17 November 2017

Headache Relief Balm Recipe

When I have a headache, it can last for several days.  I’m prone to both migraines and tension headaches.  I pretty much have my migraines under control, but the tension headaches seem  to give me more trouble.  

When I a tension headache, I feel like my head is in a vice that just won’t stop getting smaller.  The back of my neck and shoulders get tight and painful.  

If I do reach for my prescribed medication, I’m pretty much worthless for hours, if not all day.  I started using essential oils with some success a few years ago.


I made this headache balm so I would have my favorite headache essential oils ready to use at the first sign of a headache.  Even though tension headaches are different from migraines, I get the best relief when I treat either of them at the first sign of pain just like you would a migraine headache.  

HEADACHE RELIEF BALM


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The base that I use for the balm has just three ingredients: beeswax, shea butter, and sweet almond oil.  This is an easy base to use because you use each ingredient in equal amounts, so I don’t have to do a lot of math when I want to make a recipe, and it’s easy to remember.

You can use any liquid carrier oil, but I like sweet almond oil.  It’s a good mild oil that also had some skin loving benefits.  You could also use fractionated coconut oil or even olive oil, but olive oil can leave your skin greasy after you apply the balm.


For the essential oils, I use peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil.  

  • Peppermint is said to relax muscles, relieve pain, and reduce inflammation.  All of these properties can help with a tension headache.  It’s also cooling, which can provide immediate relief when you apply the balm.  
  • Lavender promotes relaxation.  Tension headaches are often the result of stress, so it makes sense to use an oil that can help you relax.  
  • Eucalyptus is said to help reduce pain and congestion.  It can also help reduce stress.
  • Tea tree oil is said to be an anti-inflammatory oil.  It can help reduce swelling and pain associated with tension headaches.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ounce beeswax
  • 1 ounce shea butter
  • 1 ounce sweet almond oil
  • 20 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 15 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 15 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops eucalyptus essential oil

DIRECTIONS


STEP #1


In a double boiler, heat the beeswax, shea butter, and sweet almond oil.  Never heat this over direct heat.

STEP #2


Stir occasionally until melted.  

STEP #3


Remove from heat and let cool slightly.  Add the essential oils, stir well, and pour into small containers.

STEP #4


Let cool completely before using.


To use the headache balm, rub some on your fingers and massage onto your temples, forehead, or back of neck.  The peppermint will give you a cooling sensation that will help relieve pain instantly.  

If you need more relief in a few hours, try rubbing the area where you applied the balm before to reactivate the essential oils.  If this doesn’t work, then reapply the balm.

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14 November 2017

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com.
We've lived in the farmhouse just over five years now, but this is the first year that I get to host Thanksgiving.  Actually, I think this is the first year we've ever hosted Thanksgiving.  I've made the turkey and everything just for the five of us, but we've never had company come over for the holiday before.

I have to admit that I'm a little nervous about hosting this year; I want everything to be perfect.  I'm really picky about my turkey.  I brine it for several days with a homemade brine, then I bake it with fresh vegetables and herbs so the flavor infuses the entire turkey.  So I'm good with that part of the meal.  

What I'm not ready for is the extras.  Holidays are a time to splurge a little bit and try something a little fancier than usual.  This year, I want to try some new things, and I want the entire family included.  Keep reading to see what we're adding to our Thanksgiving feast this year.


13 November 2017

Ugly Christmas Sweaters for Men and Women From Amazon

Every year, we get invited to an Ugly Sweater party.  And every year, we don't have one to wear.  So this year, I started shopping early.  

These ugly Christmas sweaters are fun for men and women.  There are a few naughty ones thrown in the mix, so be warned.  When you do buy an ugly Christmas sweater, make sure you look it over carefully.  My kids' martial arts teacher wore a hilarious sweater to their Christmas party last year, but he failed to notice what was actually on the sweater.  My kids didn't notice, but I found it hilarious. 


