like putty.
    3) Add 15 drops of each essential oil.
    4) Spoon in to a muffin tin, and let sit out for 12-18 hours.  You can also bake these, but I just left them out overnight.
    5) Pop these suckers out of the paper liner, plop it in your shower, and let the essential oils steam away your stuffy nose.  Edited to add: put them anywhere on the floor of the shower; it doesn't matter where! 

    Added 4/7/12 - for anyone who is having issues with these being "crumbly", try using 1 cup of baking soda and 1/3 cup of water (plus maybe a few tbslp more) and baking for 20 minutes at 350.  THEN add a few drops of essential oils to the cooled "puck".  That was a suggestion from a commenter and I tried it this morning with great success!  I'm a quick shower taker (less than 5 min), and my "disk" was only about 1/3 gone at the end of the shower.

    Additionally, I'm not a doctor (nor a butcher, baker, or candlestick maker), so if you have any medical conditions, contact a medical professional.

    Raw shea butter - Photo courtesy of Mountain Rose Herbs

    Coconut oil and raw shea butter are the perfect combination for a safe, natural and simple diaper cream or hand lotion. Shea butter is wonderful for its natural healing and moisturizing properties. It is rich in Vitamins A, E, and F, which help to soothe, hydrate, and balance the skin. Make sure to select raw shea butter, because many companies use bleaches, deodorizers, or chemicals to alter the scent and appearance of shea butter. These processings deplete the product of its healing and medicinal properties, and also destroy the vitamins and minerals present. You will know if it is raw by its distinguished nutty smell. Coconut oil is also very nourishing and moisturizing to the skin and has great anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

    This is definitely a powerhouse for defeating yeast infections as well. We love it now! I used to have to switch my babies over to disposables when a rash hit, but with this salve, it heals wonderfully even when wearing cloth diapers. I recommend using a thick doubler/liner when applying this salve if you use cloth diapers to protect their warranty. My dipes are out of warranty, so we use it directly on their bum with the diaper and it has not caused any repealing issues. It washes out beautifully. This recipes works for a awesome natural lotion as well, helping to sooth dry and cracked skin. You may want to add some lavender (or other) essential oil for fragrance for use as hand lotion because shea butter gives it a nutty smell and may not be preferred if you like a real fragrant lotion.

    How to make your own?

    1/8 cup coconut oil (extra virgin is preferred)
    1/4 cup raw shea butter
    3-4 Tablespoons talc-free cornstarch or arrowroot power (optional, to thicken) -Learn more about avoiding talc here.

    Combine coconut oil and shea butter in a small bowl with a hand mixer or stick blender. You may have to soften the shea butter just slightly over very low heat in order to incorporate them well together, but it should combine well with a mixer. Add cornstarch or arrowroot a tablespoon at a time until you achieve the desired thickness. It will look similar to a whipped icing.That’s it! Transfer to a small covered container and place at your changing station. Keep a small portion in the diaper bag as well. Apply liberally with each diaper change as a preventative and rash salve. There are many more complicated homemade varieties out there, but this simple recipe has done the trick for us! Makes about 1 cup.

    We buy our extra virgin coconut oil and raw shea butter from Mountain Rose Herbs. You can use refined coconut oil on the skin as it is a cheaper variety. Unrefined is preferred for eating.

    Homemade All-Natural Deodorant

    by LINDSAY on FEB 08, 2010 in NATURAL & GREEN

    Republished from March 21, 2008. Updated to include FAQ’s, photo, and video tutorial.

    Did you know that nearly all commercial deodorants contain aluminum salts, usually aluminum chlorohydrate? Manufacturers like aluminum because it effectively suppresses perspiration but the metal has a dark side once it makes its way into our body. Aluminum toxicity It has been linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, and other health issues. It is especially important for women to take thought to the harmful aluminum materials in deodorant as it has been linked to breast cancer, being that the breast tissue extends up into the armpits.

    Most commercial deodorants also contain parabens, which act as preservatives and stabilizers, but which like aluminum can be absorbed into the skin. Parabens mimic estrogen, and though the amounts we absorb on a daily basis might be small, over time, the accumulation can be significant.

    Did you know you can make your own wonderful effective deodorant with just a few completely natural ingredients? This recipe is awesome! It’s even edible! It is frugal and very effective! Aaron & I have been using it for over two years now, and it has worked wonders. It smells wonderful, but very faint. For years I tried every natural alternative on the market without much success. It has been successfully tried by hundreds of readers! Coconut oil is an all natural oil that has wonderful anti-bacterial and immune boosting qualities. It can effectively nourish and moisturize the skin. This recipe is also very frugal, costing less than a dollar per batch.

    Ingredients:

    6-8 Tbsp Coconut oil (solid state)
    1/4 cup baking soda
    1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch (arrowroot is preferred)

    Directions:

    1. Combine equal portions of baking soda & arrowroot powder.
    2. Slowly add coconut oil and work it in with a spoon or hand blender until it maintains a firm but pliable texture. It should be about the same texture as commercial deodorant, solid but able to be applied easily. If it is too wet, add further arrowroot powder/cornstarch to thicken.
    3. You can either scoop this recipe into your old deodorant dispensers or place in a small container with lid and apply with fingers with each use. Makes about 1 cup. This recipe lasts about 3 months for two people with regular daily use.

    For a picture tutorial placing this recipe in an old deodorant container, visit here.

    Check out my video tutorial for a visual guide through this recipe. Excuse my nervousness….yes, this is the first time I have gotten behind the camera for this site!