Tag Archives: essential oils

Adventures in Making Tallow Moisturizer

This is a blog about my adventure making tallow moisturizer (the best moisturizer I’ve ever used). Tallow is rendered beef fat, which is a little scary, so it took something serious for me to even try it. You can buy similar moisturizer already done for you for ~$30, or you can make your own. Feeling frugal and looking at it as a potential learning opportunity, I went for the diy option. Oh boy, it was an adventure…but an oh-so-worth-it one. Here’s what happened…

Why I ventured down the tallow road in the first place…

I hear your skin freaks out when you’re pregnant. For the most part, (and I’m totally bragging here) my skin was amazing. Better than it’s ever been….ever. No zits. I’m 32 and still get zits so this was a welcome 9-month reprieve. You’d brag too.

Then baby came out and the magic wore off. Pretty soon I developed dry patches on my cheeks. No big deal, I thought. I just have to change my moisturizer. So, I bought stuff with names called “deep repair” which had no effect. I even tried oil that comes from sharks. Knowing that our skin is a reflection of our internal health, I made sure I was hydrated and getting healthy oils….BUT NOTHING WAS WORKING!

In fact, the patches were getting worse and spreading and I was getting desperate. I was literally growing a force field on my face. I reached out to my smarter-than-me holistic FB friends and one gal recommended coconut oil (of which I’d heard a lot) and an alternative I’d never heard of, tallow.

Ok, duh. Why didn’t I think to turn to natural products instead of expensive BS deep repair creams? That’s what I’m all about after all. I’m blaming my baby brain. That night I started slathering coconut oil on my face because I honestly I had no idea what tallow even was.

Um, well my face didn’t like that too much. Not only did my force field get bigger but I developed a red bumpy rash all over my neck. Good lord, I was really good looking at that point. A quick google search confirmed that coconut oil can actually be drying on the face. Great. Not to diss coconut oil. My body loves it as a moisturizer. Not sure what happened there.

Ok, no more messing around, I decided…It was time to pull out the big guns. That night I started using the Oil Cleansing Method that we wrote about a few months ago. I really love it. Vanessa was so right about that … but even that wasn’t enough. It was time to try tallow. But now I’m a total OCM convert. Try it, you’ll love it.

How to Make Tallow Moisturizer…

Tallow, as I learned, is rendered cow fat so you can see why it took me a while to get to this point, right? I got a big chunk of cow fat from a farmer. It was good timing because the hubby and I were picking up our hog that same day so I just happened to ask if they had tallow and they did – I even got it for free.

This is how pretty it is…

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I couldn’t believe I was going to put this on my face either. Another google search revealed how darn good it is for our skin. Basically, your skin recognizes it because it’s so close to our biology and absorbs it – plus it’s full of great vitamins that the skin loves. Google it, you’ll see.

Next step is to cut it into chunks and put it in your food processor like so…

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When you’re done processing, it looks like this. I guess if you don’t have one, you can just chop small. It’s easier if it’s cold.

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Then you put it in your crockpot on low and wait for it to melt.

Note: All of the articles on tallow making talk about being extra careful not to burn it so I was scared to mess it up. I didn’t do anything extra careful and mine didn’t burn. I stirred it some and worried about it. That should work for you too.

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It melts pretty quick but I let it go a few hours. Next, I let the mixture cool down a little and strained it through cheesecloth into a bowl. Throw away the chunkies.

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Then I added some dried herbs like lavender and calendula both of which have soothing properties for the skin and put it all in a big jar. I should have just started with the jar instead of messing with the bowl. Live and learn. The herbs are easily found at a natural herb store.

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I thought I would have longer to let the herbs infuse but the fat solidified on me with the herbs still inside. I wanted them to diffuse longer so I heated it back up. This is where I hit a major bump in the road. I don’t recommend this approach.

I filled the crockpot with water. Placed my solid jar of fat inside, and set it to low. I checked on it a little while later and it was all melted…yay. BUT there was some oil floating in the water. Must have boiled over, I told myself.

Not so. I carefully removed the jar and to my great dismay only the top half of the broken jar came out. Oil in water mystery – solved. Darnit! I was left with a big crockpot full of water, oil, herbs, and broken glass. Now I’m thinking to myself that I’m a real genius and how much I freaking hate tallow.  What was I thinking trying to make moisturizer out of fat anyway???

