Friday, July 13, 2012

Shampoo Bar Recipe Crockpot style

Today I once again ventured outside of my comfort zone to try another homemade natural product out! I actually did this one all by myself too, no helpers involved in this soap making process!

I've been looking into making a shampoo bar for a couple of weeks now. I gave another homemade shampoo recipe a try, it was using a mixture of Dr. Bronners soap and coconut milk. I do NOT recommend this. It might work for some people or maybe it's just something that takes a few days/weeks for your hair to adjust to, I don't know but my hair felt so completely gross! Anyway, thats when I decided to go ahead and use that as my body wash, use some regular shampoo for now and make a shampoo bar soap soon.

On a side note, Apple Cider Vinegar works really great as a conditioner! I know that one seems gross and yes there is the smell, but even with my hair, thick, medium length, it only took a few seconds and I could run my fingers through my hair and then combing it out was really easy too, and it feels just fine. I've just been using straight vinegar because I don't have a spray bottle, but other people have said to use 1 part vinegar 3 parts water and put it in a spray bottle and just spray it on right before you get out of the shower. I have left it in and rinsed just before getting out and I think I like the feel of my hair better when I do a really quick rinse.

Back to my soap making venture... I got my recipe from a couple of different sites. I really like visiting the Soap Queen Blog, She has a lot of experience and shares lots of recipes too. The other blog I used was Frugally Sustainable, in her blog she uses the "hot process" soap making and with a crockpot.

I didn't use either recipe exactly as they have them, and by the way, from what I can tell "cold process" and "hot process" soap making use the same recipe only the hot process takes less time to cure because the lye has been cooked out. Cold process looks a lot nicer though. I haven't tried my cold process bar yet so I won't know how to compare the processes for awhile. I thought I would give this one a try because I would like some soap now, not later.

Here's my recipe... using a digital scale to weigh everything by the ounce. And of course I first ran this through the great soap-calc,

I made granola too for the first time!
Shampoo Bar Soap

2 oz. sweet almond oil
8 oz. castor oil
8 oz. olive oil
10 oz. palm oil
12 oz. coconut oil (76 degree, which is the cooking coconut oil as far as I can tell)

15.2 oz. water
5.7 oz. lye

I also added after the cooking process about 1/2  C. goats milk and some different essential oils.

This follows all the same steps as in my Goats milk Soap recipe, Instead of pouring the mixture into molds at trace, once trace is reached (everything being mixed in the crockpot) just put the lid on and after about 45 min. to an hour you add whatever extra you plan on and then spoon the gel like mixture into your mold. This way it only takes about a day for it to be ready to use, although from other posts I've read it sounds like it can pretty much be used as soon as it sets up. of course the longer it dries the harder the soap bar will be.

This gave me 12 bars of 4.5 oz. to 5 oz. and the lather is really great! Nice and foamy just like store bought! Only mine is natural yea!

Here's a note... don't use wax paper to line the pan! I finally managed to get  my soap out, but it took a lot more prying and effort than I would have liked! Last time I used a big garbage bag and that worked pefectly. I assume it would work just fine for this one too.
I also found this site helpful,

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Moments when you Know you've done Something Right.

Last night our power went out again, 2nd night in a row and 4th time in the 2 months that we have lived here! it's gonna be a fun monsoon season! We gathered up the kids, because of course the power goes off before dinner has been made, and head out to get something to eat at a small mexican food restaurant nearby.

We don't go to restaurants very often with all 6 of us. it's just too expensive and then the little kids (and one of my bigger kids) okay, the boys, can't stay in their seats the whole time. So we tend to just do the easy thing, grab a pizza or whatnot.

Anyway, we got on the topic of how much this was going to cost somehow, my husband guessing around $38. My daughter, who is the oldest, turns to my son (2nd oldest) and says, you know we should help pay for our own food. She's 10 and he is 9. Does this sound normal to anyone? All I can say is this is one proud Mommy!

A short history of our family and why this is a remark that is not such a rarity in our family....

My husband and I have been married for going on 12 years, we had out first baby 1 year and 2 months after our wedding, and now there are 4. My husband has been in school for the majority of our married life with maybe a year in between a couple of breaks from school. The past 4 1/2 years he has been working on his BA in Mechanical Engineering and he recently graduated in December. He didn't have a full time job or even a part time job for many of those years and we lived off of the income we received from his working on cars from our garage. Money was tight and life wasn't always so easy. We saw lots of people going on vacations that we couldn't even come close to affording and my kids have never been to Disneyland (shocking!). I have to admit, I've often had that seed of jealousy in me for what others were able to do and we were not.

