Homemade Eggnog With Essential Oils

Christmas, eggnog, Holiday, homemade, nutmeg, Uncategorized

‘Tis the season for a delicious mug of creamy, nutmeg-y goodness.

I’ve been wanting to taste the difference between homemade eggnog and a bottle of Dean’s thick and creamy store bought eggnog.  I have discovered that homemade eggnog is SO. MUCH. BETTER.

I wish I’d have doubled the recipe before making a batch for my family’s Christmas Eve party, because it was gone within minutes.  We loved it so much that we made it again the next day.

Adding a drop of cinnamon or cassia essential oil will give it a much deeper flavor than ground cinnamon from the shore.  Cassia oil gave it an especially unique sweetness.  Ahh!!  I love my oils!   Just make sure you only use one drop…they are potent and it may ruin the flavor of the actual nog should you use too much oil.

Below are photos of the process, so that you can see how it should look.  The actual recipe is at the bottom of this blog.

Here’s the recipe I used, and will be using every year from now on.  It is simple and easy to make.  Give it a shot if you have some extra time!

EGGNOG WITH ESSENTIAL OILS

3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 drop cassia or cinnamon essential oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish
5 eggs, separated
2/3 cup granulated sugar

In a saucepan, combine milk, cream, cinnamon oil, vanilla and nutmeg.  Bring to the boil over a medium heat. Once boiling, remove from the heat and allow to steep.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar until combined and thick ribbons form when the whisk is lifted.  Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to mix until the mixture is combined and smooth.

Before serving, beat the egg whites in a large bowl or stand mixer until soft peaks form. Gently fold into eggnog until combined.  Store in the fridge for up to 3 days in a tightly sealed pitcher.  Or serve immediately.  If refrigerated, shake it before you serve it.  Garnish with grated nutmeg or cinnamon.  Serves 8.

I hope you love it as much as we did!

Merry Christmas!!

Improve Sex & Intimacy With These Top 5 Essential Oils

calming, cleanliving, diy, do-it-yourself, empowerment, essential oils, healing, holistic, homemade, homeopathic, libido, natural living, non-gmo, nutrition, relaxation, Sex, soothing, Uncategorized

 

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You heard correctly – essential oils can enhance even the most private of issues – SEX & INTIMACY.

Be sure to read all the way to the bottom – I’ve shared some oil recipes for you to try out and I don’t want you to miss them!

Before I get into the oils, I have to state something.  Couples first need to connect on an emotional level and there needs to be a mutual respect between partners before intimacy can be good.  Let’s be real here – no one wants to get naked when there are past hurts lurking underneath the surface of the subconscious.  It’s the last thing on my mind when I’m upset about something my husband may have said or done.  Heck, I’ll even go as far as saying that a woman’s parts seem to just stop working when there is something amiss in a relationship.

So, if there are relational issues, work on those first (maybe diffuse some calming/grounding oils while hashing out those issues with your spouse!)

How many of you have used, or heard, these excuses:

“I’m too tired”
“I’m not feeling well”
I have a headache”
I have to wake up early tomorrow”
I’m just not feelin’ it right now”
“I just ate a whole frozen pizza”  
(Just me on this last one?  No?)

Sound familiar?  While I have no doubt that these excuses are almost always the truth – that doesn’t mean that you feel any less rejected, or less like a failure, when it does happen.  There is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about – your body may just need a little help at different times in your life!

We can be physically fit, mentally strong, spiritually strong, have a great job and everything going for us – but if our sexuality and hormones are out of whack, it can really toss a web blanket on a romantic date night.

As you may already know, our sense of smell is powerful in accessing the limbic system of our brain, which in turn can affect our libido. Aromatherapist, Dr. Naresh Arora, has stated, “The essential oils do magic and stimulate the pituitary gland, the master of endocrine gland, which controls hormone production.  Inactiveness of pituitary gland can lead to low sex drive.  So, the oils help keep it in an active state.”

Now for the GOOD STUFF!