I cooled off and decided that there had to be a way to finish this project after all the time I’d spent on it. Now my crockpot looked like this….a giant herby fat cookie floating in a bath. Image

I dislodged it. Poured out the water. Threw away the glass and remelted the herby fat cookie. I restrained the herbs out – let it cool a little and sighed with relief. By george, I think I’ve got it!

Next I grabbed an old empty moisturizer tub and filled it up 1/4 of the way with olive oil. This helps keep the consistency workable. Otherwise it would be too hard to use. I also added Citrus Bliss™ doTerra essential oil and OMG it is amazing stuff. For all that work, and learning the hard way, it was worth it. Look how pretty now…

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Two days is all it took for the force field on my face to go away. And that was after weeks of trying other things. I swear my skin looks younger and I can hardly see my fine lines. I LOVE this stuff. I still have more fat sitting in the fridge and it’s going to make several more containers.

I might just start a tallow rendering business….ha ha, got ya.

In the end, I think it’s worth it to make your own but only if you learn from my mishaps. It’s better than spending $30 for someone else to do it, in my opinion. I’ll have enough to make moisturizer to last me a couple years now I bet. Think about how much that saves you in moisturizers that don’t really work. No brainer.

Try it out and enjoy your soft beautiful skin. Then let me know what you think.

 

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Makeover your Medicine Cabinet with Essential Oils

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Do you want safer, cheaper, more effective healthcare? We have two choices when it comes to treating illness…modern medicine or nature’s medicine.  Over the past few years I’ve slowly replaced all of my modern medicines with essential oils. I used them during my pregnancy to ease my symptoms and now that my son is born they’re helping him too. I love that there is a natural alternative for healing my family.

Modern vs. Nature’s Medicine

Modern medicine…

  • Designed to manage symptoms
  • Made from isolated synthetic agents
  • Side effects (some unknown)
  • 4.5 Trillion/yr. is spent on global healthcare
  • Are we healthier today because of it?

Nature’s Medicine…

  • Helps minimize symptoms, addresses the root causes
  • Made of hundreds of natural compounds found in plants that enhance physical and emotional health
  • Safe benefits without side effects
  • Pennies per dose, no time/$ at the doctor, and no copay

Did you know that essential oils are: 

  • 50-70 times more powerful than herbs
  • Inhibit the growth of bacteria and viruses
  • The plant’s own natural medicine cabinet

There are three ways to use essential oils: 

1. Aromatic:

  • Breathe in or use diffuser to:
  • Kill germs in the air
  • Open airways
  • Affect mood, including depression

2. Topical:

Apply to head, feet, ears, chest, back of the neck, and or troubled areas. From the bottom of the feet, enter the bloodstream to affect the entire body within 30 seconds.

3. Internal:

  • Taking internally is specific to Doterra oils
  • Take under the tongue, in a gel capsule, or in water
  • Relieves issues in the digestive system, mouth, throat, and liver

MEDICINE CABINET SWITCHES

T = topically; I = Internal; A = Aromatic

Oregano: T, I

  • Cold/flu
  • Immune system support
  • Fungal/Bacterial Conditions

PastTense™: T

  • Headaches
  • Bumps/Bruises
  • Pains/Sprains

Breathe™: A, T

  • Asthma/Allergies
  • Respiratory issues
  • Cough/Bronchitis/Croup

Lavender: A, T, I

  • Anxiety/Stress Relief
  • Burns/Cuts/Wounds
  • Skin Soothing
  • Bites/Stings
  • Calming/Sleep Issues
  • Nose Bleeds

OnGuard™: ATI

  • Air/Surface Purification
  • Cold/Flu/Viruses
  • Toothache

Malaleuca: T, I

  • Skin Eruptions/Conditions
  • Yeast Infections
  • Wound Disinfectant
  • Cold/Flu/Cold Sores

Deep Blue™: T/LemonGrass: T,I/AromaTouch™: T

  • Muscle soreness
  • Arthritic/Chronic Pain
  • Ciculation/Inflammation
  • Pre-/Post-Workout Application

