Honey, I Shrunk the Pores

5
Cleanser, toner and face cream

Cleanser, toner and face cream

 

Today I am sharing with you my 1,2,3 skin care regimen I use on my face.

Over the years I have spent a good bit of money on face washes and lotions. Only to face extreme breakouts and rashes. The only thing that did not break me out was Noxzema, which is a great product. But as I began to age my skin began to dry. Badly. I suspected at one time I was beginning to mummify because my skin was so dry.

So I had to say goodbye to my beloved Noxzema and search for alternatives. Luckily my search was short. I researched natural beauty products and singled out a few ingredients I knew my sensitive skin could handle.

Step 1 is the sensitive skin cleanser.
Step 2 is a toner
Step 3 is an anti-aging cream

Before we go any further lets talk about shelf life. After researching natural skin care I have learned this: shelf life is a tricksy thing. Some people believe these products have a shelf life of three weeks other three months. Yes that big of a difference. I just make small batches of these recipes so I know I will use them up sometime during the 3 week to 3 month range. Now each product on it’s own seems to last forever but once mix together that changes. I don’t know why. Maybe they don’t play well together?

Step 1: SENSITIVE SKIN CLEANSER
I’m going to share some information on the Sensitive Skin cleanser, which I found on Pinterest which led me to Beautyandthefoodie blog. Check her out she has some great DIY beauty recipes. Here is the recipe located on her blog. Sensitive Skin Cleanser.
I have been using a few weeks now. Just twice a week and eventually three times. The other days I wash my face with coconut oil.
So far I am liking this cleanser. It is gentle yet you feel like you are getting a deep clean. The recipe does call for raw honey, I used some honey I bought during a trip to Asheville, NC. It is that dark amazing tasting honey. So good. I’m sure you can find a good quality honey at your local farmers market.

face cleanser

Step 2: SKIN TONER
The toner I also got from Pinterest but as sometimes happens you pin then next time you try to visit the site it is blocked. Luckily I wrote down the recipe, I changed some amounts because I felt the amount of one item was too much for my aging dry skin.

Skin Toner
1 oz distilled water
½ oz apple cider vinegar
10 drops tea tree oil

Just mix. I store in an amber glass jar. You can also use 10 drops lavender essential oil instead of the tea tree oil. The vinegar has a strong odor but will be gone by the time the toner dries.

Step 3: FACE CREAM/OINTMENT
The Face Cream or Ointment. It does look more like an ointment instead of a cream. I concocted this recipe from products I researched and had on hand. This stuff turned out to be amazing. AMAZING! I use it at night before bed. A little goes a long way. Sometimes I use a dab in the morning after my shower. Once a week I heavily slather this on my face, let it sit for an hour then use the cleanser. I love this stuff.

What you need

What you need

GOTHA’S FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH OINTMENT

¼ cup almond oil
2 droppers full of Argan oil
2 tbsp coconut oil (solid)
2 tbsp beeswax pellets
1 tbsp Shea butter
10 drops lavender essential oil

Use a large glass measuring cup, that is sitting in a water bath on the stove (medium low heat). Add your two droppers full of Argan oil. Pour in ¼ cup almond oil. Add the coconut oil, beeswax and Shea butter. After everything has melted and stirred well remove the glass measuring cup or whatever you are using from the heat. Add your lavender oil. Mix well. Pour into your storage containers. Let cool completely before putting on lid. Store in a cool dark place.
You can add a few drops of vitamin e oil when you add the lavender. It would just make this great cream even better. I do not use vitamin e oil because my skin tends to itch when I use it.

Freshly poured magic

Freshly poured magic

Fountain of youth?

Fountain of youth?

Just for your 411: when you begin to use natural products your face may experience a breakout or two as your skin releases built up toxins and anything yucky lurking about. Now if after a few weeks you are still experiencing breakouts this stuff may not be for you.

I buy everything but the coconut oil off of Amazon. Only because that’s where I find the best deals.

Now let’s talk common sense. If you begin to break out in hives or your skin begins to experience a burning sensation STOP. WASH OFF PRODUCT! As I always say, research all the ingredients before using them. Know what is going on your skin!

 

Advertisements

A Hairy Situation

1

I am in a hairy predicament. All because of my hair.

My hair, my sad, sad hair.