So if you’ll let me, I’d like to share with you some of the best oils to inspire passion, create closeness and intimacy and spur on those feelings you know are in there somewhere!

THE TOP 5 OILS TO ENHANCE
A HEALTHY SEX LIFE

1.  YLANG YLANG

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Ylang Ylang flower

For a while now, ylang ylang has been known for its aphrodisiac properties.  Both in men and women.  It has a very floral scent that is so strong that you may not be able to tolerate more than a half drop or 1 full drop.  It has a very calming effect on the body and heart, which is why I use it for helping me sleep and with occasional anxious feelings.  It is known to foster feelings of love and security.

Application: Diffuse or apply to the bones behind the ears, over your heart, and below your belly button.


2.  CLARY SAGE

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Clary Sage flower

Clary sage is one of my go-to oils for when I am having my “lady issues” each month.  When you feel that agitation rising on the morning of the first day of your period, and want to bite everyone’s heads off, this is the oil to go to.  It has a sort of sweet, almost grassy scent.  It has been traditionally used to promote hormonal balance in the body.  And when your hormones are not functioning properly, your libido will be lower than normal.  It has sedative properties, which help you release the stresses of the day from your shoulders.  Stress and tension often play a part in low libido.  Interestingly, clary sage has also been used by a client of mine to help reduce her smoking habit.

Application: Apply a few drops on the bottoms of the feet and wrists/forearms daily.  If you don’t mind the scent, then on the back of the neck is a great location as well.


3.  “THE BLEND FOR WOMEN”

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This pre-mixed blend of essential oils contains:  Patchouli, Bergamot, Sandalwood, Rose Absolute, Jasmine Absolute, Cinnamon, Cistus Absolute, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang, Cocoa Bean Absolute, and Vanilla Bean Absolute.  YUM, right??  It is the only perfume a woman should ever wear.  100% pure, but powerful.  Every single oil in this blend is meant to help a woman feel confident, joyful, peaceful, while also elevating the emotions and reducing stress. It helps balance the hormones in our body – which is why I am going to start wearing this one daily!

Application: Apply on the bones behind your ears, the wrists and heart.


4.  CINNAMON BARK

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Cinnamon Bark

Whoever says they don’t like the smell of cinnamon is just plain nuts. It is known to be a powerful brain tonic.  All I know is that it tastes delicious in cinnamon rolls, or in pumpkin pie – who would’ve thought it could actually have so many physical benefits.  It has been known to enhance energy and reduce fatigue.  But today it has been known more for “sexual harmony.”  It has been said that cinnamon supports the reproductive system, assists you in accepting your body and embracing your physical attractiveness.  It nurtures healthy sexuality and rekindles sexual feelings after repression, trauma or abuse.

Application: Please dilute this hot oil (one part cinnamon, 4 parts carrier oil).  Carrier oils such as fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond or jojoba oil are my favorites for dilution. You can also diffuse it regularly with other oils in your home – my favorites are clove, orange, cardamom and cassia.  Also, apply a couple drops to the big toe and ankle (which are known as the reflexology points for libido).


5.  THE “INSPIRING BLEND”

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This unique blend of oils not only Ignites feelings of excitement, passion and joy, it also counteracts negative feelings of boredom and disinterest (not that your sex life is boring!).  (Message below if you want to find out where to get this specific blend.)  This delicious blend includes:  Cardamom, Cinnamon, Ginger Rhizome, Clove, Sandalwood, Jasmine, Vanilla Bean, Damiana Leaf.  As I recently learned from Dr. Pappas, a world-renowned essential expert, Damiana Leaf in itself is a very strong euphoric and relaxant oil.  (I’ve got to get me a gallon of that!)

Application:  Apply 1-2 drops to the back of the neck, over the heart, on the inside of the wrists or diffuse for best results. 


I hope at least one of these suggestions will help you with any intimacy issues you might be experiencing, and bring about healing and restoration to your sex life.

Here are a few recipes I created that you might find helpful (and fun!):

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Norwegian Krumkake Christmas Cookies with Cardamom Oil (Whew! Say that 5 times fast!)

