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!

 

Gotha’s Chocolate Coconut Bombs

0
Too damn tasty

Too damn tasty

I have added coconut oil to my diet in hopes of helping my dry cracking itchy skin. I am trying to heal my skin from the inside out because in my 40 something years nothing has helped my skin from the outside. If I had back the money wasted on lotions, I wouldn’t be rich but I’m sure I could pay a few big bills off.
I first became familiar with coconut oil from Pinterest when I was looking for natural hair treatments. That sparked my interest about that amazing oil, so I researched the many uses and benefits of the awesome coconut and the oil it produces.
What you must first understand is the oil is solid like lard. Fortunately it has a low melting point of 76 degrees. Which makes it easy to use on the hair and skin. Now getting it inside the body is easier for some but not everyone. I fall into the not everyone category.

I have tried melting the coconut oil and just slamming it down the hatch like a shot of liquor. Nasty doesn’t even begin to describe that process. Some Pinterest pins suggest just eating it by the spoonful, solid. That ended up with gagging like a cat trying to upchuck a fur ball. I have added it to food and drink with some success.

When done properly coconut oil in coffee is a great tasty way to get it into your diet. But when you have stomach issues like me, coffee every morning is a no-no.

Much by accident I came across several pins about coconut bombs.
What are coconut bombs you ask? Just a tasty way to ingest good ole healthy coconut oil.

There happens to be a few ways to make these bombs. Some recipes just have you mix the solid form of the oil with some tasty ingredients. Some call for you to melt the oil before mixing.

Ingredients added to the oil varied also. Some people used ground cinnamon, some cinnamon with chocolate and others used just chocolate or cocoa powder. None that I found had shredded coconut in the recipe. What?
Now my version is one of many. You may not like it. No problem. Go to Pinterest and search ‘coconut bombs’ you will have so many recipes you are sure to find one you love.

Here is my version:

What you need

What you need

Gotha’s Chocolate Coconut Bombs for Smoother Skin

1 cup of melted coconut oil. (about 60 seconds in microwave handles that)

A small handful of chocolate chips, about 25. Semi-sweet, milk chocolate, basically whichever floats your boat.

One tablespoon cocoa powder.

1 cup of shredded coconut.

Here is the easy peasy way to build your bombs:

Add your chocolate chips and cocoa powder to your melted coconut oil and stir. Stir a lot. It took some convincing for the chocolate chips and oil to decide to become one. After that mix in the shredded coconut. Your mixture will be runny. Just toss it in the freezer for two minutes. While your bombs are cooling lay out some wax paper on your counter.

Remove mixture from freezer, stir well. If it’s still too runny pop back in freezer for another minute. Once cooled and slightly hardened use two spoons or a melon baller to shape bite size bombs. Place on wax paper to set up. I ended up with 25 bombs. You may get more or less depending on how you size them. I have most at a two-bite size.

This is from a smaller test batch. The recipe makes much more.

This is from a smaller test batch. The recipe makes much more.

Adding the coconut. Yum

Adding the coconut. Yum

I store the bombs in the fridge. Remember coconut oil has a low melt point. My house is HOT!
The husband thinks we live in the artic and keeps our heat on what I call the tropical setting. I have had to go outside in 20 degree weather wearing shorts and a t-shirt to cool down. True story. Neighbors must think I’m having menopausal hot flashes. So I feared my coconut bombs would react like Frosty the Snowman on a tropical island and turn into coconut puddles.

Tasty. This is a skin treatment that can spoil a girl.

Tasty. This is a skin treatment that can spoil a girl.

Right now I have two bombs a day. One at my first break at work the other during my second work break. If in a few weeks I feel I need more coconut oil I will add a third bomb. And yes I do yell, “Bombs away” before eating one. (UPDATE: with two per day for two weeks my skin still looks dry, but man it feels soft. So it is helping. I will now add a third bomb to see where that takes me on my dry skin journey).

