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31 August 2018

DIY Pumpkin Spice Liquid Hand Soap Recipe With Castile Soap and Essential Oils

This DIY liquid hand soap is easy to make with castile soap and essential oils.  I made mine pumpkin spice to kick off the PSL season!

I am not one to start holiday seasons early—Yes, pumpkin spice is a season!—but I know we're ready for it because it's all over my Facebook and Instagram feeds.  My Pinterest has been crazy with PSL for a few weeks now.

I figure if Starbuck's can release their PSL this early, then I can start posting pumpkin spice this early, too.


This liquid hand soap recipe is so easy to make.  Seriously, once you get the ingredients together, it takes less than a minute.  

It's also easy to customize, and I'll teach you how to do that.  

I make my own soap because we go through a lot of hand soap.  I'd swear my kids were draining the bottle the way we go through it.

I tried the hair tie trick where you wrap a hair tie on the pump so it doesn't use as much per pump.  We still went through an insane amount of soap.  

I can only use a few liquid soaps from the store because of my eczema, so I make it.  This is also a lot cheaper.  The liquid castile soap costs me $10 for 32 ounces, which gives me 64 ounces of soap.  That's just 16 cents per ounce or $1.28 for an 8 ounce bottle.  

Even when you add the other ingredients, it's a big savings if you use a lot of hand soap.


29 August 2018

Vanilla Peach Jam Recipe With Whiskey

Add whiskey to this vanilla peach jam recipe to enhance the vanilla flavor.  

When we moved to the farm almost six years ago, we were thrilled that it was established with an orchard and several different type of edible plants and trees.  In addition to the 200 fruit trees, we have rhubarb, asparagus, strawberries, and nut trees growing on the farm.  

At the front of the property, there is a large orchard with peach, apple, pear, plum, and cherry trees.  The trees were planted with canning in baking in mind because there are different kinds of each tree, each selected for a different reason.

Want applesauce?  We have apples for that.  Apple pies?  Yep, that too.  

There's one white peach tree here, and it gives us delicious fruits.  I have no idea what the rest of the peach trees are, but I do know that they are yummy.


We don't get peaches every year.  In Ohio, sometimes the winter is just too harsh for the trees to produce fruit.  We got a good crop last year, and this year is an excellent crop.  

I started picking peaches last weekend.  Dakota and I made 7 quarts of sliced peaches in a light sugar syrup on Saturday.  Sunday, we made vanilla peach jam with whiskey.  
When more peaches get ripe, I'll make spiced peach jam and peach pie filling.  

I think it's important to teach my kids how to can foods.  It's a dying art, but it shouldn't be.  Home canned food is so much more flavorful. 

It also saves a lot of money in our budget.  We can also eat healthy food all winter to get essential vitamins and minerals.  

27 August 2018

Why I Feed My Dogs Like Family


This post is sponsored by © Nature’s Recipe, LLC., all opinions are my own.

I joke that if we get any more critters here that I'm going to start charging admission at the gate.  We currently have goats, chickens, two cats, and two dogs.  We bought the chickens and goats, but the dogs and cats are all rescues.  We are just one critter short of a zoo around here.  

My dogs couldn't be further apart from each other in size or personality.  Nacho is my seven pound chihuahua mix with the typical small dog attitude.  He's definitely a momma's boy though.  He's sits beside me or on my lap while I'm writing or working on my social media posts.  If I go to my craft room, he follows me in and sits behind me in my office chair so he doesn't disturb my work.  His important job in the family is being my muse.



Dolph is a 60-something pound rottweiler and German shepherd mix.  He's big and happy-go-lucky.  He loves to play, especially outside.  He's happiest just chilling on the deck or playing with one of the kids.  He loves to chase a ball or stick and will bring it back over and over again before he wears out.  His job is being a work dog on the farm.  This means he chases the tractor or the four-wheeler while we do our chores, but it makes him feel important.

What the dogs do have in common is that they both love Nature’s Recipe® Grain Free dog food.  While they will happily eat any of the varieties, both boys are big fans of the salmon, sweet potato, and pumpkin dog food.  

24 August 2018

Turmeric Benefits for Hair and Skin + 6 DIY Beauty Recipes

Learn the hair and skin benefits of turmeric.  Then use it in these DIY turmeric recipes for natural beauty.  

I don't think turmeric is used often enough in hair and skin recipes.  It probably gets a bad reputation because it tends to stain your skin and counters.  

I have a large collection of spices that I use for cooking and for DIY beauty recipes, and turmeric is always in my spice basket.


