Friday, November 6, 2015

Update Blog Page

This blog url was updated to  Please save the new url to your favorites!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Reduce Stretch Marks Naturally

Take a moment to read my recent article about ways to naturally reduce stretch marks.  It's available at HERS Magazine.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Pet tip: Fat Cats

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Is your indoor cat overweight?  Use catnip to encourage them to exercise.  A small amount of dried catnip will make your cat more interested in playing games and exercising.  You can grow catnip yourself (and make yourself some catnip tea!)

Monday, May 25, 2015

Simple Recipes: Dry, chapped skin

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Is your skin feeling dry and chapped?  A simple single ingredient recipe can help heal and sooth your skin.  While your skin is damp, massage the skin with a small amount of avocado oil, found in grocery stores or on  This oil is soothing and will help your skin retain moisture.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Pet tip: Itching

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Is your furry friend itchy due to fleas or allergies?  Consider adding flaxseed oil to his diet.  Depending on the size of your pet, add between 1 tsp (cats and small dogs) to 1 TBSP (large dogs) of cold-pressed flaxseed oil to your pet's normal food.  The oil has a nutty flavor that most pets enjoy.  The oil helps reduce inflammation and will ease your pet's itching.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Simple Recipes: Odor Busters

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It does not take a long hike to bring out body odor in most folks.  Make an herbal deodorant that works all over the body, including the armpits and your feet!  In a spray bottle, add 1 oz of witch hazel, 1 oz of sage tea (1 tsp sage simmered for 10 minutes in 1 cup of boiling water, and then cooled), and 15 drops of lemon or tea tree essential oil.  Shake to mix together and spray any where you need it.  Allow to dry before putting on clothing.  If you would like a cooling spray, consider adding peppermint essential oil instead of the lemon or tea tree.  It will help cool you down on those hot days!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Pet tip- Hairballs

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Is your cat having a problem with hairballs?  Add 1/2 tsp of plain pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) to your cat's food once every day.  The pumpkin is fiber rich and has a pleasant taste most cats enjoy.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Simple Recipes: Fade scars and fade age spots with Comfrey

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Fade small scars and age spots by massaging them with comfrey-infused oil.  This easy to make recipe calls for 1 cup dried comfrey leaves and 2 cups olive oil.  Simmer these two ingredients over a double broiler for 1 hour.  Remove from heat and cool completely.  Strain the herbs from the oil and store in a dark, glass container for up to a year.  Massage into skin as needed.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Pet Tips- Bad Breath

Does your favorite furry friend have bad breath?  Feeding Fido a few sprigs of parsley will temporarily refresh your friend's breath.  Looking for something to cure the problem?  Make a tincture out of thyme by steeping 2 tsp dried thyme in 1 cup of boiling water.  Once cool, add to your pet's drinking water.  Thyme disinfects the mouth and gums.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Simple Recipes: Witch Hazel

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Looking for any easy way to zap acne?  Dab witch hazel on your acne-prone areas twice daily.  Witch Hazel will remove extra oil and helps get rid of acne-causing bacteria found on the skin.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Pet Tips- Tummy Soother

Shadow, left and Bear, right
Does your furry friend(s) seem to get an upset stomach from riding in the car?  Try giving him a cup of chamomile tea before the ride.  Use 1 cup of boiling water and soak a chamomile tea bag at least ten minutes.  Allow to cool, and pour into your pet's water bowl before your trip.  It calms his tummy and helps him sleep on the route.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Natural help for Athlete's Foot

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Mix together Aloe and Tea Tree Oil and massage into the infected area until it is absorbed.  The aloe promotes healing of the infected skin and the tea tree oil has antifungal properties to help tame the infection.  For best results use 6-8 weeks.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Almost Homemade: Pimple-Busting Cream

I love adding an ingredient (or two) to products I already have on hand to pump up their beauty or health benefits.  Today's post is one such mashup.

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After washing your face as usual, add a dot of your homemade pimple-busting cream.  To make, mix 1tsp. of your favorite gentle, fragrance and oil free, face lotion with 3-5 drops of tea tree oil.  Dab on your blemishes up to three times a day.  Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Pet tips- Natural Remedies for your furry friends

Many of us care for our furry friends and would like to use beneficial, natural products on them.  Here are some ideas you may wish to consider.

