What is He calling you to? How about community?

A lot of you have asked what I’ve been up to lately. I hardly know where to begin.

A few months ago Ryan and I decided he should take a leap of faith and leave his *great* job to do what God called him to do. So he did. It’s been an adjustment but there is such peace in knowing you are where God wants you.

The boys are growing too much. Carsten is almost 17 and driving. Maxon is a freshman in high school and doing well on the football team. Andrew is as fun as ever and Matthias is a busy preschooler. It is a barrel of monkeys exciting to teach him at home. :) And did I mention my house is ALWAYS full of teenagers?

We love the community we live in. God definitely brought us here. I enjoy so much just soaking it all in. I am so thankful for all that He has given us.

My sister and her two kiddos moved in with us about a month ago. That has been a grand adventure. We like having them so close and it sure makes for some fun filled days. Now if only I could curb all of these appetites. Gosh, can they ever eat food!

I’m also just staying busy in His word, attending Bible college, and meeting with friends regularly. I guess I’ve just hardly had time to be online and I am so okay with that. In fact, I am thankful for it.

What have you been up to?

Oh, my friend Sharon recently published this awesome book on hospitality. She has some amazing ideas (and recipes) for bringing friends and family together around DIPS. Easy and fun!

serendipity 3D coverSharon Sloan’s SerenDIPity is a refreshing and unique way to entertain and open your home in hospitality. Sharon’s SerenDIPity invites you to gather friends together in this DIPlightful way to celebrate dips, faith and friendship! In SerenDIPity, Sharon shares the inspiration and practicality for entertaining with whimsical flair. Filled with savory and sweet surprises, SerenDIPity will take you from the ordinary to the exceptional in culinary creativity that is easy to do and fun for your guests! This fun and practical book will help you to:

  1. Open up your home and heart through hospitality.
  2. Creatively prepare and execute your own SerenDIPity party.
  3. Set the stage for fun, friends, and fellowship.
  4. Learn the ins and outs of hosting fun contests and giveaways.
  5. Prepare savory and sweet dips.
  6. Know what to do after the party.
  7. Know what the Bible says about hospitality and fellowship.
What Others are Saying

“My sweet friend Sharon displays hospitality in beautiful ways. Her thoughtful touches, delicious recipes and gracious heart have been amazing gifts to me during the years of our friendship. I can’t wait to read SerenDIPity and learn some of her best kept secrets!”

- Lysa TerKeurst (NY Times Bestselling author of Unglued and Made to Crave, and President of Proverbs 31 Ministries)

“As a professional food stylist for over 18 years, I have learned that my presentations must reflect my clients, whether homespun, retro or eclectic. Their personalities must shine through. My dearest friend Sharon’s SerenDIPity hospitality inspiration allows the hostess that same freedom. Regardless of budget, experience or culinary skill, this book assists the hostess in creating a fanciful and fun party of dips for friends and family.”

- Lucille Osborn (Professional Food Stylist and Founder of Psalm 34:8 Cooking Ministry)

Bonuses

You can sign up to receive SerenDIPity’s 5 Days of Presentation. You can also download some free printables to go along with the book and meditate on some dollops of scripture. And of course, there are sweet and savory dip recipes!

What Personal Care Products I Use…

912570_10152829293225089_543733767_n

Because I make my own DIY cleaning products I am always asked what I use for personal care products.

I make my own deodorant (natural deodorant recipe), my own recipe for toothpaste, sugar scrubs, and lip balm. I buy some other products on Etsy, use a triple milled bar soap for bathing and shampooing, and I also really like products from Jordan Essentials.

Their products are safe and made in the USA. They use ingredients like Shea Butter, Soy, Coconut oil, Beeswax, Dead Sea Salts, Grapeseed oils and more. The 5 main ingredients Jordan Essentials avoids is DEA, Isopropyl Alcohol, Mineral Oil, Parabens, SLS / SLES, and Aluminum and they are dye free!  Did I hear an amen?

912570_10152829293225089_543733767_n

My favorites are the products in the face care set. The cleanser works wonders on makeup and isn’t harsh or drying, the toner is refreshing and smells so good, and the moisturizer isn’t greasy and leaves my face feeling soft. I don’t use the eye cream often but I’m sure it works great too.

