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Monday, May 13, 2013

Lip Balm

JR and I both love Burt's Bees lip balm...but at $4 a tube, it starts to get expensive (as does any brand of organic lip balm).  I've been reading through multiple recipes of lip balm, but the problem with most of them is that they require a handful of products that I don't regularly keep around the house.  Part of the whole point of this is being able to make my products with things that many people would somewhat regularly have.  There were two components of the recipe that I didn't have; however, the expense for them was negligible. 

So what do you need?
8 Tbsp organic unrefined virgin coconut oil (if you get refined or non-organic, it'll work fine--you just don't preserve the full health properties of the oil)

3 Tbsp Beeswax Granules or Pearls (white or yellow, doesn't matter)

1.5 Tbsp raw honey

30-50 drops of essential oil (optional)

20-30 lip balm containers

Put the beeswax, honey, and coconut oil in the top of a double boiler.  I just put it in one of my Pyrex glass measuring cups and set it in a tiny sauce pan with an inch of water.  Turn the burner on medium-ish and let it melt.  I tried stirring it as it so at your own makes a mess.  The best bet is to just let it melt until it's a translucent liquid.  It will take a good 20-30 minutes for it to fully melt, and then it'll look like this:
 Take the pan off the heat, add essential oil, and stir until mixed.  The recipe I was looking at said to set the glass measuring into a bowl with a cold bath until the mixture began to cool; however, I found that not to work (and subsequently involved an additional 10 minute re-heating process).  Basically what I'm telling you is to take the glass measuring cup out of the hot pan, let it set for about 45 seconds, and then start pouring.  You may still need a reheating process halfway through, but it's fine if you do.  I poured the mixture directly from the measuring cup to the empty lip balm containers.  Fill almost to the top (mine are slightly low), cap, and stand up to set.  If you want, you can put them on a tray in the refrigerator for a few minutes for them to set up--that's up to you.  I got 30 tubes out of this recipe; however, it may have been a little better if I had filled 25 tubes a little more full that I did.

Oh well, you learn as you go!

This is after they have set up--when you pour the mixture in, it will be bright amber/gold.  I tried some as soon as they had set up, and it is AWESOME!  Moisturizing, not greasy, and the honey/beeswax give it a nice, light honey scent to go with whatever oil you choose.

Have fun and happy balming!

Sunday, May 12, 2013


Antiperspirant has been the one product that I have had a really hard time giving up.  Yes, I know that there is aluminum in all of it.  Yes, I know that it's really bad for you.  Yes, yes yes...  That being said, especially in an environment that has an average of 472% humidity, I'm sweaty all the time!  So sue me, I hate having wet armpits and then sweat stains on my shirts.  

Yes, there are "organic" deodorants that I could buy for $8 per container.  They seem to come in two scents: hippie BO, and essential oil scented hippie BO.  In other words, they don't work.  Whatever oils they seem to put in them seem to smell like cardboard, which when mixed with sweat, just smells gross.  Other kinds don't use oils and just sell you a $10 salt lick to rub on your pits.  I never found that they all...and anyway, they're mostly deodorants, not antiperspirants. 

Well, I found a recipe for homemade antiperspirant and decided to give it a whirl!  What do you need?
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch (yes, that bag is arrowroot powder...not cocaine)
6-8 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 - 1 Tbsp olive oil (or grapeseed oil)
Essential oil (if you want it to smell like something other than coconut)

I cleaned out one of JR's old pomade containers (I think it's called Surf Head) and it was the perfect size to hold the whole recipe.

Whisk together the baking soda and arrowroot (or cornstarch).  Add the coconut oil and mix well (I used the whisk on my hand mixer, which is infinitely easier).  Add in olive (or grapeseed) oil and optional essential oil.  Once fluffy, transfer to any airtight container.

A quick note:  This is the consistency of a body cream.  There is no putting it in deodorant applicator containers or any of that.  You put it on your armpits like a lotion (I actually like it better).  You only need very little.  Experiment and see what works for you!

Happy De-Stinking!

Beach Spray

Over the past year or so, I fell in love with using Not Your Mother's BEACH BABE Salt Texturizing SprayIt's great stuff--not really a spray for hold, but a spray for texture.  It gives the same look as having been at the beach all day (you know, with the great waves and volume...not like you sprayed your hair with AquaNet and hung out in a wind tunnel).  I had stopped using it when I stopped using commercial shampoo and conditioner; however, from time to time, I'd really like to use it!  Unfortunately, I looked at the ingredients of the spray, and it's definitely a no-go for use.  That being said, it's a great I cleaned it out and saved it...and set off to find a homemade version of my favorite spray!

