22 August 2019

Tips for Caregivers of Elderly

Thank you to Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield for sponsoring this post. As always, all enthusiasm is my own.

I'm in what's known as the sandwich generation. It's that time in my life where I'm taking care of my kids and my parents, and I'm sandwiched between them.

I have three kids at home, two with special needs, and I'm also the primary caregiver for my mother. She's in her late 60s, so she's not that old, but she has some medical issues, and needs some help in order to live independently.

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She functions okay for her daily living, but she needs help cleaning, shopping, going to doctor's appointments, and with managing her finances right now.

She’s my mom and of course I'll do everything I can, but it's hard. I work full time and homeschool my kids, so it can get crazy fitting it all into my day.

If you're part of the sandwich generation, there is help. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plans offer access to healthcare services that I was pleasantly surprised to find out about.

20 August 2019

Calendula and Lavender Fluffy Whipped Soap Recipe for Dry Skin

This calendula and lavender fluffy whipped soap recipe is easy to make with melt and pour soap.  It has real calendula and lavender and natural essential oils.  

My skin is dry in the summer from the sun and swimming almost daily.  In the winter, it's dry because of the cold dry air.  Basically, my skin is dry all the time.

I use a moisturizer every day and use moisturizing soaps and body washes.  When my skin gets really dry, it's extremely itchy and annoying.

Two of my favorite herbs for dry or irritated skin are calendula and lavender.  They work well together to reduce itching and help the skin recover.

How to make fluffy whipped soap. This DIY recipe doesn't use a base and uses melt and pour soap instead. It has lavender and calendula for dry skin. Use this homemade recipe for shaving cream or a foaming frosting style soap. This herbal soap is fun to use and cleanses your skin. This awesome fun tutorial is great for aults and kids. It also has ideas for cute packaging too. #fluffy #whipped #soap #diy

I used both the herbs to make the calendula and lavender fluffy whipped soap recipe.  This is a fun recipe, and it's great to use as a shaving soap.

It's also fun for kids.  It almost feels like a dry shaving cream.  It's fun to play with while washing hands, especially with kids who like a little extra sensory input.

Most fluffy whipped soap recipes use a base.  I haven't used the base, and I already have a closet full of supplies.

I wanted to make my own DIY whipped soap, so I came up with my own recipe for my mermaid whipped soap from melt and pour soap.

I used the same recipe and technique for this recipe, and I love how it turns out.

16 August 2019

Succulent Bath Bombs DIY With a Bath Melt on Top For Dry Skin

This adorable succulent bath bomb recipe is made with coconut milk powder and shea butter to moisturize skin.  It also has a cute bath melt succulent on top for more moisturizing for your skin.

I love it when I can get creative with my DIY projects, like this succulent bath bombs DIY.  I love my succulent mold, so I was brainstorming ideas and new projects to make using it.

I'd already made soap, so bath melts seemed like a good idea.  My daughter wanted some more bath bombs, and I thought why not put the bath melt on top of a bath bomb?

How to make cute DIY succulent bath bombs. These fake succulents would make a unique gift idea. This homemade bath bomb recipe is made with Epsom salt, baking soda, and essential oil and without cornstarch. It is full of fizzy bubbles when it hits the water.  Get ideas for home made bath bombs with a pretty succulent bath melt on top. I used the best bath bomb molds that are sturdy.  It's a plain circle mold, so there's no special one needed. #bathbomb #diy #succulent

This succulent bath bombs DIY is adorable, so it would even be cute just sitting in the bath.  When you drop it into the water, it fizzes and releases the butters and coconut milk powder to moisturize your skin.

These bath bombs DIY are very moisturizing, so they are excellent for dry skin.  The bath melts have shea butter, cocoa butter, and aloe vera powder for your skin.  The bath bombs have more shea butter and powdered coconut milk for dry skin.

13 August 2019

Moisturizing Succulent Bath Melt Recipe With Emulsifier and Shea Butter

This adorable succulent bath melt recipe with emulsifier is made with an emulsifier and shea butter for soft skin.  The oils mix with the water for all over moisturizing.

I'm glad that succulents are trending right now because they are so cute.  I'd love to have them all over my home, but I have cats.

Carly would probably ignore them like she ignores everyone and everything, but Chloe would be playing soccer with them and eating them.

How to make diy bath melts. This easy recipe has shea butter, cocoa butter, and essential oils and is without citric acid. Get DIY bath and body ideas and fun tutorials and crafts to make. These homemade bath melts are shaped like succuelents.  They are moisturizing and great for dry skin.  If you need gift ideas for her or for teachers or for friends, try this.  #bathmelt #succulent

So for now, I use my soap mold to decorate with succulents.  I've made soaps and sugar scrub soaps, and this time I made a bath melt recipe with emulsifier.

Bath melts are easy to make and use.  You just put one or two of them in the bath and they melt, releasing the oils into the water.

