Monday, October 27, 2014

Make Your Own Natural & Organic Lip Balms!

It's just in time for gift giving and very inexpensive to make your own natural lip balm. You can even make them look really attractive with making your own labels either at home or ordering from places like vista print! It's easy, fun, and handmade. I really appreciate handmade gifts because I think about the time and effort someone put into vs a quick buy at the store. Handmade gifts seem to convey more of the "I care" and especially when the ingredients are the best nature has to offer. Sorry, direct links I cannot do, we live in a very rural area and have no internet access except phone, so I will just put up web address. Also I personally shop around for my butters and oils so I can get the purest Organic, if you want all Organic ingredients look at Amazon, you can find it all in Organic there. My suppliers only sell bulk. If this is a first time for you trying to make your own body care, I would use items from the store or as this will keep your cost down incase you mess up. Then once you've got it down try buying the Organic ingredients. If it's  not a concern the following oils and butters can be gotten either at the grocery store or
So here it is, you will need:
A very small beaker, that measured ounces and 1/2 ounces (from Walmart)
2 metal sauce pots, one to melt in and the other to combine oils and pour from so a pour spout on the edge is helpful.
24 Lip Tubes .15 oz ( from ) They come in round or oval.
Lip Tube Holder, very helpful. Made of silicone and holds little tubes still while you pour warm liquid. Make sure you get the right shaped one for your specific lip tube, round or oval. ( from )
Mango Butter 1 oz ( from )
Coconut Oil 1.15 oz ( from grocery store if, not needing bulk amount )
Safflower Oil 2.40 oz ( from grocery store, if not needing bulk amounts )
Bee's Wax 1.75 oz ( from )
Peppermint Essential Oil ( from or for Organic try )
To begin, place all your tubes in holder and sit on level tray that can be moved to frig when done.
In melt pot, place 2 Tblspn Mango butter, melt on medium heat and pour into beaker, should measure 1 oz. If over pour extra into dry bowl to cool, if under add some to make 1 oz. Then pour that into combining pot. Next melt 2 and 1/2 Tblspn Coconut Oil and measure in beaker to 1.15. It's slightly over 1 oz. Pour into combing pot. Pour Safflower Oil into beaker and measur to 2.4 oz. That's just before the 2.5 mark. Add to combing pot. Scoop up bees wax beads and measure to 1.70 oz, and add to combining pot. Slowly warm over medium heat until all is melted together. Turn stove off. Pull of eye and let rest until it isn't so hot. If it's too hot you burn up essential oils. They are very sensitive, so wait just about two minutes. If it begins to firm up, just rewarm. Then add 3/4 teaspoon of Peppermint Essential Oil to the pot, stir and pour quickly into tubes. If you need to move out of the way do so very carefully. I would advise putting into frig to help cool down until firm. Then you can just pop off of holder and place cap on! Now your ready to label. I hope you found this helpful.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fall Fertilizing with "them" & Breakfast for the plants!

Fall is THE time of year we fertilize by several ways. Manure tea, maure, lime from the feed & seed,  compost, burn old garden plot or old wood & plants (fungi ridden tomatoes) in garden, and breakfast for the plants are all on the list of possibilities. It's also a great time of year to weed. It's not hot outside and work seems nicer out doors. Not to mention prepare trees for up coming winter. I believe most people fertilize in spring not thinking of long term. As a result some miss out on bettering next years crops. I do everything with 6 in tow and teach as we go. I want them to know hard work, and eating the fruits of your labor! I also want them to have skills so many of us are working to reclaim. As far as fertilizer we mainly make up this "breakfast for the plants". I use it on everything I can. Here is the recipe. Egg shells dried in greenhouse, then powdered. About 3 dozen shells. To this add about 6 Cups Oats powdered, 4 Tblspn Coffee Grinds. If using old & used, dry them out and dump about 1/2 Cup worth into mix, 1 Cup of Epsom Salts and 2 Cups Sugar. This goes everywhere! It can and does go on fruit trees, berry bushes, even tomato and pepper plants. It can also be used on flowers and herbs. Since melons and squash are finicky, use very lightly.
We have to weed our winter garden before we can fertilize it or we're fertilizing the weeds. Since we also need to weed around the seedlings we just planted and the tillers are NOT working, we just get at it with the hoes and in just an hour were done. Everyone wants to help. It's just totally natural and fun to see what a little work can do.
   If you need a stronger fertilizer, which I do recommend to first time gardener's or those who do not have the soil built up, go ahead and use 13-13-13, sparingly. I am phasing this out slowly as I am trying to go more Organic. But it takes a couple of years to get things in that direction. Gardening is really easy and fun with "them". We go at life differently and LOVE IT! I get "them" involved and most of the time they are asking me "Can I hoe? Can I save these seeds? Can I spray? Can I plant this row? Can I do the fertilizer? " Sure can!
   As for trees or bushes affected by worms or mites, I would put a coat of grafting compound at the base of the tree to winterize and again in spring. It does help with that worm/borer that's drills into your fruit trees. And then all you see is a dead tree and stuff oozing out. Remember to add 1/2 to 1 Cup of Breakfast to each tree at the roots by digging up a bowl's worth of dirt and working back in with breakfast. Use on each bush or tree and water.
powder eggshells