I had no idea that it would be so simple.  Here is what you need:
1 cup hot water
2 Tbsp sea salt (I used pink Himalayan salt)
1 tsp coconut oil (or 1/2 tsp almond or jojoba oil)
Essential oil (if you want it to have a scent)
* If you want this to have a little more hold, add 1 tsp of aloe vera gel

*EDIT* One of my friends just brought to my attention that in some climates, coconut oil will solidify in the water, clogging the pump.  In San Antonio, it's warm and humid enough that my coconut oil is partially in liquid form at all times LOL!  So, if you keep your house cold, live in a less humid/cooler climate, try almond oil, jojoba oil, or grapeseed oil instead (remember, only 1/2 tsp).  Additionally, my hair is baby fine, so I don't need a lot of "grit" in my spray to obtain the desired texture.  If you don't have super fine hair, or if you have heavier hair, use 2 Tbsp of EPSOM salts and 1/2-1 tsp of sea salt instead of the 2 Tbsp of sea salt.

So...put the hot water in a large measuring cup or whatever.  If you're using coconut oil, drop it into the water and it will melt fairly quickly.  Put in salt and optional essential oils and/or aloe vera.  Mix.  Pour it into whatever spray bottle you have lying around.  The opening of my bottle was pretty small, so I used my handy dandy funnel to pour it in the bottle.  For whatever reason, when I first put it in my bottle, it didn't spray right (it may have been because I didn't clean the pump enough and something got stuck in it).  An hour later (and since then), it has worked just fine.

Happy Spraying and Beach Hair!  

Friday, May 3, 2013

Stain Remover

I have seen a recipe online for "the only stain remover you'll ever need."  In fact, I've seen it not once, but more than 20 times over the past year or so.  I looked at it multiple times, but never got around to making it.  Every time I would think, "oh, I'll remember that!  I'll make some later tonight!"  But then I would forget about it until coming across the recipe again a couple months later.  

Then came today.  Isak took a long enough nap for me to get some laundry done...and I'd remembered JR telling me that we were out of stain remover.  Not good when you're trying to get bright orange baby poop out of a light blue and white gingham blanket.  Off to make some stain remover!

This is one of the easiest things you'll ever make, I promise  (even easier than the super easy ricotta cheese that I told you about HERE).  It has two ingredients--three, if you count the bottle.  What are they?
Dawn (the original blue kind) and hydrogen peroxide.  That's it!

And you can make as much or as little as you'd like with this recipe--the format makes it super easy.

1 part Dawn
2 parts hydrogen peroxide

Shake gently until mixed in a bottle and there you go!  Treat your stain and wash as normal.  In the case of the blanket, I no more than poured a little of it on, and the stain disappeared!  (I say "poured" because it's currently in a squeeze bottle until I find another spray bottle around here) 
Yes, it's in my old witch hazel bottle...oh well.  It's actually a pretty good size, just no spray top on it!

Have fun and happy stain removing!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Organic Bug Spray

Bug spray seems like a waste of money to me.  Why?  Because when you get the bug spray that doesn't have 5000 chemicals (like DEET and all that), you end up paying a lot of money for something that is mostly water and an alcohol-like substance (such as witch hazel).  My favorite bug spray to purchase is California Baby Bug Repellant; however, it's over $15 for a 6.5 ounce bottle.  Time to find a homemade version!  Everything needed to make this bug spray is stuff that we already have around the house...but if you're new to the whole DIY cleaning/body/household products thing, you might not have these in your arsenal yet.  GET THEM.  You'll use them for a million different things.

What do you need?
 This!  Okay, well not ALL of this...but these are the oils I had.

Essential oil(s)*: tea tree, citronella, clove, lemongrass, rosemary, cajeput, eucalyptus, cedarwood, catnip, lavender, and mint.

*  You don't need all of these--you can use just one or use all of them, it doesn't matter.  Make it so you like the smell of it.  For mosquitoes, citronella and lemongrass are the superpowers (though all of them work).  If you have ticks in your area, make sure you throw in the cedarwood and tea tree oil.

Distilled water (or boiled water that has cooled)
Witch Hazel
Jar (w/lid) for mixing
Funnel (makes things a LOT easier)

Fill your jar up halfway with distilled (or boiled) water  and the rest of the way with witch hazel (this picture is an old peanut butter jar, so it's about 9 ounces, give or take).  Put in 30-50 drops of whatever essential oil(s) you've chosen.  The more oil, the stronger the scent and the better it works.
Now, put the lid on and do your shaking dance!  Shake it until the oil is well-integrated (it will look cloudy like this instead of the previously clear liquid).  The only thing left is to put it in bottles!

Use a funnel to put it in a bunch of small bottles, a larger bottle, whatever you have with a pump on it.  Trust me, the funnel makes it easier.  I put it in four small bottles so I can send one with JR to work, keep one at home, one in the car, and one in the diaper bag.  The finished product looks like this:
I can't do a complete cost breakdown on this one, because I don't remember how much some of my oils cost (some of the oils are a little pricey, but most of them are in the $7-15 range).  The witch hazel was $4 for the bottle, and the amount I used was less than a quarter of the bottle.  I used old Garnier shine spray bottles (I don't use product any can see what I use HERE), so that was essentially free.  Out of the oils I used this time (citronella, cedarwood, tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus), it was probably a total of about $0.50 worth.  So...I guess we can say that 10 ounces of this bug spray was about $1.50.  

A little better than the $15 for the other organic stuff, eh?