I have always made it a point to be open with my kids about just about everything. Of course I don't always go into complete detail like I would with an adult, but they have usually been aware of our situations. We have had a few instances when money has magically come our way and I have started planning a vacation to California only to have something happen (like Daddy cutting off his fingertip in a school project 2 weeks before he was supposed to start his summer internship and then having to put off internship for 2 more months because of complications with surgery and having it redone 4 times), where that money turned into not our "extra" but our sole income. I always talked with the kids and they understood what the situation was and my responses from them was always the same... "it's okay Mom, we can go another time." I don't know how many times I have just wanted to cry because of how amazing and understanding my kids have been in these instances when others would have thrown a fit or cried because they were so disappointed. I am so lucky! I know that we have been blessed to have our financial struggles too. My kids are involved in many activities, but those activities are things that they are either helping to pay for or are working to get in trade. They are learning the value of a dollar and the hard work that things take in order to get them. I'm thankful for that, despite how hard it has been, who knows if they would have learned those valuable lessons if we had never had those struggles?

Anyway, life is still tough at times and money still tight, so my kids offering to pay for their dinner out of their own money that they have earned by baby-sitting or doing other odd jobs, is a pretty awesome thing to me. It's hard teaching your kids, so those moments when it looks like some of your teaching has paid off is just simply incredible!

I love my family! I love how understanding and thoughtful my kids are especially during those times when it's hardest, when there is something that they want really bad. I love that I have them home with me (we homeschool) and that they are a part of my life all the time and can see the struggles that I face and we can talk about them. My kids are so the GREATEST!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Homemade Toothpaste recipe 2nd try!

I ordered some cute little bottles for my toothpaste from Elements Bath and Body and they just arrived a couple days ago and I finally was able to get my hands on some Xylitol, so today I got around to actually making my toothpaste.

I researched a few and then came up with a variation of what others have posted. Here's mine....

2 tsp. Dr. Bronners Liquid Castile Soap -almond
1 TBS. water
2 TBS. Xylitol (can be purchased at Sprout's)
4 TBS. Coconut Oil
3/4 capsule Myrrh
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. arrowroot powder
15 or so drops of peppermint and orange essential oils. Change this according to what you want it to taste like. For doTerra users, onguard blend would be a good one in here.

I mixed everything up in a glass measuring cup.
-Microwave the water and add in the Xylitol and baking soda to dissolve. Some people say not to use baking soda because it is too abrasive while others don't worry about it. I only used a little bit and I decided to dissolve it so hopefully it won't be as abrasive as in dry form.

Add in the coconut oil and mix together. It seemed pretty liquidy at this point and for me, my coconut oil doesn't usually stay in a hardened form no matter how cool my house is, so I decided to add a thickening agent in the form of arrowroot powder. I just added enough to get it a little thicker, and then I added in some myrrh.

I like myrrh because it has good oral health properties. I've often used it when I have a sore tooth or feel like I may have a cavity (brush with it at the end and then don't spit it out! Swallow, I know it seems wrong, but it's good for you!). It kills the pain almost immediately and helps fight cavities and other mouth related germs. It's just a great one to have on hand so I thought it would be great to actually use in my toothpaste too.

 I don't have the arrowroot pictured here because I added it in at the end to help thicken it up. Hopefully it won't be a bad ingredient, I don't see why it would. And I forgot I was going to use myrrh too, I didn't remember and get it out until I was almost finished.
 The finished product. I know it's hard to tell the consistency.
My toothpaste bottle. It's only 50 ml, but you only need a drop of this toothpaste. A little goes a long way.

For more information on Xylitol go to this site, It tells you all you need to know about the benefits of using this natural sweetener as part of your oral health regiment. It can actually help fight cavities! 

Now, I'm not really planning on making this to sell with my other products, but if you just don't want to, I can. Just email me and I will whip some up for you, but you will have to provide your own container because I only bought enough of these for my family to use. I'll charge $2.50 for a tube.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cold Process Goat's Milk Soap

I finally got around to it, and I must say I am once again so very proud of myself!! I never knew how much accomplishement I would feel by doing what I am doing now. My whole life right now feels like i have more purpose to it, and it feels really, really good.