TerraShield™: A, T

  • Repelling Bugs/Other Pests

Solace™: T

  • Menstrual/Hormonal Issues
  • Cramping/Hot Flashes

Purify™: A, T

  • Bites/Stings
  • Air/Surface Purification

DigestZen™: T, I

  • Constipation/Diarrhea
  • Heartburn/Indigestion
  • Colic/Acid Reflux
  • Digestive Issues
  • Food Poisoning
  • Nausea/Motion Sickness

Frankincense: A, T, I

  • Inflammation
  • Stress
  • Brain Support
  • Cellular Regeneration
  • Moles/Wrinkles/Sun Spots
  • Wound Care/Scarring
  • Heavy Metal Cleansing

Balance™: A, T

  • Focus/Concentration
  • Mood Swings/Conditions
  • Nerve Related Conditions

Serenity™: A T

  • Anxiety/Stress/Calming
  • Sleep Support/Insomnia

Peppermint: A, T, I

  • Alertness/Focus
  • Oxygen Absorption
  • Digestive Support
  • Menstrual Conditions
  • Allergies/Respiratory Issues
  • Cooling

Slim & Sassy™: T, I

  • Metabolism Support
  • Cellulite Issues
  • Detoxification
  • Digestive Support
  • Energy

TerraZyme™: I

  • Digestive Support
  • Lactose Intolerance
  • Food Allergy Issues

Lemon: A, T, I

  • Cleansing
  • Water Retention
  • Kidney/Bladder Conditions
  • Mood Elevation
  • Inflammation Aid

Zendocrine™: I

  • Eliminative Organ Support
  • Nutrient Absorption
  • Detoxification

Tips for treating with oils: 

  • Use common sense
  • Use the Modern Essentials Reference Guide (book)
  • Use oils frequently with an acute problem (every 15 minutes)
  • Use oils a couple times per day with a chronic problem
  • Use caution with sensitive skin, and keep oils out of the eyes and ears
  • For sensitivity, dilute or neutralize with coconut oil, not water

Yeah, but aren’t oils super pricey?

Believe it or not it’s actually cheaper to treat your family with essential oils than all that you would need from the drug store to treat the same symptoms.

Why doTERRA oils rule:

  • Plants are grown and harvested in their natural habitat
  • Each liter of oil undergoes multiple 3rd party laboratory testing
  • Tests ensure oils are pure, genuine, authentic, and potent
  • Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade is beyond organic, verified pure, free of fillers, pesticides, and foreign contaminants

 Where can I buy doTERRA oils?

Right here. You can buy individual oils or purchase kits which include many of the oils discussed above and more.

This information is courtesy of doTerra International.

 

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DIY Dishwasher Powder That Works

dishwasher soap

By: April Pease, guest blogger

I have a family of 7 (on one income mind you). I am a very frugal mom: I clip coupons, only buy items on sale, we don’t eat out, we make our own lattes at home, and we don’t have many extras. I also always stock up on things like laundry soap, extra paper towels, cleaning supplies, and of course dishwasher powder.

Over the years, I have tried different brands of dishwasher powder because the cheaper brands would leave a residue on my dishes and dishwasher – on top of getting nothing clean! So, I only used brand name, but over the last year, I started tasting the soap. Eww!

I read that if you add LEMINSHINE to the load it helps. I also read you have to use name brand rinse aid.  I felt like the expense to wash my dishes was getting out of hand. We live in a small town and are not close to the big box stores where these products are cheaper. Why should I have to buy 3 products to improve the one product I plan on using? This is crazy!

One night, I realized in a panic that I was out of dishwasher powder and my brand wasn’t on sale. Crap! That’s when I remember I pinned a DIY recipe for dishwasher powder a few months ago and decide to give it a try… pretty sure that it’s never going to actually work.

Basic recipe:

  • 1 cup borax ($5)
  • 1 cup washing soda (NOT baking soda) ($4)
  • ¼ citric acid ($4)

I happened to have all the ingredients on hand but you can find them at your local grocery store. I mixed it all together really well for about a minute and then added some doTERRA Purify™ essential oil – about 6 drops (optional). I filled my dishwasher cup with it. I stopped using rinse aid over 6 months ago and use ONLY vinegar in the rinse compartment – so that went in too. To my surprise, it was AMAZING. Clean dishes, clean dishwasher, and NO chemical smell!