954418_10152829323515089_1040317077_n

My friend, Angie Parrett, sent me these products to try and I am smitten with the salt scrub and lotion. I really like the shampoo and conditioner as well and that “messiest hands” products is so perfect for little Matthias, the resident preschooler, who loves to paint, play in mud, get full of glue, and use clay for making letters. It gets off everything and it smells great. I also use it when I craft and it gets all of the gunk off and leaves my hands feeling really soft.

I’m often asked if I use the “no poo” method of shampooing and the answer is a loud no. I’ve tried it  few times and maybe it is because my hair is thick and course but I cannot get the baking soda to do anything for my hair. I’ve tried rinsing with vinegar too and that is just a nightmare. I prefer to use bar soap to shampoo and just buy conditioner. It’s just easiest for me and works the best.

So, what do you use for personal care products?

What Wines to Use with What Dishes: Cooking with Black Box Wine

6a0120a61aa83a970c0192ab08bc2c970d-550wi

I cook with wine quite often. It is an easy way to refine a dish and kick it up a notch. The alcohol in the wine doesn’t add any flavor but it does help to release flavor molecules in the ingredients and it is superb at dissolving fats which also aids in enhancing the flavor of foods.

If you cook with wine you always want to make sure that you cook most of the alcohol out. If you don’t it will taste like alcohol and defeat the purpose of using it to enhance flavor. The best way to make sure that you’ve cooked the wine out is to let it reduce by half after adding it. The more it reduces the more delicious it becomes.

You may have heard the saying, “don’t cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink.” This is very true. “Cooking” wines don’t do for your dishes what a sophisticated, mature wine will do. For the most part, we only drink wine on biblical holidays but even though we don’t drink wine often, I know what a good wine tastes like just by smelling it and cooking with it.

Whites or Reds?

I use white wines with poultry, fish, and cream sauces.White tends to be more acidic and gives you a great flavor symphony when used in dishes. Cook for 15-20 minutes.

I prefer red for beef, bison, venison, and heavy vegetable dishes. Keep in mind that adding a red wine to any dish will add color to it. Red is also perfect for tomato based dishes. It deepens flavors and should be cooked for 30-45 minutes after adding to any dish.

Is it safe to cook with alcohol?

While not all of the alcohol will evaporate during the cooking process, the majority of it will and it is completely safe for consumption. One serving will contain significantly less alcohol than a dose of your most used cough syrup. The longer you cook the wine the more the alcohol evaporates.

Want to try it?

Start with something simple. My Cajun Shrimp and Grits is easy and delicious!

how to make cajun shrimp and grits

Essential Oils Giveaway Winner and A Free Book

I think I just witnessed the most beautiful giveaway ever.  The comments you amazing women left regarding smells that evoked memories  was intimate and blessed our socks off.  Nearly every comment caused me to pause and relive a similar memory — or just smile at the joy and wonder of the many gifts God gives us.

Everyday oils

While I wish we could bless all of you with the sweet aroma of therapeutic grade essential oils, only one of you won.

How to Get Essential Oils and a FREE $36 Book

But before I tell you who won, I want to remind you that you can still get these essential oils in your hands.  I really want to encourage you to not only bless Amy by signing up under her, but allow her to bless you — she uses essential oils because the Bible lays it out (and not surprisingly, the Bible gave us a really good first aid kit in these essential oils).

Anyone who does become a distributor will receive a Higley Reference Guide for Essential Oils book from me to get  your started and provide a resource to turn to when you have an essential oil question.

Quick Facts for You

  • You don’t have to tell anyone about essential oils.  You can just use them.  People will still smell them on you.
  • You don’t have to become a door to door saleswoman.  In fact, you NEVER have to “sell” the oils.   But be warned, your friends will notice a difference in you and start asking you random questions about your essential oils.  Or if one of your oils might help a certain ailment of theirs.
  • You don’t have to spend $1000 each month.  Or even $1.  It’s up to you.  (I spend $100 every month only because I can earn free products and I have made a business out of Young Living in order to help fund missions.)
  • A Young Living Distributor is like a membership to Costco or Sam’s Club except you can earn free products and you could earn some income.  The downside is that you don’t get to go get a bunch of snacks.  But at least your essential oils are wholesale.

And the Winner Is . . .

The winner of the Everyday Oils kit is ……. Marissa!