So the soap.... I used what is called Cold Process Soap. From what I have learned this seems to make the best and prettiest soap, but it does take a lot longer to finish. I used a couple of sites to get it all going the first one where I used her basic recipe was from Soap Queen,
I used almond oil instead of the castor oil in her first recipe.
The second site I found very useful was on the cold process soap making procedures. It also had a recipe but it used so many ingredients I chose not to use it and go with something more basic, it is.., I liked the step by step instructions. Many of the sites I found would just show what they did or talked about making soap but didn't really have good, clear instructions. I really liked this one the best. I also liked that somewhere on their site (I don't know where i went through so much), it talked about soap molds and that you could use basically any container and just line it with a garbage bag. I loved that! All I found everywhere else were the molds to buy so this really saved me a ton of money right there!

On to the steps!!!

 Measure out your ingredients using a good scale. We used a digital scale that worked great!
 The goat's milk

 My beautiful little sister measures the oils for me. (She's 17 weeks pregnant so we kept her away from the lye.)

I look awesome in all my protective gear! Safety First!!! Measuring the lye.

 Mixing the oils together and heating them up.

 My wonderful Mom and I SLOWLY adding and mixing the lye to the slushy chunks of goat's milk. Hmmm... maybe chunks isn't the most picture perfect word there!

 The lye starts melting the goats milk.

 It turns this really shocking color orange as it heats up. I have to admit that was scaring me a little bit!
It heated up to about 120 degrees so it was put back in the bowl of ice water to cool to around 90.
 Our homemade soap mold. Thank goodness my mom has a lot of art supplies for the grandkids she keeps in neat storage bins! This is just a plastic bin lined with a garbage bag. You can also use a shoe box or any cardboard box too.
 Once we had both the oils and the milk/lye mixture cooled to about 90 degrees we mixed them together slowly with a big spoon, then I used my stick blender and started mixing them together. The color isn't so pretty right now right? We were hoping that it wouldn't stay that way!

 I blended until I got a light trace which is when the mixture is just thick enough to leave lines that don't go away immediately. I like to think of making frosting, when it starts to form peaks that stay there you know you're done. Just like that when the mixture stays put for a second before being absorbed back into the mass thats a light trace, and thats when I added my essential oils. I used a blend call "Invigorate" which has Spearmint, myrtle, Sage. nutmeg, Geranium and German Chamomile in it, and I also added in some lavender and mixed it all in. Once it got thick enough that it stayed on top I stopped mixing.

 We poured the mixture into our mold and then let it sit overnight.

 It's a pretty creamy color now! I am so relieved! I just pulled it out of the box and the garbage bag peeled off easily,
I cut it into squares and put it on my sheet to cure(dry). I have it in once of my closets away from my kids because at this point it can still be dangerous to touch. My closet luckily is made of wire shelves so there is plenty of air flow around the squares, you could easily use a baking sheet though!

And like I said, I am really proud of myself! I can't wait to be able to use ti. I wish it didn't take so long to cure, but thats the drawback to using cold process method. I think they look really nice though. They seem to have come out alright despite my ignorance in soap making. I'm going to try a crockpot hot process soap pretty soon, those only take a day to cure but won't come out so smooth and pretty. I'm excited to give it a try though, and to make more of this kind too.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Oil Pulling

I read about oil pulling on a site while I was searching for toothpaste recipes and I thought I would give it a try. I mean why not when I am trying just about everything else, right? I'm hoping that I can convince my husband to give it a try after I do it for a little bit. Why is it always the husbands who have to be convinced? I'm not a crazy lady! Didn't he know that when he married me? Why would he think I would turn crazy on him now and make him try something that would be horrible? I can't recall an instance that he can use against me! Well here goes my test run!!

Day 1- I only lasted about 5 min. I think I put more than a tablespoon in my mouth and it was too much to keep swishing around for that long. We'll see results wise what happens though.

I think I may have had some sensitivity in my back molars. These are teeth that at random times do have sensitivity to anything sweet though. I just brushed with myrrh and they were fine.

Day 2- I did it for about 12 minutes today!

Day 3- Well I lost 2 pounds since yesterday. I don't know if that is connected in any way though. I was able to get in a full 15 minutes today, which wasn't easy with my kids constantly trying to ask me questions!

Day 4/5- I got in my 15 minutes again on day 4 but i don't really remember much else. Day 5 I was only able to get in a few minutes because the lid on our chickens water wasn't coming off and my son was getting close to beating it, so I had to spit it out and yell at him! Boys and their tempers I tell ya!

Day 6- My kids are getting really good at the charades game we play every morning! The first couple of days I did notice sensitivity in my back teeth but now I haven't noticed any for a few days. I can't tell if I'm having any other results, there aren't any negative at least. I'm going to keep on using it just because for now. Really i won't see any true results until going to the dentist but who knows when that will be!

Day 7- Still doing it! It definitely has gotten easier to swish for 15 minutes and i don't really notice the flavor or texture much.

