Peppermint Lip Balm – Recipe and DIY How-To. (Free Labels, too!)

 

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We’ve got a new homemade all-natural lip balm recipe for you; this time in PEPPERMINT! After the CrAzY-impressive popularity of our ‘Wild Orange All-Natural Homemade Lip Balm’ (via Pins, features, tweets and insane traffic), made with our essential oils and other natural, non-toxic ingredients, we realized it was high-time to get this recipe out there as we always intended! And of course, we designed brand new FREE Peppermint printable labels to for you, to go with it!

The fact that our very own lip balms are still our favorite that we have ever tried, remains true. They go on so nicely, give your lips a little shine, keep them healthy, and the scent and feel of them are soooo nice. This new recipe is actually exactly the same as the Wild Orange Lip Balm recipe, except that we are substituting the 12 Wild Orange essential oil drops, with 10 Peppermint essential oil drops.

As an interesting and pleasing fun-fact, we found that our lip balms last quite a long time!  We originally made 6 tubes (of the first batch of Wild Orange), and then we gifted 3 away. The remaining 3 lasted us over 7 months! And that is with most of using them on a daily basis! That really makes them worth making to us. They make fun and affordable little homemade gifts as well.

Alright, here’s the recipe, DIY how-to, with **FREE PRINTABLE LABELS**  I designed for your lip balms as well!
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Our recipe makes 6 lip balms, just like this.
Ready to learn how to make your own? [Read more…]

Vanilla and Wild Orange Sugar Scrub | Free Tags

I don’t know about you, but I just love my personal care routines!  It’s a bit of ‘me-time’ that I embrace and look forward to each day.  I choose to take my daily showers before a little reading time and bed every night, and it works out perfect for me. Because by the end of the day, I could not appreciate it and enjoy it any more than I do! I am usually exhausted by that time, both physically and mentally, and maybe even a little chilled to the bone, if I’ve been out and about in the freezing-cold temps that winter offers up around here. So that hot shower, and using my awesome smelling and soothing natural personal-care recipes, feels nothing less than a treat for me!

One of those recipes, is this sugar scrub, I am going to share with you today.  You can learn how easy it is to mix some up for yourself, or as gifts!  And just because I love you all, I also am sharing the tags I designed for the scrub.  We gave tagged jars of this this as Christmas gifts last year, and they were a very big hit!

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Now, I call it a recipe, but I don’t really have measurements for you. I just wing it.  But please don’t let that scare you one bit, because: [Read more…]

A Countdown Pillow

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There is nothing like using crafts as a coping skill! Sometimes, you need to. And that is just what the 3 littles and I did this summer. My oldest daughter, Alexis Grace, (17)(and the littles’ big sister), went away for 2 weeks!! (To a summer Catholic Collegiate program.)  Now, for some, 2 weeks may be no big deal. But for us? HUGE? Remember; for me, my kids are not away all day, most days, at school. My children are all homeschooled. I’m not even remotely used to this. We’re together most all of the time, except for extra-curricular kind of events. On the other hand, it’s not like my oldest has never been away. She has, numerous times. In fact, she’s away on a regular basis. 3-4 days at a time, with no contact, when she goes on retreats with her friends. But 2 weeks…. . And FAR away.

It was a good thing. MANY very good things about it, that are now gifts for a lifetime for Alexis. But one being, we all (she and us!) needed this trial run of her being away from home for an extended period of time. Because she’s a senior this year!  Which means she’ll likely be off to college next year!  So, we all had to give this separation-thing a temporary go.

This was the big-first, and well, needless to say, the kids and I…were struggling. I figured about a day in, that it would be fun to come up with a project the kids could make, that we could use to ‘count down’ the days until Alexis came home.  And frankly, I needed a busy-project!  The trio brainstormed, and came up with a few good ideas!  But ultimately they settled on one of them:
a countdown pillow.
Something that would serve it’s purpose for us, but end up being a memorable gift we could give her, when she came home.
And so that’s just what we made.

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Now, I am no seamstress. In fact, umm, <gulp!>, I have yet to truly learn how to operate a sewing machine.
However, I do have my mother’s old one. And I do have a husband who knows how to use it!
(See? When I say [Read more…]

Wild Orange Lip Balm – Recipe and DIY How-To

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I’m so happy I now know how to make our own awesome lip balm!  It’s all-natural, made right at home, and in our extensive experience and personal opinion, it’s the best lip balm we have ever tried. This one is Wild Orange; made with real wild orange essential oil!  And all kinds of other nourishing stuff that is so good for your lips. It not only feels good, it leaves a nice gloss.

You have no idea how much we are a ‘lip stuff’ kind of family.  4 out of 6 of us anyway. “Where’s the lip stuff?” “Mama, can I have the lip stuff in your purse?” “The lip stuff is almost gone!”  If we are running out, we start to panic a little.
It’s as important to keep in the house, as milk and bread. It’s crazy. We need our lip stuff!