Turmeric is a spice that comes from the turmeric plant. It is commonly used in Asian food. You probably know turmeric as the main spice in curry. It has a warm, bitter taste and is frequently used to flavor or color curry powders, mustards, butters, and cheeses.

Turmeric is a great ingredient for skin care because it can help both acne prone oily skin and dry skin.  It helps boost radiance, so it's good for most skin types.

22 August 2018

DIY Vanilla Mint Lip Scrub Recipe

This vanilla mint lip scrub keeps your lips soft naturally and also tastes amazing.

It doesn't matter what time of the year it is, my lips are dry.  In the winter, They get crazy dry because of the low humidity in the house.  In the summer, the sun zaps the moisture from my lips.

I'm the girl with lip balms all over the place.  One in the car, one in my desk at my office, one in my purse, one beside my bed, and one hidden in a basket in the living room.  


Even though I use my lip balms constantly, the best thing I can do for my lips is to scrub them a week.  The sugar scrubs away dead skin cells, and the coconut oil gives my lips some serious hydration.  

DIY VANILLA MINT LIP SCRUB RECIPE


The inspiration for this vanilla mint lip scrub came from two different sources.  I was originally going to make a plain vanilla scrub.  My kids' karate instructor went to Mexico and brought me back a bottle of Mexican vanilla as a thanks for helping with the class.

As I sat on my patio sipping my coffee one morning, I was looking at my herb garden, happy that my peppermint and other herbs were doing well.  

Then I had the epiphany to combine the vanilla and mint together to make a vanilla mint lip scrub.  I had to use peppermint essential oil and not the herbs from my herb garden, but that's okay.  I'll definitely use that peppermint for something else.

I think this recipe would also work well with lemon essential oil in place of the vanilla extract for a vanilla mint scrub.


SUGARS


I used both brown sugar and white sugar for this scrub.  Brown sugar is gentler than white sugar.  Using both sugars gives you the best of both worlds.  It's tough enough to really scrub, yet it's gentle enough that your lips won't get irritated.

COCONUT OIL


I used refined coconut oil just because I didn't want it to smell like coconuts.  You can use unrefined coconut oil if you want.  

Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial, so it helps protect your lips if you have small crafts.  Coconut oil is my favorite oil for dry lips.  Sometimes I use just plain coconut oil to moisturize my lips. 


VANILLA EXTRACT


Vanilla extract doesn't just smell amazing; it also has benefits for your lips.  It's naturally anti-inflammatory, so it naturally helps soothe irritate skin, including lips.  

It's also said to help promote healing if you have chapped lips.  

Vanilla is also high in vanillin, which is an anti-oxidant that can help prevent the signs of aging.

PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL


Peppermint essential oil is usually used as a natural lip plumper.  It boosts circulation to the area, which makes your lips temporarily plumper.

Peppermint is also cooling, so it feels great on your lips.

INGREDIENTS


DIRECTIONS


STEP #1


Combine both the brown sugar and the white sugar in a bowl.  Stir well.


STEP #2


Add the vanilla extract and peppermint essential oil.  Stir well.

If there are lumps, use the back of the spoon to press them out.


STEP #3


If your coconut oil is solid, heat it in the microwave for about 10 seconds to melt it or get it soft.  Drizzle it over the sugars.  Stir well.  


Spoon into a container with a lid.  I really like the little lip balm pots for my scrubs.  It holds enough scrub for several applications.



As long as the scrub stays dry, this should last for several weeks.  It doesn't have a preservative, so if it gets water in it, creepy crawlies could grow.

Use this scrub once a week.  Get about a teaspoon on your finger and gently scrub your lips in a circular motion.  I like to scrub for about a minute.  Rinse well.  The coconut oil will stay on your lips to moisturize them for hours after you use the scrub.  

If your lips are really dry, you can scrub twice a week, but don't use this vanilla mint lip scrub more often than that.

This is great for dry or even slightly chapped lips.  If your lips are bleeding or severely cracked, don't use this scrub until they heal.

I recommend using a handmade lip balm every day to keep your lips soft.


Want kissably soft lips without making a scrub?  Try one of these from Amazon or Etsy:



Keep your lips soft and smooth naturally with this easy vanilla mint lip scrub recipe.


How to Make Roll On Lip Gloss
How to Prep Your Lips for Liquid Matte Lipstick
Honey and Vanilla Lip Scrub




20 August 2018

Fall Exfoliating Melt and Pour Soap Recipe With Almonds

These adorable squirrel and acorn melt and pour soaps are naturally exfoliating thanks to ground almonds.  