Days 8/9- Nothing much to report. I have lost another pound, but don't really know if it's tied into oil pulling or not. I have had 2 migraines since starting, but also, they happened after playing volleyball which has happened quite a lot to me before. Reading on it does say that it is supposed to help with migraine headaches, I don't know if that is if you oil pull while you have the headache or if it is supposed to cure you of them forever. Who knows, maybe it's one of those it will get worse before it gets better things because it is bringing up all of the toxins and causing problems until they are removed. I'm going to keep doing it though. Daily for a few more days and then just a couple times a week after that.

Day 11- I really can't tell if this has made a difference for me. I try to exercise and eat well as it is so maybe all of my results are internal and not something that I would see. My teeth seem somewhat whiter but that is about all that I can tell. I am hoping that it will help me get rid of my migraines but I'm  pretty sure my migraines are due to my neck issues which might not be effected by oil pulling. On it says that the best oil to use is sunflower oil. I don't know, I've been using coconut oil so maybe when I get to my health food store I will try to find sunflower oil and see if it makes any difference.

I'm going to keep up with it but I would love to hear from anyone who ends up being daring enough to give oil pulling a try. It may help strengthen your teeth so if you are heading to the dentist soon maybe try doing this for a few weeks beforehand and see what your results are. Let me know if you try it and what you think!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Making a Goat Stand!

 Finally we started on our goat milking stand! A friend of ours has offered to let us milk her goat for a few months and we accepted! We just have to get our stand done and we can get her! I'm so excited! It was a late night doing it, and on Father's Day, but the saw is what I got my husband for Father's Day so really I was just helping him out by letting him use it right away right?
 The finished base. I am so proud of my handy work! I actually was able to drill some of the pilot holes and the screws in! I know not a big deal to so many of you do-it-yourself women, but for me, it was a big deal! I'm totally a weenie at trying something for fear of ruining the project (or the equipment) so I really haven't used a drill much! I am very proud of myself, I can't wait to get the rest of it to be finished!!

This little boy would NOT go to bed so he was our unofficial screw placer! Gotta love gray feet and hands at 11:30PM and a bath! He sure does love working out in the garage though!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Homemade Lovely Laundry Soap

So trying to go natural with all the products that touch my skin is not a cheap thing. I have been looking into making my own laundry detergent to save some money. Right now I buy either Mrs. Meyers or 7th Generation and that costs about $15 for a bottle that does 66 loads. That is about $0.22 a load. That doesn't seem like much, but when you are doing as many loads a week as I am, that goes pretty quick. 
I found quite a few recipes online, all calling for basically the same thing, super washing soda, borax, and fels naptha soap, and water of course. Then a friend told me that she had been using a recipe that is concentrated so that you don't end up with huge jugs of liquid detergent sitting around your house, you just have some creamy detergent that is in nice Ball or Kerr jar with the plastic lid. She said that she really loved hers and it got out really bad stains and cleaned really well.
The recipe is from , my friend let me sample a bit for my laundry and while I felt that it did do a good job, I noticed that my legs really started itching when wearing the clothes I had washed with it.

I'm pretty sure that it was the Fels Naptha soap. I had read some blogs that said it wasn't good, others that said it wasn't bad. So of course that was added to my long list of products to research. I found that it does contain ingredients that for me and my sensitivity I don't even want to go near it.  Here are the ingredients from,


Soap (sodium tallowate*, sodium cocoate* (or) sodium palmate kernelate*, and sodium palmate*), water, talc, cocnut acid*, palm acid*, tallow acid*, PEG-6 methyl ether, glycerin, sorbitol, sodium chloride, pentasodium pentetate and/or tetrasodium etidronate, titatium dioxide, fragrance, Acid Orange (CI 20170), Acid yellow 73 (ci43350)
*contains one or more of these ingredients
I've highligthed just a few that are cause for concern; These tend to be carcinogens, cause cancer, scientifically linked to Alzheimers, and commonly found in things like brake fliud and anti-freeze.

If you want more information, I found these sites to be quite helpful,

Feel overwhelmed yet? Thats how I've been living my life lately trying to figure out what I can and cannot use, and it's pretty horrifying the things that I have learned that I use every day that are just plain bad.

SO back to the soap, I decided to go ahead and switch out the Fels-Naptha with Kirk's Coco Castille Soap (for those of you who are LDS, the temple uses the same basic recipe but with Zote soap instead, and I can't find a full ingredients list on it yet), I followed all of the instructions from the White Silk Purse blog, and I took pictures as I went since she doesn't have any.

