OH MY WORD Soft-Hands Balm

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This stuff stays on your skin (even hands!) for a long time even when you’re busy moving about. I have made many oil mixes, salves, balms, creams, etc, and this is by far my favorite one. My daughter and I have been rubbing our hands together all morning to feel the softness. ๐Ÿ™‚ This would make a great homemade Christmas gift!

OH MY WORD Soft-Hands Balm recipe:

  • 1 oz bar of beeswax with an amazing smell
  • 1 Tbsp Jojoba oil
  • 2 Tbsp Sweet Almond Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 heaping Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • a small squirt of honey
  • a few drops each of lavender and chamomile (I used my own pre-made blend I call “CALM down” which has slightly more lavender than chamomile.)

Melt in the microwave in a glass container till completely liquid. (You can also do this on the stove, but steer clear of heating glass on the stovetop…I may have broken a jar that way before.) ๐Ÿ˜€ Be careful…I suggest letting it sit in the microwave a little while till you can pick it up and mix it. If it has hardened by that point, just melt it again a few seconds. Pour into containers while liquid and place in the fridge to harden. I love saving containers for this purpose, but you can also find empty, new containers on amazon.com.

All of these ingredients can be found on Vitacost at a low price! I love the things I get from Vitacost, and have had great customer service since the very beginning. I highly recommend them, and I highly recommend spending $49 (especially on products you’d normally purchase anyway) to get free shipping. ๐Ÿ™‚ย Here is my referral link for you to get $10 off, and me to get $10 off. Thank you!ย 

The many wonders of essential oils continue!

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I made a bug spray a while ago with some citronella and tea tree. If you have ever smelled those two oils, you know how crazy strong that spray smelled! So I started doing some research and found a few more oils to add, and also repel more types of insects.

I started using this on my lil dachshund to repel fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes out here in the woods around home or for use when we go for a hike. It’s safe enough to use on our skin, baby’s skin, and lil Tucker. When we got our chickens, I sprayed this on them as well. They roll around and make a “dust bath” to clean themselves off and eat the bugs, but because they can’t possibly get all of them, and just to keep them less irritated, I sprayed them. It ruffled their feathers a bit at first, but they were happy afterward.

If you want to try this out for yourself or your little ones (animal or human) :), play around with some of these oils and don’t you dare toss it if you don’t like the scent! Just add some other oils till you get a pleasing-ish scent. I’d start out with just a little at a time so it’s not too strong. And the first time you put it on yourself or anyone else, just dab a tiny bit to make super sure there won’t be any reaction to anything you used.

My bug spray is made with these oils (in a carrier oil-I think I used olive oil…you can also use alcohol, witch hazel, and vinegar), because they repel these insects…

  • citronella- mosquitoes, ants, fleas…
  • tea tree-ย mosquitoes, ants…
  • eucalyptus- mosquitoes, fleas…
  • peppermint- mosquitoes, ants, ticks…
  • lavender- mosquitoes, ticks…
  • lemon- mosquitoes, fleas…

Not only has it effectively repelled fleas and ticks (even on my low-rider puppy who likes to roll in piles of leaves & grass & things in the woods), but also mosquitoes…and more recently, ANTS! This killed the ants on contact, and has continued to repel them for a little over a week so far! It is safe enough to spray on your counters and all over the kitchen. But as always, each body may respond differently, be careful with essential oils if you’re pregnant or nursing (as with everything else!), and I don’t really suggest anyone drinking the bottle…although I’m not sure there would really be any horrible side-effects if you got it in your mouth. ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you have other oils, google the names along with “repel insects” or whatever specific insect you’d like to repel. There are so many uses for each oil, and with their powers combined, they are Captain Planet!!! work even better! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Cleaning House the All-Natural Way!

**EDITED 6/3/13…The gel air freshener at the bottom of this post, while pretty looking, smells good for only a few days. I couldn’t figure out what the bad smell was till I changed out all my air fresheners. That one smelled terrible and had become liquid instead of gel. I will be sticking with the baking soda + essential oils air freshener from now on! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

***PLEASE READ 1ST*** I am not a Dr, a Naturopathic Dr, an Herbalist, or anything of the sort. I am a mom who is passionate about her family’s and friends’ health andย well-being. Please do your own research whenever you read blogs or articles and then do your own “testing” to find out if these things are true for you as well. There are things that have been used for years and years for a specific purpose with little to no scientific studies to back them up. But for certain things like garlic as an antibiotic when I have a sickness…I could read 5 studies “de-bunking” its ability (I haven’t found those FYI) and I’d still continue to do it because I am convinced that the natural way is the healthy way. Lots of Great Grandmas did many of these things and many of those GG’s lived for a loooong time. Just sayin. Also, please do not feel like I am judging you or your utilization of popular meds/products. It was fairly recently I came to these conclusions for myself and I am still learning a ton! If you’re on the fence, it’s fairly cheap and it can’t HURT your health. ๐Ÿ™‚ OK, continue…

When a woman gets pregnant, she is told to avoid “X” types of foods and eat more of “Z” types. The list of things to avoid is even larger with medications/chemicals of any sort. My hubby has been in construction (many specialties) for years, so he has worked with all kinds of chemicals and chemically laced products. So as soon as we got this list, he would clean himself very well and change his clothes (usually putting them straight in the wash) before hugging me. ๐Ÿ™‚ I started looking a little closer at the cleaning products I was using and reading some articles on how safe they were to touch (absorbs through skin into blood stream) and breathe in (sprays, gels, anything). Keith and I both had childhood asthma as kids so we thought for sure our kid had 2 strikes against her in that area. These are just a few reasons why I started this whole journey.

