Homemade Liquid Soap {recipe}

I’m definitely not a big fan of using antibacterial soaps, which most liquid soaps seem to contain now a days, and yet bar soaps are also less than ideal for a minimal mess hand washing solution.

Over the last couple of years I’ve used a Burts Bees liquid soap by the sink, but at over $5.00 a bottle it doesn’t always lend well to my budget so I decided to try and make my own.

I originally found this method of making your own liquid soap at Frugal Granola, but have put off trying it out because I often heard others saying what a pain making liquid soap was.

Boy were they wrong. Making my own liquid soap took all of just a few minutes of my time.


Homemade Liquid Soap

Ingredients

1 bar of natural/handmade soap (I used a 3 oz bar of cinnamon scented soap from Simple Cleansing)
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp vegetable glycerin
1 cup boiling water

Method of Preparation

1. Grate the bar of soap so that it dissolves more easily in the water.

homemade liquid soap

2. Place the soap and boiling water into a blender and blend until all the soap is dissolved. This step produced a LOT of foam for me. Also make sure to be extra careful here – you are dealing with very hot water.

homemade liquid soap

3. Add one tablespoon of honey and 1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin to the mixture and blend for a few seconds to mix well.

4. Add water to reach desired consistency.

The directions I followed said to put in enough water to reach 6 cups……..and I have a 6 cup blender that was about five cups full. But I did as I was told.

And was promptly met with gobs of foam coming through the top of the blender and cascading down on to the counter top. I got to clean while I was also making a mess.

It’s days like these that I’m glad Todd isn’t home when I’m experimenting in the kitchen……..

So I would only add enough water to reach your desired consistency. I should not have added any at all as my soap is a bit to thin for my liking, but that may also be attributed to the fact that my bar was only 3oz.

5. Allow the mixture to cool – it may take an hour or so for the foam to dissipate. You may then pour into your container and store the rest in a jar.

This works wonderfully for us as it suds nicely yet leaves hands moisturized as well. And I’m sure you could also add in essential oils like tea tree to help as a germ fighter if you so feel the need.

Have you ever made your own liquid soap?

 

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

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Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

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Keep Your Animal Products Toxin Free

One of the last changes we made in our journey toward cleaner living was to begin buying grass-fed meats. We had been purchasing fresh, unprocessed milk for some time but the butter, meat, and cheeses were a bit more difficult to add to our diet.

Budgetary concerns were at the forefront, but finding good and reliable sources was a close second.

unhappy bovines (365-118)

photo credit: [email protected]

But as we went along, changing our diets and making more from scratch, I found that we were saving money by not buying processed foods. And as I met more and more people around town that had the same desires for natural living that I did, finding these products became easier and easier.

The problem with conventional meats is that the growth hormones given to beef cows acts as estrogen in our bodies. Give the cows hormones, we eat those hormones.

This is why some women find that when they eat a vegetarian diet that their hormones balance out. (not to say that you can’t eat meat – it’s nutrients are more easily absorbed than plant matter since conversions to usable vitamins aren’t needed) But it goes to show that when you stop consuming estrogen acting compounds from your diet, great things can happen.

Products from grass-fed animals also contain higher nutrients like CLA, vitamin D (they also get vitamin D from the sun), and plenty more minerals than their conventional counterparts.

There are also issues with additives and fillers, remember the recent “pink slime” debacle? Yea, I prefer to keep our animal products free from junk too.

We choose grass-fed animal products when possible, organic next (many organic farms run exactly like conventional farms and just use organic feed), and then conventional products only when I absolutely, positively have to and usually that’s just cheese. Other times we go without and use plant sources of protein.

 

for the full series, click here

 

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

My Bulk Herb and Spice Order, part two

A few days ago I covered my order from Mountain Rose Herbs, today I’ll talk a bit about my order from the Bulk Herb Store.

I’ve been a lurking fan of the Bulk Herb Store for some time, paging through their catalog, searching their site, and finally placed my first order.

I was not disappointed.