Baking, Cardamom, Cookies, Norwegian, Uncategorized

Krumkake (pronounced “croom kaga”) is a delicious delicate and crumbly cookie that Scandinavians make at Christmas time.  Being 100% Norwegian myself, I am always looking for ways to learn about my ancestry and our traditions.  Speaking of which – I recently did a family tree through Ancestry.com.  Everything was going great…until I got out to about 300 AD, where it claimed that I was related to the Norwegian “gods,” Thor and Odin.  Wait, what??  I decided that was a good stopping point.  I mean…what could have been beyond the Norse gods in my tree?  The tooth fairy – maybe Santa Claus?

Ever since I was a child, mom would talk about the krumkake that her mom used to make them make, along with lefse, riskrem (rice pudding), spritz cookies and boller.  Out of all of those tasty treats, my mom only made boller.  I always wished she’d make krumkake, but she didn’t have the iron for it.  Krumkake was something I’ve only had at my aunt Judy’s house, and that changes now.  I’ve decided to make this a new family tradition for us now that I have my own krumkake iron!

The smell of boller (or as we called them, “Norwegian buns” or “mom’s buns” *snicker* was one of my all time favorite scents.  The scent of cardamom and sweet dough would fill the house and make it so warm and inviting.  Krumkake is not always made with cardamom, but I added it to my Christmas Krumkake recipe to give it that special nostalgic flavor I love so much.

FYI – I am not a pro – and to be completely honest with you, this was my first time making krumkake.  They should have been a little darker. Better luck next time, right?  But they did taste awesome.

To make krumkake, you first need a special iron.  What makes it special is the traditional rosemaling design on the iron plates.  You have 2 options when looking for an iron.  You could get the old fashioned iron, which you place over a hot stove and have to flip halfway through cooking.  Or, you could opt for the electronic Krumkake Express iron like I have below.  I found mine on Amazon for $50.

Once you have the batter mixed, you will place a tablespoon onto the middle of the iron and press the lid down so that it spreads the batter out to form a full cookie.  Follow the lights on the iron – red means wait, green means it’s done – no surprise.

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The below photo shows what it will look like before you gently pull it off the iron with a butter knife or a long, skinny spatula.  I put a little too much batter in this one, so it spread out over the edges.

Immediately after you remove the cookie from the iron, you have to roll it onto the cone to make the cone shape as in the photo below.  Let it sit for 10 seconds until it cools slightly.  During this time you could put some more batter on the iron to get your next cookie started.

Gently remove the cone and allow the cookie to cool completely on a wire rack.  This is important.  If you lie the cookie on parchment paper, the bottom will retain moisture and make it chewy.  You want it completely dry and crumbly.

If you make your krumkake a little darker than the one above, it will have a better chance of being delicate and crumbly.  See below.

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Perfect!

 

CHRISTMAS KRUMKAKE

1/2 cup butter, soft
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 drops 100% pure cardamom essential oil (or 1/2 tsp ground cardamom)
6 Tbs. water
Krumkake Iron

Heat your Krumkake iron (I used setting 3 on the electronic iron).  Beat butter and sugar until creamy.  Add the eggs and mix well.  Add flour, vanilla, and water and mix until blended.  Let the mixture stand for 30 minutes before using.  Bake the cookies according to iron instructions.  Roll the warm cookies around the stick that comes with the iron.  Let cool on wire rack COMPLETELY.  I cannot stress this enough.  Even the slightest bit of moisture will ruin the crumbliness you are looking for.  Garnish with powdered sugar.   (* If you are going to fill them with whipped cream or any other filling, you will want to do it immediately before serving.  Do not fill them ahead of time or they will get soggy, and no one likes a soggy krumkake.)

Enjoy!

Low Fat Spiced Cassia & Cardamom Glazed Pecans

essential oils, gluten-free, homemade

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Merry Christmas!

I have been wanting to do this blog for months now, and finally had some spare time.  (I know…spare time?  What is that?!)

