Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Moisturizing Body Wash from DIY Natural

How To Make Natural Moisturizing Body Wash by Betsy Jabs
I always crack up at those chewing gum commercials that ask, “Feeling dirty?” And their answer to cleaning up is to pop a piece of gum in your mouth. Sparkling teeth, yes. Sparkling clean body…not so much.
Homemade Body Wash
So how about getting an all-over clean feeling with a little homemade body wash? I swear it’s simple – not nearly as simple as popping in a piece of gum – but the results will surely make you more presentable.
If you have simplified your personal products, you’re probably wondering why a bar of soap won’t cut it. It will. But some of us just like a little something we can squirt on a washrag or a bath pouf to scrub-a-dub-dub with. Oh yeah, and it takes only a few minutes to make this liquid body wash – that’s far less time than it takes me to make bar soap.
With this combination of ingredients, this moisturizing body wash is gentle enough to use on your face, and also makes a rich lathering shave soap. (In fact, I recently took this on a camping trip and used it as facial cleanser, body wash, and shaving foam. It really cut down on the amount of toiletries I had to pack!)

Ingredients you’ll need

Honey – Honey is the secret ingredient in this recipe. We recently published an article about honey’s amazing benefits for the body, inside and out. Honey helps your skin retain moisture and elasticity without drying it out. This makes honey perfect for mature, dry, itchy, or damaged skin. It can also help speed the healing of blemished skin. Instead of making the body wash sticky, honey just makes it nice and smooth. Be sure to use raw, unfiltered honey.
Liquid castile soap – Using a pure liquid castile soap will ensure your body wash has enough suds, without the addition of any chemical foaming agents. Feel free to use scented or unscented castile soap. If using scented castile soap you can omit the essential oils, or go ahead and add them for their therapeutic benefits. (Note: Peppermint castile soap may be a little uncomfortably tingly on sensitive areas for some.)
Oil – Adding an oil that is easily absorbed by the skin makes this body wash extra moisturizing. Jojoba and grapeseed oil are two of my favorites. You may even find you don’t need to apply additional moisturizer after using the body wash.
Vitamin E oil – Vitamin E is repairing and moisturizing. This ingredient is an antioxidant and can help elongate the shelf life of homemade personal care products. Perfect as an addition to products during the summer or winter months when our skin may be more stressed from extreme temperatures and weather.
Essential oils – Many essential oils are perfect for troublesome skin conditions. Some of them soothe, repair, heal, disinfect, or deodorize skin. See suggestions at the end of the article for beneficial essential oils to use in your body wash.
Homemade Body Wash 1

Moisturizing Honey Body Wash



Measure out all ingredients and combine in a bottle with a squirt top, shaking to mix. Shake gently before each use. To use, squirt onto a washcloth, bath pouf, or directly onto body.
Since this recipe doesn’t contain water, it has a long shelf life of up to a year.