Ugly Christmas Sweaters for Men & Women

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10 November 2017

June Jacobs Spa Collection Skin Care Review

June Jacobs recently sent me a box with several of their products.  This was my first time using their products, so I was really excited to have so many to try.

June Jacobs is a spa visionary and beauty expert.  With her daughter, she created a line of skin care products with products that give both short-term and long-term results.

The products have botanical extracts and powerful active ingredients to deliver softer, younger looking skin.




June Jacobs Spa Collection Skin Care Review


June Jacobs skin care has a patented antioxidant blend of green, red, and white tea along with other natural ingredients to help repair the signs of aging.

All of their products are free of parabens, artifical dyes and fragrances, preservatives, and sulfates when possible.

You can find June Jacobs products at resorts and spas and on their website JuneJacobs.com.

Links in this post may be affiliate links, which means that I earn a small commission from sales.  


Fresh Squeezed Lemon Cleanser


Start the skin care routine with the Fresh Squeezed Lemon Cleanser.  This cleanser is a great way to start your day because it has a fresh scent of lemons.  It is also full of antioxidants to help reduce free radicals and fight signs of aging.  

My skin feels so soft and clean after using the cleanser!


Neroli Hydrating Mist


After you cleanse, use the Neroli Hydrating Mist.  This revitalizes your skin with neroli oil, which stimulates cellular turnover.  It also has antioxidants to help reduce the signs of aging.


Ultra Light Citrus Moisturizer


After you cleanse, use the Ultra Light Citrus Moisturizer.  I like this because it's light, yet it's a powerful daily moisturizer.  It has hyaluronic acid and humectants to hydrate the skin.  With my oily skin, these seem to work better for me than heavy moisturizers.  It also has antioxidants to help prevent premature aging.


Revitalizing Eye Gel


My eyes need some TLC at the moment, mostly due to lack of sleep and being sick forever.  The Revitalizing Eye Gel has a metal applicator to soothe the skin to help reduce puffiness.  It has several ingredients to hydrate the skin as well as help firm, lift, and improve skin elasticity.  Like the other products, it has a powerful blend of antioxidants to help neutralize free radicals. 


Papaya Purifying Enzyme Mask


I use a face mask once a week.  The Papaya Purifying Enzyme Mask contains natural fruit enzymes from papaya, mango, and pineapple to gently exfoliate the top layer of skin.  It has borage seed oil and sweet almond oil to nourish the skin and improve skin tone.  It also has power antioxidants.

This left my skin really soft.  I still like to use a charcoal mask to really get my pores cleaned out, but this is a great mask to in between those.  I should also mention that my pores can get really large if they get debris in them, so if you don't have large pores, this mask should be fine for your skin.


Sensitive Formula Mandarin Polishing Beads


When your skin needs exfoliating, use the Sensitive Formula Mandarin Polishing Beads.  It's a gentle scrub made just for delicate skin.  It has allantoin to soothe your skin and jojoba micro beads to gently exfoliate.

It also has three different tea extracts, gogi berry, grapeseed extract, and pomegranate for anxioxidants to protect the skin from signs of aging.  

Lip Renewal SPF 50


Most people forget about their lips when it comes to their skincare routine, but I am loving this Lip Renewal with SPF 50.  My lips get insanely dry in the winter.  In the summer, they are prone to getting burnt, even if my skin doesn't burn.  These protects my lips from the sun and moisturizes them.


Rapid Repair Healing Cream


The Rapid Repair Healing Cream might be my favorite out of all of the products.  I have really dry skin and eczema on my hand, so I use a lot of lotion.  This helps soothe irritation and keeps skin moisturized all day.  It has edelweiss extract, which is a natural anti-inflammatory.  It also has allontoin and dimethicone to create a barrier on the top of the skin to lock in moisture.  I think this is what really helps my skin!

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08 November 2017

How to Make Vapor Rub Naturally

Tis the season for coughs and colds.  We got hit last weekend with it, and it's not fun.