add oats

Little brother wants to be like Bubba'.
So sweet!
Put out a cup every so often and work into soil
around berries and trees.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Putt'n up Pears with "them"

What do you do with a lot of pears and a lot of "them"? Pass out peelers! So we just enjoy each other's company, talk, laugh, and peel them pears. I keep it simple, so as not to make it to hard. We'll  can 'em, eat 'em, share with the animals, and the rest go in soap. I get the ideas for my natural body products right from nature. And using what we have right from the homestead gives me lots of creative products. For all that we create visit,
   We laugh and joke, that helps the time go by. Sometimes we have the oldest read a book aloud while everyone just listens while working. We've worked through many a novel this way. Books I never would have read, now I know, thanks to times like this with "them". I love these times. Working together, enjoying each other's company and teaching "them" a simpler way of life is all worth the work. Then, how fun it will be to have something to remember/eat come winter; a healthy food they helped with. We're putt'n up more than pears, we're putt'n up memories.

Easy Homemade "Hot Cross Buns!"

Well, here's our way to make homemade bread, step by step! This is our go- to bread for everything. Rolls, pizza dough, loaf bread, you name it. It's an all around great bread recipe. Easy how-to instructions makes it a snap. And if it takes you a while to get it down, no sweat. It took me about a while to perfect the recipe and open the oven to rolls, not bricks.:) One note: we mix the wheat flour with King Arthur for two reasons; King Arthur Flour is not bleached or bromated or enriched (that means they don't 1- bleach it, 2-microwave it to kill bugs, 3-add chemical vitamin replacements) and  it gives the bread the lightness and elasticity that it needs to rise. We use ground red or white wheat for the other half.
    6 1/2 cups of flour (mixed 1/2 King Arthur white & 1/2 wheat)
    2 1/2 cups of warm water
    2 tablespoons of yeast
    1/3 cup either honey or sugar
    1/3 teaspoon of salt
    3/4 cup of Safflower oil
    Note: we use a Kitchen Aid Mixer to cheat on the kneading process.
Put the flour and salt into a mixing bowl.
Measure the yeast into a ceramic bowl and add water on top. Then add sugar to the yeast bowl.
Mix the flour and salt together, then make a well in the center. After the yeast has had about 2 minutes to settle, pour the oil into the well, then the yeast water. Do not mix!!!
Put the mix into the mixer, or knead by hand until the dough is good and evenly mixed. It should be not too wet, but if it's a little sticky then that's okay.
Oil a ceramic or plastic bowl and then turn the dough around a few times to coat. Cover with a towel and let it rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, divide the dough into a little smaller than roll size portions, because they rise a little bit. Shape by flattening with your hands, then pinching the edges under like you're making a mushroom top. Put the dough on a cookie sheet, or a pizza stone for the best results.
Let rise another 25 minutes.
Cook in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes, maybe a bit longer according to your oven, then when they come out brush them with oil or melted butter. Viola! Homemade bread couldn't get any better!!