You will be contacted by Jodi. Congratulations!

Didn’t win?

You can still win a book, though, when you sign up as a Young Living Distributor.

Let us know if you have any questions!

 

Long Distance Friends (Dear to My Heart) and A GIVEAWAY!

Everyday oils

There are some things I think about daily, like laundry and if the diapers are washed — and dry.

diapers on clothes line

There are some books that never get dusty and are habitually left out, because I am nothing without knowing what my Jesus has to say to me in the morning.

reading the bible

There are some people I pray for regularly.  Like my husband and kiddos.  Or serving overseas as a missionary.

praying for husband

There are some foods I make without asking if anyone wants to eat it, because it is already a hit.  Hello smoothies!

There are some practices that are second nature when my children are hurt or sick, after prayer I anoint my kiddos with healing Biblical essential oils.  I don’t think of calling the doctor.

DSC_0041

And there are some people I smile about when I remember them.

raising up godly children

I thank the Lord for them — for how they have impacted my life.   And that person is who brought me here today.  Amy.

How I Met Amy Bayliss

I met Amy over two years ago at a blogging conference.  I had secretly lurked on her blog for quite some time.  I sat behind her in a class, and bashfully met her promptly after it ended.

We hugged and that sealed our friendship.  The only problem?  We live states apart.  Otherwise, I would be over at her house every single day.  Instead, I find her in my house several times a day . . . in the form of laundry detergent and her sweet, gentle southern voice echoing through my mind as I get a grip on my bathroom issues.

bathroom issues

Amy and I wash the clothes, diapers, and cloth napkins probably three times a day.  As a result, you better believe she is prayed for.  And now my eldest son has learned to do the laundry.  He even knows Amy.

Homemade laundry detergent is just one of many ways I remember Amy throughout the day.  Her series, 17 Days of Natural Cleaning, rocked my ever-loving household.

Essential Oils Remind Me of God

But truthfully, I want to think about more than Amy — don’t get me wrong, she’s great.  I REALLY  want to to have the mind of Christ.  to contemplate His thoughts daily — know what God would have me do next.

I”m so human, though.

Like Amy’s cleaning products. I use therapeutic grade essential oils to remind me of God, His fragrance in my life.

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.  2 Corinthians 2: 14-16

Biblical oils 2 corinthian

Quick Facts About Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils

While I know all the facts about Young Living therapeutic grade essential oils — like that they:

  •  are antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, and antiseptic
  • can be ingested — even by my children
  • are safe for pregnant and nursing moms
  • have been known to take away my headaches and migraines
  • helped me get off of all thyroid medication
  • are the life blood of a plant, carrying nutrition into cells and waste products out, and do this very thing in the human body
  • cleanse our body of pharmaceutical drugs and petrochemicals
  • remove toxins and heavy metals
  • flush out the liver
  • and supply our brains with oxygen

What is more important to me is that essential oils are scriptural.  And when I use them their aroma compells me to contemplate my Savior, speak to Him, praise Him, but more importantly remember Him.

Because we remember things in a profound way when they are sealed with an aroma.

Like the cologne my husband used wear back in high school.  We we go to the mall and I walk by a certain store, I am instantly reminded of the night I opened the front door and saw him standing there with a red rose for our blind date.  (These days he wears an essential oil that evokes equally fond memories.  Ahem.)

A Giveaway

Essential oils are an important part of my life (and Amy’s).  They don’t replace God or the necessity of His Holy Spirit working in our lives.  But therapeutic grade essential oils are natural and safe for not only our bodies, but our husbands, children, and friends.  Amy and I could tell you some pretty amazing stories of how God used essential oils in our lives in a big way.

However, we would like for you to create your own memories and stories using therapeutic grade essential oils.

everyday oils Naturally HIs

One winner will receive the Everyday Oils, featuring 9 therapeutic grade essential oils from Young Living.  The perfect kit to be reminded that God left us a medicine kit in the first garden.

Because Amy probably won’t tell you, I will.  She is a Young Living distributor.  She uses Young Living Oils but purchases them at wholesale.  And many of her natural recipes feature Young Living Oils . . . and those are the oils I use when I make Amy’s cleaning products.  Anyone who signs up as a distributor under Amy with the Everyday Oils kit (during this giveaway)will also receive a Higley Quick Reference Guide to Essential Oils from me!