I add an emulsifier to my bath melts so the butters and oil mix with the water.  This recipe is great for dry skin, too.

While they are great bath products on their own, I made extras to make succulent bath bombs.  I'm posting those Thursday, so come back to get that tutorial.

08 August 2019

Unicorn Sugar Scrub Exfoliating Soap Bar Recipe

How to make a unicorn sugar scrub exfoliating soap bar recipe.  This cute bar is full of glitter and smells like Unicorn Kisses with a natural fragrance oil blend.

I've been making melt and pour soap for something like 15 years now.  I'm not a noob, but that doesn't mean that every project comes out perfect.

I prefer not to say mistakes because I did learn something from the experience.  So we will channel Bob Ross and call it a happy accident.  

A few weeks ago, I picked up an adorable unicorn soap mold.  It was fairly large, so I decided to make some layered ombre unicorn soaps.

How to make unicorn exfoliating bar soap to remove dead skin. How to make unicorn embeds for a sugar scrub soap recipe. Use white and clear melt and pour soap base for this tutorial. This is a great gift ideas products for friends or teachers. It has additives like oil and sugar for your skin. This fun unicorn designs uses a soap mold.  This simple fun tutorials is great for beginners. DIY recipe with a cute design. #soap #unicorn

I got out my supplies, I melted, and I started pouring.  I was so excited to unmold it, but that excitement left as soon as I saw what it looked like.  

To be fair, Dakota loved the ombre unicorn soaps.  She declared it the best soap ever.  I mean it was purple, glittery, and shaped like a unicorn, so there's that.

It wasn't a total flop.  It was cute, but you couldn't really tell that it was ombre.  I went from clear to deep purple, but it just looked purple.   

I went back and forth on posting it. From the top it was purple and glittery.  It just seemed rather basic.  I want to give you more than just how to pour soap into a mold.

So I turned it into a unicorn sugar scrub exfoliating soap bar recipe.  It's a great bar for the shower, especially before shaving because it exfoliates the skin.  

06 August 2019

Healthy Banana Bread Recipe No Sugar

This easy healthy banana bread recipe can be made in one bowl.  It has no refined sugar and white whole wheat flour.

I have two picky eaters.  I am fully prepared to plan a gourmet chicken tender meal for my oldest son's wedding.  My younger son will most likely have chicken nuggets at his, probably catered from Chick Fil A.

For the first few years of their lives, they ate great.  They didn't get any added sugar or salt, and I did everything right as far as their eating.  I made their baby foods, I cooked from scratch, and they had plenty of opportunity to try new foods.

Easy healthy banana bread recipe. This moist homemade recipe can be made in one bowl. Make a skinny quick bread with white whole wheat flour, no sugar, no nuts and eggless. This is the best recipe for a banana bread with low calories. It can also be made into muffins or mini loaves. #bananabread #healthy #skinny

Then it all changed.  When David was 7, he would eat seven different foods, all of them soft and full of carbs.  We did swallow studies and tests, blood work, therapies, and everything we could think of with limited success.  

Kids with autism who have feeding issues won't "eat when they are hungry" or "grow out of it."  We tried not offering him extra foods per the doctor's advice.  

On day 3 of no food at all, I couldn't do it anymore.  They will literally starve themselves if they don't like the taste or texture of the food.

So I became the master of sneaking in nutrition where I could.  Mind you, this was before all of those books about sneaking veggies into your kid's food.  I was a trendsetter and didn't know it.

This was a kid who would spit out any peanut butter other than Jif, even if I put another brand inside the Jif container.  He could tell what brand of nuggets I was making based on scent alone.  

Nothing got past this kid.  I had to learn how to add fruits and veggies into his diet very discretely.  I also had to get sneaky with my choice of flours and sugars.

Luckily, he would eat bread.  Breads are the easiest things to make to sneak in extra veggies and fruits.  

01 August 2019

Natural Skin Care At Home 6 Easy Recipes

Six easy recipes for natural skin care at home.  These recipes use four essential oils and common and inexpensive ingredients to make six different recipes.

I've been making a real effort to use only natural skin care at home the last few years.  I switched to natural skin care products and I do make my own scrubs, masks, and other skin care products.

My daughter is only 12-years-old, so she's a little young for skin care, but she's not too young to learn how to use natural products for her skin and overall wellness.

  DIY natural skin care recipes with essential oils, aloe vera, apple cider vinegar, honey, and coconut oil. Make a simple skincare routine with homemade face masks, scrubs, acne treatments, and other DIY beauty ideas. Includes 6 simple home remedies and beauty hacks to make the best natural products for your skin. Learn the benefits of using natural ingredients for skin care at home. #essentialoils #skincare

I hope that by seeing me use natural products, she'll want to and have the knowledge to do it herself when she gets older.