The quality of the herbs is phenomenal, the order came very quickly, and it was free shipping.
BHS Herbs_04_040612

Beginner’s Tool Kit

I started with this one since it contained a lot of the herb mixes I was wanting to try and they offer it at a steep discount compared to buying them all separately. It includes:

  • Snooze Tincture – this mix comes with all the herbs you need to make your own tincture. (mine is currently in the cupboard steeping!) It’s supposed to help calm a person during stressful situations and allow for better sleep.
  • Less-Stress Herba Smoothie Mix – these herba smoothie mixes are a great way to get in medicinal herbs without swallowing a bunch of pills.
  • Cough Tea – we’ve already been using this one as it seems everyone in my family but me, has come down with a bit of a cold/cough. It’s tasty and has definitely seemed to help in the expectorant area.
  • Double-E Immune Booster – an herbal mix that includes elderberry and echinacea, I’ve used it as a tea and will also make a tincture for use in the fall/winter season.
  • Red Rooibos Spice Chai Tea – a great tasting, naturally decaffeinated tea. I found another brand in the stores this last winter and really enjoyed the change from a black tea chai. I love having a jar of this on my counter!
  • Peppermint Leaf – I’ll be finding some new uses for peppermint I’m sure, as it came with quite the large bag. I usually just use it to flavor other teas, so if you have some recommendations – let me know.
  • Rise and Shine Tea – I’ve been drinking this tea in the mornings and it is delicious. I’ve noticed good energy without the spike and fall of coffee. (not that I ever drink that…….)

BHS Herbs_09_040612

ImLife Tincture

“ImLife is a combination of nine different herbs containing natural antibiotic properties to help boost the immune system and fight infections. “

I’ve got this one sitting in the cupboard as well, steeping for another week or so before I strain it out.

BHS Herbs_10_040612

Liver Cleanse Tincture

“The Liver Tincture is a combination of herbs that purify the blood, are high anti-oxidants, nourishes the livers, help with liver enlargement, help to rebuild the liver, helps with detoxing and the stress it has on the body, helps to level the hormones, stimulates your digestive system and more.”

This murky looking tincture is quite strong. It’ll put some hair on your chest for sure – or give you some bragging rights at least. But while you can add cleansing foods to your diet, and take herbal teas, a tincture is going to go right to your liver – bringing the herbs with it. So when you’re specifically looking to cleanse the liver, this is a great option. (and you can add the tincture to water to reduce the strong flavor)

 BHS Herbs_11_040612Extras

Beeswax – this is for adding to my herbal salves and chapsticks to thicken them up, making the oil more of a solid.

Strainer – already used quite a few times, this strainer will be perfect for putting my tinctures into those little bottles and I’ve grabbed it while making tea as well.

The new household apothecary.

My new apothecary all set up!

*I’ve also been asked about the jars I used – some are mason jars, the sealed jars with the flip-up tops are from Ikea (they have  3 sizes – I love them!), and the two large, square ones on the bottom are from Target. And the bottom shelf has almond flour, popcorn, rice, oats, and sugar.

*Some herbs and herbal mixes are not safe for pregnancy and therefore you should also use caution when trying to conceive as well. Please read the full information before purchasing.

*Links are affiliate links, thank you so much for your support as you purchase items to better your own health.

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

My Bulk Herb and Spice Order {part one}

Last week seemed to become “Herb Week” at my house. The boxes of dried plants I found at my backdoor made both me and my pantry very happy.
Second herb delivery this week! Only about 25 pounds in this box. :-)

I had a lot of questions on my Facebook Page about what herbs and spices I order and where I order them from, so I thought y’all might like a detailed look into my herbal kitchen.

This 25 pound box came from Mountain Rose Herbs – one of my favorite places to order my herbs and spices.

I’ve ordered from them for a few years now and usually do one large order every spring to re-stock the pantry shelves and get ready for the summer skin care needs and the falls immune boosting needs.

Tips for ordering

  • Find a friend that would also like to order. The shipping can get pricey ($35.00 this time, but it was a heavy order!) and it’s nice to be able to split bags of herbs as well.
  • Figure out an approximate amount of spices or herbs you’ll go through in a 6-12 month time frame. Their quality is great and everything I’ve ordered from MRH has been really fresh, fragrant, and flavorful. The longer you store your herbs and spices, the less fragrant and flavorful they will be. So don’t order all the basil you’ll use for the next decade.
  • Check the store containers you have at home and don’t order more than you need. Seriously. My very first order I bought a full pound of basil, oregano, and an obscene amount of bay leaves. I did not realize that my little containers in the cupboard had only a half ounce or so in them, so I had enough basil and oregano for like…two years. I still have bay leaves and they actually need to be tossed out for fresher leaves. So even though it seems cheaper – don’t order more than you need.
  • Double check your order before submitting to make sure you’ve got ground spices when you want ground, or whole, or minced, or whatever you want – make sure that’s what you ordered.