Curious about being a distributor?  I have you covered.  You can learn about being a Young Living distributor on my essential oils blog, Naturally His.

Everyday oils

Other Helpful Links

Enter to Win

Leave a comment below sharing a memory you have that is evoked by a smell.

For a second entry, tell why you would like to win the Everyday Oils kit?

 

Pure Hope: Adding Hope and Biblical Truth to the Conversation on Purity

new pics 005

PureHopeWhen I was growing up I didn’t have a purity ring. I didn’t have anyone to teach me the right way to handle situations. I did what I thought was normal even though instinctively I knew it was wrong. As a result I was pregnant for my late, former spouse before we were married and he was not the only man I’d ever shared myself with. I didn’t know why it was wrong until I gave my life to Christ at the age of 21, just a few weeks after I married my first husband.

It became even more obvious to me when I stepped out into youth ministry and began searching for themes for summer camps and youth conferences. Purity was a  hot topic. Though the scriptural foundation of abstinence and purity was on target the method of the message was lacking.  As I read about and pondered all the ways to illustrate why we should stay sexually pure I became a bit disgusted. The illustrations included having everyone spit into a cup and asking if anyone was willing to drink it. The point being that is what a person who has had multiple sexual partners is equal to: disgusting spit. Really, I could have cared less that this equated me with spit. What I cared about was the message, or lack thereof.

It bothered me immensely because it took the focus off of God and away from the atoning sacrifice of His precious son, Jesus Christ. It put the focus on a night of supposed honeymoon bliss between two sexually pure people. It put the focus on the pride of saying you saved yourself for marriage. It put the focus on self. Self earned accolades. I struggled to find Jesus in this message.

As I grew in my faith I began to see another dark side to the purity issue. The other extreme that says that there is freedom in exploring one’s sexual desires outside of the covenant of marriage and despite what the Bible commands. An extreme where the very essence of who God is, LOVE, is exploited in order to fulfill the lusts of ones flesh. God clearly defines love for us in 1 Corinthians 13 and it has nothing to do with feelings or desires. Both messages failed to point people to Christ but this other extreme was much too permissive about something that Jesus, the Word of God, strictly prohibits:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.  1 Corinthians 6:9-11

For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.  Ephesians 5:5

Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 1 Thessalonians 4:-18

I could go on and on with the scriptures that command that we abstain from sexual immorality (fornication, incest, homosexuality, bestiality, and orgies) but I think those are sufficient. It is a commandment from Leviticus 17-18. This is basic stuff. The problem is that over and over Christians have strayed from the Torah, the commands of God. We rewrite and rework them based on culture, time, preference, psychology, philosophy, desires and emotions. Then we blame God and say, “You made me this way.” Sound like a replay from the garden of Eden? Satan is consistent in his deception.

God created us with the ability to choose: good or bad. For each good decision we are blessed or rewarded. For each bad decision we receive just discipline or punishment. For each repentance we receive unmerited grace. That is the mighty LOVE of Jesus Christ at work. For those like me who did sin, who fell short, and who made the wrong decision – there is HOPE. There is Jesus. And as we seek Him and walk in His ways we are washed white as snow. We become pure not because of ourselves but because of Him. I honor my own body because I honor Him.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers,by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  Romans 12:1–2

My body is a living sacrifice.

How powerful is that?

After my first marriage ended I  didn’t feel like used goods. I felt like a “new creation in Christ” (Ephesians 2) just as He describes me to be. I shared myself with no other man until the night I married my forever husband. I chose to glorify the one I will spend eternity with: Jesus Christ. I chose to abstain from sex for no other reason but to honor Him. This has very little to do with me or sex and everything to do with my relationship with my Lord and Savior. I chose to be obedient to His Word and He enabled me. The rewards, though not all were as I expected, were plentiful and more than I could have hoped for.

There is always hope, always a second chance, for those who repent and are obedient to His Word.

new pics 005

There are so many more women who contributed to this conversation today. I invite you to comment here and then visit the others. You can find links to their blogs here: Pure Hope: Bringing Grace and Truth to the Conversation About Purity

Recipes for Gravy – Make a Roux: Cajun Style, 3 Ways

how to make a roux

One of the most asked questions I get on my blog is about Cajun cooking. People want to know how to make a roux. They want recipes for gravy, Cajun style. I’m sharing how I make my basic roux, traditional black roux, and dry roux.

