Stationary Drifting


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Eating: Apple Cider Caramels (more from homemade holidays)

apple cider caramelsI LOVE smitten kitchen, I’ve posted stuff of Deb’s many times (like here, here, and here). The recipes she creates are low maintenance, usually from things I have around the house (depending on if I have groceries at that particular point), and always delicious. I had the pleasure of flipping through her cookbook a while back and lemmetellyouwhat. Its amazing. I can’t wait to get my grubby little kitchen hands on it.

I made these Apple Cider Caramels as part of my homemade holidays challenge. My step-dad is a hard guy to buy for but he does love candy because he can’t eat chocolate anymore. They went over well, he was touched I made something for him and happy with the gift. Their fanciness to time ratio is awesome. People are pretty impressed by all the individually wrapped and handmade candies, though I think it took me less than 2 hrs to make and all with common ingredients.

These were straight forward to make, even without investing in a candy thermometer. Mine turned out a little soft so maybe I need to reduce them down a little more next time. They were ridiculously delicious though and much appreciated in my house and my mom’s. Mars was a little sad that I didn’t make any for him so I snuck a few in his stocking.


Homemade Lip Balm

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I’ve tried my hand at making lip balm a couple of times now and I think I’m getting better at it. I really love my homemade lip balm because its a great gift for just about anyone and it can be easily adjusted to make whatever quantity and heaviness (its winter so it needs to be thick right now).

I am constantly losing lip balm so one of the reasons I really like this is because I can have lip balm everywhere that’s natural and works well for literally less than a dollar a container. This recipe is a combination of several I’ve found around the internet and some adjustments I’ve made myself but I think the base for my recipe came from Mountain Rose blog.

I bought my ingredients from little shops around my neighbourhood. Most of it is organic. I’ve you’re trying to find some online, I have never ordered from Mountain Rose Herbs but all the bloggers I follow highly recommend it so you could check it out. I’m not affiliated with Mountain Rose at all, just passing on the info.

xmas gifts for my family. Also my favourite mix so far.

xmas gifts for my family. Also my favourite mix so far.

Here is my method.

Ingredients:
2 tbsp jojoba oil (I’ve also used apricot oil, I’m sure others would work too)
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp beeswax
1 tbsp shea butter (optional)
1 tbsp/4 wafters cocoa butter
20 drops each of essential oil (I’ve used combinations of mint, vanilla, coconut and grapefruit – though not all at once! Usually just 2)
10 drops vitamin E oil (optional but recommended. It works as a preservative)

Directions:

  1. Mix jojoba oil, coconut oil, beeswax, shea butter and cocoa butter in a larger mason jar.
    • Shea butter and cocoa butter can be both put in or one of each. I like the shea butter because it soaks in fast and the cocoa butter for longer conditioning and also because it hardens the mixture.
  2. Put mason jar in a pot of boiling water and allow to melt, shaking occasionally. A lid loosely put on the jar keeps water out of the mixture and melts it faster.
  3. Once melted remove from water and stir in essential oils and vitamin E oil.
  4. Pour into containers and allow to harden overnight
    • this is important because otherwise it will be ridiculously soft, which is especially annoying when its in a tube.
  5. Label and date
    • always label and date. Even if this is the only time you made something you won’t remember the exact proportions and you will want to be able to adjust or replicate it later on. Also, its generally a good idea to use up the product within a year since there are no strong preservatives.

Tips:

  • For lip balm tubes, make sure to overfill so that they have a nice rounded off top. Otherwise they are pretty extremely concaved.
  • More butters and less oils makes it thicker and last longer
  • I still don’t have great essential oil ratios down. Mine are only lightly scented.
  • This amount usually makes about 10 containers of either lip balm tubes or small balm pots.

Note: I am not a herbalist or a medical professional of any kind. I’m sharing this information because I want to write about it, not because I know that it will be healthy for everyone. Please do not take this as medical or health advice. If you plan on taking herbs or using any recipes posted about here, make sure you take all necessary steps to make sure all ingredients are safe for you to use.

 


Homemade Deodorant

rosemary mint deodorant: its pretty awesome! works better than any other deodorant I've used natural or aluminum laden

rosemary mint deodorant: its pretty awesome! works better than any other deodorant I’ve used natural or aluminum laden

Sorry for the crappy picture. I can’t believe I only took the one fuzzy phone picture of this when I totally love it and its the best deodorant I’ve ever used!

I’ve been getting into making my own products, its easy, quick, ridiculously cheap and doesn’t make me feel bad for smearing chemicals on my skin. So far I’ve made a couple of different types of lip balm, a pretty incredible body butter and this awesome deodorant.

I used a mix of this recipe from Frugally Sustainable minus the probiotics (because I didn’t have them and was unsure if I wanted them) and these (1) recipes(2) (the first one) from Wellness Mama. I substituted arrowroot powder for organic cornstarch since that’s what I had on hand. I’ve heard that arrowroot is better but I’m plenty happy with out this turned out so I’ll probably keep using this recipe until I either run out of cornstarch or am convinced otherwise.