We’ve been through many kinds of ‘lip stuff’ over the years. But our favorite we really got stuck on, was some we could only get at the Farmer’s Market, and only when that vendor was there.  It’s from a local bee/honey farm, and they have many products with their honey in it. Their lip stuff rocks. It was a tangerine balm. But, it’s not really easily accessible. So we’d stock up a little when we saw them at the farm market, at $3.75 each. Yikes! Worth it but, I always thought it would be nice to figure out a way to make our own, for less.

That day has come! And we don’t need to worry about running out.

To figure out what ingredients to use, I went by those listed on our last tube of honey bee lip balm, as a guide, and figured the rest out from there.
My little O helped me make these, and we had great fun making these! It was like science for her, but she always enjoys helping me anyway (as I enjoy her help), and she loves anything that involves making something in the kitchen. (What a blessing it will be for her if that lasts her whole life long. Eh??)

In this post I am sharing exactly how we made these lip balms, so you can make your own too, just like we did!
It’s a recipe, DIY how-to, with **FREE PRINTABLE LABELS** I designed for your lip balms as well!

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Our recipe makes 6 lip balms, just like this.
Ready to learn how to make your own?

Here’s What You’ll Need

001_how-to-make-homemade-Wild-Orange-lip-balms This is the Ingredients list.
You can find the following at Mountain Rose Herbs, using the search tool there:
(5-1/2 tsp) Soybean/Soy Oil
(2 tsp) Bees Wax Pastilles
(1/2 heaping tsp) Cocoa Butter
(1/2+ 1/8 tsp) Vitamin E Oil
6 Clear Lip Balm Tubes

(12 drops) *Wild Orange Essential Oil can be bought HERE.
(You are welcome to order at retail pricing, or click JOIN in the upper right-hand corner, to sign up for a wholesale pricing, at 25% off all product, for a year.)
The rest of your Wild Orange bottle can be used for numerous other things, including as a remedy for health problems such as stress, the blues, heartburn, indigestion, muscle pain, flavoring for desserts or in cooking, and so much more!

Equipment:  – A double boiler
– A stove top
– a glass dropper (or disposable pippets?)

Here’s the How-To

It’s so simple, and so fun to make these lip balms! 
And it’s as easy as measure, melt and mix, and put in the tubes!

I did not take photos of the process with the double boiler because it’s easy enough to explain without unnecessary photos. (Even though I include unnecessary photos most all of the time in my posts, just because I like to take them. So who am I kidding, right? lol)  But my double boiler is just a pan you sit in the top of another pan of boiling water.  Got one of those? It would be a boring photo.

So get your double pans set up on the stove top. As you get the under-pan of water boiling, put your 5-1/2 tsp of Soy Oil in the top pan.
Once warm, add the 2 tsp of Bees Wax
Use a tiny whisk and get it melting.
002_cocoa-butter Next add 1/2 heaping tsp of Cocoa Butter.
This Cocoa Butter comes pretty hardened. So just take a spoon and scrape up shavings, until you have enough.
Add that your pan and whisk together.

Once the wax is melted and everything is blended, you can remove from the heat or simply turn off the burner, and add your Vitamin E Oil, which will be 1/2 tsp and then an additional 1/8 of a tsp, and then 12 drops of Wild Orange Essential Oil.

It’s important to keep the mixture in liquid form until you get your tubes filled. You can remove the upper pan as you work, but keep returning it over the pan of hot water if it begins to harden.  The mixture can be reheated to liquify again at any point, if necessary.
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I had my tubes all lined up and ready to go.
I chose clear ones, because I’d like to be able to see how much is left in a tube as we use it.

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I used a glass dropper from one of our science kits, to extract the mixture from the pan, and fill the lip balm tubes.

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Work as quickly as you can (safely) and fill each tube to the brim with the liquid.
Then let them sit to cool and firm.

Clean-Up Tips

Meanwhile, you’ve got a pan and a dropper to clean! (Unless you used disposable pipettes – which I did not do. I don’t know if the mixture would be too hot for the plastic pipette? But if anyone tries it, come back and let us know how it works!)

To clean the pan, while it’s still hot, wipe any wax-liquid mixture out as best you can with paper towel. And then wash as normal.
To clean the glass dropper, I used pipe cleaners. That worked very well! But I wasn’t able to get every bit out. That’s ok, I’ll continue to use it for the same thing, as we make more lip balms.

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And there you have it!  6 awesome Wild Orange Lip Balms!
You can keep stocked up for yourself, or give them away as gifts.
I know we’ll be doing a whole lot of both!  Because these are so easy to make, literally costs you cents, and they are fun to give away as little tokens of love and care.

I even designed a label for them!  As seen below.
Just click on the big orange circle, and it’ll take you to a whole sheet of labels you can download and print right out.
The printable sheet also lists the ingredients on it, with has simple directions as to how to put the labels on your tubes. (We secured the labels on with handy 2-sided sticky tabs. Love those things!)