Black Roux

First, watch this video to see how to make a traditional black roux. I would have made a video but why bother when this is the perfect example of how we do it. Notice that he uses a wood spoon and constantly stirs. Also, pay attention as he describes the smells. These are the signals we look for when cooking a roux.

A black roux is mostly used for gumbos. It is more flavorful but it looses its ability to thicken the darker it gets.

Ingredients:
60% Flour (I prefer King Arthur’s)
40% Fat (tallow, ghee, or other animal fat) – the fat must have a high smoke point

Basic Roux

For a basic roux which is used for stews, brown gravies, étouffées, and sauces you need flour (60%) and fat (40%). The difference with the basic roux is that we brown our meat first and use the fat rendered to make the roux. First, you season the meat well. Brown the meat in the pan ( I recommend cast iron, enameled cast iron, or stainless). Once the meat is browned remove it from the pot with a slotted spoon.

cajun cooking secrets

Add a small bit of additional fat if you need to in order to get to that 60/40 ratio. For one pot of stew I typically use 1 1/4 cups flour and 1 cup fat. That makes about 8-10 servings.

how to make a roux

Add the flour and begin to stir and be attentive just like the video shows.

how to make a roux 2

Once your roux is the color you want, add your water, broth, or stock. Beware of the intense heat that will bellow up. Stir to combine then add the meat back in and any other ingredients you want to add to your stew.

cajun roux recipe

Congratulations! You just made a roux!

Dry Roux

It is HOT here in Louisiana. During the summer I don’t want to stand in front of a hot stove stirring a roux so we tend to make lots of dry roux. The best part about a dry roux is that it requires much less fat than a traditional or basic roux.

Ingredients: 3-4 cups of flour

Evenly distribute the flour in the bottom of a cast iron skillet or other dutch oven. Stainless or enameled cast iron work as well. Place the dutch oven in a 400° F oven for an hour to an hour and a half depending on how dark you like your roux. You must stir every 15 minutes so set a timer. Be careful to stir it because you don’t want it to burn. Once it reaches a dark peanut butter color remove it from the oven.

dry roux recipe

To store it: Place in a canning jar or other container in the freezer. It will keep for up to a year.

To use it: Use the same amount of dry roux as a recipe calls for basic roux. If it says 1 cup then you need 1 cup of dry roux mixed with about 1/2 cup water. Or, you can just put the dry roux in the pot with you meat and seasonings.

I Used to Despise Women & Femininity

430414_3029943523007_1075160817_n

I am almost ashamed to admit this but… there was a time when I did not want to be a woman. Let me clarify this, I didn’t want to be a man or anything. I still wanted to be a female, I just didn’t want to act like a woman. You see, in the house where I grew up, my feminine role model was a bit out of sorts. Maybe you can relate?

My perception as a teenager was that my mother was a childlike, Rx addicted, bipolar mess. She would spend all of our money, blame it on PMS, then throw a pity party and invite us all. I watched her manipulate us with her emotions so many times and hurt us so deeply that I swore I would never be anything like her. For me, that meant no crying, no vulnerability, no emotional attachment. I especially strayed from relationships with women. It seemed as though all of my best girl friends always betrayed me or reminded me of my mother in some way.

I didn’t let men open doors for me. That showed weakness. I told you I was a bit warped. In fact, I used to have a saying that I would use anytime I caught myself being emotional or feminine, I would say, “Ugh, I’m such a girl”. I despised it. It took years of praying and heartfelt repentance to bring me to a new place. But still, it wasn’t easy.

God answered my prayers though. He put two gentlemen in my life who saw what a mess I was and I honestly believe God used them to retrain me. When we were out and about they refused to let me open a door, pump gas, carry heavy things, and all of that other stuff. One of them, in one of the weakest moments of my life when I did cry said to me, “Don’t hide your face when you cry. It’s OK.” He was right. It was OK. The other reminded me constantly that I was indeed a girl and it was more than okay to act like one.

Had these two friends not been in my life I don’t think I ever would have accepted my husband when I met him. He was too much of a gentleman. He does so much for me, carrying in groceries, opening doors, cleans up, makes me ice cream, carries my books, and so much more and I love it! He makes me feel like a woman! This truly is what God meant for our lives as women. We are the soft, gentle, sometimes emotional ones. I embrace that now. I find joy in feminine things.