 

This stuff that sprouts from my head is thin with just enough curl to make it look like an unbrushed rat’s nest, when it is freshly brushed in the morning oh the frizz! Also because I have a thyroid condition my hair tends to fall out more than your average everyday hair shed. Then you add the medicine I take for the thyroid which has a side effect of causing hair to fall out. You see my dilemma? What hair that doesn’t fall out is a hot frizzy untamed mess.
I discussed this hair falling out situation with my doctor. He was a total ass to me plus offered no solutions. Now to give him credit he is also an ass about everything else ( I am in the process of finding a new doctor).
I was in a hairy situation. So as usual Gotha protocol off to the internet and Pinterest I went to look for a solution.
After researching I decided what was needed was something that can treat the scalp plus help what hair I have left.
After a few weeks of research I came up with a recipe. You have things in it to help improve hair and scalp plus some things that are suppose to increase circulation to scalp which may/may not help the hair to grow.

The magic formula?

The magic formula?

I also added some vitamin/supplements to my diet that claim to improve hair growth.

I have done this for a few months now. I am pretty sure my hair has grown a good bit but I can’t tell because as the condition of my hair improves the more it curls. So it looks like my hair has gotten shorter when it really has grown. Ha-ha, great cosmic joke there. Now as to my hair getting thicker, I can’t tell if it has or not. If it has it’s not been enough for me to get excited about.

Sadly I will never have thick hair. I will always have excessive hair loss due to my thyroid. BUT what hair I do have is growing a tad faster then before, also it’s pretty darn healthy looking and curly.

If you have similar hair issues and have some tips, hints or a miracle please feel free to share in the comment section.
Gotha’s scalp and hair treatment

½ cup coconut oil. Melted.
1 tbsp. sweet almond oil
1 tbsp. olive oil
5 drops rosemary essential oil
5 drops tea tree oil
10 drops lavender oil
15 drops peppermint oil
1 tsp. beeswax pellets
Place a glass jar or glass measuring container in a small pot that has four to five inches of water in it , a water bath. On medium heat melt the beeswax and coconut oil. I find that the beeswax pellets like to be difficult melting on medium heat, so you may have to increase your heat for a few moments. Stir often during the melting process.
Once melted completely, remove glass container from heat. Pour in the sweet almond and olive oil. Mix well. Add your essential oils. Stir.
Since I tend to be impatient I pour the mixture into my storage containers and allow them to cool for 10 minutes in freezer. I then take out give each container of scalp treatment one final stir then allow to set up completely on my counter top. Once set, place lids on the containers and store in a cool dark place.

Container lined with wax paper. Makes storage and clean up easier.

Container lined with wax paper. Makes storage and clean up easier.

I added the beeswax to the recipe during the second batch I made. You want the oils to melt quickly as you massage into scalp and throughout hair, but you don’t want the oils to melt in the container just from the heat of you holding it. So I added to beeswax to stabilize it slightly.

How to use Gotha’s Scalp and Hair Treatment

Scoop a small amount into hand. Massage into scalp. Once the scalp is covered well massage the oils throughout hair till the ends. Thickness and length of hair determines how much of your oil mixture you will use. My hair is thin so I use very little.
Cover or not cover with shower cap, it is your choice. I have used both methods and find the shower cap is only necessary if you’re applying heat with a blow dryer as part of the treatment. Some people like to heat their hair treatments but with this I think since it’s mainly for the scalp heat is not needed.
Leave on 30 minutes to 2 hours. Shampoo, probably twice is a good idea.
IF after drying your hair looks oily next time leave the treatment on for a shorter period of time or during the first shampoo leave shampoo on hair a few minutes, rinse then shampoo again. No need to leave shampoo on long during the second go.

You can omit some or all of the essential oils from this recipe. Just so you know each one brings great things to the scalp party, but are optional. As always: before making or using any home treatment RESEARCH all your ingredients. It’s your scalp and your hair so be fully informed about what is going on it.

Teaser: I have made and been using an anti-aging ointment for my face. IT IS FRICKING AMAZING! I will share this with you soon.

You Dropped a Balm On Me

2

Leader

Most over the counter lip treatments. Like lip balms in tubes, name brands and generic. The moisturizing effects don’t seem to last long, some even tend to dry the lips even more. I have made a cinnamon lip balm in the past, my first time I made the mistake of replacing some of the ingredients I needed with what I had on hand. Lip balm did not set up. My second time I used the right ingredients but used too much cinnamon oil. My lips were on fire after using even a tiny amount.

Those failed attempts did not stop me in fact they made me more determined to master the whole do it yourself lip balm. Have I mastered it? No, I feel DIY natural product making will always be a learning process, the more you learn the more your recipes evolve. I have had several dozen lip balm making sessions that have turned out perfectly. Some batches not so perfect yet I have learned a lot from the failed batches.

Today I will share a few recipes that have worked pretty well for me. I like these balms a lot as the moisturizing benefits can last up to several hours with just one application.