Essential oils for skin

When making your body wash, keep your particular skin type in mind and find a scent you enjoy. If you’re using this body wash for your baby, you may want to omit the essential oils altogether, or just add a few drops of chamomile or lavender essential oil. If children will be using the body wash, use half the suggested amount of essential oils.
My current favorite scent combination is 45 drops of lavender and 15 drops of geranium essential oil. This creates a sweet floral body wash that reminds me of summer flower beds. Use a single essential oil or have fun blending a few. Here are some suggestions:
Chamomile (German and Roman) - Great for dry and sensitive skin, acne, eczema, and dermatitis.
Geranium - Great for oily complexions, acne, mature skin, eczema, dermatitis, and other problematic skin conditions. It also brightens and revitalizes dull skin.
Grapefruit – This essential oil tones the skin and is extremely cleansing for oily skin. If using the amount suggested in the above recipe, there is no phototoxic concern.
Lavender – Very gentle and good for all skin types, including very sensitive skin. Perfect for mature skin, acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Effective in soothing itchy skin.
Palmarosa - Stimulates new cell growth, moisturizes skin, and regulates oil production. This makes it a valuable essential oil for use in any DIY skin products.
Patchouli - Antimicrobial, astringent, fungicidal, and deodorant. Great for acne, cracked and chapped skin, eczema, oily skin, and mature skin.
Peppermint –  Since peppermint is very strong, use only half the amount recommended in the recipe (or less). Cooling, refreshing, and stimulating. Has astringent properties, making it perfect for acneic skin. (Note: Avoid during first 4 months of pregnancy.)
Rosemary - Rosemary is stimulating and restorative. Useful for acne, eczema, and dermatitis. (Note: Avoid during pregnancy. Do not use if you are epileptic or have high blood pressure.)
Sandalwood – Useful for acne, dry, cracked, and chapped skin. Also great for wrinkles and mature skin.
Sweet orange - One of the only citrus essential oils that is not phototoxic, sweet orange is helpful for dull or oily skin.
Tea tree - This antibacterial oil can be nicely blended with others like lavender and peppermint. May be useful for acne, oily skin, rashes, and inflamed skin. Using too much may actually create a drying effect. You may need to experiment a little to find the right amount for your skin.
Ylang ylang – Great for general skin care, irritated skin, oily skin, or acne. Since this oil is a strong scent, add a few drops at a time until the desired aroma is achieved. (You will need much less than the amount suggested in the above recipe.)

Make it your own

Don’t limit yourself to the essential oils or ingredients recommended in this recipe.
Experiment with your favorite ingredients, and be sure to let us know how it turns out!

Note from me (Hettie):  You can find Liquid Castile Soap at Walgreens and I purchased the lavender scented one and then saved some money and skipped doing any of the essential oils.  I just started using it on my boys for their hair and as a body wash.  Sean and I will also use it.  :)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Hummingbird Festival

Saturday we spent the day at Ijams Nature Center in Knoxville for their 3rd annual hummingbird festival.  We are usually looking for something family friendly to do on our weekly Saturday family day that is cheap/free and outdoors if it isn't too hot/cold.  The place was huge and very pretty.  They have lots of trails and an exhibit center and a kids play area and a lake and a boardwalk.  For the hummingbird festival, they had vendors setup and food and of course hummingbirds.  We got to see the banding demonstration where they tag hummingbirds and then let them fly free.  They migrate from here all the way to South America and Mexico.  We had a laugh about it afterwards because these hummingbirds were in little pillowcase-like bags.  The man would pull one out and then do various checks on the bird while explaining what he was doing and discussing different characteristics of the bird.  Then he would put the tag on them and someone else would take the bird and release it.  I'm pretty sure the hummingbirds DO NOT like the hummingbird festival.  Any way, it was neat to watch.  We actually have a hummingbird feeder (and a hummingbird) on our front porch; the bird visits daily usually.  I just think they are the neatest things. 

Bagged and Tagged!

This was a part of the children's play area.  It was like a little fairytale land with these things all over the place and little wooden playhouses.  It was cute!

Totally unrelated, but I just noticed.......THIS IS MY 1000th POST!!!!!!!!! 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Nourishing Traditions

When we took the food class held by one of the ladies in our church, she had a contest, which we won!!!  Our prize was a book called Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.  It is a fantastic book with a wealth of knowledge and a ton of recipes, that we will be trying and I will try to remember to share.  Some of the recipes are a little strange, like brain omelets and heart kebobs (we will NOT be trying those), but there are many others that I look forward to making and eating.  :) 

I wanted to share some "not much time, not much money" tips that were included in the book that I find very helpful with our bustling household and not overstuffed wallets.  The tips still focus on healthy eating and better choices for your family. 

-Don't buy boxed cereal-instead oatmeal.
-Make your own salad dressing.  So easy to do!
-Always buy butter-never margarine or shortening. 
-Make meat stocks once a week.
-Better to put your money towards healthy food than vitamins. 
-Good quality dairy products are worth the price.
-Potatoes, cabbage, carrots, zucchini, onions, and broccoli are some of the cheapest vegetables, but still very nourishing.  Put butter on them!!
-Don't forget to eat high quality eggs. 
-Incorporate soups into your diet.
-Budget meals include stir fry stews and ground meat dishes.
-Buy organic whole grains and whole grain flours.
-Make your own bread.
-Learn how to make brown rice.
-Good quality fats help in times of stress. 