And my mom, the woman I resisted for so long, is now mom again. A few years God intervened in our life in a mighty way. She developed some health problems that caused her kidneys to almost completely shut down. We thought we were going to lose her. God healed her body and our hearts. Things haven’t been the same since. My self righteous attitude towards her is gone now. I began to see her as a person and not as a reason and excuse for my behavior. She is a wonderful woman with so much to offer. We still have a ways to go in our relationship but it is improving even daily.

run

I’m also letting other women in. I’ve embraced friendships and accepted the fact that sometimes, we fail but love doesn’t. If I love my friends and they love me then we will make it. I won’t say it’s easy. My protective stance still wants to jump in and push people away but I have found speaking God’s Word, His truth, over our relationships has helped tremendously. I invest in them and they invest in me.

I’ve come a long way. I’m embracing and striving for femininity more and more every day and my friends and I? We’re running this race together. My life is so fulfilled now that I don’t let my fears hinder me.

Sometimes our pasts do mold and shape us. However, it is up to us as to whether or not we allow God, the Potter, to reshape us. His way is better.

How to Make Deodorant – All Natural Deodorant Recipe

deodorant recipe

deodorant recipe

In my quest to lead a healthier, more natural lifestyle, I knew I had to find a new deodorant. There is too much research to suggest that some of the ingredients in commercial deodorants cause cancer or at least create an atmosphere for cancer to grow and thrive. We won’t get into the claims that it may contribute to alzheimer’s. To me, looking at what evidence does exist and the fact that these diseases are on the rise in countries and during our time when these products are readily available (and hardly ever questioned) is enough proof that we should just use something we know is safe.

That’s smart, right? Besides, I hate paying $5 for deodorant. This costs pennies on the dollar.

This is the most basic deodorant recipe. I find it works very well and you only need a little. I had to get used to applying it differently but after a couple of days it didn’t phase me one bit.

deodorant recipe that works

Basic Deodorant

  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder (you can substitute cornstarch but some find that irritating to their skin)
  • 5 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • Essential oils (optional – I used 7 drops of lavender and 4 drops of tea tree)

Mix everything together in a bowl and place in a sterilized, glass container for storage. To use, swipe fingers in mixture and apply to underarms. If you can get past the fact that this isn’t a stick or a spray then you will be in for a treat!

infused coconut oil

If you want something a bit more softening and feminine then I suggest infusing your coconut oil prior to using it in the recipe. It’s super easy and gives the deodorant that added boost. The lavender also helps with irritation from shaving.

To infuse the oil (by the way I infuse so many different things: olive oil, vinegar, you name it!) you will need the following:

  • dried lavender
  • dried chamomile
  • dried calendula
  • coconut oil
  • glass jar

I get my ingredients from Mountain Rose Herbs but you can also find them on Amazon or at your local health food stores.

infused coconut oil for homemade deodorant

Gather your ingredients. Using about 2 cups of oil (melted) and a total of 1 cup of dried flowers (I mix them up) put all ingredients in the glass jar. Set out in the sun or on a window ledge for 4-5 days to allow the flowers to permeate the oil. After a few days, strain the oil using a coffee filter or cheese cloth. Use filtered oil to make deodorant. You’ll LOVE it!

UPDATED:
I received several questions about how I filter the oil so here is a video to show you. Here are links to the products I use (affiliate) Japanese dripper and coffee pot.

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/news/20120112/are-fears-that-deodorant-causes-breast-cancer-unfounded
http://www.naturalnews.com/033364_deodorants_chemical_ingredients.html
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/06/29/cbsnews_investigates/main51…
http://www.ewg.org/chemindex/term/563
http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/best-natural-d…
http://www.health-report.co.uk/ethylene_glycol_propylene_glycol.htm
http://www.naturalingredient.org/syntheticfragrances.htm

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through these links help to support our family and keep this site operating. Thank you!

Coffee Sugar Scrub Recipe – Moisturizing & Energizing!

coffeesugar scrub

I find my hands get really dry from time to time. I’ve used professional exfoliants and expensive moisturizers and though they work for the most part, I don’t know what is really in them and it gets quite costly to buy. So, you know me, I did some research.

