Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Easy LIP BALM & Gloss - Cold Season recipe

I know there are lots of recipes out there for creating lip balm & lip gloss - but here is a SUPER easy to make - all natural balm that not only soothes your lips - it's herbal benefits will help heal & protect them as well. This is a great lip balm to make & use during cold & flu season.
This recipe will fill about 8 lip balm tubes or 4 to 6 slide tins/lip pots.
Cold Season Lip Balm
1 Tbl melted natural beeswax
3 Tbl of sunflower OR olive oil.
4 to 6 drops of cinnamon-orange-clove essential oil
1 natural vitamin E capsule (d-tocopherol)

melt the beeswax in a small glass container, mix in the sunflower or olive oil and stir well. Pierce the vitamin capsule and squeeze the liquid into the balm. Add your essential oil blend and pour into containers using an eye dropper.
Place your lip balms in the fridge for 10 minutes to harden.

If you'd like your balm harder - add a little more beeswax, slicker - add a little more oil.
Clove - offers healing and antibacterial benefits, orange - vitamin C, cinnamon is an antiseptic and vitamin E acts as a preservative that also offers soothing/healing properties as well.

Cold Season Lip Gloss
1 Tbl melted natural beeswax
4 Tbl melted sunflower or olive oil
4 to 6 drops of cinnamon-orange-clove essential oil
1 natural vitamin E capsule (d-tocopherol)

Melt the beeswax - add other ingredients same as for lip balm above. Whip the mixture slightly with a fork while still hot and then pour into lip pots/tins or tubes.

Tips & Recycling info: Work with glass dishes when making your balms & glosses. This way if your lip balm starts to harden you can re-heat it in the microwave. Gradual 10 second bursts of power are all thats recommended for reheating your mix.
In addition to purchasing containers at craft & some beauty supply stores - you can reuse old lip balm tubes and eye shadow pots as long as you clean them well, soak in a bleach water rinse and dry thoroughly before filling.
WANT A MORE LUXURY LIP BALM? Substitute some of the oil with sweet almond, grapeseed or jojoba oil .... and/or ..... replace a teaspoon of oil with melted shea or cocoa butter.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Recipe - All Natural Hand Sanitizer

With cold & flu season upon us I'm sharing some helpful all natural herbal recipes/remedies that are easy to make and safe for you & the environment. Each week during the month of December I will share a new recipe and offer some recycling/packaging tips & suggestions to help keep these projects totally green.

All Natural Hand Sanitizer

1 cup of aloe vera gel
1.5 teaspoons of Witch Hazel
6 drops of cinnamon-orange-clove essential oil
3 drops each of tea tree & peppermint essential oils.
any other essential oils to your liking that offer antibacterial/antiseptic qualities.

Slowly begin mixing the witch hazel into the aloe gel, trying to avoid too many air bubbles.
Once fully incorporated mix in your 6 drops of essential oil.

This gel offers wonderful antiseptic, anti-bacterial properties as well as heals small cuts & abrasions. The Aloe soothes and moisturizes your skin. You will only need to apply a tiny bit of gel with each use. Less than half that of commercial/chemical sanitizers.
You'll need a small funnel if filling bottles with small openings.

Aloe vera gel is available at pharmacies & most department stores in the vitamin/medicine section. Make sure you are purchasing pure aloe gel and not a commercial sunburn soother.

I have pre-made combinations of essential oils in 30 ml bottles for sale - saving you the expense of purchasing multiple bottles of costly oils. These have dropper caps for ease of counting/pouring. They are full strength pure essential oils & a little will go a LONG way.

Packaging/Recycle tips & suggestions: use your favorite pump bottle to store your gel. If choosing to recycle - you can use empty lotion, shampoo & liquid soap bottles/tubes/containers.

Sample size bottles are great for filling & carrying in your purse.

Always clean empty containers thoroughly. I soak all my plastic containers in a small tub of a bleach-rinse solution.
To make a bleach rinse add 1/2 cup bleach to a gallon of warm water.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Homemade Apple Cider

The key to successful cider is in the apples. Choose high sugar "cold weather" apples.
Think - thicker skin better apples. Avoid thin skin apples like Macintosh.
For tart cider - choose tart apples like granny smith
Sweet cider - choose apples like golden delicious & honey crisp!

I like a well rounded cider so I recommend using a mix of Red & Golden delicious, Jonagold, Granny smith, Honey crisp & Gala.

You'll need 8 to 10 large apples.
Chop & cut out core & seeds (but leave the skin on)

If you have a juicer - lucky YOU...just push the apple pieces thru & you're ready to pasteurize your cider.

OK..for everyone else... puree those apple pieces in a food processor or blender.
Place a wire mesh strainer or a colander lined with double thick cheesecloth over a deep bowl or pitcher.

Pour the apple mash into the strainer and leave to drain. Once the juice stops flowing into the bowl or pitcher gently press the mash against the strainer or twist up the cheesecloth around the mash & squeeze the rest of the juices.

You can restrain the cider again if you like - but I love it with all the nutritious pulp.

Pasteurize: this allows your cider to "keep" in the fridge for several weeks.

Heat up the cider on the stove until it reaches 160 degrees.
(I heat the cider on low until it barely begins to simmer & steam is rolling of the top)

You can serve this as is or add some spices. I create my own mulling spices, but you can add 2 whole cloves, 1 allspice and a cinnamon stick to the simmering mix and strain before serving or create your own spice mix.

Monday, September 28, 2009

APPLE CIDER..remedies & beauty tips

This is what my apple tree looked like back in early August.
Now at the height of apple season here on the East coast, I thought it would be a good time to share a few tried & true home remedies using all natural or organic Apple Cider Vinegar.