How do they taste? Like an Almond Joy minus the almond. But without almonds it’s a Mounds you say. Nope. Mounds uses a dark chocolate which changes the taste dramatically. Don’t argue I’m a ‘robust’ girl, I know my candies.

Now some people use coconut bombs for weight loss. Does that work? I don’t know but you might want to omit the chocolate chips from the recipe if you are trying to watch your weight. I have not lost any weight but I have noticed that after eating a bomb I do feel full plus do less mindless snacking. It’s the late evenings that kill me with the over eating. I will soon tackle my food issue. First I am focusing on being more active. Which with my Vivofit is working well. Small changes, not all at once is my plan.

A note on buying coconut oil. My first suggestion is do your research so you can make an informed decision. After trying several, some refined some unrefined. Some virgin some not so virgin. Some without taste others with a coconutty taste. As of right now my favorite is a unrefined virgin coconut oil from Target. It does have a coconut taste. I still try other types/brands as I find them so one day my favorite might change. So, research, try a variety, maybe look at some brands on Amazon and read the reviews.

Are you a coconut oil user? If so please share with me, I am always looking for new ways to try this amazing oil.

UPDATE: I have tried this a few times adding extra ingredients. After research I have discovered Cacao Nibs are a nutritional powerhouse. Brazil nuts may help my Thyroid issue. So I added 1 tbsp of the nibs and three chopped Brazil nuts to the recipe for my bombs. The bombs are still great with the add ins.

 

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.

Fiery Hot Lips: DIY Cinnamon Lip Balm

1

Fire balm

I love me some cinnamon. I am still enjoying the cinnamon toothpicks I made. I was gathering supplies to make a small batch of lip balm and was thinking about those cinnamon toothpicks. Suddenly an idea hit me, thankfully not hard, but it did hit me. The idea? Cinnamon lip balm. I read several pins on making lip balm and from them I came up with the recipe down below.

Let me tell you something about cinnamon lip balm…it is not for the faint of heart.

Lip Balm of Fire:

Ingredients:
4 tsp. of beeswax pellets
1 ½ tsp. of Shea butter
2 tsp. sweet almond oil
1 tsp. Argan oil
3-6 drops cinnamon oil
A tiny chunk of lipstick if you want tinted balm
A tiny container for your balm

In a pot add a few inches of water, turn burner on low. Give the water a few minutes to heat up. Using either a glass jar or some other container that can take the heat, place the jar in the warm water. Into your jar add the beeswax, Shea butter, Sweet Almond oil and Argan Oil.
Let everything melt, stirring with a wooden spoon. Once melted add your lipstick chunk if you are tinting. If not remove from heat, add your cinnamon, stir then pour into your storage container.

Beeswax

Beeswax


Wax and oils melted together.

Wax and oils melted together.

This is my first time dealing with beeswax. What I learned from this first time is that the stuff wants to set up FAST. So have your storage container handy so you can pour quickly.

I should have added a bigger chunk of lipstick. I had a bronze color which using just a little made my balm look dirty. I meant to pour just three drops of cinnamon oil but a tad more came out of the bottle. I let my balm set, which didn’t take long. It smelled like cinnamon heaven. I put it on my lips and it burnt like hell. My lips were on FIRE. Grabbing a rag I wiped what I could of the balm off my lips. Still the fire was raging. I made a mad dash to my freezer, grabbed a cube of ice and tried to cool down my burning lips. It took a few minutes but my lips cooled down. On a positive note my lips were nice and soft. Was it from the oils in the balm or did the dry rough skin burn off? I don’t know and I’m not going to try it again. Hell who am I kidding? It’s cinnamon, of course I’m going to try it again.

This was a very Pinteresting and painful adventure. Do you have a favorite lip balm recipe? Please share.

Setting up

Setting up

Natural Deep Conditioner Treatment for Hair

3

Ingredients
Remember me mentioning some beauty products I ordered at a deep discount? They arrived yesterday. So now I have my Sweet Almond Oil, Shea Butter, Argan Oil and Lavender essential oil. I also have the coconut oil I always keep on hand. I still need a few other things to arrive but I can begin with what I now have.
I’m so excited to try all my experiments!