Every Christmas, I see recipes for spiced pecans on Pinterest, and have been dying to make my own with ESSENTIAL OILS!  Weee!!!  They make wonderful flavoring agents to baked goods, in lieu of dried spices from the grocery store.  While the heat of the oven will bake off any of the health properties of the oils, the flavor will remain! 

PLEASE NOTE:  do not just use any ol’ essential oils that you find at the store.  Most oils purchased at stores are not pure and are not labeled as consumable.  Please be sure the oils you are using are from a reputable source, are labeled as consumable, and are 100% pure.  If you need some direction, please leave me your email in a comment below.
I have chosen to spice my pecans with cassia, cardamom and cinnamon.  I chose these 3 because they are perfect for the Fall/Winter holidays because they are so warm and comforting.

Cassia is one of my favorite scents to diffuse in my home when I want to make it home-y and inviting (along with cardamom and wild orange!).  Cassia smells like cinnamon, but softer and sweeter.

Cardamom is another one of my favorites.  It is used in many Scandinavian baked goods.  I grew up eating boller (or “mom’s Norwegian buns,” as we called them) *snicker* which contains this spice.  So, every time I smell cardamom, it reminds me of mom’s buns *snicker snicker*.   We’d eat them as a snack with butter and strawberry jam.  Sooooo gooood.  (I will be doing a boller blog as soon as I find more of that spare time lying around!)

Cinnamon was the final spice chosen for this tasty treat.  I could have left it out, because those other 2 spices are delicious enough on their own.  If you leave any of them out, make sure you double one of the other oils.  You want to make sure you have enough flavor.  And 2 total drops of oil doesn’t quite give the pecans enough spiciness!  (Also, if you don’t have essential oils, you could always substitute the oils with powdered spices.  I would use 1/2 tsp of each spice)

 

 

The recipe below is very easy.  If you don’t have Ziploc bags, just use 2 large mixing bowls.  If you use any different spices, be sure to comment below and let me know how they turn out –  I’d love to hear of different combos!  I have seen some recipes out there with cayenne, cumin, sriracha sauce or turmeric on their spiced nuts, but I am not a fan of super spicy things.  Cinnamon, cardamom and cassia are spicy enough!

No need to diffuse any essential oils in your home while baking these nuts.  The aroma from the nuts will fill your home and make you grab a glass of eggnog, pop in a DVD of “Elf” or “A Christmas Story” and get cozy!

 

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Gift box them and give them to a friend!

 

When the nuts are finally baked and cooled, you can put them in holiday-themed tins or mason jars and make cute and budget-friendly Christmas gifts.   You can go one step further and decorate the jars with ribbon and a fancy nametag.  Add that personal touch!  I love crafty things, but have no time to decorate, so I re-use gift boxes/tins that I’ve collected over the years.  Spiced nuts make great teacher gifts!  Put out a bowl of these nuts at a Christmas party or toss them on top of your salad.  Even kids will gobble them up!

 


Cassia Cardamom Glazed Pecans

2 egg whites
2 Tbs melted butter (can be omitted)
1/2 Tbs vanilla extract
1/2 Tbs water
1 lb pecan halves
1/2 cup sugar (I used brown)
1 drop cassia essential oil
1 drop cardamom essential oil
1 drop cinnamon essential oil
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 250°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a gallon sized freezer bag, mix together the egg whites, melted butter, vanilla extract, essential oils and water.

In a second gallon sized freezer bag, mix together the sugar and salt.

Add pecans to the bag with the egg white mixture. Seal the bag and shake around the pecans until they are evenly coated.

Transfer the coated pecans to the bag with the sugar mixture. Seal the bag and shake around until the pecans are evenly coated with the sugar mixture.

Spread the pecans on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely.


 

I hope you enjoy this recipe!  Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Blessings,
Karen

Lemon Water Tonic – A Miracle? Seems that way!

antioxidant, cancer, clean, essential oils, healing, health, holistic, immunity, natural living, natural medicine, non-gmo, nutrition, organic, remedy, tonic, Uncategorized, wellness

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Good morning!