This has changed my daily life because I wash 3 loads of dishes a day. Not only am I saving gobs of money, but I also feel smart because I know fewer toxins are getting into my family. Try it, you won’t be disappointed. And let us know how it works for you by leaving a comment below.

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 10.48.33 AMApril is a frugal mama of four living in White Rock, NM with her husband Robert. She’s one of those, I-don’t-know-how-she-does-it Mamas. Not only is she the queen at saving money, she’s also an all-star crafter. She’s always coming up with great diy stuff. This is a woman to watch and I’m grateful she shared her dishwasher soap with us. Happy washing.

 

 

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Essential Oils for Pregnancy and Beyond

Essential Oils

Pregnancy was quite the learning experience. Looking back, I think I had it pretty easy (most of the time) and I owe a lot of that to my little friends…essential oils.

As you know, pregnant women have to be especially careful with what they ingest which is pretty crummy timing because we go through our fair share of aches, pains, nausea, anxiety, and more. I relied on essential oils for relief for many of these ailments.

If you’re pregnant, get your hands on some essential oils and feel better already… and the best part is that you will feel really good about taking such good care of you and your baby with natural plant medicine.

Here’s how essential oils saved my pregnant butt:

(All of the oils listed here are Doterra – my favorite and recommended brand)

Serenity (blend) – helped lull me to sleep and stay that way even at the end when nothing else worked. Now I use it on my baby when he’s fussy.

Coconut oil mixed with Immortelle (blend) – diminished my stretch marks. I was cocky enough to think that I was going to be one of the lucky few who don’t get them. One morning around my eighth month there they were – a couple dark purple streaks on my lower tummy and bright red ones down my upper belly.  I know they say that once they start you can’t stop them but I did. I still ended up with a few but I think it would have been way worse without these two little powerhouses. The bonus is you can also use it on your face too for any fine lines starting there.

On-guard (blend) – kept the germs away. This immune boosting blend fought off colds when they were starting like nothing else. It also shortened the one cold I did get. This is especially helpful if you have little germ factories running around, in my case it was my beautiful nephew, Hunter. I used it on both of us.

Digestzen (blend) – touched heartburn when nothing else could. At the end, it was so bad that nothing was going to help but giving birth. That said, I would have been much meaner pregnant lady without this oil. It helps with any kind of stomach upset. I think I went through 2 bottles.

Lemon – I used this one a lot during my nesting phase. It’s the perfect way to naturally clean your house without exposing you and your baby to chemicals. I use this one all the time pregnant or not. For some easy DIY cleaning recipes, don’t miss this post.

Deep Blue (rub) – soothes those muscle aches and pains. I’m blaming my aching body the strange sleep positions that seem to come along with the third trimester but whatever the cause – you don’t have to suffer. Ask your partner to rub it on and give you a little massage then lay back on your huge ridiculous pregnancy pillow and enjoy the warm/cold tingle.

Solace – for sore boob relief. I don’t know about you but this was unbearable for me at least in the first trimester. Solace helped.

Malealuca (aka tea tree) – when I thought I was getting a yeast infection this oil stopped it dead in it’s tracks overnight. There are many other uses for this one. It’s one of the most essential.

Breathe – to open up my airways. I was a little stuffy through my whole pregnancy due to swollen membranes but thanks to Breathe I was able to do just that. It was especially great at night.

Where to buy them:

Doterra oils are only available through personal consultants. I believe in them so much that I signed up to share them with the world. They are amazing. If you’re interested in buying Doterra you can do that here. There are many other brands out there but I have yet to find one that rivals the quality of Doterra. You can still find some decent ones – just be sure you’re getting 100% pure organic oils. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Additional reading:

If you’re interested in learning more about using essential oils during your pregnancy, birth, and beyond I encourage you to read “Essential Oils for Pregnancy, Birth, and Babies” by Stephanie Fritz LM, CPM.