The book also included a section on feeding babies that I find very helpful in this blessed season of our lives.
-Wanting to get pregnant?  Eat plenty of organic eggs, butter, cream, meats, vegetables, grains, and legumes.  Also, leafy green veggies for folic acid!!!!
-Pregnant?  Eat 2 eggs a day, raw milk, meat broths.  Eliminate sugar, white flour, hydrogenated vegetables oils, and polyunsaturated fats.  Also, cutout caffeine - but I am unable to follow that rule!!! 
-Try to breastfeed for 6 months to a year.  If unable, there is a recipe to make formula, but I have not had to try it so I don't know anything about it.  I would though if I needed to. 
-Give baby one boiled egg yolk a day starting at four months, but not the white part until 1 year of age because they are unable to digest.  Put sea salt on the yolk.
-Don't start baby cereals until 1 year of age because very hard for baby to digest.  Total opposite of what we are told!!!!
-Mashed banana can be given at 6 months. 
-At 10 months age add meat, fish, fruits, and veggies one at a time to look for adverse reactions.  -Don't overdo orange veggies. 
-Give baby buttermilk or yogurt at 10 months, as well, so they get used to sour tastes. 
-Do not give juice, especially apple juice.  Sorry Andrew!!!!!!  Studies have linked failure to thrive with babies who drink a lot of apple juice. 
-Give baby raw milk when age appropriate. 
-Keep baby away from processed food as much as possible. 
-Babies should be chubby and children sturdy not slim.  Well, all my kids are skinny minis!!!! 

We are looking forward to trying these things with our new baby and are curious to see the results.  :) 

We are really enjoying everything that we have learned and our raw milk and weekly trips to the co-op for organic foods!  I enjoy eating much more now and everything tastes so much better.  I prefer to eat at home now, too, which helps with saving money to buy better foods.  I am not sure I could even ever eat fast-food again! 

Hope this is a blessing to you!  Remember, your body is God's temple-be kind to it!!  :) 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

World's Fair Park

The Sunsphere

E TN Vet Memorial

The next 3 are views from in the Sunsphere

Sean had to get his books for Fall semester from the UT bookstore (classes start next Wednesday) and after that we had a picnic lunch at World's Fair Park and went to the playground.  Then we went up in the Sunsphere and took a walk around the park.  It was NOT hot at all, which was lovely, however, it was extremely overcast and so no good for photography at all, and the thick glass in the Sunsphere did not make pictures look any better.  Heavily Photoshopping them did much to improve, but oh well.  We had fun and that is the most important thing and I enjoyed taking the pictures, too.  :) 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Smoky Mountain National Park

We have been to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge lots of times now, but never into Smoky Mountain National Park.  We decided to take a day trip there yesterday, especially while Sean is on break from school.  :)  We ate lunch in Pigeon Forge (I had been craving a steak salad from JT Hannah's for weeks) and then we went to the park.  We visited the visitor's center and then did a 2.6 mile hike to Laurel Falls.  After that we had a picnic dinner next to the river.  Almost as soon as we were done eating, it started pouring rain, so thank God we were not still on that hike!!!!  We had a great day soaking in God's glorious creation and spending time together as a family, making memories. 

View from the hiking trail

Alas, we made it to the waterfall!!

The stragglers :) 

Ryan even walked the whole 2.6 miles!!!  Hunter walked 1.3 miles.  Andrew=no miles :).

This was the sign at the start of the trail and it was VERY truthful!!!!  There were lots of steep drop-offs that made me sooooo nervous with the boys!!!!  When we had asked the rangers what was good to do, they mentioned this family friendly, paved trail........I expected something totally different!!!  Nonetheless, it was fun and we all made it back safely!

We worked up an appetite!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Taco Soup, Lemon Roasted Whole Chicken, and Homemade Disinfectant Wipes

Sean said as the chicken was cooking in the oven that it smelled like the holidays to him :)

Super easy and super tasty!!!!