I have to start out by telling you flat out that this tonic is pretty darn amazing.  I feel the need to shout it from the rooftops because my results after drinking this tonic for about 6 months have been pretty life changing.  In my opinion, it’s a miracle drink – I can say that since I’m not trying to sell it to you. 😉

I’ve had gastric issues for about 6 years now, and nothing ever helped me.  I saw so many doctors and did so many tests to see what was wrong with me – I’ll be paying off those bills for quite a while!  What a waste – the results didn’t tell me anything helpful.

I had a laundry list of symptoms that were unexplained, so I started going to a nutritionist.  I went to her monthly for a couple of years to gently detox my system from heavy metals and other environmental toxins.  She taught me about making healthier food choices, and why whole foods and whole food supplements were important.  I felt somewhat better, but still had many unexplained symptoms.

When I first started making this drink, I only used warm water with a fresh-squeezed lemon, honey and apple cider vinegar.  I drank it every morning before my breakfast for a couple of months.  At first, I wasn’t sure if it was helping my gastric issues.  But since I had read so many wonderful things about lemon water, I knew that if I kept drinking it I would benefit from it eventually.  I learned that raw, unfiltered honey has the most health benefits, so I started using that instead of the cheap-o kind I was using (think plastic bottle in the shape of a bear….horrible).  Then, I read that adding baking soda to lemon water has even more health benefits, even cancer prevention, so I started adding that to my drink.

All I can say is WOW!  I sure noticed some changes.  I no longer had excessive gas after every meal.  I wasn’t bloating as often.  I wasn’t burping as much throughout the day (I would literally burp every couple of minutes).  I also noticed that I didn’t have explosive bouts of diarrhea (sorry, TMI?) after eating ice cream or pizza.  My skin is clearer (but I also use Arbonne’s anti-aging skin care, which has something to do with that!), and I haven’t gotten sick in a while.

I also now take digestive enzymes with every meal, to help my stomach break down the food.  And I take very good quality supplements.  I know that everything must play a part in how much better I am feeling today vs. 6 years ago.

I always recommend this lemon tonic to anyone who tells me that they have digestive issues.  I will probably drink this tonic for as long as I live.  Even if you don’t have stomach issues, there are so many other health benefits (listed below) that it doesn’t hurt to try it for yourself.  If you are consistent and drink this tonic every single morning before breakfast, you will notice changes eventually.  Still a skeptic?  Google “lemon honey water” and read on!  There are so many great articles by doctors and health and wellness practitioners praising lemon water.

So, you’re probably wondering, “Why lemon, honey, baking soda and apple cider vinegar?  What makes them so special?”  I have gathered some information and compiled it all here:

Goodness in the Lemon

Lemons are phenomenal little citrus fruits because they are rich in vitamin C, which enhances beauty by rejuvenating the skin from the inside.  It helps in weight loss, and is a very alkaline fruit (once it is in the body – otherwise it is acidic).

Lemons are a great source of polysaccharides, organic acids especially citric acid, lipids, carotenoid, vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, bitter limonoids, potassium, bioflavonoids, and vitamin C.  Lemons also include volatile oil (in the peel – where the lemon essential oils come from), limonene, alpha-terpinene, alpha-pinene, citral, coumarins, mucilage, pectins, and bioflavonoids (pith and peel).

Goodness in the Honey

Honey is a great source of good carbohydrates, proteins and amino acids.  Honey contains small amounts of the B vitamins riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6.  It also contains vitamin C, and the minerals calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, selenium, chromium and manganese.  The darker the honey, the greater antioxidants.  Honey also contains organic acids such as acetic, butanoic, formic, citric, succinic, lactic, malic, pyroglutamic and gluconic acids, and a number of aromatic acids.