 

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Easy DIY Household Cleaners That Save You Money

Easy Do-It-Yourself Household Cleaners That Save You Money

DIY Cleaners

It’s hard enough to make dinner. Why on earth would you want to spend time making your own cleaning products, you ask? It’s a good question. Making your own anything (especially the first time) can seem daunting and like too much of a hassle. I hear you but I can tell you that it’s not only easier than you think but also incredibly worthwhile.

Benefits of DIY Cleaners…

  1. Money saving
  2. Fast and easy to make
  3. Peace of mind
  4. Essential oils actually boost your mood – making you happy while cleaning, imagine that.

Here’s what you need to know about commercial cleaners…

If you were to go to your cleaning cabinet right now and pull out a few of your regulars, you’re likely to find 3 things on the label: directions for use, vague ingredients, and hefty warnings.

Vague ingredients are common on commercial cleaning products because they are not required to be specific. Lack of disclosure makes it very hard for a consumer to decide whether the item is actually safe to bring home.

The warnings are pretty scary. Common ones include:  “harmful if swallowed” “wear gloves when handling this product” “can cause damage to skin and mucous membranes” “keep away from pets and children”.

The truth is that even though we’ve used these products our whole lives and probably watched our parents do the same, they contain dangerous chemicals that can be absorbed and breathed in by every member of the family with a whole slew of side effects that often are not felt immediately.

The good news is that we don’t have to endure such hardcore products to have a clean home because we can achieve the same results for less money.  Sounds good eh?

The alternative…

Using a few common household ingredients like baking soda and vinegar mixed with essential oils will yield the same clean results without the chemical aftermath. Essential oils like lemon, tea tree, peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, and thyme are antibacterial and antiviral. Now that’s harnessing the power of Mother Nature.

What you need to get started…

You will need the ingredients in the recipes you want to try plus something to put it in. I invested $10 and bought a variety of glass spray bottles and other glass containers. Aromatools.com is one resource you can use. The best bet is to use glass because the essential oils will eat at plastic incorporating the same toxins you’re trying to avoid.

You will also need some essential oils. Just like with everything, you get what you pay for with essential oils. There are a few high quality brands out there. My favorite is Doterra. I have friends who love Young Living Oils. Both of these brands can be bought through independent consultants.

The in-between step…

If making your own cleaners is a little too out there for you, there are still plenty of options that you can buy with safer ingredients. Be sure to visit www.EWG.org to see which ones are the safest.

Recipes…

All Purpose Cleaner

2 cups boiling water

2 Tbs white vinegar

½ tsp Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap

1 tsp baking soda

5 drops lemon essential oil

Mix baking soda, water and soap together with essential oil in a container. Place container inside a bigger bowl and add vinegar. Mix and add to spray bottle.  

Floor Cleaner

1/8 cup Castile Soap

1/8 cup distilled vinegar

1 gallon water

10 drops essential oil (lemon, maleleuca, lavender)

Combine ingredients in bucket and use to mop any floor.  

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

½ cup baking soda

¼ cup white vinegar

10 drops melaleuca essential oil (tea tree)

Combine all ingredients in the bowl right before toilet wash. Add to toilet bowl. Brush. You’re done.

Glass Cleaner

2 cups water

3 Tbs vinegar

¼- ½ tsp liquid Castile Soap

3-4 drops of lemon essential oil

Pour ingredients into a spray bottle and shake to blend.

Wood Cleaner

¼ cup vinegar

¼ water

½ tsp liquid Castille Soap

1/8 tsp olive oil

10 drops lemon/orange essential oil

Combine ingredients and use in a spray bottle. 

My hope is that you have fun with these recipes creating safe cleaning products. It could be a fun way to get the family involved. Please share your DIY cleaning experience. If you have a favorite DIY cleaning recipe not listed here, I’d love to hear that too.

If you liked this article, be sure to sign up for my bi-monthly free health tips, right here.

Why Cut the Crap? – True radiant health comes from a mixture of healthy diet and lifestyle choices. The cost of our fast-paced and convenient life is chemical toxins in and around us.  Ridding your home and family of chemical toxins that make you sick and drag you down doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming. In this series, you’ll learn the most efficient and easy ways to “cut the crap” so you can just enjoy your life.

 

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Filed under Cut the Crap Series - 10 Fast and Easy Ways to Clean Up Your Lifestyle, DIY Household Cleaners