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My oldest has requested Peppermint Lip Balms, so we’ll be making those, as well as more of these, very soon!
We hope you try making these yourself!  Please leave any questions you have below, or come back and let us know you made some and what you think!
ENJOY!

A Wind Chime from the Seashore

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I have been working on some deeper – writing posts that should be published soon, so stay tuned for those. (You know how those freak me out, having to show my cards and all. I tend to be overly-private though, so trying to lighten up.)( Did I say this last year? lol)   But today I am just sharing with you a craft project that was a true labor of love. Or….I should rephrase that: It was labor, in the name of love.  This wind chime made with sea glass was a Christmas gift we all wanted to make for Michael’s mother/Grandma last year. I was so excited about it. It was only once we got going and invested time we didn’t want to write off, that we realized it was not going to be a quick gift-making project, by any means. But, it was a gift of love and so, it would be worth it.

01_sea-glass-windchime-craft Here it is all done. Photographed last winter, before packaging it up and shipping it off.
It’s an idea I actually borrowed from my always clever and creative fellow bloggin’ friend Angie of The country Chic Cottage.  When I saw hers, I just loved it, and thought it would make a nice gift for my mother-in-law who lives in Florida part of the year. In the end, I am sure Angie’s took a lot less time to make, because she managed to find some nice, big flattish pieces of sea glass to work with. And frankly, I just like hers better. All we could find were glass sea glass rocks; just bulkier and impossible to work with as her tutorial went. So we had to improvise. Big time. And thus put a lot more time into it. BIG TIME. 

02_sea-glass-windchime-craft The supplies needed were two embroidery hoops; a bigger and smaller one, lots of sea glass in various colors, jute string, E600 or some string glue, and in our case some silver-plated copper *wire and a set of needle-nose pliers. (I forget if the wire was 18 or 22 gauge; but it needs to be pliable enough to really reshape and work with well.)

My post here is not a tutorial by any means. I didn’t take photos along the way for that, as my hands were busy doing tedious work in late hours of the night. And I sure cannot tell you all about how we made it exactly because, for gosh sakes, it was last year!  My memory skills leave much to be desired. Such as, remembering things. And I struggle with recalling yesterday morning.  Anyway, no one in their right mind would take the time to make this lovely wind chime our way, with this bulky sea glass. So if you’d like to make one, I’d recommend finding big sea glass with big flat surfaces, and make it the way Angie did. Unless you just like the fine art wire-work on ours. ;)   I do think it adds some fancy.

03_sea-glass-windchime-craft We tied a knot everywhere we planned to put a piece of sea glass. But since tying on and gluing the rocks to the jute was not going to keep them secure enough, we used wire as well.  We took a long pieces of cut wire, laid each over the front of the sea glass (with the back being glued to the jute where the knot was), wrapped it around to the back, twisted it a couple of times over the knot placement, and brought both ends to the front again. Then using the needle nose pliers to create nice designer curls with the ends.

04_sea-glass-windchime-craft Now do you see those kinks in the wire, here and there?  That’s from tightening everything up to make the glass nice and secured, once it’s all wrapped and curly-cued. By taking the tips of the needle nose pliers, grabbing the wire in a suitable place, and giving it a little twist, we’d get this kink that gave it even more of an artistic element, and also made everything tighter.

05_sea-glass-windchime-craft We did actually really like the look of the wire work, since we turned it into art. But it was truly hours of work, for such a simple gift, that really did look homemade in the end. (Not saying that with any kind of pride.)   ;)
As I said earlier, it was from all of us for Michael’s mother/my mother-in-law/the kids’ grandmother. (I wanted it to be really nice!) And it was a collaborative effort among us all. The kids went shopping with me and got everything we needed. They also picked out all of the pieces to use out of our batch of sea glass, and helped with other little tasks.  But Michael and I did all of the gluing, and especially the wire work, for 2-3 hours every night, until it was finished.  When all was done, it took so long, this Christmas gift for our loved one was belated!  When Michael happened to be talking to his mother on the phone, he told her that her gift was going to be late, because we were still working on it! 

06_sea-glass-windchime-craft She did receive it shortly thereafter Christmas, and called us with many expressions of gratitude. I think she realized how much work we really put into it, and she even convinced us that she loved it. ;)  I’m not sure it really chimes per say.  It takes a mighty wind for those rocks to hit each other. But when they do, it does make a pleasant and interesting sound. I just wouldn’t describe it as, you know, chime-y.  Of course, it’s also decorative for her deck or yard. We realize that some crafts are just going to come out better than others. We were going for something more like……well, like Angie’s!  But hey…..it was made with love, and received with love. And that’s always nice, no matter which way the wind blows.
Thanks Angie, for the inspiration!
~Laura