I found that using sugar scrubs is one of the best things I can do for my skin. Sugar scrubs rid the skin of dead skin cells, dirt and other leftover products. They make your skin fresh and silky smooth and aids in your skins ability to rehydrate itself.

Let’s make it even better. Add coffee.

coffeesugar scrub

I first saw the idea of adding coffee to sugar scrubs in Stacy Karen’s ebook, Simple Scrubs to Make and Give. I took her idea and adapted it to my recipe. It awakens your senses, softens your hands, and gets you prepped for the day. I use it every morning and I LOVE it.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1⁄3 cup jojoba oil (you can substitute apricot, almond, olive or grapeseed)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup ground coffee (I like Community Coffee but I may be biased)
  • Vitamin E capsule (clip and squeeze)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg

Directions

Mix all ingredients together and store in air tight container. Will keep for 6-8 weeks.

How to Use:

  • Wet hands. Apply scrub on hands and gently scrub together and around fingers to exfoliate.  Rinse and pat dry. Lift hands to face and cup nose. Inhale. Good, yes?

Stacy’s book is just ONE of 97 books and ecourses by your favorite bloggers that will be available for sale on Monday, April 29th. If you want full details (trust me you do want full details) come back on Monday and check out this amazing deal. I’ll be offering additional bonuses for everyone who purchases from my blog. Come back Monday, mm,kay?

UHeB-large-HomemakingBundle_revised

Home Remedies for the Flu – Elderberry Syrup Recipe

home remedies for flu

I admit it. Until I realized I could make many things myself, I spent way too much money at our local health/whole foods stores. One item I purchased regularly was an immune tonic called Elderberry Syrup. Being of French descent this is something I grew up with. We believe in many homemade, natural concoctions for health benefits and this is one that has proven true over and over again.

We take it daily to boost our immune system and if we do get a cold or flu we take it every 3 hours or so. I also find this makes you have regular bowel movements. Sorry, it’s true. Why waste money on a fiber supplement? Boost your immune system and go regularly with this. You’re welcome.

Unfortunately, over the years the price has gone from $5 for a liter to just plain ridiculous. This stuff can cost $15 for a 4 oz bottle or if you buy the organic version, up to $50 a bottle! We each take at least one tablespoon of this per day. That is a bit pricey. Still, I paid for it because I knew how valuable the benefits were.

Then I found this recipe by Jodi from Granola Mom. I compared her recipe to the bottle of stuff we bought regularly and adjusted it to fit our needs. Now I make my own and save hundreds of dollars. Here is the altered recipe.

home remedies for flu

These are linked to my Amazon affiliate account. You can also purchase from your local health foods store or my favorite place, Mountain Rose Herbs.

Ingredients:

I begin by boiling the 4 cups of water in a large, stainless steel pot. While it is coming to a boil I peel and chop the ginger into small pieces. A rough chop is all you need. Discard the peels. Then I cut the tips off of the vanilla and slice it down the center to reveal the precious vanilla caviar. Once it begins to boil I add everything but the honey.

IMG_0654

Turn down the heat on low and allow it to simmer for 20-30 minutes. Every ten minutes or so I use a potato smasher and smash the berries and other ingredients to get as much of the goodness out of them as I can.

After it has simmered for at least half an hour, strain it into a bowl or other glass container. Again, smash it to get as much of the liquid out as possible. I sometimes strain it twice to avoid to much pulp being left behind. My kids aren’t fond of it.

natural home remedies

Next, allow it to cool for about 10-15 minutes or put into an ice bath to cool it more quickly. Once it is about room temperature, add the honey and mix well.

honey recipes

Finally pour into a glass jar or other container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 10-12 weeks. The honey will preserve it for about that length of time.

flue home remedies

Usage:

Take one-two tablespoons every day. For kids (DO NOT give to children under the age of 2) up to 8 I think one tablespoon is fine. For teens and adults 2 tablespoons is a good amount. If you have a cold, infection, or flue, take an additional tablespoon every 3-4 hours.

About Kids:

Most of my kids squirm at the thought of anything “medicinal.” Modern medicine ruined them. Because they don’t like taking it as is, I just add it to their juice (apple or grape) with their breakfast in the morning. They get berry flavored juice and I smile knowing they are getting an extra immunity boost.