For Pets: dry skin afflicts animals as well as humans during the fall & winter seasons. Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar & distilled water in a spray bottle & mist your dogs skin & fur once a week for itch relief & coat shine.
For hot spots (without open sores) spray full strength cider vinegar on the problem area. If your pet has sores use the 50/50 water, cider solution, it will help the skin heal while conditioning the skin.

For People: As a bath treatment - toss a cup of the cider vinegar into your bath water. It will soften your skin and help clean your tub as it goes down the drain.

As a weekly treatment to remove shampoo/conditioner build up & create shine - mix 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar to 1 cup warm water. Rinse this thru your hair after shampooing.

For a daily creme rinse & detangling is Aunt Reen's favorite recipe.... Mix 2 tablespoons of ACV with 1/2 teaspoon of jojoba oil or olive oil and 2 cups of warm water. Place in a spray bottle - shake well and mist onto hair after shampooing. Allow to soak into hair for several minutes before rinsing.
To make this even more luxurious try adding a few drops of essential oil to the rinse such as lavender,rosemary, peppermint or sage.

For dandruff - mix 1 cup vinegar with 1 quart of warm water. Use as a leave in scalp/hair rinse after shampooing. (the smell dissipates as your hair drys).

Harvest Season

Well, I can't believe it is Autumn already!
And I do feel bad that I neglected my website this summer.
For the very first time - I planted a small veggie & herb Potted Patio Garden.
Happy to say it was a huge success!

So to all you busy Moms and city/apartment dwellers ... THINK GREEN - NEXT SPRING!
If you have a wide balcony or outside porch and 6 hrs of sun each day - then you too can grow an easy to maintain edible garden.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Tulips in my Garden

Well Spring is finally here and I am just thrilled!
My tulips came up and began blooming last weekend - just in time to grace us for Easter!

My sis & I planted these amongst my rose bushes last fall.
Soon I'll be out collecting the petals to infuse in oil.
I just LOVE the smell of Tulips!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Natural Easter Egg Dyes - Living Green

Coloring eggs with spices, herbs, fruits & veggies can net color results from very pale & delicate to bold and vibrant. I prefer more vibrant colors for Easter...but for a spring luncheon - pastel eggs would make lovely table decorations. (just my personal preference)

I will share with you my Lazy Girl method of dying eggs as well as the "proper recommendation" method of dying eggs.
Please note: These are only a few options for dying eggs - there are many more "natural dyes" that you can experiment with. When placing your hard-boiled eggs into dyes - I have found that color adheres best if the shells are room temperature NOT cold.

My Lazy Girl Method
I like my eggs with all the flecks, speckles & imperfections that occur this way. For Primitive looking eggs here is what I did:
I boiled water! Then I added 1 heaping tablespoon of my dry tea, herb powder or spices to 1.5 cups of boiling water. I gave it a couple of stirs and then just plopped an egg into the cup of mush.
Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to the cooling Spice or Juice liquids before adding eggs. NOTE: Do NOT add vinegar to herbs or green veggies as it may discolor to brown.
These sat overnight in the mix.

HERE IS HOW I MADE THESE...................
The pretty blue eggs - I slightly warmed a can of blueberry sauce that I strained from the berries. After adding vinegar - I sat the eggs in the sauce for 30 minutes.
The golden egg was made using powdered Tumeric. The salmon egg from Paprika, the plum egg from Alkanet root powder, the pink egg from beet juice and the yellow egg with brown speckles from green tea & chamomile powder.
Proper Recommendation Guidelines for dyeing Eggs:
Spices - add 2 heaping tablespoons of spice to 2 cups of water.
Bring to boil then simmer 30 minutes. Let cool, strain into egg dying cup (glass or plastic) and stir in 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. Let egg sit in dye for 10 minutes to overnight.
Fruit & Veggie juices - Warm 2 cups of the juice and add 2 tablespoons of vinegar.If using canned cherries, frozen chopped strawberries, canned blueberries - simmer fruit & sauce for 30 minutes - strain and add the vinegar to the juice. You can mix 1/2 cup fruit mixture to 1.5 cups water for paler colors or use the fruit mixture full strength for darker coloring.
Chopped Herbs - if using chopped, dried or powdered herbs, teas and various plant greens like spinach & parsley - DO NOT add vinegar. It might discolor your dyes.

Here is a list of suggested materials & colors:

Yellow: from pale to golden amber Curry, Tumeric, Saffron, Carrots (finely grated)
Tan - Brown: coffee, cinnamon
Peach -Orange: Paprika, Annatto Seed powder, Carrot Juice (very pale)
Pink - Red: Canned Cherries, Beets/beetjuice, frozen strawberries
Blue - canned blueberries
Purple - concentrated grape juice.
Green - Alfalfa, chopped spinach
Pale Yellow Green - green tea with crushed sage, parsley or chamomile

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cherry Blossom Cupcakes

The Cherry Blossoms are blooming here in the DC area!

Did you know there are a total of 3000 trees planted along the Tidal Basin?

When asked to make cupcakes this week - I decided to make cherry chip in honor of the Cherry Blossom Festival.
They are simply white cupcakes with chopped maraschino cherries in the centers.
I decorated the top of the cupcakes to look like cherry blossom branches.

Friday, March 6, 2009

A View of Life from my Window

I look for the sunset every evening - and in its blaze or pastel dim.....
I embrace the stillness and savor it's divine beauty.
And I'm grateful for the day that God has given me.
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