Before we begin lets apply some common sense. If you are allergic to any of the ingredients, DON’T USE THESE BALMS. If you use these balms and experience an allergic reaction, wash balm from lips and discontinue use. If your lips puff up like a actress that has had a bad botox injection you may want to seek out medical attention. ALWAYS research your ingredients before making anything that will go on or into your body. I am sharing the recipes NOT forcing you to make and/or use the products.
I have had only positive experiences with these balms, lotions, and hair treatments. Every person is different so I would advise trying a tad of the product on the skin at the fold of your elbow to test your reaction before committing fully.

The little container with the brown balm is COCOA BALM

The little container with the brown balm is COCOA BALM

Cocoa Lip Balm

Makes three 0.20 oz. jars (tiny)

1 tsp. beeswax pellets
2 tsp. Shea butter
1 tsp. sweet almond oil
1 tsp. cocoa powder
Using a glass container, sit it in a pot with a few inches of water also known as a water bath. Turn heat on medium low. To the glass container add the beeswax. Next add your Shea butter and sweet almond oil. Allow to melt, stirring often. I use a wooden skewer to stir, once I’m done with the balm I just toss the skewer in trash. Once melted remove glass from pot. Stir in your cocoa. Pour your flavored lip balm into whatever container you have chosen. I use these little plastic pipettes to transfer the balm from glass to lip container. Makes things easier but is not a necessary piece of equipment.
Let set. Now you have in your possession a balm for tasty smooth lips.
*with this recipe you can replace the cocoa with flavorings. Some people use Kool-Aid drink mix powder I like to use Crystal Light drink powders.

~~~~~~~~~~~

balm 2
Peppermint Lip Plumping Balm

Makes three 0.20 oz. jars

1 tsp beeswax pellets
2 tsp. Shea butter
1 tsp coconut oil
5 drops peppermint essential oil

Using a glass container, sit it in a pot with a few inches of water. Turn heat on medium low. To the glass container add the beeswax. Next add your Shea butter and coconut oil. Allow to melt, stirring often. I use a wooden skewer to stir with. Once melted remove glass from pot. Stir in your 5 drops of peppermint essential oil. The peppermint oil will increase blood flow to the lips adding a dash of plump. Pour your peppermint lip balm into whatever container you have chosen. Let set. Now you have a lip balm that will plump those lips. Now that your lips are plump, give your man (or woman) that pouty look to get your way. BUT remember there is a fine line between pouty and duck face. Let’s not cross it.

For my personal peppermint balm, I add a small chunk from a Burt’s Bees lip crayon for a hint of color. If you make a batch of tinted balm for friends please use a fresh stick of whatever lip color you choose. To use one you have been using on your lips is just…yuck, wrong.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Healing Balm

Healing Balm

Healing Lip balm

Makes three 0.20 oz. jars

1 tsp beeswax pellets
2 tsp. Shea butter
1 tsp coconut oil
5 drops lavender essential oil
¼ tsp. of honey (local is best)

Using a glass container, sit it in a pot with a few inches of water. Turn heat on medium low. To the glass container add the beeswax. Next add your Shea butter and coconut oil. Allow to melt, stirring often. I use a wooden skewer to stir with. Once melted remove glass from pot. Stir in lavender essential oil and honey. Pour into lip balm container and allow to set. Here’s my experience with this recipe. I have made it several times. I don’t know why, but sometimes the honey mixes in well and sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t you have honey in bottom of your container and atop that you have your set lip balm. Weird.

This if for when your sweet lips are in need of some TLC. Like severely dry and cracked or worse; your lip has exploded from a fever blister/cold sore. This is why I like to make small batches, it’s cheap so tossing it after your lips are healed is no big deal. Some people argue that the virus that causes cold sores dies quickly so your lip balms aren’t contaminated. Well, I just made a healing lip balm for mere pennies; excuse me why I toss the left over in the trash just to be on the safe side. Better safe than lip explosion!
If you don’t have all this handy and the lips are in emergency need just rub some honey on your lips several times a day.

~~~~~~~~~

balm 5

A little of this a little of that:
The beeswax is what allows the balms to set. If your balms are too hard next batch use less beeswax. Too soft next time more beeswax. Easy fix. You can add a few drops of vitamin E to every recipe. I do not because I tend to experience some itching of the skin when I use Vitamin E.

I buy most of my supplies from Amazon. Mainly because I have Amazon Prime and can get most items with free shipping. If you plan on making balms, lotions and other concoctions in large batches I would suggest shopping around to find the best deals.

