Browsing Category: Natural Remedies

DIY Orange Vanilla Handcream

I’m picky about what I put on my skin and even pickier about what I put on my son’s. Many beauty products on the market are chock full of toxic ingredients. There are some fantastic organic, non-toxic varieties out there however you certainly pay a premium for them which is why making your own is a great solution.  This recipe sounds so good I want to eat it! :)

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Orange Vanilla Handcream (for full recipe & instructions visit Blah Blah Magazine)

You’ll Need:

  • 12 g/0.4 oz cocoa butter
  • 12g/0.4 oz beeswax
  • 30ml/1 fl oz almond oil
  • 10 drops of carrot or borage seed oil
  • 10 drops orange or tangerine and vanilla essential oils (optional)

DIY Hair Conditioner

Summer is here (well not quite officially but almost). I love this time of year but it’s no secret the heat, humidity, chlorine from swimming pools, salt from ocean water and the sun can really reek havoc on our skin and hair. No need to go out and buy an expensive hair conditioner when you can make one at home that’s completely non-toxic.  Here are a few of my favorites!

DIY Nourshing Hair Mask – found on Whole Living

  • 1/2 c yogurt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 egg

Apply mask after shampooing. Leave on for 20 minutes and then rinse with warm water.

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Hair Dressing – DIY Hair Conditioner You Can Eat – found on Whole Foods

  • 1 cup water

  • 4 sprigs of rosemary

  • 5-8 drops of rosemary essential oil

  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1/4 of a lemon (optional; lemon can lighten hair if exposed to sunlight while mixture is on hair)

1) Bring the water to a boil. Add in 4 sprigs of rosemary and lower heat to simmer in a covered pot for 45 minutes.

 

2) Strain into a non-breakable mixing bowl let cool to a warm – not hot – temperature.

 

3) Once the rosemary-infused water is warm, whisk in remaining ingredients slowly and thoroughly.

 

Note: mixture will have a liquid consistency, so it’s best to head to the shower for application.

 

4) Apply mixture to dry hair and scalp, coating thoroughly either by pouring it directly on the hair from the roots or by dunking the strands into the bowl and working it upward with your hands.

 

5) Wrap hair into a bun and cover with plastic wrap to help contain the treatment and help it to penetrate the hair shaft.

 

6) Allow 30 minutes of “marinating” time and follow with shampoo.

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Use Vinegar To Kill Weeds

When we moved into our house a couple of years ago we inherited an amazing garden that somehow stayed weed free for years.  I’m not sure how the previous owner was able to pull that off, but it seems reign over the weeds has ended, much to my displeasure.  So, I am on a mission to maintain her legacy, and once again eradicate the weeds from our garden!  I’ve tried pulling them out, which works for some of the weeds, but others have roots that just don’t want to come out, and the tops just break off.  Then they just come right back.  This looks to be my best option so far, mostly all natural, with the exception of a small squirt of dish soap.  I found this recipe on Alternative Gardening, an amazing resource for gardening, gardening naturally, and gardening with kids.  Here is what they had to say:

Homemade Weed Killer

What you’ll need:

  1. 1 gallon of white vinegar
  2. 1/2 cup salt
  3. Liquid dish soap (any brand)
  4. Empty spray bottle

Put salt in the empty spray bottle and fill it the rest of the way up with white vinegar. Add a squirt of liquid dish soap. This solution works best if you use it on a hot day. Spray it on the weeds in the morning, and as it heats up it will do its work.

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Coconut Vanilla Body Scrub

If you’re not someone who exfoliates year round, it’s good to at least do so in these warmer months so your exposed skin stays smooth and moisturized.  My favorite way to accomplish this is via homemade body scrubs.  With just a few simple ingredients I don’t have to worry if it contains something  harmful to my body.  And let’s face it homemade scrub is far cheaper!  I loved this one and will be honest, coconut and vanilla is a combination that’s pretty hard to beat in my book!