Step 1- Get the ingredients, Borax (I ordered mine from Mountain Rose Herbs for $12 for 5lbs.), Super Washing Soda(NOT baking soda, that won't work!),  2 3/4 bars Kirk's Coco Castille Soap (Walmart), and water

Step 2- Grate the soap, I used my Ninja blender and it worked great! 

Step 3- Heat 6 cups of water and add the soap, stir frequently until disolved. Do not boil or you will have soapy suds all over the place!

Step 4- Take off heat and add 2 cups of Borax and 2 cups Super washing Soda to water and stir until disolved.

Step 5- Pour into containers add a little bit more water once in the containers. It will start to seperate right away.

Step 6/7- Let sit over night, it will be pretty solid. Then cut it up as much as you can because it will make it easier to scrape out.

Step 8- Scoop it into your mixer/blender (I used my BOSCH), and cream it up until it's nice and smooth. Then scoop it out into your containers and you are done!

The recipe says that it makes 4 quarts. I ended up with 5 quarts and 1 pint. 1 quart is supposed to be 64 loads using a tablespoon per load if you have a regular washing machine. A front loader only needs about 1-2 teaspoons per load.

There's the recipe if you want to do it. It is quite messy and a bit of a pain, but if you're up to it, then go for it!

 I am also selling it for $6 a quart which costs you about $0.09 per load for a regular top loader or about $0.04 for a high efficiency front loader. 

I've only used this recipe a few times, but so far so good. The soap smells fantastic but doesn't leave any kind of scent on my clothes.

This is phosphate free, without any artificial fragrances or dyes.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

All Natural Deodorant

I've finished up some more fabulous deodorant today. 
Scents Available; (limited quantities)
Lavender Lemon
Lemongrass Peppermint New!
$4.50 each

Ingredients: Organic Arrowroot Powder, Arm and Hammer Baking Soda, Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Mango Butter, Beeswax, Tea Tree Oil, and Lavender/lemon, lemongrass/peppermint, or tangerine essential oils

This is by far the BEST deodorant I have ever used! I really love it so much! I can go all day and not have my arm pits stink! I even had to test it to make sure that I wasn't just imagining my over all smell goodness. I had been outside (in the AZ 108 degree temp) a good portion of the day taking care of animals cleaning up my yard and taking care of my garden, and then I played some really good volleyball for 2 hours that night, not to mention the regular mommy to 4 duties and homemaker jobs. I was sweaty throughout the day and at times pretty gross. I came home from volleyball and gave myself a few sniffs thinking I really did still smell pretty good, but just to validate it I forced my husband to give me a few sniffs too. He wasn't quite excited about that at first, but after a small tentative sniff he happily gave a few more because I really didn't stink! I know, I have a great husband! He said all he could smell was the scent of my deodorant (not the gross BO + deodorant smell that you usually get, just the nice light scent of my deodorant). So go ahead and give it a try!

Note- This is not an anti-perspirant, you will still sweat, but I don't feel like I sweat any more than I did with my old Secret that I used awhile back.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lip Balm available!

I just finished up a new batch of lip balm and I have to say I really think this batch is awesome! If you've tried some of my lip balm before I would say this one is even better! 
I have 2 scents available, peppermint, and tangerine (very lightly scented). 
Also available in 2 sizes,
Lip tube .15oz.- $2.25,
Lip pot .25oz- $2.50
 Lip pot lid has been fixed!

Ingredients: beeswax, unrefined virgin coconut oil, mango butter, shea butter, kokum butter, olive oil, almond oil, peppermint or tangerine essential oils.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Natural Makeup Reviews

Here's a few of the different natural make-up products that I have used and my review for them. Hopefully this might help narrow down the shopping and testing you might have to do when going with the natural lines of make-up, cause there not so cheap!


Josie Moran- I ran out of my other foundation so I went to Sephora to get some more and they no longer carry it =(! So one of the girls there recommended this Josie Moran tinted moisturizer with SPF 30. Well, not so much my favorite. I did buy it but will be returning it soon. I'm not a fan of the smell, it smells like sunblock which I don't like and makes me think there are some other icky ingredients in it that i don't want. As far as it's application, it seems to cover fine, but I prefer an actual foundation to a tinted moisturizer. The tube it's in too would cake up and dry out the top part so I feel like I was wasting it too. I won't be buying it again. Cost- $34

Dr. Haushka- I like this foundation. It goes on smooth and blends really well. My only problem with it is that it is not readily available to me through any stores close by so I have to buy it online. Luckily I found a store called The Derm Store, which had it and shipped for free. That's always a good thing. But having to buy online can always be iffy if you don't know the colors. I lucked out in that the color ended up being just right for me. I order 02 and it blends really well with my skin tone. I am fair skinned with  a tan at the moment, normally I would go with the 01.This is my 2nd favorite right now. Cost -$36

This one is my favorite! Korres Wild Rose Foundation, unfortunately it seems Korres is redoing their foundation line and I can't find it in my color anywhere anymore. i really loved this one. Loved the coverage, loved the rose scent it had that made me feel pretty just applying my foundation! If you can find it somewhere I most definitely recommend it. But I guess for me I will just keep using my Dr. Haushka until Korres comes out with their new line which will hopefully be as fabulous as their old one was!


Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Volumizing- I wouldn't recommend, I had flakes under my eye after only a few hours of wearing it. As far as application, all else was fine, but I don't like walking around with my mascara anywhere but on my eyelashes! Cost about $18

Korres Provitamin and Rice Bran- This is the one I am wearing now, and I will probably continue to use unless someone else knows of a better mascara. Application goes on fine, seemed to clump around the edges of my lashes at first, but there is always that breaking in time of mascara where the wand always seem to have too much on it. Now it's better and seems to stay put for the most part. I haven't noticed any flakes on my face or black marks by my eyebrow which is a good sign. Cost about $18

    Tarte Mascara - I don't have a picture for this one. This was my first mascara purchase when going natural. I wouldn't recommend it. The packaging sure is pretty, but I didn't feel like I got a whole lot of bang for my buck! I think it only lasted a week before it started getting gross and gummy and I couldn't get it to go on smoothly. It was a pain because normally when that happens it's no big deal, i just throw it in some hot water and it thins out and I can get a few more weeks use out of it. well that pretty packaging wasn't helpful there, I had to tear off the outer fabric so I could get it in the water, and even then it didn't do much thinning out. I was super disappointed in it especially after the girl at Ulta told me it was one of her favorites. I didn't find much greatness from it. Cost about $18.

Eye Shadow/Eye Liner -
Tarte Femme Naturale Eye Palette - I love this eye shadow. It goes on so nicely and has great color. I like it better than the Bare Minerals eye shadows I have used before. I just wish it wasn't so darn expensive or that they would sell it in smaller cases with less options because I tend to only use about 4 of the colors on a regular basis. But I really do like it! Plus it comes with a brush and a dual eyeliner. I don't like the eye liner though, for eyeliner I am using Bare Minerals and I really like it and feel no need to try anything else at the moment. Cost $44

I also use the Bare Minerals eye brow powder which is working great for me, so if you're unlucky enough to have blonde eyebrows, I use the dark blonde color and it really works great!

So thats it for my make-up reviews for now. I'm kind of all over the place, I wish there was one brand that I could just have as my go to for everything, but unfortunately that is not the case. Oh and as far as Bare Minerals Foundation, I know many people like it and I have used it before, but I prefer an actual liquid foundation. My face felt too layered with the mineral powder and it came off of my husbands shirt's when I would hug him or lean on his shoulder. I like my make-up to stay on my face and not end up where it's not supposed to be! I hope this helps out to someone who is wondering which make-up to try out first!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Sweet Shoes!

These are my most awesome shoes I bought at target last night so that I can be lazy and get up to go check on the animals without having to put socks on with my running shoes. I might just have to wear them everywhere now. The best part is that they only cost me $4! I always like a good deal, and Mallory got some just like it! So we're both equally awesome!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New Products Coming Soon!

I have been researching some new products for Simply Me. After a litte tweaking I will soon be adding to my product list (hopefully if all goes well)... a sunblock stick, and a friend of mine has told me I need to do some goats milk soap, so I will be trying that one out soon and if it turns out I will be doing a bit more!

I'm really excited to be learning these things. I guess it just proves how sometimes through our life's trials we can be stronger. If I had never developed my crazy skin allergies I would never had started researching out the great natural products that I can make that are so much better for me. I'll be posting soon when I get my ingredients for the new things.

I should also be getting in my ingredients soon for my other products, so if you want something in particular let me know!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Simply Living Is not Always So Simple...

So this week has been off to a wonderful start! I am serious too. My Dad has been over at my house working all last week on building a goat and chicken pen for my mom and I. Monday was the day we were to have it all done and ready to go with the rest of my siblings and their spouses coming over for an old fashioned "barn raising" only we called it a Pen raising.