My recent order:

MRH Herbs_03_040612

  • Seasoning Salt – we use this on burgers, potatoes, steaks….basically a better version of the Lawry’s seasoning salt that Todd used to have me buy.
  • Chili Powder Blend – one of my favorite chili powders! This has a much stronger flavor than the ones sold in most stores, not spicier, just stronger, so you use much less.
  • Basil Leaf – one of my top nine “must have” herbs! If I can put basil in it, I do.
  • Paprika Powder – a good spice to have around for our mexican dishes.
  • Smoked Paprika Powder – never tried this one before, but I have a few recipes that are calling for it.
  • Minced Garlic- I use this one, it seems, almost daily! And the consistency is great, not cut to large, but not ground.
  • Minced Onion – where the garlic goes, the onion goes, and again it’s not cut to large or small.
  • Cinnamon Sticks (sweet) – I thought I ordered it ground….and while I do use sticks occasionally, I definitely don’t need 8oz of them! (as a side note – always get “true cinnamon”, never Cassia – we’ll talk about that very soon)
  • Oregano – again – one of my favorites and used almost daily. And so much more flavor than the old stuff at the stores.
  • Cacao Powder, raw – this goes in the “because I can” category. It’s tasty, raw, and fair trade – you can’t get better than that!

MRH Herbs_09_040612

I also ordered a few different medicinal herbs.

  • Nettle Leaf – great for cleansing and I use it often in my teas. Also anti-inflammatory and helps to lower blood pressure.
  • Rosehips – I add these to most of my teas are an immune booster because of their vitamin C content.
  • Chamomile – for a calming tea, and it has chemicals that are anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and antiparasitic.
  • Milk Thistle – a really good healer and cleanser of the liver.
  • Calendula  Flowers – perfect for skin preparations, this herb helps to heal the skin, promote collagen production, and treat infections.
  • Plantain –  another great one for skin cuts and rashes as well as bug bites because of its antibacterial, and anti inflammatory properties.

I also ordered:

Pretty, new spice jars.

  • Spice Jars  – I was desperately tired of my mix and match jars in the cupboard – most of them reused store containers.

MRH order

  • Evening Primrose Oil – I bought it for skin use – as a moisturizer. (it works miracles on the bumps on your arms)
  • Glycerine – I plan on using this to make some beauty products and liquid soap.
  • Castile Soap – a non scented soap for natural cleaning and personal hygiene products.
  • 4oz Tincture Bottles – love these bottles with the dropper in them – great for tinctures. (coming soon….)

So that is the beginning of my bulk herb order, I’ll get the other half up in the next day or so to show you the other herbs I bought for making tinctures and medicinal teas.

 

Everything in this post was purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs, a company I highly recommend.

 

*Links in this post are affiliate links, thank you so much for your support as you choose to buy products to better your own health.

 

 

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.

Cleaner Fruits and Vegetables

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to stay healthy. They contain antioxidants among many other vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.

But what happens to those health effects when the produce is sprayed with pesticides?

Vegetables Stand

photo credit: [email protected]

In a perfect world we’d all be able to afford all organic produce, but if your budget is anything like mine, we need to cut some corners a bit and the conventional produce keeps us where we need to be financially.

The Environmental Working group puts out a list every year on the “Dirty Dozen“, the fruits and vegetables that are either heavily sprayed, or sprayed with chemicals that are worse than others. These 12 items are the ones you’ll want to buy organically – or find substitutes for.

(starting from the worst offender)

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Strawberries
  4. Peaches
  5. Spinach
  6. Nectarines (imported)
  7. Grapes (imported)
  8. Sweet Bell Peppers
  9. Potatoes
  10. Blueberries (domestic)
  11. Lettuce
  12. Kale/Collard Greens

Luckily, there are some crops that are sprayed less as they are easier to grow and keep bug and fungus free. These “Clean 15” are the ones you don’t have to worry about as much and can save a few dollars by buying conventional.

(starting from from the best pic/least toxic load)

  1. Onion
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Avocado
  5. Asparagus
  6. Sweet Peas (frozen)
  7. Mangoes
  8. Eggplant
  9. Cantaloupe (domestic)
  10. Kiwi
  11. Cabbage
  12. Watermelon
  13. Sweet Potatoes
  14. Grapefruit
  15. Mushroom

You can also download their Shopping Guide so that you always have a copy in the store with you.  Or check out their full list of where your favorite produce ranks on their pesticide scale.

How do you make sure your produce is free of (or low in) toxins?

for the full series, click here

Check out this month\'s sponsor, Natural Fertility Shop. They are 100% focused on helping you during your journey towards parenthood and have expert staff and knowledgeable customer service here to help you every step of the way.

All images and content are protected under US copyright laws, please do not copy and paste.

Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

I am not a doctor and don\'t pretend to be one. Use everything you read only to inspire you to do your own research and be an advocate for your own health. Please read my disclaimer in full.