This recipe was adapted from Natural Vitality Living

Coconut Vanilla Body Scrub

Makes about 1 pint

  • 1 cup coarse sugar
  • t tsp real vanilla
  • 1/3 cup sea salt (I also like to use pink Himalayan salt)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil

Combine all ingredients until it’s the texture of wet sand and then store it in an airtight container (I like to use canning jars). Store at room temperature.

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Sugar Scrub Cubes

I was trying to find a mother’s day present that I could help my boys make that my wife would really like.  We are running out of space for all of the art projects my kids create at home and at school, so I figured helping them make something she could use would be great!  My wife and I made sugar scrub for her sister’s baby shower favors, and she really loved using all of the leftover, which is now gone.  So, when I saw this, I knew she would love it, and my kids would be able to do almost all of the work to get it done!  I found these instructions on TheIdeaRoom.net, and here is what they say about the process:

Here is what you will need:

  1. Almond Oil or Coconut Oil (or oil of your choice)
  2. White Granulated Sugar
  3. Shredded Bar of Soap
  4. An Essential Oil (I used DoTerra’s Citrus Bliss)
  5. Mixing Bowl
  6. Spoon
  7. Microwave and possibly a double boiler
  8. A mold or a scoop

Sugar Scrub Cubes:

1/4 cup Almond Oil

1/2 cup Shredded Soap

3-4 drops of Essential Oil

1 cup Sugar

1.  Pour the oil into a bowl and add the shredded soap of your choice.  Microwave this on high for 10 second intervals stirring in between each.  If this does not work to slowly melt your soap into your oil you may have to melt the soap shaving in a double boiler.  (If you don’t have a double boiler like me, simply place a small bowl over a saucepan filled with boiling water).

2.  When the mixture is melted and and stirred together, add several drops of your Essential Oil.

3.  Get your mold ready to go before adding the sugar.  This is important because once the sugar is added the scrub will harden VERY quickly.

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4.  Pour in sugar and stir quickly.  Take mixture and place it into your molds with your fingers.  Or…if you don’t have a mold you can take a scoop and make rounded sugar “cubes”.

5.  Let cubes harden by popping them into the freezer for at least 30 minutes.  Then pop them out of the mold and cut them into fourths depending on the size you would like them to be.

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Whipped Coconut Oil & Lime Body Butter

Coconut oil is a staple around our house.  We use it to cook and bake as well as for a moisturizer.  It smells divine and my favorite part is that it’s all natural and non-toxic.  In fact I can even eat it which makes me feel better putting it onto my skin & especially my 12 month old!  I love this simple little twist.  Not only would it be great for at home use but would make a fantastic gift!

To make it you’ll need:

1/2 cup coconut oil

20 drops of lime oil (or your favorite essential oil)

A jar (the volume will double so make sure you have a jar that will fit at least a cup)

Whip the coconut oil with an electric mixer until it becomes soft.  Once it’s soft add the oil.  Mix a bit more and voila! Just be sure to note the expiration date on the coconut oil and store it in a cool, dry place.  Most of all enjoy!

Recipe found on Blah Blah Magazine

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Fight Mosquitoes Naturally

I am not sure why, but mosquitoes don’t really bother me.  I’m not sure if that they don’t bite me, or if their bites just don’t really bother me.  My oldest son is the same way.  However, my wife and my youngest get obliterated by mosquitoes!  They get these huge welts, their faces blow up, and generally, it is just not a good time for them.  So, I love being outside in the warm weather, I love eating dinner outside, being in the woods, boating etc., but my wife and little one tend to shy away due to their adverse reaction to being bitten by mosquitoes.  So this year, I plan to spend a lot more time outdoors with my wife and little one!  I started researching good natural ways to keep the mosquito population down, and here is what I came up with:

