Lots of Lotion

I love lotion.  At least, I love making lotion.  I don’t use it a whole lot, mostly because I forget.

I first tried making lotion, oh, a year and a half ago.  And it didn’t quite work – the water and oils separated.

Then I thought about whipping it.  I had heard someone talking about whipping it while it cooled.  I thought, “Well, maybe that will keep the oils and water together.”

So right before our trip I whipped up a batch, using the same recipe that failed last time.  And I whipped it while it cooled.  At least, most of the time.

And it worked!  It made a lovely lotion with a gorgeous consistency.

When we got back, I made another batch of lotion, but this time I altered the recipe slightly to use some herbs and and essential oil that I knew where good for eczema.  The lotion came together as expected, and I think it does help with the itching, although my eczema patches seems to be growing (possibly), but this may have nothing to do with the cream.

On Monday I made this magnesium lotion for my mom (I’m using it too!).  I was amazed how it thickened so quickly with the stick blender.  I could see the color changing as I blended it.  As a side note, I think I used 3 parts sweet almond/olive oil, and 1 part shea butter/coconut oil with a little cocoa butter mixed in.

Then yesterday I made Tangerine Chocolate Hand Lotion for a friend’s birthday.  I was really happy with how it turned out – it smelled good enough to eat!

Here is the recipe, adapted from the one given to me by a friend.

Try making lotion.  It’s not hard at all.

Tangerine Chocolate Lotion

1/4 c. water
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/4 c. sweet almond oil (or other liquid oil, see note)
1/8 c. cocoa butter (I used the wafers)
1/8 c. coconut oil
2 Tbsp. grated beeswax (pellets would probably work)
11-12 drops tangerine essential oil (or whatever scent you want)

(Note:  You can use any liquid oil(s) that you want in place of the almond oil (1/4 c.) and any firm oils in place of the other firm oils (1/4 c. total). Just know that the color of the oils will affect the finished product’s color.  I wanted a whiter lotion, so I picked clearer oils.)

Melt the oils and beeswax together in a pot.  Meanwhile, combine the water and baking soda together in a pot.  As soon as it boils, combine it with the oil mixture, whisking all the while.  Transfer to a bowl, and let cool for a little while (I can’t remember – 15-20 minutes, maybe 1/2 hour?).  Add the essential oils.  Using a stick blender, blend for a few moments.  Let rest awhile, and smell.  How does it smell?  Does it need more tangerine oil?  Add and mix until it smells good.  If it smells good initially, just beat it once more.  Pour into a jar or other clean container.

Alternately, pour the warm oil/water mixture into the bowl of a standing mixer, and beat with that until desired consistency is reached, stopping to smell occasionally and add essential oils accordingly.

Enjoy!

 

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Making the eczema lotion – the herbs I used, chamomile and violet leaf

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The essential oils I used (glad I took a picture, otherwise I wouldn’t have remembered!)

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All done!

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I’m Back!

This week was pretty relaxing.  I know I didn’t post a whole lot, but that wasn’t exactly because I was busy.  I could have made the time.  I’m not sure why I didn’t.

Today Mom picked up a bunch of plants at the produce stand – they were $5 a flat.  She purchased some peppers – cayenne, pablanos, and bell – tomatoes, and a bunch of herbs.  Lavender, orange mint, some Greek basil, rosemary, Mexican tarragon, French tarragon, and thyme, to name a few.  I love thyme.  I just buried my nose into it and inhaled.  We were able to plant the peppers and the herbs in our raised beds.  I had a few more basil plants that I had started that needed to be planted, and between them and all the other herbs I planted, I feel “herb rich.”  It’s quite a delightful feeling.  A treasure chest full of flavor.

I also made some lemonade.  I love lemonade.  We had some at Pastor’s party, and it made me want to make some.  Well, it really made me want to drink some.  Which means I have to make some first.  And I did have quite a bit at the party.  But, as has already been stated, I love lemonade.

Yesterday I was able to remill some soap that we had had sitting around for awhile.  I grated the bars of soap up, put them in a pot with a few tablespoons of milk, and put that over low heat until it melted.  Once it was nice and sticky (and looking rather akin to mashed bananas), Meiling and I added some essential oils (grapefruit, lemon, and orange) and some oatmeal.  We had an old mini muffin tin, and I poured the soap gloop into that.  I put it in the freezer for a little bit, removed them from the tin, and then relocated it into the fridge for a little longer.  They should be ready to use now.

I saved some of the grated soap and combined it with some dried chamomile flower heads, oatmeal, and lavender and geranium essential oils.  I tied this little mixture up into a square of cloth with a piece of yarn.  It is my little face scrub.  I moisten it up and rub it all over my face.  It works quite well.

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The supplies for my face scrubby – yarn, cloth, and a soap-based filling

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Right before tying it up

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All finished!

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The kittens – aren’t they cute!  The one on top is my favorite.  They are wild, so we only got to hold one once.

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Lemonade

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The herbs

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Aren’t they so pretty?

