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  • I am so excited for this weeks topic. Join us as we talk about skin care.

    I have teamed up with some amazing women bloggers to bring you Wellness Wednesday. This week together with Shellie from Shellie Lynn.com,  Stephanie from Steph’s Social Pie we will share with you our knowledge  to help you live a happier, healthier life. Join us twice a month for some of the best information we can give you to from our journey to yours.

    Make a healing salve for your skin

    I love to make my own salves and my favorite herb to use is Comfrey. I just love how salves can be customized to work for you based off of what your skin needs. My Healing Herbal Salve packs a powerful punch when it comes to making your skin soft and healthy while being all natural and non-toxic. 

    Turmeric is amazing!

    Shellie has a great article where she talks about the power of Turmeric. I have known for a long time that it is an anti-inflammatory but I never knew how powerful it could be in your skin care routine. Go see what she has to say and get some ideas and recipes. 

    having a good beauty routine can help you feel happier.

    Can beauty make you healthier and happier? Stephanie has a really great article up right now about skin care routine and taking care of yourself. She has some really great information on how to take better care of yourself and establish a beauty routine. I especially liked her double cleansing method. Go and read her article and get some insight on how to get a great routine started for yourself. 

    Go and check out these amazing blog posts and leave a comment. Thanks for stopping by and we will see you again next time. 

    Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

    A deliscious mild soap that is easy to make once you know the basics.

    I love the idea of fancy designer soaps but I also love clean ingredients and so I have experimented to make my own. This soap is a mild exfoliating soap and is so easy to make once you have a basic understanding of the process of hot process soap. I have found that with soap lye changes things and so additives can get hard and I need to plan for that. This is my third soap in my soap making series and if you are new here and haven’t caught my basic soap post go here now to check it out. You will need to follow it to make this soap. 

    I have also posted a heavenly gardeners hand soap which I love. I have been spending a lot of time with my hands in the dirt out in the garden lately and it has been the best thing to get the grime out of the small cracks and crevices of the skin on my hands. I will be making it every year. 

    This soap is easy once you have the basic soap recipe

    It is super easy to customize the basic soap recipe. I did however do some digging around online looking for ratios and combinations of items that you can add to soap that will work well. When I made the gardener’s hand soap I put chopped up pine needles into it which turned hard and abrasive when the lye cured. That works for a gardener’s soap but it is a little too much for the shower. For this soap I didn’t want it to be so rough but I wanted it to be yummy and unique. Just remember that you really don’t need to add much to the soap when it comes to additives. A little goes a long way.

    How to make oat and orange soap from the basic hot process soap recipe.

    So to start you need the basic recipe that you can get here. Make sure you have made it at least one time before trying to add anything to it so you know what to do and what to look for when you are making soap. 

    Ingredients

    2 tablespoons grated orange peel (I used clementines). 

    1/4 cup ground oats. Grind them in the blender. I ground mine into a fairly fine powder.

    2 teaspoons sweet orange essential oil.

    Extra whole oats and grated orange peel to press into the top for aesthetics.

    Follow the entire basic recipe that I linked to above and when you get to the end of your cooking time (50 minutes) stir the grated orange and ground oats into the soap mixture. I like to wait for it to cool a little bit before adding the orange essential oil. 

    After it has cooled for a little bit I add my oil and stir it all up. You can add up to 1/4 cup water if it is hard to stir. 

    Then I plop it all down into my prepared mold. You can use almost anything that is not metal as a soap mold. Press the extra orange peel and whole oats into the top to make it look fancy. 

    I normally set it outside to cool. Sometimes I cover it to try to keep the essential oils from evaporating out. After about 12 hours you can take it out and cut it into bars. It is usable right away but it will be better if you let it cure for about 1 week. 

    Some last things to know about this soap.

    Since this is an all natural soap it will not have a strong scent. If you want a stronger orange scent then you can buy some fragrance from a soap dealer. I have done some reading and a lot of people say that if it is orange it will trick the mind into smelling stronger. I even read this funny story about a soap maker with a storefront who experimented with this and customers overwhelmingly said that the orange colored soap smelled stronger. 

    For this recipe I actually put some of my soap oils in a small oil warmer with some paprika and let it infuse for a few days to create an orange dye. I didn’t include this step in the instructions above because I don’t think I will do it again. It was just an extra step that I don’t care to do and the paprika actually changed to more of a brown after the soap cooked in the slow cooker. If you want orange colored soap you can buy orange dye for soap online but again, that sort of defeats the purpose of making all natural soap at home. 

    Remember to have safe soap making practices.