Today I will share with you some natural deep conditioner treatments for your hair. I opened my package of products as soon as I got home from work. I had to try the Shea butter and Argan oil right away. I wanted to see how each product conditioned my hair on its own. So on one side of my head I slathered on the Shea butter the other side I applied Argan oil.

The Shea butter. Taking it straight from the jar and putting directly to the head is not an easy task. It is solid like coconut oil but as I discovered it doesn’t melt as quickly as coconut oil. You have to really do some rubbing of the hands to get it to melt. It will melt but you will have to work for it. It did take a good bit of the butter to just one side of my head. Once you get this stuff on don’t try to run your fingers through your hair, won’t work. The hair feels a little bit tangled. By the time I was done coating my hair my hands were really soft. My hair wasn’t feeling soft , yet.

The Argan oil. This stuff went on easy. It’s a liquid oil. I had my hair covered in just a few minutes. Bonus: it did not take much oil to coat my hair and scalp. My hair felt really good and I could run my hands through it easily.

So half an hour later I’m ready to hop in the shower to wash my hair. I’m gathering up my towel and other things I need when….the power goes out. Yes the power went out. We have well water so when the power is gone the pump doesn’t work. Three hours and some odd minutes later the power comes back on. By then the Shea butter side was a hot mess but the Argan oil side was pretty decent.

Shower time! Woohoo!

The result: my hair, both sides felt soft and amazing. Will I do this treatment again? Yes but not this way. After referring to Pinterest I found several recipes I thought were okay then adapted it to my very own hair treatment.

Natural Deep Conditioner Treatment for Hair
( I think this will make a good skin lotion to use right before bed also.)

Ingredients:
½ c. coconut oil
½ c. Shea butter
3 tbsp. sweet almond oil
3 tbsp. Argan oil
5-10 drops lavender oil
1 tbsp vitamin e oil (optional)
(1-2 tsp. olive oil if mix is to thick)

I didn’t want to make a full batch for the first time, just in case I didn’t like the finished product so I halved this recipe. It still made a good size batch.

Shea butter, Lavender oil, Sweet Almond oil, Argan oil, and coconut oil

Shea butter, Lavender oil, Sweet Almond oil, Argan oil, and coconut oil


In a medium to large size bowl combine the coconut oil and Shea butter. Microwave for 20 seconds or until just begin to melt. With your electric hand mixer beat a minute. Add your sweet almond and Argan oils. If it seems to thick, like a body butter add a tsp. of the olive oil. Beat a minute more. Add your vitamin E and Lavender oil. Beat 2 minutes. Refrigerate 5 minutes. Beat on high for 3 to 4 minutes. Don’t skimp on the last few minutes of beating the more your mix it the more it increases in volume and it will look more and more like conditioner. Pour into your storage container.
This is how the conditioner looks before the fridge and mixing a second time with hand mixer

This is how the conditioner looks before the fridge and mixing a second time with hand mixer

A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA: After pouring into my jar there was still a ‘film’ of the mixture in bowl. I scraped it out with my hand and massaged it into my hands and arms. It did a pretty good job as a skin lotion. It did take several minutes to absorb.

To use has a deep condition treatment for hair: Massage in beginning at scalp and work to the ends of hair. At this point your could cover your head with a shower cap or not. Leave on 30 minutes to an hour. Shampoo out.

The finished product

The finished product


Okay now do yourself a favor, go onto Pinterest and search “Argan oil for hair. You will see some many hair uses, for example: You can add a drop or two of oil to your hands, rub together then work that tad into your hair ends. Or to smooth those splits, or to control those fly away hairs and so much more.

I will be using this treatment to get my hair in shape for some abuse later this year. This fall is the time for Gotha to go all black. Yes there is nothing that enhances that pale deathly looking skin like black hair.

FYI: It’s has been almost five hours since I massaged the hair treatment mixture into my hands. I’ve done a sink full if dishes and some gardening. My hands are still soft.