Miscellaneous

There have been a few things recently that have been getting me excited.  As none of them are long enough for there own post, I am going to post them all together.  How does that sound?  O.K.?

Well, last week we purchased half of a grass fed cow.  Our friends had an extra half, and they offered it to us.  I am so glad that we got some grass fed meat.  There were a lot of steaks and roasts.  Now I have to read Tender Grassfed Meat, which my mom bought awhile ago, and we’ll be all ready to go!  We also got some more lard, so I can make some more pies.  Mmmmm!

Some friends of ours dropped off our herb order from Mountain Rose Herbs this week!  So far, I have already made more Echinacea tincture and Elderberry syrup.  This should help us feel better, because Mom, Dad, and I have all been sick.  I am getting better, but my parents are still feeling pretty yucky.  I also purchased some essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs, and was very pleased to find out that they are therapeutic grade oils!  And plus, it is always fun to get more smelly oils.  🙂

You know that book I have posted about several times, titled Jam it, Pickle it, Cure it?  Well, the author wrote another one, titled Can it, Bottle it, Smoke it!  I AM SO EXCITED!  That didn’t convey all the excitement.  I AM SO SO VERY EXCITED!!!!!!  O.K., that was better.  I am hoping to get it here soon.

A bunch of our trees bloomed!  So did the tulips!  And the azalea bush!  And the rosebush did, too!  Since I have been sick, I have been unable to take many pictures, but I am hoping to get some today.

Well, I think that is all for now.  Thanks for listening to my ramblings.  It was good to get all that pent-up excitement out.  (I’ve used forms of the word excitement lots in this post, haven’t I?)

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A tulip that bloomed

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It was raining ever so lightly while I was taking pictures.  The sun was out, too!

Aromatherapy

Lately I have been reading a great book titled Aromatherapy.  It is by Kathi Keville, who has been researching herbs and aromatherapy since 1968, and Mindy Green, who has worked in the natural products and complimentary health care industry for about 40 years. 

This book not only covers therapeutic uses of essential oils, but also has chapters covering massage, facial care, body and hair care, and cooking with essential oils.  I am currently reading the chapter on cooking with essential oils.  I especially enjoyed the chapters on massage and facial care.  The chapter on facial care gives instructions on how to give a facial, which is something I want to do in the near future (my mom is looking forward to that:)).  Giving Mom a massage with oils will be very fun.  The recipes for lotions and creams look great, also.

Since reading this book and receiving encouragement from friends, I have been using essential oils more often.  Some of my favorite things as of yet have been using lavender oil for headaches, peppermint oil for stomach aches and nausea, and lavender and marjoram oils for sleeping.

For a headache, take lavender oil and rub it across your forehead and temples, and at the base of your neck.  This doesn’t work for all headaches, but it usually helps me.  My headache is usually gone within ten minutes!

When my stomach is feeling yucky, I rub peppermint oil diluted in almond oil over my stomach.  If I start feeling really sick, I will also smell some peppermint oil, either right from the bottle or I’ll put a few drops on a tissue and use that.  You can also put the tissue with the peppermint oil on it in your pillow while you are sleeping, and then you can have a peppermint pillow!  To dilute peppermint oil, use a 2% dilution, which is 10-12 drops for every ounce of carrier oil (I usually use either almond or olive oil).

The other night I was having a hard time sleeping.  I had gone to bed around 9:15, and it was 11:20, and I still wasn’t asleep!  I took some marjoram and lavender oil (since my aromatherapy book suggested them), put a few drops on a tissue, then tucked the tissue in my pillow case.  I also used an essential oil blend called “Anxiety Release,” which I put on a tissue and tucked into the slats of my sister’s bed above me.  I started feeling sleepy almost instantly, and was asleep in 40 minutes.

Note:  Although the Aromatherapy book has some really good information, it also discusses some mature subjects.  Please use discretion.

What’s Up?

Things have been a bit quiet around here, I know.  We’ve been quite busy, and I haven’t had time to post or anything worthy of posting.  🙂

Last weekend we had a wonderful visit with a friend that we haven’t seen in awhile.  It was great just sitting around and getting to hear what she has been doing.  Can’t wait to get together with her around Christmastime.

Then on Wednesday we went to a friend’s home and stayed for three nights because my parents went to San Antonio for a few nights for their anniversary (if you want to say it right, according to Meiling, they went to “Sandy Antonio”).  We had so much fun with our friends.

A little before we went to our friend’s home and over the past few days I have been working on painting our mudroom.  The bead board and the cubbies and corner shelves have all been painted blue, and I now have to paint the walls and a few more shelves cream.

I also mixed a blend of essential oils with a carrier oils for a massage oils for my mom.  The blend contains orange, lavender, clary sage geranium, vetiver, and Roman chamomile, and it is for anxiety/stress.  I am planning to use it as a massage oil for my mom when she feels stressed.  It should be fun!

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Before – all wiped and taped for painting the bead board

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Halfway through – ready to paint the top

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