    While making soap at home is super easy, economical, and fun you do have to remember to be safe with your lye. Lye can be dangerous so make sure to wear the proper safety gear of long sleeves and eye protection. You will also need good ventilation for when you are mixing your lye. I like to use my back porch and I make sure to keep my kids away. 

    Thanks for stopping by. Let me know how this soap making goes for you and have a wonderful week!

    I love fresh flowers in my house

    One of the reasons I grow a garden is to have fresh flowers and foliage to bring in to my interiors for half the year. I has taken me a few years at each house to get enough flowers growing outside, that I feel like I have enough to cut to bring inside. 

    One of the things that was nice when we bought this house was the beautiful lilac bush growing out in the middle of my front yard. I have since found several more that were hiding in shady areas that didn’t bloom. I have been working on moving them to sunnier spots on my property but that needs to be done before they wake up in the spring. 

    Lilac blooms make great cut flowers if you know how to make them last

    Besides the fact that they smell so heavenly lilacs are an extremely nostalgic flower. Almost everyone remembers them in one shape of form from the pleasant parts of their past. I remember them blooming in the summers of my childhood. For me they were the true heir bringers of summer. 

    Where I grew up lilacs didn’t flower until early June. Where we live now they bloom in May so they have more springtime connotations for me now. Many of you in warmer regions see them much sooner in April or even late March. I love to go clip a giant basket and bring them in to enjoy at least one time each season. Even though for some, this post may be a little late for this year my hope if for you to have longer lasting blooms as cut flowers in the future. 

    Lilacs come in many colors. You can find them from lavender to purple, to pink and and even white.

    There are two main things you need to do when you clip lilacs to bring them indoors. 

    1. Once they are inside, strip the stems of all the leaves.
    2. Mash the bottoms of the stems where you cut them,  or slice them in half and separate. This allows them to bring more water up the stems, keeping the flowers fresh longer. You only want the bottom 1 inch or so of the stem to get his treatment.

    If you have any flower preservative packets for the water you can add that as well. I had one left over from a few weeks ago when I bought a bouquet, but you can also use a crushed aspirin. This helps the water stay clean from bacteria. 

    When I arrange lilac blooms I like a little green from the leaves peeking through. Since I just stripped all the leaves from the stems I often just poke some of the leaves (they will be on stems of their own) into the bouquet around the edges. 

     

    the more lilacs the better since they smell so good.

    When they are cut and in vases around your home you might notice that they put off their heavenly scent most often in the evening. I just enjoy relaxing and smelling the smells of spring drifting through my living room or next to my bed. 

    Remember, when the blooms start to wilt its time to let them go. You don’t want to keep them past that time as they will start to decay and mold. 

    Lilacs bloom on new growth. So when you cut them to bring the blooms indoors this sets the plant up for more blooms the following spring. Don’t ever prune or cut your lilacs after the blooming season is over. If you cut off new growth then the lilacs will not get any flowers the next year. 

    What types of flowers do you love the most to cut and bring into your home?

    This week we are talking about wellness and the great outdoors

    I have teamed up again with Stephanie, Shellie and Michelle to bring you another Wellness Wednesday. This week we are talking about the great outdoors.  I am excited because these ladies are so knowledgeable I love learning from them. 

     

    I just love making soap and have found this recipe to be the best soap for cleaning the grit and grime out of the cracks of my hands after a long day of working in the garden. There have been times when I can’t get it off. This soap was made from my christmas tree. Its is a great way to bring the outdoors in and then scrub the outdoors off. Check it out here. 

    Shellie has such a great post to help with spring time ailments. Essential oils are so powerful and I love how they heal and smell good too. She is has some really great information up about how to use them in the spring. If you suffer from allergies then this post is for you. 

    One of my goals is to grow herbs and actually use them. Michelle lays out some very simple herbs to grow to get started over at Garden of Auarius . I grow many of the ones she talks about in her article and I love them. They are easy to grow, easy to use and beautiful. 

    Stephanie over at Steph’s Social Pie is talking about the benefits of simply stepping outdoors. She has a entire list of ways to engage with nature and the health benefits it brings. If you are looking for a way to boost your mental and physical health check out what she has to say on her latest post

    Thanks for Joining Us this week for Wellness Wednesday

    We get together and share with you twice a month for some of the best information we can give you to from our journey to yours. If you stop by any of these wonderful blogs remember to leave them a comment. 

    Have a happy healthy week!

    This post may contain affiliate links. I would only ever recommend products that I personally love and use. All opinions are my own. 

    When you are just getting started with essential oils it can be hard to figure out what to buy.

    I have been using essential oils for the better part of a decade now. When I say that outloud it makes me feel so old. Remembering back to when I was just getting started it was so hard to know where to begin. Researching them was like falling down a rabbit hole and everyone had something to say about what brand was the “best.” I spent the better part of a year trying to learn about them before just jumping in and finally ended up deciding that it was OK to like more then one brand. 