Disclaimer:

Because we live in a ridiculous world that likes to sue for all kinds of nonsense, I am obligated to say that I am not a doctor, pharmacist, or able to treat, diagnose, or offer advice for any ailment. I can only offer my own experience. Please consult your doctor before using this home remedy or any other. This post is for educational and informational purposes only.

Preschool, hospitals, birthdays, and lots of recipes going on…

nutrinot

broken

I know it has been a while since I posted. Aside from the server issues, I’ve really just been spending too much time living life to actually write about it. That is a good thing. :) But, this has also motivated me and given me the opportunity to do so much and I’ve actually taken lots of pictures of my endeavors for use in future posts. Here are some of the highlights of my last couple of months.

preschool

Matthias is an inquisitive and eager little boy. I knew months ago when he started spouting off numbers, letters, and trying to read to me that he would need to start preschool soon. As he asked more and more questions and showed more interest I finally caved. I ordered his preschool curriculum, began collecting supplementary material and started redecorating our office into his preschool. He is so excited! These photos are from a couple of weeks ago. I can’t wait to show you what it looks like now.fdp

When I began sharing my natural cleaning recipes a year ago I never dreamed they would go over so well. I knew I loved them but the response from others has been amazing. I even began selling to our community and that did so well my sister and I branched out to sell on Etsy. That was short lived for now since we could not keep up with all of the orders that came in. In one day I had so many orders to make that my microwave and cabinets were covered in orders. This experience got me lots of feedback and so over that time I’ve honed my recipes and added new techniques to improve them. I’ll be sharing that with you soon.

servefood

One of the ways I love to serve my community is by providing meals to families who have new babies, are going through illness or injury, or are just having a hard time. Recently while preparing my family recipe of Cajun chicken stew I photographed the entire process to share the recipe you. Even the “how to make a roux” part. :)

nutrinot

I have gained quite a bit of weight since I had Matthias. I knew it was time to get off my behind and do something about it. I purposed to be on the computer no more than one hour total per day, exercise regularly and learn to eat right. I had already moved my family to a real food diet but proportions and eating times were what I needed help with. Also, I just didn’t have time to cook that many meals a day so I decided to go with a pre-packaged food program like NutriSystem. I now call it Nutri-Yuck. Yep, it is that bad. I knew it wouldn’t be anything close to real food but I didn’t think it would be that bad. It was. After a couple of weeks of eating that stuff I had had enough. I was learning much about how to eat and I was losing weight but the food had to go. I decided to make my own pre-packaged food program. It meant I had to spend a good bit of time up front prepping and planning but it was worth it! I’m losing weight and I feel so much better.

Did I mention I am running in my first 5K soon? Oh my.

makingstuff

I have had a lot of time to make, create, and come up with stuff. I’ve made my own deodorant, toothpaste, immunity elixir, lip balm, foot scrub, and so many more things and I took pictures of it all. We’ve also created lots of fun manipulatives and such for Matthias’ preschool.

grandma

Grandma has been in and out of the hospital quite a bit lately. It is very hard on her physically and emotionally. She is hanging in there. Prayers would be appreciated.

broke foot

Andrew decided to play football outside, barefoot. He broke said bare foot. Yep. After a week or so of being in a cast we saw it wasn’t healing and so the doctor decided to do surgery. He will now be in a cast for 4-6 more weeks. Barefoot. Am I the only mom who has this problem?

2947_10152520547365089_17964458_n

We have had lots of birthdays recently. Andrew turned 12. Matthias turned 3. And me? I’ll have a birthday in a couple of days. I actually had to do math to figure out how old I’ll be. 38. Thirty-eight years old. Didn’t I just turn 35?

bible study

I have been studying His Word a lot lately. I mean I wake up in the morning hungry with hunger pains and it is for His Word. This is all new to me. I’ve desired to study His Word before but this is a whole new level. He is so present with me teaching and guiding me through His Word. It is amazing. I am learning so much!

Finally, I’m getting my house in order spiritually and physically. We’ve been here less than a year but it seems it is taking a while to get settled and organized. I finally just purposed to get it done. I have found so much joy in serving my family in our home. I know it may sound strange but I really feel this way. It is not a “job” it is a “calling” and I am thrilled that I was chosen.




web counter