Here are just a few benefits of a few of my favorite oils…there are sooo many more!)

  1. Lemon-very uplifting (antidepressant), natural bleach,ย anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiviral. If you don’t have the oil, you can use a lemon rind! (that’s where the oil comes from) ๐Ÿ™‚
  2. Tea tree-FAVORITE! ๐Ÿ™‚ Anti bacterial, anti microbial, anti septic, anti viral, anti-fungal, decongestant (meaning, when you clean with it and breathe it in, it could actually HELP you!)
  3. Lavender-(I need to do more research on this, but if you believe you are allergic, perhaps your oil is secretly synthetic?)ย Anti-fungal, antiseptic, calming (Ahhh…cleaning…) ๐Ÿ˜‰
  4. Eucalyptus-Anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-infectious, antiseptic, insecticidal
  5. Clove-Antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-infectious
  6. Orange-antiseptic, antidepressant
  7. Thieve’s oil blend (or “Crooks”, a cheaper blend of the same oils…from MI, WOO WOO!)

A few of my favorite recipes…

All-Purpose Cleaner: This oil blend smells wonderful and the little vinegar you can smell goes away when it dries. And it’s SO much better than bleach!

-Spray bottle
Vinegarย ย <–so many uses! [Sidenote on Bleach vs. Vinegar…Yes, bleach is powerful killer (we can tell by the way it burns our lungs and nose hairs!), but it can also be very harmful to our health and maybe not work as well as we may think…I have read many articles on bleach “bleaching” or just changing the color and possibly not killing so much. From personal experience, I am convinced that my vinegar blend works far better for killing mold/mildew.]
-Essential Oils…Choose a few, my favorite blend for an All-Purpose spray is lemon, orange, tea tree, and lavender.

Mold/Mildew Killa: See above. ๐Ÿ™‚ My experience is from our poorly ventilated bathroom. When we moved in, the ceiling was covered in black polka dots. (GROSS! Mold/mildew) Hubby would spray the ceiling with bleach (“Hide my towels!!!”), leave it to sit for a few minutes, and come back with a cloth/scrubby to clean it off. It seemed to work, till about a week later when they started to, not just come back, but come back all at once, all over the whole ceiling again. (Hmm.) When we started using this blend, the mold/mildew didn’t come back for at least 4 weeks. And when dots started to appear, they came a few at a time, not all at once. ๐Ÿ˜€ (Yeah, I know, we need to fix the root of the problem.)

-Spray bottle
-Vinegar โค See above.
-Essential oil blend of tea tree, lavender, & lemon. (Some people suggest Thieves blend.) I’m planning on adding my new clove oil next time!

Air Freshener: Every few days, I shake up the baking soda mix a little and the scents are released a little more! I change these about every week-2 weeks or sooner if needed.

-Small, shallow dish
-A small amount (I use about 1/4 c) of Baking soda (absorbs odors)
-Your favorite aromatic essential oils

Gel Air Freshener: I can’t claim this one, but I did try it out. I still love mine (above) because it actually absorbs odors in addition to giving off a yummy scent, but this one is pretty. ๐Ÿ™‚

Would you like a recipe for something I didn’t mention? It may be something I use or could at least find for you. Let me know!

Are you trying to find essential oils you can afford? If you use my link for your first Vitacost order, you will get $10 off your order, and so will I! I buy most of my oils and supplements through Vitacost. They are very affordable and have sales often! They also carry things like shelf-stable almond milk, chia seeds, other food & snacks, sunscreen and other beauty products, baby care products, sports/fitness products, pet stuff…just all kinds of things! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love Vitacost!

Do-it-Yourself Ollas

 Some days are yogurt & fruit popsicle days…

 And others are homemade Maple View ice cream days! Mmmm…

It has been quite hot here! And speaking of hot, I have a fun gardening find for you to try out! We recently found some plans for do-it-yourself ollas…An olla is a slow-watering pot and can be pricey and difficult to find. Since we…ok, fine, I’ll own it I have trouble remembering to water the plants daily, this is an excellent option to at least try out. 
We found these terra cotta pots (we are trying 2 different sizes) at Home Depot and they were very cheap. We also visited the discount area in the tile section and found a large and very inexpensive tile to break up & cover the bottom with. We had Gorilla glue already, and it is waterproof, so we used that. Here is a picture of one of them in use…

I found some flat rocks to cover the tops with. This picture shows how well it is working! The ground around the olla is wet…just enough to keep the roots of the tomatoes around it moistened. And as you can see, the area outside that is dry! I think this means it is working great! We have yet to fill them up again. I believe we put these in on Sunday afternoon, so I will report back and let you know how long it takes till they’re empty again. We also started some cuttings from these plants using rooting hormone, so I will let you know how that works after a few more days.

On a separate note, I got a Vitacost order today! (Click the link for $10 off your first order and I’ll get $10 off as well! Thanks!) Some of this is from a “Be” box…$13 for $70 worth of items from a certain category with free shipping, some are free samples, and some are to replenish my essential oil/supplement collection. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have already used some of my supplements and added some oils to my homemade eczema balm. I am so excited to see the results! I love Vitacost! I strongly suggest you check it out if you haven’t yet. So many great products at such great prices.