All natural skin care routine

So when I tell people I want to do everything all natural, homemade or organic in my home I get questions on beauty or skin care. So I’m going to share what I currently do for skin care and also which remaining store bought items I plan to replace next!

 

This is my little stack of homemade, all natural face products. I do not make all of these. The two that have little labels a friend of mine in New Mexico makes. She is an esthetician and knows what she’s doing and I met her a few years ago here in Arizona and after she taught me how to understand MY specific skin, I bought a few products from her to work with my skin and the results were amazing! So now she has moved to NM and I order these from her online either through her site or her Facebook page. You can find her business Facebook page here!

 

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Okay, so please don’t judge my plastic containers as I AM on a mission to replace all plastic containers with glass but that is actually pretty hard to do and a process to find all different shapes and sizes if you don’t want to just go on Amazon and buy them all brand new. That being said…

 

My products are:

Organic coconut oil (top left container): this is the remainder of my organic coconut oil that stays in its glass jar until it gets to the bottom and I put it in this thing to make it easier to use each time in the shower.

Use: I use this to wash my face, remove make-up, remove dirt, you name it. It gets all the make-up off including water proof mascara in a breeze! You just wet your face, put some on your fingers, rub it in all over you face and eyes then use a warm wash clothe to wipe it off. You will see the dirt and make up come off on the cloth! AND…it’s so gentle that after I rub it in on my eyes I can open my eyes to find my wash cloth, which I often do, lol, and it doesn’t burn or anything!

My homemade facial/body sugar scrub (left bottom container): I make this and you can find the recipe about half way down through this blog post of mine.

Use: I use this on my body daily and my face every few days as a gentle exfoliator. Sugar is actually gentle enough that you can use daily on your face if you want but someone with more sensitive skin might want to do every few days on their face. I could handle daily but honestly I just don’t take the time to do it.

Raw Shea Butter with Tea Tree Oil (glass black container front and center): This is a homemade mixture my friend does that is specially blended for my skin. The shea butter is whipped because I prefer that texture over any other after a few different tries. The Tea Tree Oil in it is necessary for MY skin to help kill bacteria as I have skin that is prone to that cyst acne which is the kind that happens under the skin and then you get white heads. Basically due to excess toxins, dirt on pores, pores being too big or too open and the dirt getting trapped in said pores. Also, she pointed out to me that people who are Native American tend to have issues processing cheese and so sometimes they/we can have acne or white heads caused by the cheese basically trying to escape the body, lol! Sounds crazy but makes total sense to me as I LOVE cheese…..tremendously! And I won’t give it up to have a 100% clear face, that’s for sure.

Use: This is my daily moisturizer! After washing (and the side effect of moisturizing) my face with the coconut oil in the shower, I then add this moisturizer as soon as I get out. A little goes a long way and so any morning I forget to use it within a couple of hours my face feels tight and dry.

Peppermint Epsom Salt for bath (back right green glass bottle): this is a therapeutic salt bath mixture I made and you can find the recipe here!

Use: This is good to use for the therapeutic benefits of Peppermint or just to soften skin in the bath. I shower more than I take a bath but when I do this is what I use to spoil myself.

Lemon Burst DIY natural deodorant (bottom right small container): this recipe I just made yesterday and after I’ve had a few days to use it and try it out in different situations then I’ll finish my blog post about it with an honest review of what I think of it.

Use: Deodorant….dur. =)

Lemon Cream Face Mask and Scrub (middle right glass container): this is another one my friend in NM makes for me. After working out on the property here all summer I noticed I had a few dark spots above my upper lip and also above one eye brow (odd, huh?) and I freaked out. I sent her a message and asked what was happening to my skin. After many questions she determined it was likely sun damage =( due to me being outside so much and not using any SPF or wearing a hat. Another sad face moment.

Use: This mixture was created for me after her trial and errors and the lemon in it helps stimulate skin to have new growth of healthy skin. So this is a powder mixture that when I want to use it as a mask I just mix it up in a tiny bowl and I actually use one of those hair color mixing bowls and brushes and mix it up into a paste. Then I get my face wet with warm water, apply the mask generously and let sit for 30 mins. Then I wipe off with a warm wash cloth. This is something that could heal the sun damage but she said it could take 2-3 times a week for a few months to see the difference. I’m patient and all but in truth I do this maybe once a month when I remember. It isn’t high on my list of things to do. But if I want to feel like I’m pampering my face (or say I’ve spent all day outside working) then I’ll wash my face (to get it clean), do my sugar scrub (to exfoliate dead skin) and follow up with the lemon mask (to replenish and pamper my skin) and my face feels super happy after!