You guys, it's killing me to see fall stuff in the stores.  I am savoring my summer even though school starts today.  I'm not ready!

A few weeks ago, I was at a craft store and found an adorable squirrel and acorn silicone mold.  I actually walked right by it, refusing to buy anything fall themed until September.

My husband saw it and said it would be nice for soaps.  Caleb loves squirrels, so we joked that maybe he wouldn't fight his showers as much with squirrel soap.


So I bought it.  I'm glad I did, even if it was too early in the year.

I had my fall themed DIY projects on my calendar for the last half of September.  But I decided to post some early because you have to get a head start on the seasons when you're making things by hand.  

17 August 2018

Lavender Chamomile Milk Bath Recipe (Excellent for Dry, Irritated Skin)

Relax with this easy lavender chamomile milk bath recipe.  It can be used by any skin type, but it's especially good for dry or itchy skin.

While most of the country is celebrating back to school because that means that their kids will finally stop fighting, I'll be mourning my free time.  My kids learn at home, so I'll be adding about 6 hours a day to my already busy schedule.  

Although our days are crazy, we do have an advantage in that we don't have homework.  When we are done in the afternoon, we are done for the day.  That's right; zero fights about homework or worrying about getting homework done before after school activities.  


Starting Monday, I'll be waking up before the kids so I can sip my coffee while I work in peace.  Then I'll help the kids with school work, drive one kid back and forth to his college classes four days a week, take another kid to autism therapy three days a week, and try to keep up with the usual home stuff.  

I'm exhausted just thinking about it.  That's why I made this lavender and chamomile milk bath recipe this week.  I just know that I'll need something to help me relax next week.  

15 August 2018

DIY Essential Oil Bottle Storage Box

How to make a DIY essential oil bottle storage box with dividers to keep your bottles organized.

I may have a slight addiction to essential oils.  Each time I see a bottle of something that I don't have, I grab it because I need all the oils.  

Sadly, I didn't have the necessary storage for all of these bottles.  I was using a three drawer plastic organizer in my closet, but the bottles kept falling over.  One bottle leaked, and I had a stinky mess.  

After that debacle, I started looking for an essential oil storage box that would be compact with little wasted space and had dividers to keep my bottles organized.


I also wanted something cute because I like cute things.  Ever since I got my first Cricut die cutter and now my Silhouette Cameo, I have to paint and vinyl everything.  

So I went to Pat Catan's with a few bottles of my favorites oils, Crafty Bubbles, and set out to find a box that would fit them.  I ended up buying a blank wine bottle box because the bottles fit in it so well.  It ended up being perfect with my dividers!

13 August 2018

29 Amazing Bath Bomb Recipes

Bath bombs have exploded in popularity recently.  I've been playing with some shower bomb recipes, and I'll have some bath bomb recipes posted in the next few weeks.  I just got some adorable new molds in, and they will be perfect for fall scented bath bombs.  

Like most DIY bath and body recipes, bath bombs can have a lot of variations.  You can use different molds and essential oils to make different types of bombs.  


You can even add some herbs and other additives to your bath bombs, so I've included them in their own section below.

If you've never made bath bombs before, I recommend looking at the first section, Basic Bath Bombs, first so you get an idea on how to make them.  Then you can look at the other recipes for more ideas.


10 August 2018

DIY Argan Oil Hair Serum For Any Hair Type

This post is sponsored by Cococare.  As always, all opinions are my own.

I've used several carrier oils in my DIY beauty recipes over the years, but one oil is my favorite for both hair and skin: argan oil.  It's sometimes called liquid gold not just because of it's beautiful golden color but because of its many benefits.

Cococare argan oil can be used for both your hair and skin, so it's a versatile oil.  It's my go to oil for hair treatments because it does more than just moisturize, which I'll talk more about in a minute.


Argan oil can be used alone or in a recipe.  I use it on my hair both ways, but I really like using it with essential oils for an extra boost.


08 August 2018

Natural Bug Bite Relief Stick With Essential OIls


Get relief from bug bites with this natural bug bite relief stick made with essential oils.


A few weeks ago, I was sitting on my patio writing and keeping an eye on the kids in the pool when a mosquito thought that I would make a nice after dinner snack.  I sprayed myself with my insect repellent spray and went back to work.  

The bug bite really itched to the point where I was scratching it in my sleep and soon scabbed over.  Within a few days, it was angry red, inflamed, and hurt.  

It had gotten infected.


While it wasn't the worst injury I've ever had, it wasn't pleasant.  It was also unsightly on my leg while I was wearing shorts or capris.  

