Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Making Your Own Beauty Treatments

If you want to save some money and make your own beauty
treatments from oats, here are some quick and easy solutions
to try:

Oatmeal Mask

You will need:

3/4 cup oats
1/3 cup warm water
Optional ingredients: honey, lemon, egg, olive oil, banana

Make sure to remove any make up or grease/grime from your face
by washing first.

Mix the oats and water together to make a nice smooth
consistency. Add any of the optional ingredients listed above.
Spread the paste gently and equally over your
face and neck, leaving your eyes clear. Relax and wait for the
mask to dry (you may find your skin a little itchy) before
washing it off.

Oatmeal Scrub

You will need:

2 Tbsp. oatmeal (grind it in a blender or coffee grinder to
make flour-like oats)
1 Grapefruit

Squeeze the juice and pulp out of the grapefruit and mix with
the ground oatmeal to form a paste. Scrub over your face
and/or body for a few minutes in a massaging motion. Rinse off
with warm water first and then splash on cold water.

Oat Bath

You will need:

1 cup of oatmeal, ground in a blender or coffee grinder
Bath water

Sprinkle the oats under the running water, making sure to
break up any clumps. Water should be milky looking. You can
add more or less depending on the consistency of the water.

Spend at least 15 minutes in the oat bath to get the most
benefit from it. Oat baths are great for such conditions as
chicken pox, poison ivy, eczema, sunburn, dry skin, and insect

Monday, January 30, 2012

Making Your Own Ice Packs

To make your own ice packs, you'll need two Ziploc bags (they can be the thin sandwich style, but they will last longer and be more durable with the freezer style Ziploc bags), water, and one quarter cup of rubbing alcohol for each ice pack you are making.

In an easy-pour cup, combine three quarters of a cup of water with one quarter cup of rubbing alcohol. Pour the mixture into one of the Ziploc bag. Carefully squeeze the air out and seal it. Place that Ziploc bag into the second Ziploc bag, carefully squeezing the air out and sealing it. Then place the whole thing in the freezer until needed.

When you notice the mixture leaking out of the inside bag, you can easily transfer it into a new set of Ziploc bags.

I have done this for a long time. They conform to most body parts, are small enough to tuck away in a corner of the freezer and are cheap to make.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Making Your Own Clothes Soap

The ingredients you need to make this recipe are: water, washing soda or pool pH adjusting soda, Borax, Dawn dishwashing liquid, grated hard soap and water. Any hard bar of soap will work. Some people use Ivory. What I used for this particular recipe was a "laundry bar" that I purchased specifically for this application. I grated the soap bar by hand, but you can use a food processor. Most recipes do not use Dawn dishwashing liquid but I have read that it makes a big difference in the grease cutting and stain removal power of the detergent, so I added it.

You can add some fragrance oil, if you want to. I left mine unscented.

You will need a large bucket. This recipe makes 10 liters, so you need a bucket that will hold that much and some, so you have room to stir vigorously. You will also need a large pot for the stove top and something that measures 1/2 cup.

This is the simple recipe:

1 cup of grated soap or store bought Ivory soap flakes (also hard to find).
1/2 cup washing soda or not quite 1/8 cup of pool pH adjusting soda
1/2 cup Borax
1/4 cup Dawn dishwashing liquid

Bring a quart of water to boil on the stove in a large pot. Add all ingredients except the Dawn, slowly while stirring well. Stir in the boiling water until very well dissolved. Pour into bucket.

Add enough water to bring the amount up to 10 liters and stir vigorously until well blended. Let sit overnight. This should be a gel by the next day. Add 1/4 cup Dawn dishwashing liquid and stir vigorously. If you add the Dawn with the rest of the ingredients, it stops it from gelling as much as it should. Add fragrance oil at this time. Pour into usable size containers. Shake before using. Add 1/4 - 1/2 cup of this to a laundry load, depending on size of load.

It was quick, easy and cheap to make! I will find out very soon how well it works.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Save $$ and Make Your Own Suet

The nuthatches and titmice LOVE this as well as the woodpeckers and chickadees.
Suet Cakes
1 c. lard
1 1/2 c. crunchy peanut butter
1/3 c. sugar
2 c. quick cook oats
2 c. cornmeal
1 c. flour
1 c. mixed birdseed
1 c. cracked corn

Melt lard and peanut butter. Add sugar to the melted mix and stir well. Add oats, cornmeal, flour, birdseed and cracked corn. Mix well and pour into large cardboard orange juice cartons with the top cut off. Chill or freeze. Slice into blocks to fit into suet feeders. You can also stuff toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls for easy slicing to fit into the suet feeders with round 1-inch holes.