Goodness in the Apple Cider Vinegar

(This will knock your socks off!)  (I use Bragg’s organic ACV, which says “With the Mother” on the front of the bottle.  This phrase means that it still contains all of the good stuff, unlike other apple cider vinegars that are void of it).  ACV contains pectin, Vitamin C, Vitamins B1, B2 and B6, biotin, folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid, and small amounts of minerals like potassium, sodium, phosphorus, calcium, and iron.  It has a wide range of benefits, such as it:  helps stomach troubles, cures hiccups, soothes a sore throat, could lower cholesterol, prevents indigestion, clears a stuffy nose, aids in weight loss, gets rid of dandruff, clears acne, boosts energy, cuts down on nighttime leg cramps, banishes bad breath, whitens teeth, fades bruises, helps control blood sugar.  Amazing – and it’s only about $8 for a large bottle at the grocery store!

Goodness in the Baking Soda

Baking Soda isn’t just for baking cookies!  When consumed, it works by immediately kicking stomach acid in the face, which then helps relieve heartburn, indigestion and even ulcer pain.  When consumed in a lemon tonic, it gets your digestive juices flowing, and will help your stomach in digestion.  If that wasn’t enough, it is also known to alkalize the body and help with kidney disease, cancer, athletic performance, skin conditions and can be used in homemade deodorants (RECIPE HERE) and toothpaste (RECIPE HERE).

Some Health Benefits of this tonic:

  1. Enhances metabolism.
  2. Aids digestion.
  3. Cleanses the intestines, which improves the absorption of nutrients.
  4. Boosts your immune system.
  5. Cleans your urinary tract.
  6. Balances pH levels.
  7. Clears skin.
  8. Promotes healing.
  9. Freshens breath.
  10. Hydrates your lymph system.
  11. Aids in weight loss.
  12. Boosts energy.

I am sure this isn’t even an exhaustive list.  But it is a very good start!  I feel that everyone should drink this daily, and I hope you will give it a try.  If you don’t have all of the ingredients, make sure you at least have water, honey, lemon and ACV.  Those are good enough in themselves for boosting your immune system.

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LEMON WATER TONIC RECIPE

  • 8 oz. warm water
  • 1 fresh-squeezed lemon
  • 1 tsp raw, Bragg’s organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbs raw, unfiltered, organic honey (the darker the better)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (aluminum-free)

First, heat up the water in either a glass or ceramic mug, for 35-40 seconds in the microwave.  Next, stir in the honey until it is dissolved.  Then you can add in the ACV and baking soda.  (**you can toss in some of your favorite essential oils if you’d like!)

The last part is a little tricky.  Before you add the lemon juice to the mixture, be forewarned!   It can get messy if you don’t slooowly add it in.  The baking soda reacts to the acid in the lemon juice and foams up quick!!  I’ve had mine spill out onto my counter a few times.  If you slowly add the lemon juice, but use a spoon to break up the foam as you continue to pour the lemon juice, you should be alright.  I drink it with a stainless steel straw because the acid from the lemon can eat away at your teeth.  If you don’t have one, just sip it, but rinse your mouth with water from the faucet after you finish your drink.

So, if any of you start doing this daily, and notice some changes in your health, please feel free to tell me about it!  🙂  I love success stories!

Blessings,

Karen

Homemade Ooh La La Lip Balm!-

crunchy, diy, do-it-yourself, gluten-free, homemade, lip salve, natural living, non-gmo, organic, salve, smooth lips

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Hello!

So, I was running out of lip balm, and wanted to start making my own.  So, while I was making a batch of whipped body butter, I put together the PERFECT luxurious recipe (in my honest opinion), but there is one caveat…you have to make my Whipped Body Butter recipe first, and take some of the melted ingredients from that to make your lip balm at the same time.

But, it’s okay because BOOM! – You get TWO great products for the price/time of ONE!  (Sorry, I don’t know how much of each ingredient you would use if you made the lip balm by itself.  I would guess you could just take a teaspoonful or less of each oil/butter and 1/2 tsp of beeswax and melt them together, but I haven’t tested that yet.)