Disinfecting Cleaning Wipes

You will need:

  • wide-mouth quart-size mason jar with lid (or other 4 – 6 cup capacity container with tightly-fitting lid)
  • 15-20 pieces of pre-cut cloth (we use cotton t-shirts cut into 10-inch x 10-inch squares)



Combine your liquid ingredients in the mason jar or other container of your choice. (Glass is best because essential oils will react with plastic.) Swirl or stir to combine. Add pre-cut cloths to jar and press down firmly to soak up liquid. Secure lid and tip jar upside down if needed to further moisten wipes.
Store wipes in a cool dark cupboard to preserve the properties of the essential oils.

To use:

Wring excess liquid from cloths before using. After using, rinse cloth out with clean water and use to wipe surface again if necessary. Wipes can be rinsed out or machine washed after using and returned to the container to be used again.

I think these are just great!!!!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Zoo Time

We have been enjoying our season pass to the zoo.  I think this is about the 5th or 6th time that we have been since March.  We went today and packed a picnic and we all had a great time!  Here's some pix, even though it really has nothing to do with the zoo.....just a flower in the butterfly enclosure!!!!  :)

And the boys playing at the zoo

And this is Hunter the other day holding my pink umbrella during a walk in the neighborhood

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Delicious Beef Stew

I think this may be the best beef stew I've ever had!  We used our grass fed, hormone free, non GMO free range beef stew, organic beef broth, organic garlic, an organic onion, and organic celery and carrots.  Which by the way, organic celery has such a stronger flavor.  We also were pleased to find a big thing of organic coconut oil at Sam's-money saver!!!  The rest of the ingredients we still had on hand so they are not the more healthier way.  We also did not use arrowroot because we still have cornstarch.  Enjoy!  :)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Homemade Bread


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Cove Lake State Park

Hunter finally likes swings!

Just missed Ryan chasing a gaggle of geese (yes, I had to Google gaggle).

We spent half the day at Cove Lake State Park in Corryton, TN playing on the playground, going for a walk, and eating our picnic lunch-it was a lovely day!!!!!  Some other children on the playground even got Allie to go down the slide......a bunch of times!!!  :)  I forgot my camera...thank God for camera phones :)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Food Update

We traveled to the Cruze Farm on Thursday and I say travel because it is definitely a little bit of a hike, but a very pretty drive.  We officially own a little less than 1/4th of a cow!!!!  We are getting three gallons of raw milk a week that we have to go pick up.  It tastes good; really no different from "regular milk".  I have to share the cutest story......Ryan came out to me the other day and said "Mom, we are almost done with the red milk (red because it's whole milk and that's what color the label is) and then we get to start drinking cow's milk and I'm so excited!!"  I laughed and asked him "What kind of milk is the red milk?"  And he said "It's Wal-Mart milk!!!!!"  lol  We had placed so much emphasis on the fact that we were going to a farm to get cow's milk and we had never done that before when going to Wal-Mart to get milk, of course!!!! 

Yesterday we did our first weekly grocery shopping trip to 3 Rivers.  This was a little more stressful, mostly for Sean.  Prices are WAY different than what we are used to, especially for certain products like butter, cheese, and eggs.  Everything is more expensive and not bulk for most things.  We are used to buying at Sam's.  It is going to take resourcefulness, frugality, thriftiness, and wisdom from God, but I know this is a learning experience and an adventure.  The cheese tastes soooo much better!!!  We joked and said we are going to charge the boys a quarter a slice!!!!  Also, some things there are actually cheaper like spices, garlic, and beans to name a few.  And veggies seem to be about the same price.  We purchased ripe bananas and got a bunch for 94 cents.  So, we just will keep learning.  It is also helping me to appreciate our food more, not waste, and think of ways to save money, especially in other areas of our life. 

Thank you, Lord, for helping us to learn and grow!!! 

Oh and P.S. just because something says organic at the store, research is still needed!!!  The government has a loose definition of what constitutes organic and so many companies are able to slap that label on their products when in fact it is not truly organic. 

We are off to the park!  :)