Please remember that products safe for humans are not necessarily safe for animals.  Also, your particular animal may be sensitive to ingredients that are generally safe for other animals.  Use with caution to keep your pets safe, healthy, and happy.

Rosemary helps repel fleas.  Dried rosemary can be ground and brushed onto the animal's coat.  Or boil 1 tsp dried rosemary and a pint of water.  Let the mixture cool completely, then rub into your pet's skin.  Let dry.  You can use this as often as necessary.  It also makes a great final rinse after your pet's bath.

Apple cider vinegar is another great flea and tick repellent.  Mix together 1 cup ACV, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp baking soda in a spray bottle of your choice.  Gently spray on your pet's fur, and massage in.  Let dry and do not rinse off.

If you pet has sensitive, itchy, or irritated skin, consider adding some oatmeal to their bathwater.  Take uncooked oats and ground them in the blender or coffee grinder until fine.  Add a scoop (1/2-1 cup) to your pet's bath water and bathe as usual.

If you like this post, please comment and share with your friends.  I may make pet recipes a new feature on the blog if there is enough interest!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Spice up your Health

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Did you know that an extract from the cayenne pepper, capsaicin, can be used to treat pain, such as that found in arthritis and lower back pain?  A simple, home solution is to add some ground cayenne pepper (found in your favorite store's spice area) to your favorite body lotion.  Massage a small amount to the area causing you discomfort.

Be sure to keep this mixture away from your face, especially your eye area.  Do not forget to wash your hands really well before touching your face once this has been applied.

If using the mix on your hands, I recommend covering your hands with plastic gloves and allow the mixture to remain on your hands for as long as possible.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Simple Recipes: Help for thinning hair

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Feel like your hair is thinning?  Add a few drops of rosemary essential oil or lavender essential oil to your normal shampoo.  Shake well before each use, and massage shampoo into your scalp during your normal hair washes.  These oils are said to encourage blood flow to the area to which these are applied.

Essential oils are strong and should never be applied directly to the scalp without first being diluted.  In this case, we are using your favorite shampoo to dilute the essential oil to a safe concentration.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Health and Wellness Simple Recipe

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Ever have a sty or cyst appear on your eye?  A common treatment is to place a hot compress on the area several times a day.  The shape of an egg makes it a great compress for your eye area.  To use, boil the egg.  Cool the hard-boiled egg until it is still warm, but comfortable to rest against your skin.  Place it on your eye for 10 minutes.  You can reheat the egg and use it several times during your treatment.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Simple Recipe- Quick Manicure

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Pamper your nails and cuticles quickly and easily!  Warm a small amount of olive oil and pour into a small bowl.  Dip your fingertips into the oil and let it sit up to 5 minutes.  Dry your fingertips with a soft towel and use it to gently push your cuticles back.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Health and Wellness: Dandelions

The content of this post originally appeared on my miscellaneous blog.

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I was thrilled to find some dandelions growing in my yard.  That may not be a statement you hear often.  Dandelions are touted as having numerous medical benefits including helping with digestive issues, fighting Alzheimer's, balancing blood sugar levels, assisting or preventing liver diseases, and helping with weight loss. Dandelions are one of those often undesirable plants in the modern world that has been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years.  All parts of the dandelion is edible, and some of the culinary uses include soups and teas.
The roots of the dandelion can be consumed raw, dried, or steamed.  They are frequently roasted and ground to make a caffeine-free coffee substitute.  If you plan to add the leaves to a salad or otherwise eat raw, pick the young, small leaves.  The larger leaves are more bitter and tough, but are perfect steamed, boiled, sauteed, or braised.  The flowers have been used to make tea, jellies, and even wine!
Make sure you pick only those plants that have not been sprayed with pesticide.  Wash and enjoy!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Simple Recipes: Bust that Dandruff

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Fight that dandruff and keep your hair and shoulders flake free.  Apply plain yogurt to your hair and massage into the scalp.  Let the yogurt stay on your hair up to an hour and then shampoo your hair as usual.  Yogurt is said to help combat even the tough cases of yogurt, so give this one a try if flakes are one of your foes.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Health and Wellness- Ginger

The content of this post originally appeared on my miscellaneous blog.