The coconut oil I got at Wal-Mart (I usually get their organic brand but they were out of stock this past time)
Vitamin E at CVS
Sweet Almond Oil (gift from sister) she got at Amazon
Native Soul Shea butter I got at Amazon along with the Argan oil and Lavender oil.
Since I have Amazon Prime I paid nothing for shipping!

DIY Beauty Adventures

0

I have a few things in the works. So my sister D gave me a huge bottle of sweet almond oil. So of course I had to hit up Pinterest to see what beauty tips/products I could try with the oil. I figured while I was looking that up I would look into a few other beauty secrets. There are a bunch of pins out there about DIY beauty products and tips. I have recently been able to get a few of the items the pins call for at a deep discount so I couldn’t resist.
Here is what I’m going to share with you:
1) A product you can make at home to help diminish the dark circles under your eyes.
2) A trick to get your feet sandal/flip flop ready. Also help rid you of that nasty nail fungus.
3) A new way to wash your face.
4) Some deep conditioner treatments for your hair.
5) New ways to moisturize your face and body.
Maybe several more DIY beauty tips once my other items arrive in the mail.
Most of these the results if any will take a while so eventually there will be a follow up to these next few posts.
Today lets talk about those dark circles we get under our eyes. Some people only have them after a few nights of low quality sleep, while others (me) tend to have those dark circles all the time.
There are many pins recommending the same treatments for dark circles. Seems it must be working for somebody so I’m going to give it a go. FYI: I will show photos of the products but no photos of my results because this Gotha don’t do no pictures. But I will give you honest results.
Sweet Almond Oil and honey. Some pins just use almond oil by itself others mixed with a little honey. I have both so that is what I’m going with.
Pour equal amounts of the honey and almond oil in a container with a lid. Mix. Now watch it separate. You will have to mix this right before you use and be quick it separates fast. Apply this to the skin under the eyes every night before bed. I’m sure you know but I must stress this, do not get this in your eyes!
I’ve done this three nights now. Have I noticed my dark circles diminishing? No, but the skin is soft and my under eyes doesn’t have that puffy look to it anymore. How long will this mixture stay good in your container? I do not know, I do know this when your oil (any oil) goes rancid you will notice it right away. It will have an ‘off’ and unpleasant smell to it. I will let you know hoe the peepers look in a few weeks.
Thanks for joining me at the beginning of another Pinteresting journey in my life.

The suspects: Almond oil and it's sidekick honey

The suspects: Almond oil and it’s sidekick honey


Their crime: they don't mix well. Yet they still like to hang out together.

Their crime: they don’t mix well. Yet they still like to hang out together.

The honey I picked up at my local grocery store. The almond oil was a gift from my sister. She ordered it from Amazon.

Making Lavender Oil

3
Lavender steeping in oil. My Lemon Yhyme and Rosemary are in the background

Lavender steeping in oil. My Lemon Thyme and Rosemary are in the background

Last summer was the wettest summer my area had experienced in many years. Most of my plants and vegetables could not handle all the rain being dumped upon them. I lost all of my vegetables except the pumpkins, my lavender plants suffered horrendously as well.

Once I realized I was losing my lavender plants I waited on a dry day. We didn’t have many. I then harvested every bit of the lavender as I could. Once picked I wondered how was I going to preserve this smell-tastic plant.

I decided to make lavender oil. I also made rosemary and lemon thyme oil. To make the oil is easy. But it is a long process. I know how to make the oils, been doing it for several years. I decided to check out Pinterest to see if I could learn anything new about the process. What did I learn? Seems there are a whole lot of ways to make herbal oils. Some of the things I read made me go, “WTH?” so I left Pinterest deciding to go with my own way of doing it.

When I was a teen I spent some time with a family I knew. The grandmother had been raised deep in the North Carolina mountains. I must tell you her upbringing was very interesting, oh the stories she told. She shared a lot of her knowledge with me, my young short attention span mind tried to soak up as much as it could.
I have remembered a few things, some of them useful, some strange wives tales and a little bit of stuff my family did not approve of.