 

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Shameless selfie! Lol! I took this picture not smiling so you can just SEE my skin. I love my skin! This is post shower, after putting on my tea tree oil moisturizer and yes…I’m wearing mascara. But that’s it. I try to not wear make-up much. If I’m home (which I generally am for days at a time) I wear no make-up and not even mascara. If I have to run a quick errand or something I’ll put on mascara because I am blessed with long eye lashes and without mascara I feel like I look tired. If I am “dressing up” I wear powder, blush, eye shadow and mascara. But really all that stuff is nothing but crap for your skin. So I try to really limit it. My esthetician is working on an all natural powder for make-up now made out of something wonderful but she’s still ironing out the kinks so when that is done I will totally try it!

 

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These are the ONLY remaining beauty/hygiene culprits, which I will be eliminating in the near future; herbal essences shampoo (15 year avid user), Vaseline lotion (6 year avid user), herbal essences spray gel for curly hair (10 year avid user), Dove bar soap (probably 15 year user), Dial liquid hand soap (I’ve always loved Dial) and then Arm and Hammer tooth paste. This tooth paste I’ve only been using about 6 mths but I really love it and the results I’ve had, which I think is thanks to the baking soda in it!

 

So since I just switched to natural deodorant I think my next change will be the toothpaste, when I run out of this because I don’t want to waste what I have on hand. I also have like 12 bars of Dove soap, lol (I shop at Sam’s Club) and I hope by the time I run out of that not only am I making my own homemade soap but that it has cured and is ready to be used. I am reaching out to my NM esthetician about ordering some of her homemade soap to replace all the dial liquid soap I have at each sink in the house. We’ll start there and not buy any more of that and then replace the Dove once I run out of it.

 

I have been researching all natural shampoos but I have some ingredients to buy before I can try a few recipes. I also have found a lot of info on LOTION BARS home made and I’m super excited to try some of those. I’m totally confident I can find a luxurious diy recipe for lotion to replace Vaseline…which I use religiously (daily) on my entire body head to toe, okay…foot to collar bone! And if I ever go a day without lotion (I forget or I’m in a rush post shower) I can tell all day long and it kills me. So I need a good solid replacement. And this bottle is running low and I really do not want to buy another…

 

So there ya go! If you have recommendations on diy all natural shampoo, conditioner AND the light spray gel for curly hair I am all ears! I am most concerned about what exactly I’ll replace my spray gel with because it took me years of trial and error to find this 1 product that works perfect for my naturally curly hair and makes my hair feel just the way I want it too, not too firm, not too loose. So, please comment here and share any recipes you have tried that work!

 

XoXo,

Elizabeth

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Many uses for Peppermint Oil

 

 

 

 

 

Now I’m not talking about actual peppermint candy, although it is delicious and there are NUMEROUS recipes (especially sweet treats and especially THIS time of year..you can find MY personal favorite peppermint treat recipes here) that have glorious peppermint candies in them…this post is about the fabulous uses for Peppermint Oil!

 

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First and foremost, the facts!

Peppermint is actually a HYBRID MINT PLANT that is a mix between a water mint and spearmint plants!

 

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Peppermint can basically grow anywhere but they do prefer moist, shaded locations and they expand underground. Because they can grow so rapidly, for a home gardener it is often recommended to grow them in pots to try to control just how much they grow or spread out.

 

Interestingly, Wikipedia says:

“Pliny the elder, 79 AD, an ancient Roman author, natural philosopher and naval and military commander wrote Naturalis Historia. It tells us that the Greeks and Romans crowned themselves with peppermint at their feasts and adorned their tables with its sprays, and that their cooks flavoured both their sauces and their wines with its essence.”

Find the full content here!

Most people won’t grow peppermint plants and go through the process of making peppermint oil THEMSELVES and so for the sake of that I won’t include that information here. But, I do hope to do that in the future myself just to see how it goes and when I do I’ll definitely share the details!

 

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So most people who are accustomed to using any essential oil knows that they can just go out and buy in a wide variety of places. You can get them online, health food stores and also a lot of direct selling companies do oils now as well. So get it where ever you get it...as long as you feel it is a good product then you’re good to go!