The kids and I were up early trying to get their chores and schooling done so we could go meet up with Grand-ma to pick up some chickens. I called my friend Brooke who is the person we bought our goats from and let her know that we would be picking them up later that evening. She told me that one of her Nigerian goats had babies on Saturday and that we should come see them. So... chores were dropped, school was being substituted for a field trip to see the babies. They were so cute. It makes me so excited to have our own in the next several months!

From there we went to meet up with Grandma and Aunt Louisa to go chicken hunting! Of course I had been up late the night before searching out the best chickens to get, the most heat tolerant, best layers, and most friendly, so I felt I had my list narrowed down and was ready to have each child pick out one of their own. Well that did me a whole lot of good! When we got to the feed store they had so many to choose from and they were all so cute that we went from getting only 4 to getting 5, and Grandma bought 4 others for mother's day gifts to my sister and sister-in-laws, plus my younger brother and his wife were bringing my mom some already laying ones for her Mother's day gift. I don't know how many will be heat tolerant, I don't know if they will all be great layers, and I can only hope that they will all be friendly. The kids just picked which one they liked the best. hopefully that will suffice!

Well I could go into the rest of the crazy day, but I'm going to shorten it up... My mom and I spent the rest of the day shopping for all of our supplies while the menfolk were working on finishing up the majority of the pen for later that evening. We picked up our cute little goats- mine is a Nubian with the longest, cutest ears- we've named her Snickerdoodle, and Mom got a Nigerian and named her Willow.

The night got crazy, tempers and endurance's wore thin and finally all the guys came in to take a break and watch a specially prepared Mother's Day video my sister made my mom. The animals were all left outside. The movie was almost an hour and at the end I went into my kitchen and saw that our sprinklers in the backyard were on. I rushed out to get the little chickies and move them out of the water, but a few were already really wet, whether from the sprinklers or their water dish I don't know. I put them in a box and moved them to the garage where I found much to my dismay that 3 of the chicks (2 of my kids and one my sister's family) were looking really bad, hardly moving at all. The kids were all around me and I told them some of the chicks aren't looking like they are going to make it. It broke my heart to see those poor little faces, my 5 year old son went into his room and just cried over his poor Blackie, and my 8 year old son was crying too. How my heart wanted to break! I felt so horrible for this tragic accident. I was able to use it to one advantage. I showed my kids that even when things seem hopeless we can still turn to our Heavenly Father and plead with him to save our chicks and give us strength and comfort. My sweet 5 year old said the sweetest heartfelt prayer asking for our chicks to be saved as he cried to his Heavenly Father. When we finished I told them that even if our chicks don't live, I know He heard our prayer and I strongly felt that everything would be okay.

Well the family all went home on a sober note, and I was checking the chicks periodically through the night while my dad and husband put finishing touches on the pen. Soon, I noticed that my 8 yr. olds chick had changed positions, and that my nieces chick was trying to eat and get water. Poor Blackie still wasn't doing much and after about an hour he really was finally gone. My poor boy was broken hearted, but strong. We went to bed with hope for the other two.

This morning I woke up and checked on them, the other two had made a miraculous recovery and were up eating drinking and chirping away with the other 2 in the box! So while we may have lost one, we know that our prayer said with such simple faith saved our other two. My kids were overjoyed with the news and my sister's kids were too (because of course I texted her with the news and a picture at 6AM)!
                                         (Our miracle chicks, the 2  bunched together were our survivors, Rascal and Jimmer)

So I guess sometimes the simplest of life is not so simple and yet we can find strength through some very simple things.

I did take my little boy today to get a new chick which he named Star, and of course I couldn't buy just one (the other chick would be lonely on the drive!) so now Daddy has a White Silkie chick we named Wiffle!

Product Pictures

Here's what I took with me to the Garden Tour on Saturday along with some yummy lemon burst cookies.

These are my homemade all natural products, Deodorant in Cocoa Tangerine and Lavendar Lemon, my body butters- Cocoa Tangerine and Mango Lavendar, and my amazing chapstick- in unscented and peppermint.

The Garden Tour was a lot of fun, although I believe I overextended myself a bit. I should have held back and only chosen about 3 things to take. But, my chapstick and deodorant sold really well, which I am really happy with. Plus I was able to hang out next to my cousin Aaryn, whom I hardly ever see but always have fun talking to when I do see her, not to mention seeing my other cousins that I grew up running around with, swimming, and pretending (although I wasn't right next to them so I didn't get to talk to them as much). I will definitely head back next year with a little bit more knowledge and experience under my belt.