    That said, I also decided that I loved Butterfly Express. They provide high quality oils, tons of proprietary blends alongside their many options of singles. Butterfly Express also sells other holistic healing products such as herb packs, hydrosols, tinctures, and more. If you love oils and natural health they are for you. 

    Lastly, I have to say that I call them all the time. They are so helpful knowledgeable. I still buy oils from other companies but for the quality and the price you can’t compare to Butterfly Express. Now that I am blogging I am just so excited to share them with you. 

    starter kits

    Often with essential oil companies you can get starter kits. I think there are some really good options out there to get your feet wet. Starter kits can be a good way to go because they do the thinking for you. Butterfly Express sells kits as well. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t such a free spirit, while I like the idea of a starter kit, I like picking out what I want even more. 

    If you are interested in purchasing a starter kit so you don’t have to think too hard about how to get started with essential oils check this one out here. It has the basics (great basic oils, carrier oils, and Miracle Salve). 

    I wanted to show you my basic list and what I would pick for a starter kit. Hopefully this will help you get started using quality essential oils for a fraction of the cost.

    The following is my short list of essential oils that I can’t live without. If you just get started with these you will be on your way to becoming an essential oil expert in no time. 

    Sweet Orange- This oil is a gentle mood lifting oil. It is great diffused, in cleaners, handmade soaps, and sparingly in smoothies . It can relieve nausea, and clean up sticky residue. 

    Lavender– I love this oil for the smell. A lot of people use it as a sleep aid. I like it for minor burns and cuts and insect bites. It is our favorite in the summer for mild sunburns. 

    Eucalyptus– This oil is so good when you have a head cold. Put some on a cotton ball inside your pillow case or use it in a hot bath. I love it in handmade salves. 

    Tea Tree– We use this for almost everything. It has been used to freshen stinky smells, healing skin infections, and clearing up dandruff. It also is a great additive to hand soap and shampoo. You can use it as a laundry aid as well. 

    Copiaba Balsam– If you are looking for a natural anti-inflammatory look no further. We rub this oil on sore muscles and use if for headaches. I always put it in handmade salve. 

    Lemon– Lemon is one of my favorites. I love a drop in my water, or several drops in my dish soap. It is also great in any cleaner. Lemon can be a powerful aid when trying to heal from a cold. 

    Rosemary– The smell of rosemary is all I need to lift my mood. I often combine this oil in anything I would put the lemon oil in. It can also be a stimulating and refreshing oil to use for massage. Just make sure to use a carrier oil.  

    Peppermint– I have used peppermint to cool myself when in a hot overcrowded room. It is also a great oil for muscle rubs and head aches. We like it in sunburn sprays. 

    There are a couple proprietary blends I can't live without

    I love DuTerra’s On Guard. They make some cough drops with it and I could eat them nonstop. There a also a lot of people out there that are crazy about Young Living’s Thieves oil.

    If you want an oil that is almost the same but with its own flavor and spin then you should try Spice C. Normally I wouldn’t be so blatant to plug a product or a company but I can’t live without Spice C. I diffuse it almost exclusively throughout my home. It has the same cold and flu fighting qualities and a heavenly smell. Put it in your cleaners, dish soap and hand soap for a divine cleaning experience.

    Lastly, I just love Butterfly Express’s Breezy. We use this for head colds and coughs and sinus congestion. It has a pleasant fresh smell. Besides being good for breathing it has tissue regenerating properties. 

    Some final thoughts about oils and Butterfly Express

    Make sure you are using oils safely. There are very few oils I use neat (without a carrier oil). Carrier oils protect your skin and internal organs since oils can be very powerful. Your oils will also last a lot longer if you dilute them properly. Get some empty roller bottles to blend them and save a lot of money. 

    One other thing besides the quality and price of Butterfly Express that I love is the options on size when you go to order. Did you see my first picture with the different sizes up here on the top of this post? When I find an oil I love I always order the 50 ml bottle. They even offer larger options up to 450 ml! Their size options are so awesome I don’t have to feel like an oil hoarder.  

    Do your own research and decide for yourself on which oils you want to buy. I have been using oils for so many years that it is a no brainier for me to share this brand with you. I love helping people find quality while also helping them to save money. There is no reason to overspend on similar products. 

    One final note. remember, I am not a doctor. This post is in no way offering you medical advise. If you have concerns about your health please consult a health care professional. 

    Do you use oils? What are your favorite varieties and blends? Share your thoughts in the comments below and thank you for joining me today at the farmhouse. 

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