 

 

 

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Uses I’ve found to be amazing AND work:

-peppermint sugar scrub for the skin (peppermint acts as an antibacterial)

-peppermint oil and water in a spray bottle sprayed on anything itchy (bug bite, bee sting, etc) not only has a cooling affect but also somehow takes the itch right out. (Since this is sprayed directly onto the skin I heavily dilute it and only use about 5-7 drops of peppermint oil to the whole container of water)

-stomach aches! If you or a child have a stomach they can not only suck on an actual peppermint candy but  you can also get peppermint oil on your finger and rub it onto the stomach. It tends to work just as fast as something like pepto bismal.

-homemade peppermint bath salt, my own recipe found here.

-use peppermint oil and other oils in a homemade mosquito repellent! Here is the recipe I’ve tried.

 

 

Uses I’ve researched but not personally tried yet:

-externally it can be used for muscle pain and nerve pain.

-in folklore peppermint oil has long been used for nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, indigestion, irritable bowel, and bloating.

-in aromatherapy the smell of peppermint oil tends to provide alertness and so it can be good to use in your homemade bath products (as long as you follow the proper ratio for essential oil and carrier oil in the recipe so that the peppermint doesn’t cause any skin irritation, do your research)

-make a homemade peppermint lip scrub and find the directions here.

-make a homemade flea shampoo for dogs, directions here.

-try a homemade diy peppermint toothpaste recipe here.

-use honey and peppermint oil to make a homemade facial toner, found here.

-make a heatwave peppermint spray to cool you down! You can find info on that here.

 

If you are eager to research peppermint oil more I urge you to do so. It is but one tiny plant but as you can see, so many uses! And if you’re living the homestead life, I can see why Peppermint Plant is one that we all need on our homesteads, if only for upset stomachs and bug repellent!!!! =D

 

XoXo,

Elizabeth

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06-13-15 Adapting to life in the country

As with any older home, especially one that has been through several remodels and then sat empty for a bit…you are bound to move in and then find problems just from living there and using everything. The first major problem we had was a water leak on the part of the water main that comes into the property.  Here we have city water AND a private well. The city water goes to the house and the well provides water to several water spigots throughout the property. In the future I’d like to have the well on the house as well to get rid of city water to try to go as off grid as possible BUT prior to that happening, the well will feed into a large irrigation system I plan to setup for our garden, fruit trees and many plants. But back to this story, we had a leak. I am an avid Do It Yourself-er so I began researching. I found numerous videos and articles online telling what this problem was and how to fix it.


The dogs liked the water leak, although it made a mud puddle they would still run over there everyday to lap it up.


After going to the store and buying a couple of different wrenches I couldn’t even get the damn nut off of it. It was so tight and I was afraid if I used all my force I might break or crack something since it is aged metal that has been in the sun…for forever. Not to say that I have he man strength but when you’re pushing something so hard that the whole thing is moving…I’d rather leave a problem then make a problem worse. So I relented and after a week and a half and 4 failed attempts to fix it myself, I called the seller. Within a week or so he had someone out who promptly fixed it…awesome! #thatwaseasy At least I tried!


Riley made fun of me when I bought a little Home Depot apron like this for him and me because in our adventures to try to fix that water main and work on the front gate we’d get all the way out there with the tools in our hands and if I wasn’t wearing jeans to stuff my pockets full…one or both of us would end up having to walk back to the house or shop just to get 1 tool we had forgotten or didn’t have room to carry. So, these did serve as useful and I snapped up 1 quick shot of him wearing his because he said “You better not tell anyone I ever wore this thing!” hahahahaha!


Our dogs! Our fur babies and the loves of our lives! Max is on the left, he’s our baby boy. Although he’s older than Bella and almost 5 or 6, we call him baby boy because he is scarred of everything and he’s smaller than Bella. He is a mix between Pitbul and Calhouta Leopard dog…which is a breed I had never even heard of prior to adopting him. He basically is built like a pit but has shorter legs, has a hunting dogs tail (like a pointer) and his coat looks like gray camo! He also has grayish eyes! He’s gorgeous!!!!