If anyone would like to order any of these, just comment and we can work out the details. I am planning on doing some different scents with my chapstick and seeing what else I can do with my deodorant, it really works great by the way, I've been using it for about a month and when outside sweating the rest of my body starts to smell of sweat but my underarms still smell good!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Arcadia Garden Tour

I'm making some great homemade products for my aunt's Arcadia garden Tour this weekend. On the list so far is my homemade deodorant, body butter, chapstick, white and whole wheat bread, and just for some extra yumminess white chocolate macadamia nut cookies and lemon zesters. We'll see how it goes and I'll post some pictures of the products soon.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Searching out the Culprit

The past 6 months have been a roller coaster, the biggest being the massive rash that has been on my ankle. Not only was it extremely itchy, it was also red and oozing. Not pretty, and definitely not feeling good. The cause? You would think it would be easy to find... not so much. I knew from previous experience (after each child I became allergic to something new) that I was allergic to different beauty products. I would usually get a large rash on my shin.

First it was soap, I would get hives in the shower. I had to change over to using only Dove beauty bar.

Then it was shampoo and nail polish (I would get white peeling spots on my toe nails). I tried lots of different shampoos, using only ones that didn't have any parabens or sulfates, but they really never moisturized or felt really good on my hair. I don't use nail polish at all anymore.

So for awhile I thought I was okay, I was doing pretty good, so slowly I went back to using the cheaper shampoo and conditioners, I mean, it's really hard on the pocket book (especially when your husband is a full-time student and you are a full-time mom). I didn't seem to have anything bad happen, so I thought it was doing good.

Then I got this rash. I figured it would go away, I just had to cut out some things again. Didn't happen. Normally using an herbal combination called Moducare would help clear it didn't. I tried tea tree oil essential oil on it. It made it ooze. My brother told me to use some hydrocortizone cream, it always works for him. It didn't, but it did make me get spots of rashes on both my feet and hands. So now I had rashes on my ankle, each hand and foot, and they itched like crazy. My body would also start itching, so I had little red spots on the thighs and on my arms. One of the ingriedents in hyrocortizone cream is a paraben, I think that points at one ingredient that is a positive no no for me.I was looking pretty!Oh, by the way the rash on my ankle was probably about a good 3 inches in length and 2 in width on my ankle. Like I said gross and extremely embarrassing!

I had to go to extremes. I've thrown out everything imaginable! I got rid of all of my make-up. I now use Korres foundation, Tart eyeliner and Mascara (not a huge fan of the mascara, I will give something else a try soon), Bare Essentials eyeliner, and I'm using Corn Starch as my facial powder. For my moisturizer I am using Almond Oil, and I am really loving that! My shampoo and conditioner is Alba Organics. I tried quite a few different shampoos and conditioners, Burt's Bee's Gud was one I really don't recommend. The Alba line esepecially the "Drink it up Coconut Milk" line is my favorite. It leaves my hair super soft and I don't have to use a ton of either shampoo or conditioner, and I have medium length (past my shoulders), thick hair. It's not so easy to be able to find something that won't make me use half a bottle before it does what it's supposed to do. With Alba I only have to use about 1 1/2 TBSP. of each and my hair feels great! Alba costs around $10 a bottle, but at least I can get my money's worth from it. I'm using Dr. Bronner's Soap now too, cause Dove seemed to be giving me an issue too. I have some St. Ives lotion that I'm still on the fence about. I've still been getting itchy, but I don't know if it's from the St. Ives or the "Kiss my Face" lotion I have, or something completely different, like my laundry detergent, even though that is Mrs. Meyers which is supposed to be a "natural" product, but who really knows?

 I now make my own deoderant from a recipe my friend gave me and that I have tweaked, am planning on doing some chapstick, body lotion, and laundry detergent soon. I was directed to a cool site called Goat Milk Stuff that sells different soaps and products made from goats milk that I am planning on trying really soon.

My rash is finally almost all the way cleared up, thank goodness! I did have a positive result from using Oregano essential oil. It helped dry it up without the oozing and get rid of those gross rash skin, but it really does burn, it was a "dire situation" thing. I wouldn't have continued using it if I hadn't been seeing positive results from it. I wish I had taken a picture of my ankle rash so I could show a before and after, but it was too traumatizing at the time for me to do anything but want to cry when I looked at it! My hands and feet have almost all cleared up too, hopefully it won't be much longer before I look healthy again, especially living in Arizona, I've been lucky that the weather has been decent enough that i can still be comfortable wearing my jeans.

So anyway- that is what my blog is for. I am searching out products and recipes that will help me live a healthier lifestyle. I don't want my kids to go through what I have been going through, and I figure that the first places to start are with my diet and with the products I use that are full of harmful chemicals and ingredients. Hopefully it may help others too who feel as lost as I have during this time.