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Ginger is a gnarly little root that packs a lot of powerful health benefits.  You can find fresh ginger in most grocery stores.  To use, peel the root (use a teaspoon for easy peeling) and slice or grate.  You can store unpeeled ginger in the refrigerator in an air-tight plastic bag and use it within two weeks.  To keep ginger for a longer period of time, store the peeled root in a jar of vodka kept in the refrigerator.  You can also freeze peeled ginger.  I recommend you first slice or grate the root, wrap in waxed paper or seal in an air-tight bag or other container.

Ginger is frequently used in cooking, but I like to make a decoction with it and sip it along with other beneficial herbs.  Ginger is warming and has a pleasant aroma.  It is a popular choice to help cure nausea, whether caused by motion, or pregnancy and helps with digestion.  However, ginger is generally not recommended for pregnant women, especially in large amounts.  Better to not use it if you are pregnant or, at the very least, talk to your doctor first.
Ginger has been used to ease menstrual and menopausal problems.  It is said to help reduce strokes and heart problems by lowering blood pressure and reducing cholesterol.  Ginger's anti-inflammatory properties helps ease arthritis discomfort.  It may also help shrink tumors and, thanks to its help with nausea, is said to be beneficial to those going through chemotherapy or other medical treatments that might result in upset stomach.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Simple Recipes: Mayonnaise

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Mayonnaise is more than food for your body- use it topically to nourish your skin.  Use a homemade mayonnaise (eggs, vegetable oil, and vinegar) and massage into the skin at night.  Avoid mayonnaise made with salt.

Mayonnaise makes a great conditioner for your hair and conditions your scalp.  Apply this one ingredient to your just-clean and still wet hair and scalp.  Leave your mayonnaise hair mask in place for up to 30 minutes and then rinse out well.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Health and Wellness- De-stress

The content of this post originally appeared on my miscellaneous blog.  
Photo courtesy of
Feeling stressed?  Take a tea break with a warming cup of this easy herbal infusion.  Add 1/2 tsp of dried basil, 1/2 tsp of dried lemon balm, and 1/4 tsp of dried chamomile to almost boiling water and let steep 15 minutes.
Basil is a mild sedative and is said to help relieve anxiety and nervousness.  Lemon balm is commonly used to treat heartache and depression.  Chamomile has long been used for aches and pains and as a sleeping aid.  Together, these herbs will help you relax and will soothe you.
Be sure to sip your drink while taking a few minutes to breathe and concentrate on relaxing your muscles.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Simple Recipes: Take a Milk Bath

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You likely have heard the slogan, "Milk does a body good!"  Milk was used in early civilizations for beauty purposes.  Even Cleopatra is rumored to have used milk baths as a beauty treatments.  

For an easy milk bath, pour powdered milk in a tub of warm water and soak up to 20 minutes.  Powdered milk can be found in the grocery store baking aisle and is inexpensive.  Best of all, you will get all the same benefits milk gives your skin! 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Health and Wellness Series- Garlic

The content of this post originally appeared on my miscellaneous blog.

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One of my favorite ingredients in cooking, garlic is also great for treating colds and sore throats, or even the flu.  Use of garlic is said to boost the immune system through the production of white blood cells.  It has antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties, so it is good for infections.  Studies also show garlic may help lower blood sugar levels.
The next time you start to feel under the weather, add some sliced or chopped garlic to your favorite tea or infusion.  Add some garlic to your favorite dish.  If nothing else, garlic tablets are available in the vitamin aisle.  Better yet, consume some garlic as a preventative measure and try to ward off the illnesses going around before you start feeling bad!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Simple Recipes: Peaches and Creams

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Looking for soft, creamy complexion?  Blend together one ripe peach with heavy cream to create a cream that can be massaged into the skin every day.  The result?  Soft, moisturized skin where you use it.  Be sure to keep this in the refrigerator between uses.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

New Series- Health and Wellness

If you follow this blog regularly, you are aware that we started a Simple Recipes series earlier this week.  I am trying another new series involving recipes that go beyond natural beauty products and address health and wellness concerns.  Let me know how you enjoy this content and I will keep it going if there is enough interest.