Thankfully, some antibiotic cream cleared it up in about a week.  But it really made me wish that it hadn't happened in the first place!

I started researching natural bug bite relief with essential oils.  I knew I wanted something that was soothing for the skin and antimicrobial, so I chose ingredients that would help stop an infection.  

Disclaimer:  I'm not a doctor, nor do I pretend to be one.  If you have a bug bite that's infected, go to a doctor.  Don't rely on this or any recipe you find on the Internet.  

This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

NATURAL BUG BITE RELIEF STICK WITH ESSENTIAL OILS


GREEN TEA INFUSED COCONUT OIL


I wanted this recipe to have green tea, but I didn't want to use the actual tea in the recipe because it would get messy.  So I infused the coconut oil with the green tea.  By infusing them, I get the benefits of green tea without actually leaving the tea leaves in the recipe.

Green tea is often overlooked in skin care recipes, but it's a very powerful and inexpensive ingredient.  Green tea is high in catechins, which are a type of polyphenols.

These catechins help reduce swelling, redness, and irritation, hence why I added it to this natural bug bite relief stick.  The polyphenols can also damage the membrane of bacteria.

Green tea is also high in vitamins B2 and E for your skin.  Vitamin B2 promotes collagen production, and vitamin E promote skin cell turnover for softer skin.

Coconut oil is naturally antifungal and antibacterial thanks to lauric acid and capric acid.  It's also high in medium chain fatty acids to keep skin moisturized, and they also help the skin retain its moisture.

BEESWAX 


Beeswax is very hard at room temperature, so it makes this lotion a solid for portability. But that's not the only benefit of beeswax.  Beeswax is also naturally antimicrobial.  It also forms a barrier on top of the skin, which helps seal in moisture.  This also seals in the other ingredients.

ESSENTIAL OILS


I chose peppermint, tea tree, and lavender essential oils for their unique properties.  I used lavender essential oil because it's naturally antibacterial, but it's natural properties are actually enhanced when you combine it with another oil like tea tree oil.

Lavender essential oil has been proven to promote wound healing in rats.  It help heal wounds by promoting collage production and promote tissue formation.

I chose peppermint essential oil because the menthol in it can reduce itching.  It's also calming for your skin and naturally anti-inflammatory.

Tea tree oil is my go to antimicribial essential oil.  I also added it to this bug bite relief stick because it's naturally anti-inflammatory and can reduce swelling.

CONTAINERS


I really like the cardboard push up tubes from SKS-Bottle.  They are recyclable and compostable, so they don't create waste.

You can also get cardboard tubes from Amazon or use a plastic lip balm tube.



INGREDIENTS


DIRECTIONS


STEP #1


Infuse the coconut oil and green tea.  Since coconut oil is a solid at room temperature, you have to do this over the stove or in a slow cooker.  

Place at least 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in a mason jar.  I usually do at least a cup of coconut oil since I'll use what's leftover in other recipes.

Line your slow cooker with a kitchen towel.  Add several inches of water.  Set the mason jar with coconut oil on the towel and turn the slow cooker on low.  

When the coconut oil is melted, add 2 tablespoons of green tea per cup of coconut oil.  If you use less coconut oil, just adjust your tea accordingly.  It won't hurt the recipe if you use a little less or a little more tea.

You can use a tea bag or loose tea.  One loose tea bag should have 1 tablespoon of tea, but yours might have more or less.  

I usually just use a tea bag because it eliminates the need to strain it later.
Keep the lid off the slow cooker and let it "cook" for 4 hours.  

If you used loose tea, strain the herbs out with cheesecloth or use tongs to squeeze the tea bags.  Discard the tea.  

For directions on infusing the oil on the stove, read this post on how to infuse oils with herbs.

After you infuse the oils, you can use them immediately.

STEP #2


Melt the coconut oil and beeswax in a double boiler over medium heat until the beeswax is melted.  I prefer to use beeswax pastiles because they melt quicker.  It will seem like it will never melt, but then it will start melting.


For small recipes like this one, I use a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup and set it on a canning ring and put that in a medium sized saucepan.

STEP #3


Carefully remove the measuring cup from the pan.  Let it cool until no longer steaming but not set up.  Add the essential oils.  Stir well.

STEP #4


Carefully pour into lip balm tubes or cardboard tubes.  Let cool completely before you use it.

To use, simply rub on a bug bite or other itchy area.


This thing is magic. My kids get a bug bite that itches so bad that they have to talk about it incessantly, but as soon as they use this, it's magically all better!

Seriously though, it will help.  It may not help right away, but it will help within a few minutes.  Reapply as needed.  

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