SOOTHING LIP BALM RECIPE:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup 100% organic African shea butter (find HERE)

1/2 cup 100% pure mango butter (find on Amazon)

1/2 cup organic or cold-pressed coconut oil (find at grocery store health food store)

1/2 cup organic almond oil (find HERE), organic jojoba oil (find HERE), organic shea oil (find HERE) or organic calendula oil (find HERE)

1Tablespoon of all natural-pure beeswax pellets (find on Amazon)

Essential Oils of your choice (lavender, frankincense, peppermint, spearmint, helichrysum, chamomile, etc.)

STEP 1:

Open my Whipped Body Butter Recipe HERE, and follow the first few steps so that your butters/oils are melting together in a double boiler.   Then come back here to finish this.

STEP 2:

Once all of the butters/oils have melted in your double boiler, use a ladle to scoop out about 2 Tbs of the melted mixture and place it in a small glass bowl, over a pot of water on LOW heat (or you can use a 2nd double boiler, if you have one.  I just use a glass batter bowl over a large pot of water).

STEP 3:

Add in just under a Tablespoon of pure/natural beeswax pellets and stir.

STEP 4:

Once all pellets have melted into the mixture, take the bowl out of the pot of water and let it cool in the fridge for 10 minutes or so.

Add a few drops of any essential oils of your choice (I used peppermint and a drop of Roman Chamomile, but lavender, helichrysum, frankincense or spearmint would also be good).  Stir the essential oils in well, and scoop it all into a tight-closed, small container.  (I had little containers on hand, but you can always purchase empty lip balm tubes from www.aromatools.com if you prefer a chapstick.  You get 12 for $3.00.

STEP 5:

Place in the fridge to harden up again and VOILA!! You are done!!!

DON’T FORGET!! to go back to the Whipped Body Butter recipe and finish it off so that you have some soothing body butter in addition to your soothing lip balm!

Also, if you are looking for 100% pure essential oils that are therapeutic-grade, please contact me at karekorn@gmail.com

Enjoy!!

DIY Natural Baby Shampoo – Forget J&J’s!

baby, clean, crunchy, diy, do-it-yourself, holistic, natural living, shampoo

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Recently on Facebook, I came across an article stating that Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo contained formaldehyde, an ingredient that is not necessary in any of our personal care products.  J&J has since changed their ways, but I am still not convinced that using even their “Naturals Baby Shampooline is the best thing.  The ingredient list is posted below.  Pay particular attention to the bolded ingredient at the bottom:

Water, Decyl Glucoside (Source: Coconut, Palm Kernel, Corn), Cocoglycerides (Source: Coconut, Palm Kernel), Sodium Coco-Sulfate (Source: Coconut, Palm), Coco-Glucoside (Source: Coconut, Palm Kernel), Glyceryl Oleate (Source: Sunflower), Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate (Source: Coconut, Palm, Soybean), Glycerin (Source: Coconut, Palm, Soybean), Xanthan Gum (Source: Soy, Corn), Sodium Benzoate (Source: *), Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose (Source: Plant, Mineral), Citric Acid (Source: *), Sodium Hydroxide (Source: *), Parfum (Source: Plant), * The remaining ingredients are essential to blend the product together and maintain effectiveness.

First, what are “the remaining ingredients that are essential to blend the product together and maintain effectiveness,” as is stated in the last sentence?  I would sure like to know – I mean, if they are natural, why not include them on the label?

Second, why does a “natural” shampoo need all of those extra ingredients?  There are cleansers that are all natural, and don’t have a bunch of stuff added to them.  I understand many of their ingredients act as emollients, and help soften/moisturize skin, but they are not necessary.  All-natural oils, such as sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil, are a better substitute for retaining moisture in the skin, and can be added to a homemade shampoo for it’s added benefits.

The main reason I posted that listing is the bolded ingredient Sodium Hydroxide.  Why is Sodium Hydroxide concerning?  Because the New Jersey Department of Health has a “Hazardous Substance Facts Sheet” for this chemical, which is posted in industrial facilities so that workers know how dangerous it is:

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Sure this fact sheet is for factory workers who are dealing with the concentrated chemical in it’s purest form, but even a tiny amount of a toxic chemical has no place in a baby shampoo.  In my honest opinion.