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First up- Spring is almost here and with it comes yard work, leading to sore muscles.  Ease these sore muscles by massaging them with a mix of 1 part rubbing alcohol mixed with 4 parts witch hazel.  Be gentle, but apply firm pressure as you massage.

Other uses for witch hazel?  The following originally appeared on my miscellaneous blog.

Witch hazel has nothing to do with witches, but is a popular, long used remedy for bruises, hemorrhoids, and muscle aches.  Witch hazel can be made at home using the leaves or twigs from the flexible witch hazel tree.  Boiling the leaves or twigs in water makes an infusion or decoction which can be used for numerous home remedies.
Witch hazel may be consumed to help with diarrhea, colds,or fevers.  It is said to possibly help with prevent or to treat cancer.  It can be applied topically for insect bites, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, bruises, minor skin irritations, or pain and swelling.  This brew is also used as an astringent used to tighten the pores of the skin.
To make your own infusion or decoctions, add a few teaspoons of witch hazel leaves or twigs to boiling water and let steep 20-30 minutes.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Simple Recipe Series- Teeth and Mouth Care

Some of the recipes featured here require the use of a variety of ingredients, some easier to obtain than others.  However, do not let those recipes scare you away from using natural products.  Over the next few weeks, I am going to attempt some easy recipes that you can prepare at home without a lot of ingredients or products.

Let me know if you like this series.  If there is enough interest, I will make this a regular feature on the blog.

Photo courtesy of

Let's start this series off with some simple tooth scrubs and whiteners.  Yes, you can make your own scrub to clean and whiten teeth with items you may already have at home!

Lemons- Rub a lemon rind on your teeth from remove stains.  Make sure you rinse well after using the rind to remove the acids from your teeth.

Blend together 2 parts baking soda with 1 part salt with enough water to make a paste.  Use with your toothbrush to cleanse your teeth and enjoy the freshly polished smoothness.

Concerned about mouth odors?  Rinse your mouth with rose water.  When dining out, do not ignore that sprig of parsley on your plate.  Chew it to help remove unpleasant odors.

Be sure to check back for more simple recipes and do not forget to share with your friends!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

100th Blog Post

Welcome to my 100th blog post!  I am so glad you are here.  I decided to use my 100th post as a continuation of my recent HERS Magazine blog post.  Stealing the phrase from my buddy, Don, here is a Heals for Your Heels post with an easy to make scrub to help heal your dry, cracked heels.  It also helps to smooth calluses on your feet.

To make this scrub, you need four ingredients:

3 TBS of Rice, brown or white
1/2 TBS Honey
1/2 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar

To begin, crush the rice into smaller chunks.  You do not want to crush the rice too fine as the coarseness of the rice is what will help exfoliate and remove your dry, dead skin.  I used a mortar and pestle but you can also use a food processor or blender to quickly pulse the rice.

For best results, I want to use raw honey in this recipe.  Processed honey, found in most grocery stores, no longer contain the healing properties of raw honey.  These benefits are largely removed by the pasteurization process.  Though processed honey will still provide moisture in this recipe, I really recommend you seek out some local, raw honey for maximum healing and moisturizing.

Next, add in the apple cider vinegar (ACV).  If you only have white vinegar on hand, you can use it instead of the ACV.  ACV  helps to exfoliate dry, dead skin and leaves younger, healthier, and more vibrant skin in its place.  This ingredient has antibacterial properties, so it will help to kill bacteria found on the skin.

Mix the three ingredients together and plan to use immediately.  

After soaking your feet (up to 20 minutes to help soften skin), apply the scrub all over your feet.  Rub it in a circular motion across the entire foot surface.  You can let it sit a few minutes and then rinse the skin well.  Pat your feet dry, apply your favorite lotion or oil, and cover feet with a pair of thick socks.  The longer you keep the socks on the better, so you may wish to do this right before bed.  

Thanks for joining me on this journey.  Your support is what keeps this blog going.  Please comment or otherwise like my posts where you see them on the various social media to keep these posts coming!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Treat your dried and cracked heels

Here's a link to my most recent blog post on the HERS Magazine blog.  Check it out and learn how to naturally treat your dried, cracked heels this winter!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Valentine's Day Lotion Bar Hearts

I received an order for some Valentine's Day lotion bars.  I melted together equal parts cocoa butter, coconut oil, and beeswax.  Once melted, I added essential oil and poured into a heart shaped mold (2.5 inches.)  Let the mixture cool completely then remove from the mold.  