I got my August 2019 Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box a little early to share with all of you.  This month's theme is natural skin care at home.  It has 6 easy recipes plus a diffuser blend that you can make to use while you're pampering your skin.


This post is separate by steps, but I wouldn't necessarily use them all in one day.  You should be able to use the roll on, the toner, and the moisturizer daily, but I don't typically use a scrub and a steam in the same day.

I have oily skin, so I exfoliate with a natural facial scrub about once a week.  I also use a mask once a week for natural skin care at home, but I use the mask 3-4 days after I exfoliate to give my skin a chance to recover.

If  you use all of these at the same time, you could irritate your skin.  Think of this as a good chance to pamper your skin all month instead of in just one day.


If you're new to making your own natural skin care at home or essential oil recipes, the Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box is a great way to get started.  Each month, you get a box with six recipes, four oils, and supplies you need to make everything.

If you use my code EVERYTHINGPRETTYFREE when you order, you also get a free bonus box filled with bottles and some oils that you'll need and you'll get a $40 gift card for a future purchase.

You can use the gift card for your next box or for more oils.

If you don't have a lot of supplies or oils yet, this is a great way to get oils at a great price.  This is a great price just for the oils, let alone the recipes and other ingredients.


The August 2019 Simply Earth recipe box is all about natural skin care at home.  It has 6 recipes plus a bonus diffuser blend that you can make at home.

The August natural skin care at home box comes with:



  • 1/2 tablespoon oatmeal
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon almond oil
  • 2 drops frankincense essential oil


Grind the oatmeal and brown sugar in a food processor.  Add honey and stir.  Combine the frankincense and almond oil in a separate bowl.  Add the essential oil and carrier oil to the oats and sugar mixture.  Stir well.

Wet face, apply scrub to face in a circular motion.  Rinse well and pat dry.  Use once a week for natural skin care at home.



  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 drops rosemary essential oil
  • towel


Pour the hot water into a bowl and add rosemary essential oil.  Lean over bowl and drape a towel over your head to create a tent.  You should be close enough to feel the steam, but far enough away that you don't feel uncomfortable. 

Let your face steam for 5 to 10 minutes.  Use this natural skin care at home recipe once a week or every two weeks.



  • 2 teaspoons aloe vera gel
  • 1 drops Clear Skin blend
  • 1 tablespoon distilled water
  • Reusable sheet mask


Combine the aloe vera and essential oil in a bowl.  Stir well.  Put the sheet mask in another bowl and pour water over it.  It will expand.  Dip the mask into the aloe mixture and place on face for 10 to 15 minutes.  Wash with a mild cleanser or liquid castile soap after you remove the mask.

More DIY sheet mask recipes for natural skin care at home:



  • 2 tablespoons lavender hydrosol
  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 ounce container


Add all of the ingredients to the 2 ounce container.  Shake to combine.

Use a cotton ball to apply to your face after cleansing.



  • 3/4 cup aloe vera gel
  • 2 tablespoons lavender hydrosol
  • 2 tablespoons distilled water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons beeswax
  • 1/4 cup almond oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 8 drops frankincense
  • 2 drops clove essential oil (omit for sensitive skin)
  • Blender


Use a double boiler to melt the beeswax and coconut oil.  Remove from heat, add the almond oil, and stir.  Let cool to solidify.

In a separate bowl, combine the aloe vera gel, water, and hydrosol.  Use a blender to combine the oil mixture and the aloe mixture and mix until creamy.  This can take several minutes.  Stir in essential oils.  

Store in the fridge because this does not have a preservative.  



  • 8 drops Clear Skin blend
  • 10 ml almond oil
  • 10 ml roller bottle


Add the essential oils to the roll on bottle. Fill with the almond oil.  Roll it between your hands to combine.  Apply directly to blemishes twice a day.  Do not sure all over your face.



  • 2 drops frankincense
  • 1 drops clove
  • 1 drop rosemary


Add to an essential oil diffuser as needed.  You can also create a master blend with 50 drops frankincnese, 25 drops clove, and 25 drops rosemary.  Add 1-3 drops of this blend to your diffuser.  

These recipes for natural skin care at home are so easy to make!  The Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe box is available only in August, so order now if you'd like to make these recipes.  They usually do sell out.

Next month's theme is soap.  I'll have the recipes and what is included later this month.

If you use my code EVERYTHINGPRETTYFREE to order, you get a free bonus box plus a $40 gift card for a future purchase.  You can use the gift card on another box or on supplies or oils.

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  DIY natural skin care recipes with essential oils, aloe vera, apple cider vinegar, honey, and coconut oil. Make a simple skincare routine with homemade face masks, scrubs, acne treatments, and other DIY beauty ideas. Includes 6 simple home remedies and beauty hacks to make the best natural products for your skin. Learn the benefits of using natural ingredients for skin care at home. #essentialoils #skincare

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