Two main things have been put to use many times over the years. One was how to ‘read’ cards. Yes I can tell your future with a regular deck of cards. Am I accurate? Who knows? I did it for fun in my younger years. I rarely read cards anymore but the knowledge is still there. Taking up space in my brain that more useful stuff could be occupying.

The second main thing I learned was how to make herbal/essential oils. I will share that knowledge with you now.

Sunlight is a no-no. Some Pins I read required the oil concoction to steep in sunlight. I was taught you must let it sit in a dark cool place for a few weeks because heat from the sun would destroy the essential oils in the plants. Is this 100 percent true? I don’t know I do know the woman who taught me had been doing it that way her whole life and her mother before her and her mother before her and so on.
Any oil can be used but if you are wanting to capture the scent of a plant use a light scented oil. I did go against this bit right here, only because the only oils I had on hand were olive and coconut. Coconut is a solid like lard so I used the olive oil. It was a light olive oil so the smell was not as strong as most olive oils. The olive oil scent was still pretty noticeable. But I was able to make it work. Now if you are making oils for taste/cooking nothing beats rosemary steeped in olive oil. Yummy.

The lavender oil turned out rather nice, with the olive oil having a noticeable I had to repeat the process twice. Now I must warn you homemade essential oils are not going to smell as strong as store bought essential oils. Even though the smell isn’t strong I still believe this is a good way to bring a part of your fragrant garden indoors so you can enjoy year round.


 

Lavender Essential Oil

Fresh cut lavender.
Glass canning jar with lid. If you have a tinted glass jar with a lid that is even better.
Oil (a light scented oil, like safflower or canola)
A cool dark place

Cut enough lavender to fill a glass canning jar. Rinse your lavender of any dirt. Let dry completely. I let mine dry overnight on a clean towel or a stack of paper towels.
Stuff the jar full of the clean dry lavender.
Pour in enough oil to cover lavender completely.
Screw on lid tightly.
Put jar up in a cool dark place.
Shake jar every few days for two to three weeks.
Strain.
Done.
Store the jar away from heat and sunlight.

Now since I used olive oil after my two weeks I strained the oil and you could just barely detect the scent of lavender. I did happened to have one lavender plant that was refusing to die so I still had some blooms available. So I cut those blooms, rinsed, dried them then stuffed them into the jar of my weak scented lavender oil. Again in a cool dark place shaking the jar every few days. I let it steep for thee weeks this time before I strained the plant material out. Steeping a second time did the trick. You could still smell the olive oil but the scent of lavender came through strong.

I use my lavender oil in my whip coconut lotions. As a massage oil. As a treatment on my scalp and hair. I’m down to my last little bit, I’m going to use it in a body scrub. I will share how to make that with you later this spring. Or summer since it looks like mother nature is going from winter to summer and just skipping over spring all together.

How long does it keep? Well that depends on how you store it. Trust me you will know when it goes bad, the oil will have a rancid smell. Most of my oils last several months. I have had a few go bad within a few months, but on those I did use low quality/cheap oils to begin with.

Lavender oil about to be used in whipped coconut oil lotion.

Lavender oil about to be used in whipped coconut oil lotion.

Now you can use hard to find expensive oils, that is up to you. But me, I feel if the ingredients cost more than what you can purchase the finished product for, it’s not worth it. Some projects I will go buy things I wouldn’t normally buy but most times I make use of the items I have on hand. If you have read my other posts you know sometimes making do (substituting) items doesn’t always work out. Those instances don’t bother me, I learn from them. Life is an adventure, throw out the owners manual and just do it your way. Unless you’re a surgeon than maybe it is best to stick with the rules.

Good luck on your essential/herbal oil making. If my process does not appeal to you. Hit up Pinterest, there are many different ways to make your oils.

This post is done. Now go forth and pin. Pin your heart away.


 

Why are you still here? How can you have your own Pinteresting adventure if your still here? “How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?”