When they were all done, I wrapped the hearts and tied them with a ribbon.  A quick and easy gift for Valentine's Day!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Oatmeal Healing Bath Bombs

Made with oatmeal, drop one or two of these beauties in your bath for a little fizz and a lot of nourishment.

Never one to hide from the truth, these bombs are not good to make in a humid environment.  It was definitely way too humid when I gave these a try.  

After pouring into the molds, the citric acid, which gives the bomb its fizzing power, continued to fizz right on up and over the molds.  They aren't pretty to look at, but they work.  I hope to give these another try when it is less humid, which will likely be around the time these are scheduled to make an appearance on the blog!  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Chocolate Raspberry Lotion

I wanted to lick the spoon as I was stirring this lotion!  Made from cocoa butter, raspberry extract, coconut oil, vitamin e and beeswax.  

Monday, January 12, 2015

Diaper Rash Treatment

A great friend has a grandson who has been experiencing some diaper rash concerns.  He is often in cloth diapers and the zinc oxide found in most commercial diaper creams, while great for keeping the cream on the skin, makes it dang near impossible for getting off the diapers.  His mom is interested in natural products and so I started doing a lot of research into what might make the best DIY diaper cream.  

The above is my first attempt at creating a well working, natural ointment for the little guy.  This is a thin lotion.  Next time I think I will go a little thicker.  It contains bentonite clay (to whisk away wetness), arrowroot powder (also great at getting rid of that pesky wetness), coconut oil (which is great as an anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties while also being a great moisturizer and helping heal the skin), shea butter (again to help heal and give the baby soft tushy!), beeswax (provides a thin layer of a moisture barrier on the skin), chamomile (cleaning, quickens healing, softens, moisturizes, and soothes irritated skin), Vitamin E, and lavender.  

This lotion should not become a permanent part of the cloth diaper, but the parents can use a diaper liner OR, this nifty baby powder I whipped up.  Now, while you should still be cautious and not dump the powder so that it gets into the baby's face, this powder contains only bentonite clay and arrowroot powder.  After applying the diaper lotion, add a small sprinkling of powder.  This will help keep the lotion from getting onto the diaper and will provide extra wetness protection for the little guy.  

I look forward to hearing how they like this one!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Yogurt and Flaxseed Oil Face Mask

I had some yogurt hanging out in the fridge that was screaming to be made into something.  Always one who likes to keep recipes simple, I created this yogurt and flaxseed oil face mask.  Yogurt heals rough skin, evens skin tone, hydrates, moisturizes, diminishes scars and revitalizes skin.  It has antibacterial properties, so it cleans and softens skin while killing bacteria, including those that cause or encourage acne blemishes.  Flaxseed oil has omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals that are antioxidants which help prevent aging.  The flaxseed oil is sold in the vitamin section of the pharmacy in capsule form.  Just pierce the capsule and squeeze the contents into your yogurt.

Use this mask to brighten dull, dry skin or to help clear up excess oil from your oily skin.

A shot of goodness for your face!

To use, apply to face and let sit 3-5 minutes.  Rinse off and moisturize skin as usual.  

Monday, January 5, 2015

Hair Detangler/Leave-in Conditioning Spray

During a recent visit with family, I decided to try this hair detangler.  I know a certain six-year-old with long hair that absolutely HATES having her hair brushed.  Ever.

We made this spray with aloe gel, distilled water, rosemary essential oil, and lemongrass essential oil.  

This was the six-year-old's hair pre-detangling spray.  

And here she is after brushing.  Definitely an improvement in the squeaking and grumbling that usually goes on during the brushing of the hair!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Trying a new lotion recipe- Twilight Rose

This lotion is similar to the Twilight Rose Perfume fragrance although I think the rose does not come through as strong in this version.  This has shea butter, olive oil, Vitamin E, rose water, patchouli oil and grapefruit oil. 

This particular recipe must be blended with an electronic mixer or else it will not come together correctly.  Once combined, it seems to hold the proper consistency fairly well, even in a very warm house.  If you have any concerns, just shake a couple times before using but it seems to be holding up well.