One of the best home remedies for a cough is a vapor rub, but have you checked the list of ingredients on store bought stuff?  Yikes.  Some of those ingredients belong in a car engine -- not on my skin!

While it's best to make it now before you need it, it doesn't take long to make it.  This vapor rub recipe is really versatile, too.  If you don't have all of the ingredients, you can made some adaptations.  I'll get to that after the recipe.

You can also use this recipe in a tart burner.  Add some water to the top of the burner and add half of a tablespoon of this natural vapor rub recipe and burn a tea light as usual.  Now your entire family can get the benefits of the essential oils.

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How to Make Vapor Rub Naturally




What You Need



Directions


STEP #1

Melt the coconut oil or olive oil and beeswax in a double boiler until just melted.  You can also use a microwave, but the beeswax takes a long time to melt.  I find that it's much easier in a double boiler.  

STEP #2

Add essential oil blend.  Use half as much if you are using this on children or babies.

STEP #3

Mix well and pour in to a small mason jar.
If you use coconut oil and beeswax, this will be thicker than using olive oil and beeswax.

Don't have beeswax?  You can still make this with either oil, but if you use olive oil, it can get messy.  

Note: If you are making this for infants for children, always use half of the recommended essential oils.  Never put this on a child's face or under their nose.  Always use on their chest or on their feet.  Talk to your doctor before using this is you are pregnant or nursing.  

Essential Oils

Which essential oils are best?  Well, that's personal preference.  Personally, I like peppermint and rosemary, but you can pick the best ones based on their properties and your family.
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06 November 2017

DIY Breathe Easy Wax Melts

My husband, two kids, and I all have allergies with sneezing and runny noses.  My husband and one son are also prone to chest congestion.  We deal with at least two bouts of pneumonia per year.  I used to turn to storebought products to help relieve chest congestion and make it easier to breathe. 

Those products are expensive, and they aren't natural.  The lotion is petroleum based, which I don't like to apply to my skin.  

I started using essential oils in my diffuser to help us breathe easier and to break up chest congestion, but I felt like I was constantly refilling the oils.  

I like to burn wax melts, so I thought why not make wax melts with essential oils to relive chest congestion and help us breathe easier?

It worked!


Each wax melt lasts for several hours or even all day.  We get a constant stream of vapors instead of just an hour or two at a time with the diffuser.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I love my essential oil diffuser.  I do.  But when I'm sick, I need hours and hours of relief.  

DIY Breathe Easy Wax Melts

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You'll want to make these before you need them.  When you need sinus relief, you probably won't want to get out your supplies or wait for them to cool down.

I use soy wax because it's renewable, supports farmers, and burns cleaner than paraffin wax.


You can use any essential oil blend that you'd like.  I use Crafty Bubbles Breathe Easy from Bolek's Craft Supply.  They have a formulated blend with several oils that I don't use, so it's really not worth it for me to buy them just for this recipe.  

I do not know the amounts of each essential oil, but I do know that this is the list in descending order.

Crafty Bubbles Breathe Easy contains:
For a stuffy nose, try:
  • 1 part eucalyptus
  • 1 part lavender
  • 1 part peppermint
For chest congestion, try:
  • 2 parts eucalyptus
  • 2 parts cadarwood
  • 1 part myrrh
You can also use all eucalyptus or peppermint.

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS


STEP #1

Melt soy wax flakes in a double boiler.  Do not heat wax over direct heat or in a microwave.

STEP #2 

When wax is melted, remove from heat.  

STEP #3

Add your desired essential oils.  The most that you can use is 1.5 ounces, but you may need less.  The first time you make it, try 1/2 ounce and increase to 1 ounce if needed.  

Be sure to weigh your essential oils with a digital scale and not use a liquid measurement.  

STEP #4

Carefully pour the melted wax into a clamshell mold or wax melt mold.  You can even use a mini muffin tin.  

The next time you need some sinus relief, use one of these in your tart burner for relief!

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Get sinus relief with these DIY breathe easy wax melts.









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