Bella Marie is our golden lab that my ex and I adopted while together because he wanted a female dog and one he could train to go hunting with him. So we found her and rescued her and she is THE love of MY life! I call her big girl just because she’s bigger than Max and probably the biggest dog I’ve had since I was a kid because small dogs have seemed to find their way into my life although I much prefer larger breeds. She is the most gorgeous color of blonde and also has these yellow or honey colored eyes that just…melt my heart. Her looks wouldn’t be so stunning if it weren’t for her personality of being the sweetest, most gentle dog. She listens well, is very grateful for being rescued,  absolutely adores affection and she likes to “slap hands” and give you her paw…all the time! <3 Some days she even wakes me up by giving me a “slap hands” on my face, haha! But most, this big girl loves to be outside! She’s a true lab at heart with that love of the outdoors and she’ll just run and run and run and run until she can’t breath anymore and sometimes even then we have to make her come in so she will lay down. She is my girl and sleeps on her camo bed at the foot of my bed although I do invite her in my bed when I just feel like it because…why not.


Max is Riley’s BFF and has been from Day 1. We got Max maybe about 6 months after my younger son Konnor moved to his Dad’s in Arkansas so Riley was really needing some sort of companion around because he wasn’t used to be without that little brother that followed him around everywhere and got into everything he was doing. So Mr. Max sleeps IN bed with Riley, EVERY night, without fail. It can be 8pm or 10pm and I tell Max “Time to go to bed” and he will run to Riley’s room and jump on the edge of the bed. Riley has a twin size bed now and he himself is almost as tall as me, although he’s only 11. He is about 5 foot 2 inches and so that twin bed WITH  Max in it…they are close to running out of room, lol!


My lovely Bella!



One way I began adapting or reverting back to country life is that I knew I had to start stocking up on tools, all varieties. This jig saw I found at a yard sale and once I got home I realized I had just bought MY FIRST POWER TOOL, EVER!!!! I immediately told my Mom, because I knew she’d be proud of her baby girl. Then I took this ADORABLE selfie and posted it on facebook! My Facebook friends were just as happy for me, haha! I’ve yet to use this for any project but I have several in mind where I’ll need it so I’m so glad I got it!



One thing I realized about myself a couple of years ago was just how much I enjoy doing things myself. Sometimes I’ll do something because it is cheaper than buying it or paying someone but other times I do it just because it makes me feel good. It is something about feeling capable and able to do something that really makes me feel like the most useful human being. It was one Christmas maybe 4 years ago when my Mom and I were discovering Pinterest and found a homemade facial sugar scrub and that, with the help of Pinterest, led to endless ideas of DIY heaven!!! So, after we were settled in the new house I had been wanting to try this DIY homemade Febreeze! First, let me say, I love Febreeze. It is probably a daily ritual with a son and 2 dogs for me to go through the house every morning and spray the furniture, bedding, dog beds and curtains. So…when I found this recipe I just had to try it. Honestly it is so super easy, that after the first time I didn’t even need the instructions to make it again. I will share the link to the blog with the instructions I followed:


In pulling up recipes of my homemade sugar facial scrub to send to a friend who had asked for it I came across a recipe for a DIY Sugar Shave Cream. It is all the same stuff you use for the sugar scrub but a different consistency and  you use this in place of shaving cream or soap and it is great to shave with while also giving you a light exfoliation! So of course, you skin feels amazing after! And FYI, you can never have too many mason jars on a farm or homestead! 


And here is a shot of the shave cream on the left and the facial scrub on the right, you can see how the consistency is different. These two I didn’t even put any scents or essential oils in because I didn’t have any at the time and smell is more for aromatherapy benefits. But typically I’ll do a coconut scent and then around the holidays I’ll do a peppermint scent because I love peppermint! But if you have certain things that you use aromatherapy for go with that. For example, citrus smells are mood boosters and help to reduce anxiety and the blues. If you need calming and relaxation, go with lavender. Just research which one would be best for you. Here is the link to the sugar scrub that I use most often:


In case you don’t know yet, you will soon learn I am a lover of Coconut Oil! It is one of the very few things I’ll use on my face. In fact all I put on my face is make-up, sugar scrub, coconut oil and Shea butter. I don’t buy any make-up remover, face wash, face scrub, moisturizer, etc. I use all natural and people often compliment me on my complexion and I’m quick to tell them how easy, cheap and simple it is to go all natural on your face. I think it really is the “secret” to youthful skin! Here is a good article!


So in June that is where we were on adapting to life in the country! And finding it pretty splendid, if I do say so myself! =)

XoXo,
Elizabeth
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