I have used many items as lip balm containers. Little jars I purchased just for balms, also Altoid tins, old chap stick tubes, if it has a lid it is fair game in my house.

HAVE BROOM WILL TRAVEL

0

0913141830b

Halloween will soon be upon us. Ghouls, zombies and witches will be bringing the fear to my neighborhood. That is if I get everything done in time.

A few of my projects this year are complete. Many others are in the works. Two of the ones complete are simple yet are great props to include in a porch display.

A simple rustic witch broom and a tall spooky witch hat. Witch shoes are in the works but they are not cooperating with me at this time.

Today I will share with you how to make the broom.

The broom was quick and easy. I have an oak tree, I call him The Might Oak. Yes I do talk to my tree, he’s a nice guy. Sadly during every storm he loses a few limbs. Some small and others big enough to use as a weapon in a zombie apocalypse.

I began this project by gathering a sturdy limb big enough to serve has the broom handle. After finding the perfect one I began to gather up smaller limbs. Some sturdy others thin and flimsy.

Before going any further I took some twine. It was a light beige. Not liking the new clean twine look I decided to age some. Which is a simple process. Get some tea bags throw them and the twine in a pot of water, bring to a boil. Take off burner and let sit awhile. Easy as pumpkin pie.

a little potion

a little potion

While the tea is working its magic grab some duct tape. It’s time to make a broom!

the magical items being guarded by my new puppy

the magical items being guarded by my new puppy

Take one of the small limbs, place it toward the bottom of the broom handle. take the duct tape and use it to attach the smaller limb.

0913141427

Keep wrapping the tape around the handle adding more limbs as you go. Stop when you are satisfied with the look of your broom.

Ready for the twine

Ready for the twine

Then I took the twine out of the pot of tea water. You can let the twine dry to use wet. I find it works better and you get a tighter wrap with it wet. Knot it at the top of the taped area. Now just start wrapping until you reach the end of the duct taped area. Tie off.

Done. Now wait for a full moon then take your broom for a spin!

finished hat 3

 

It Hat to Be You, Tale of a Witch Hat

11

finished hat 2

Tall witch hat. Makes tall witches look like giants and makes short witches look like…well, like short witches in tall hats.

This was an easy project. Just took a few short hours. During those hours I also had time to bake a cake, make dinner and plot evil plots.

What you will need:

1 cheap witch hat (I purchased mine at Wal-Mart)

Duct tape (If you have black duct tape great, if not the silver will work just as well)

1 paper towel tube

Black fabric

Glue (if you have glue that is recommended for use on fabric great, I used glue that wasn’t recommended for fabric but it worked out just fine)

Something to stuff hat to help hold shape. I used doll batting but newspaper will work also.

Begin by stuffing the hat with batting to give it an upright shape then tape the hat brim to strengthen it. Inside and out. I gently taped half way up the inside: pushing the batting up out of my way as I went. Cut the tape into little pieces at first to give yourself more control. Now you are ready to tape the outside of the hat. Again be gentle and just little pieces. Go higher and higher. Once you pass the tip of the hat begin using long strips place the lengthwise (us and down) until you reach your desired height.

Not a great picture but it gets the point across

Not a great picture but it gets the point across

Now we need to strengthen and build up layers. Take your cardboard tube. Choose an end for your bottom, cut several 1 inch slits all the way around making ‘flaps’. Push the flaps outwards now lower the tube down the hat. At this point you will have some empty space between hat and inside of tube. Stuff it with something. I used a plastic shopping bag. It’s what was handy.

Using tape again just start wrapping until your hats feels sturdy and has the height you want. You may have to mash and torture the high end of the tube. If not you will end up with a penis shaped hat.

Ready for some fabric

Ready for some fabric

Cut a notch in the end of your black fabric about 4 inches from the side. Rip until you get to the end. 4 inches is just a guess at size I used. I eyeballed it. You can vary the width on the next few strips you rip. Now just glue the crap out of the hat and fabric. I started with the cone first and finished with the brim. Don’t be shy with the glue.

Start at the base and work up

Start at the base and work up

hat 4

hat 2

I’m using my hat as a prop and not for a costume. I feared it might be to top heavy and keep falling over. To fix that problem before I started I glued several rocks inside the hat at the base of the cone, I covered it with fabric also.

finished hat 1

I loved how this turned out. It was wickedly easy and fun!

finished hat 3

You Gotha Try This Banana Pudding, Pt. 3 of a Family Food Saga

0

banana pudding 4

Banana Pudding. There’s a hundred recipes out there, each one claiming to be the best. How do you determine which is the best? Easy, it’s the one you grew up on. See, it is not about the taste when it comes to banana pudding (unless you find yourself face to face with a bowl made by someone who doesn’t know what the hell they’re doing), banana pudding is about memories.