Here is another clip from that same Fact Sheet:

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Billion dollar product companies like J&J claim that the actual amount of an otherwise toxic chemical is not actually toxic when a minimal amount is used in personal care products.  This may be true, but the question begging to be asked is – why is it used at all when there are more natural options out there?

Why do we blindly accept everything at the grocery store as safe, or even good, for us?   Does a product with pretty packaging, and the word “Natural” printed on it makes it actually good?  Not necessarily.

We are living in a time where we cannot trust multi-billions dollar corporations to have our children’s best interests at heart.  We are their advocates, nurturers, caretakers, etc., and need to be aware of these things.

By no means am I a vigilant “crunchy” person in all aspects of life, but I do try and cut out unnecessary toxins from my personal care, medication and cleaning products.  Every product that I make has a natural base (i.e., apple cider vinegar, or sweet almond oil, etc.) and then I add essential oils to it for its potent health benefits or cleansing properties.

Here is my proposition:  If you have the ability to make your own all-natural personal care and cleaning products for you and your family, then do it.  You will not regret it.

I don’t know about you, but when I make something in my own home, from all-natural ingredients that I choose, I know that my family is getting the best of the best.  Making your own personal products is not complicated, nor does it take up much of your time.  And it saves you money in the long run.  It takes minutes, sometimes only seconds, to make something natural and cheap that you would otherwise buy at the store (but overpriced and laden with unnecessary chemicals!).

So, back to the babes.  Below is a super easy homemade baby shampoo recipe, that can also be used on their hair and body, and on yours too!  The base soap is an all natural botanical soap called Botanic Gold, that can be used for just about everything:  skin care, brushing teeth, household cleaner, baby care, fruit/veggie washing, cleaning your toilet (!) and so much more.

There are actually over 200 uses for this Botanic Gold all-natural soap.  I pick mine up at Amazon.  It is super concentrated, so it will last a very long time.  While it may be $99 for a gallon, one part soap mixed with 10 parts water usually can replace all of your cleaning and skin care products…for possibly a year or more.  (No, I am not paid by Botanic Gold to say this – this soap just excites me that much).

It looks like this:

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The ingredients in this soap are:

Purified water, fatty acids, folic acid, organic alcohol (derived from sugarcane), minerals and enzymes derived from edible and seed bearing plants.

THAT’S IT!  Muuuuch better than the J&J, right?  I love how safe it is, and how much money it will save me.


Homemade Baby Shampoo Recipe:

– Plastic shampoo bottle
– Small amount Botanic Gold soap (see bottle for measurements)
1 Tbs of a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil, fractionated coconut oil or jojoba oil
– (see below for amounts) 100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils per ounce of soap mixture

Combine ingredients together in a plastic shampoo bottle, shake and you’re done.

Essential Oil Options:

Babies 3+ months (2-3 drops oil per ounce soap):  lavender, roman chamomile, frankincense

Babies 6+ months. (3-5 drops oil per ounce soap): tea tree, bergamot, tangerine, sandalwood, geranium, helichrysum, cypress, cedarwood

Children 2+ years (not more than 20 drops per ounce soap):  basil, clary sage, ginger, juniper berry, lemongrass, lime, myrrh, parchouli, ylang ylang.

Essential oils are not only added for their scent, but a slew of health benefits.  While certain oils would be added for their cleansing properties, others can aid in relaxation/sleep, calming, skin irritations, etc.

Not all essential oils are created equal, and some brands are so impure that you cannot even be put it on your skin! What is the point of that?!  The oils I use are highly-regarded in the essential oils world, and I trust them completely due to their rigorous testing and purity.

Please email me for more info on the specific essential oils that I use in all of my recipes, at karekorn@gmail.com.  Or email me with any questions.

Blessings!
Karen