  1. Bats:  Bats are one of the best ways to actually get rid of mosquitoes, not just keep them away.  One bat can eat up to 600 mosquitoes in a single hour! Here is a link to the bat house I have.  Plus, you will be doing the world a favor by giving bats a home.  They are on the decline, and need safe places to live!
  2. Marigolds:  Marigolds are easy to grow, and make a great border flower.  Plus skeeters hate the smell of them!  Get 500 seeds for $2.50 here!
  3. Tea Tree Oil:  Some people don’t like the smell, but I happen to enjoy it.  You can put it in a spray bottle with water, 1 part tea tree oil to 3 parts water, and spray it on.  Repels ticks too! You can buy it here, and get a free tea tree soap too!
  4. Mosquito Traps:  Mosquito traps are easy to make, and will trap and kill hundreds of mosquitoes.  But, if you are going to use a bat house, I would suggest leaving the mosquitoes for them, and skipping the trap.  Here is a link to an easy natural mosquito trap.
  5. Catnip:  Catnip is cheap and easy to grow.  But while you may be keeping the mosquitoes away, you may be inviting the neighborhood cats! Buy seeds here!
  6. Herbs:  Basil, lemongrass and rosemary are great additions to any herb garden.  Keep your herb garden in pots where you spend your time outdoors at your house, and you can keep the mosquitoes at bay while you’re at it!  At your next barbecue, try throwing some rosemary or sage onto the grill.
  7. Pyrethrum Daisies:  These I love!  They look great, and supposedly not only repel, but kill mosquitoes as well.  You can buy them here.
  8. Citronella Plant:  I have these in hanging baskets all over my deck.  Just give them a rub when you get outside, and they release their amazing mosquito repelling scent!  Buy one here.
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Bat House

 

 

Homemade Organic Laundry Detergent

Laundry detergent is just one of those things that we have to buy all of the time, and it is not cheap at all.  For a family of four, it seems like we are constantly doing laundry.  I can only imagine the effect that all of that laundering is having on the environment.  This recipe is for an all natural DIY laundry detergent that will not only help save the environment, but will also save your wallet!  If you have hard water at your house, this detergent may even work better than your typical store bought detergents.  It is worth giving it a try!  I got this recipe from ProjectGreenify, and they have recipes for a few other types of detergents, including liquid if you prefer that.

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DIY Rosemary Lavender Chest Rub

My little guy recently had some congestion.  I had a warm mist vaporizer by his crib every night and used some rosemary oil along with it thinking it may help.  This all made me think of my childhood.  My mom used to slather our feet and chest in Vick’s.  Just the thought of it makes me squirm.  I used to despise the smell of it but even worse was the super thick consistency.  I had never thought to make my own version until I found this DIY Rosemary Lavender Chest Rub on Five & One.  I’m thinking this would be a much more pleasant way to break up the congestion of a nasty winter cold.

 

 

Two of My Favorite Books for Wellness

I’m a big fan of Kris Carr, the author of Crazy Sexy Diet and Crazy Sexy Kitchen, not to mention a New York Times best selling author.  She’s a true wellness warrior.  After being diagnosed with one of the rarest cancers known, she decided to take her health seriously and went on a quest to find out how she can be active in her own wellness.  She has done loads and loads of research on how ones diet can really effect health and shares many of her great recipes and other wisdom in her latest book, Crazy Sexy Kitchen as well as her previous book Crazy Sexy Diet.  Kris has followed a very simple plant based diet among other healthy habits and has been able to keep her cancer at bay (it hasn’t progressed since she was diagnosed almost 10 years ago)!  Her books are fantastic for anyone just looking to get a bit healthier or prevent disease! Kris is incredibly knowledgeable and has been endorsed by many well known doctors such as Dr. Oz, Christiane Northrup, M.D., Frank Lipman, M.D., Mark Hyman, M.D., Dean Ornish, M.D. among others.

Crazy Sexy Diet can be purchased for $13 by clicking here!

Crazy Sexy Kitchen can be purchased for under $20 by clicking here!