I come from a big family. BIG. Not only do we breed like bunnies but once you become friends with someone in the family, you become family. There’s no getting out either. Kind of like the mafia but with less violence.

With a big family and the merging with other families comes many variations of banana pudding. To me each one is good. One does stand out above the rest but for the sake of family peace I will not name names. Over the years I have learned these recipes and have combined the best of each one to make…‘You Gotha Taste This Banana Pudding’. I’m sure the name won’t catch on but I think once you try this banana pudding recipe you just might be hooked.

You Gotha Taste this Banana Pudding

Ingredients:

Bananas

Vanilla Wafers

Vanilla instant pudding, 2 small boxes

2 ½ cups milk

1 small tub of cool whip, thawed

½ small can of condensed milk about 7 ounces.

2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large bowl mix the 2 boxes of pudding with 2 ½ cups milk. I use a hand mixer. Once mixed add condensed milk (you can use the whole can but your banana pudding will be way to sweet) along with the vanilla extract. Beat until it has a smooth pudding consistency and has started to thicken up slightly. Gently fold on the cool whip. I put my pudding mixture in fridge until I’m ready to assemble.

Just the pudding and milk

Just the pudding and milk

With cool whip added

With cool whip added

While you’re pudding mixture is chilling out in the fridge, take a handful of vanilla wafers, place them into a Ziploc bag, and seal it.

4

Find a weapon, I use a hammer with a dishrag or small hand towel laid over the bag (this prevents the hammer from tearing open the bag). Now beat the wafers. Beat them until they are vanilla crumbs. This will be the topping.

Beating the wafers. Ignore my chipped nail polish

Beat the wafers. Chipped nail polish is optional.

wafers to crumbs

wafers to crumbs

Slice your bananas. The amount depends pretty much on what you have on hand. I usually have a lot since my dad is always coming by with a bag of bananas he found on sale. I swear that man has not met a banana he didn’t like.

I just toss the banana slices into the cool whip bowl. No need to dirty extra dishes.

I just toss the banana slices into the cool whip bowl. No need to dirty extra dishes.

Once the bananas are sliced it’s time to get assembling. A pretty bowl or casserole dish is what you need.

Line the bottom of your bowl/dish with vanilla wafers. Spoon half of your pudding mixture over wafers. Add a layer of bananas. Repeat.

7

 

Wafers, pudding mixture and banana.

Wafers, pudding mixture and banana.

Now the top is up to you. Some people line the top with whole wafers while others sprinkle the top with wafers crumbs. There are even those who lay down another layer of wafers, cover with a layer of just plain cool whip then sprinkle wafer crumbs. No wrong choice here. Cover with foil and allow to sit in the fridge a few hours.

10

An important note: if you are making this dish for a get together you must make a small bowl of banana pudding and put in fridge. Why? Because if it’s like my family gatherings you’re not going to get any of it unless you do this.

Cover with foil and let chill in fridge for a few hours.

Bowl I made for myself as I was assembling the banana pudding

Bowl I made for myself as I was assembling the banana pudding

banana pudding 3

banana pudding 2

banana pudding 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lemon Chia Muffin with Raspberry Glaze

1

 

A few weeks ago I made Lemon Chia Muffins with a raspberry glaze.

They turned out somewhat okay.

By that I mean they tasted good but had the consistency of cornbread. So darn dry. If you try this recipe add more milk or better yet add water to the Chia seeds. Don’t add them dry.

When I followed the recipe the batter was thick, thinking about it the concoction was so thick I’m not sure we can even classify it as batter. So again add more milk. Hopefully that will help. If I make this again and I discover adding more milk does help I will update this post.

By the way, the raspberry glaze ROCKED!

Here is the recipe:

Lemon Chia Muffins with Raspberry Glaze

2 c. all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

½ c. butter softened

1 tsp. lemon extract

2/3 c. sugar

2 lg. eggs

2 tbsp. chia seeds

½ c. milk

1 pkg. lemon pudding (no need to make the pudding, powder goes into muffin mixture)

 

Muffin Instructions:

Cream together: butter, eggs and lemon extract until creamy. Add rest of ingredients.

Bake 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

Glaze

½ c. powdered sugar

1 tsp. flavoring ( I used LorAnn Oils, raspberry flavor)

Glaze Instructions:

Mix sugar and flavoring. If glaze is to thick add a ½ tsp more flavoring.

Dip muffins into glaze before serving.