Thanks to My Country Blog of This and That for posting this.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Start of Self Sufficiency

This is an easy way to get started on the road to self sufficiency. And, it's the way we started. Our 13 different types of fruit trees are just now starting to produce for us.

Monday, January 9, 2012

My Thoughts on Organic Foods

At some point in the past few years I’ve become very aware of what we eat and what we’re exposed to on a daily basis. Maybe it’s the talk about pollution, or the constant recalls of commercially produced foods and prescriptions, or the possible long term health effects of eating antibiotic laced and hormone injected meat…the list goes on. Whatever the reason, I’m aware and trying to reduce my and my family's exposure.

So, where to start? How about FOOD! There are so many different aspects of food toxicity. I will break it down including the points I find most important for me in a few different posts so check back for the rest.

So, what is Organic?
To produce something organically it must be grown/ produced without antibiotics, hormones, synthetic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, irradiation or genetic engineering. Organic farmers have strict guidelines they must adhere to regarding water conservation, soil management, and the humane treatment of animals.

The Benefits:
The are a wide array of benefits from eating organic. There are added nutritional benefits:
Organic produce can have up to 40% higher levels of some nutrients according to a 2007 study done in the United Kingdom. A review of nearly 100 studies in 2008 by the Organic Center concluded that organic plant-based foods are generally more nutritious than their non-organic counterparts. You’re also supporting air quality and reducing your negative imprint on the environment. In all likelihood you’re also supporting a small, independently owned or, better yet, a local family owned farm. (Hey there Heritage Harvest Farm!)

The Toxic Stuff:
Pesticides: According to the EPA pesticides may be carcinogens, pose a threat to the nervous system, and/or affect the hormone or endocrine system. On top of the pesticides that are used in our country, some pesticides which have been banned in the USA are still used regularly in other parts of the world. We then import this produce and are still consuming those nasty pesticides. This is yet another reason to buy local.

Antibiotics: We all know the detrimental effects of overusing antibiotics in humans; we hear it all the time- superbugs. Health officials are concerned about a trickle-down effect of handling and eating antibiotic laced animal products as well. A large portion of commercial farmers regularly give livestock doses of antibiotics, whether the animals are sick or not, to prevent diseases from spreading.

Hormones: Animals are regularly pumped full of hormones to speed up growth making the animal grow faster and larger than it would naturally. We then eat their meat, drink their milk, or consume some other form of animal based product. The effects of these growth hormones on humans may cause early onset of puberty, increase cancer risks, and cause hormonal imbalances.

It’s my understanding that the potential risks have not been conclusively linked to the use of pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones in our food supply but there is substantial evidence pointing in that direction, just do some research if you’re skeptical. And what’s even more alarming is that the effects of these substances are magnified in children.

The downside to eating organic is felt in the pocketbook. It’s pricier, especially when it comes to animal products. We’ve greatly reduced the amount of store bought meat we consume. I have a local farm who I do buy most of my meats from now. We have an ever expanding garden and dreams to one day provide a home for some chickens or, goats. Oh and also this year I plan on starting to fish again.

My thought is this- Why expose myself and my family to these potential risks when they can be easily avoided? In time, I’m sure the true, long lasting effect of what we’re doing to our food sources will be fully known. In the mean time, it’s your responsibility to know where your food is coming from, how it’s grown, and what is in it because you are what you eat!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Making Your Own Hand Lotion

  • 1 cup glycerin
  • 1 cup rosewater


  • 10 drops (or about 1/8 teaspoon) essential oil fragrance, such as lavender
  • 1/4 teaspoon (or more) vitamin E oil

Put all ingredients into glass or plastic bottles. Portion out the ingredients according to the ounce capacity of the bottles you are using. Shake well until all ingredients are completely combined.

If using scent, shake well several times a day for two to three days before giving or using. If using a fragrance, pick one that smells good combined with roses because of the rosewater.

Don't use metal containers or utensils; they taint the lotion and change the acidity.

Glycerin, rosewater, and vitamin E oil are available at most drugstores. Essential oil fragrance are available at specialty fragrance, bath or herb shops. One tiny bottle costs a few dollars and will scent many quarts of lotion.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Oh Gosh...

I know I have been extremely lax when it comes to posting on this blog. Sorry folks.

But, I am just exhausted. I have worked most of the holidays just past. Who says time and a half is a great thing? It's the only thing that made the working the holidays better.

Don't get me wrong... I love my job. I love what I do and who I do with it with. Thank goodness for my co-workers. They are pretty spectacular people.

But, working being ill.... and starting a new med.... well, it's been hard. And, it's taken it's toll.

Hopefully this new med will help and I'll be back on my game soon.

Thanking you for bearing with me.... Happy 2012!

Little old me...

My photo
An american yankee up past the 49th parellel.


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