Click the above link or google deodorant health risks if you want to know why one would like to find healthier ways to make ourselves smell good. Aluminum is just one of the risks but in the end I just like to know that the things my skin is absorbing daily are made of decent things and that I’m choosing every one of the ingredients. I like having fully knowledge/consent of what goes in and on my body, which is part of the reason that I started making things. I didn’t wear deodorant for a lot of years because of this desire. Not wearing deodorant was fine for me. I found that after about a month my body adjusted and I didn’t smell often, though I do shower every day so that helped. M has a really sensitive nose though, and asked me last winter if I would use deodorant again. He bought me a well known natural brand and it worked okay but I wasn’t totally pumped about it. So in November I tried making my own and I love it! Its moisturizing, smells good, keeps me dry and good smelling, and I know every single thing that went in it because I put it there!

Here’s the steps:

Homemade Deodorant

Ingredients

(I halved this recipe and still had more than enough for 2 sticks)

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup shea butter

1/2 cup beeswax

3 tbsp baking soda (I’ve read that if you have sensitive skin to avoid this and use extra cornstarch/arrowroot)

1/2 cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder

optional: essential oils. I used 20 drops of rosemary and 15 of peppermint

optional: a few drops of vitamin E oil to preserve

Steps

  1. Combine coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax is a large mason jar. Put mason jar in a pot of boiling water. The water should be deep enough to come up the sides of the mason jar above the amount of ingredients but not so high that any water can get into the mason jar. I’ve taken to putting a lid very loosely on the mason jar to avoid this. Shake/swirl the mason jar frequently to help the ingredients in melting and to mix. Don’t shake too hard or the ingredients will just go up the sides of the jar and you’ll lose some of the mixture.
  2. Once melted, remove the mason jar from the water and mix in the baking soda (if you’re using it), cornstarch/arrowroot powder, essential oils of your choice, and vitamin E oil (which is healthy for your skin and helps preserve the mixture. I’ve read that grapefruit seed extract also works).
  3. While still warm pour the mixture into the containers of your choice. I used a deodorant container that I bought (though old ones can be washed out) and a small mason jar for the extra that I put in the fridge.
  4. Label the container with ingredients and date made (generally good practice for this stuff).
  5. Allow the mixture to harden overnight
  6. Use as much as you like! I find that allowing the deodorant to melt for a second on my skin before applying helps but its pretty soft anyway so if I’m in a hurry I just apply and go.

I’ve been wearing this for about 2 months and I love it. I haven’t tried it in the summer or in extreme exercising conditions but I’ve found that I stay pretty dry and good smelling all the time. I love the rosemary & mint combo. It doesn’t stain my clothes, moisturizes my skin and makes me feel good.

I’m a total homemade product convert. Upcoming are my lip balm and body butter recipes. Check out my pinterest for more recipes I want to try.

 

 

 

 


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4 simple goals

/// to see the way she frames her goals and read her post click on the photo above or click here. This picture is hers, though I wish it were mine! Also, holy I want a graphics tablet for no other reason than to write all over pictures. I think I’m gonna have to analog that for now, though I did get a new scanner last month… ///

Elsie over at a beautiful mess wrote the other day about how she and her partner have been writing down and trying to stick to 4 simple goals per season. Being the type of person that makes ‘new week, new start’ and ‘new shampoo, new start’ lists frequently this obviously appealed to me. What also appealed to me is that the idea is to challenge myself to do something positive, something that can be done to enrich my life, and (of course I’m drawn to this) I get to reward myself once I achieve each goal!

So, with that said, here is mine:

I’m going to explain these one at a time, and therefore stretch out the posts! Just kidding. I’m trying not to write excessively long posts all the time because who has time for that? short-ish and sweet-ish, that’s what I always say have never once said. Anyway, expect more posts with this photo as a heading as I explain my different goals, talk about how they are going, and when I wrap them all up at the end of December. Yeah sticking goals out! (not like those other failed projects)

It was hard to choose just 4. Cut from the list (because my libra self needed a good balance and 7 seemed like a lot) was ‘quitting smoking’ – which I’m going to do anyway, ‘redecorating house’ – only one style goal allowed, ‘practice photography’ – because I didn’t want to directly copy Elsie.

so without further ado I present: ‘SIMPLE GOAL #1’ : eat fresh fruits and veggies every day

okay, so this one is a directly copy from Elsie BUT ITS SUCH A GOOD ONE! I have been falling into sad/broke eating, which has mostly consisted of carbs that fill me up and random proteins like quinoa, beans and hamburgers. I’ve been craving more fresh plants in my life so here it is at #1 on my list of simple goals. I do mean simple too, I live only a couple of blocks from a great, year round, produce market that is cheap and I really have no excuse except laziness for not taking advantage. So in honour of my soon-to-be 30year old body, I offer fruits and veggies galore!

To do this I’m going to start making my morning smoothies again, I’m going to put berries and fruit on top of my morning granola, put more veggies in my cooking, and try and have one salad a day, maybe for lunches?. Added bonus, I’m gonna have to up my salad dressing making skills!

new age, new job, new season, new start.