Friday, July 26, 2013

Easiest Homemade Lavender Sachets

Have you ever smelled clothing from another person's home and noticed a distinct smell? It's not necessarily a bad smell, but it's a unique smell to their home. I'm so paranoid that my house has a "smell" and that it's weird one and I'll never know. Maybe my nose has just gotten used to it. So that being said, you can see why I'm super excited to make my own sachets to give my clothing a fresh scent. And since I stopped using dryer sheets that smell oh so good, but are oh so bad, my excitement is all that much more.

When I was deciding how to make a sachet, I knew it couldn't involve sewing. The need for sewing would throw all my motivation out the window. Maybe it would be different if I had my very own craft room with a special spot for my sewing machine. . . but that ain't gonna happen anytime soon. So here's how I made DIY sachets that are easy, inexpensive, and make an awesome homemade gift!

ingredients
muslin drawstring bag
dried lavender flowers

directions
The hard part was figuring out where to get the supplies. So I was beyond happy when I discovered that Mountain Rose Herbs, my favorite place to buy essential oils, also sells dried lavender flowers (and other dried flowers) AND the perfect size muslin bag. Just fill the muslin bag with lavender and place in your clothing drawer or anywhere else that might need a little freshening. It's so easy, your kids could make them! Not only will it leave a nice scent, but it also keeps bugs and moths away without using nasty toxic-filled moth balls.

cost savings

Here's what it cost. . .

$0.38 small muslin bag {$3.75/10 bags from Mountain Rose Herbs]
$0.50 dried lavender flowers [$5.75/4 oz. bag from Mountain Rose Herbs]
$0.88 Grand Total DIY Lavender Sachet

compared to . . .

$3.99 Lavender Sachet from The Container Store

Sweet! You should be able to make 10 sachets with the supplies listed above.

How do you keep your clothes and linens smelling fresh without using chemicals?

This post was shared at: Little House in the Suburbs, Thirty Handmade Days, Happy Hour Friday, Whipperberry Friday Flair



Thursday, February 21, 2013

Homemade Reed Diffuser

These were the words I saw on the back of a reed diffuser box at the store. "Warning: This reed diffuser oil is fatal if swallowed." Scary! That is not the kind of thing I would want around pets or kids. So I've been running some, ahem, extremely scientific experiments to find what makes the best all-natural DIY reed diffuser. Prepare to have your mind blown. Okay, not really but that was really fun to say.


my "scientific" findings
Many reed diffuser recipes call for mostly oil. But oil was a disaster. It was way too heavy to travel up the reeds and the scent was minimal. Water worked much better. Tap water seemed to work just as well as distilled/filtered water. Essential oils were the perfect choice for the scent. Unlike fragrance oils, essential oils are natural compounds extracted from parts of plants, flowers, and trees. Adding a splash of rubbing alcohol or vodka helped the essential oils distribute more evenly into the water, but the water traveled up the reeds better without it. So here's the recipe I came up with. It's simple, natural, and inexpensive, my three favorite words.

ingredients
bottle or vase with a narrow neck
1/4 cup water
10-15 reed diffuser sticks or bamboo skewers
30+ drops of essential oils

directions
A vase or bottle with a narrow neck is best to help prevent the water from evaporating into the air. I used reed diffuser sticks, but I've read that bamboo skewers also work. The reeds should be about double the length of the vase so you may need to cut them with wire cutters. Add water and essential oils to the vase. You can find essential oils at your local health food store, Amazon, dōTERRA, and Mountain Rose Herbs. Stir vigorously with the reeds. Be patient and give the scented water a chance to travel up the reeds. Rotate the ends of the reeds every so often.

cost savings

$15-40 Commercial Reed Diffuser
$1.54 DIY Reed Diffuser
$0.00 recycled bottle or vase
$0.00 water
$1.19 10 reed diffuser sticks [$11.94/100 pack on Amazon]
$0.35 30 drops cinnamon EO [$3.50/0.5 oz at Mountain Rose Herbs]

To see more ways to freshen a room naturally, check out my blog post Natural Air Freshener Ideas that Heal, Not Hurt. If you want to learn more ways to use essential oils, check out these blog posts.


What essential oils do you like to use for freshening a room?

This post was shared at: Simple Lives Thursday, Natural Living Link-Up, The 36th Avenue, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Works For Me Wednesday, Raising Homemakers Link-Up, Anti-Procrastination Tuesday, Show Me What Ya Got Tuesday, Real Food Forager Fat Tuesday, Homestead Barn Hop, How-To Tuesday, Simply Natural Saturdays, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Get Schooled Saturday, Tatertots & Jello, Little House in the Suburbs, Happy Hour Friday, Whipperberry Friday Flair


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Homemade Body Spray

I used to love perfume counters and stores like Bath & Body Works. Now I run the other way when I see someone handing out perfume samples and hold my breath when I walk by Abercrombie & Fitch. Instead of a pleasant scent, all I smell are toxic chemicals. So today I'm going to show you how to make a super simple all-natural body spray with essential oils. Unlike fragrance oils, essential oils are natural compounds extracted from parts of plants, flowers, and trees and have been used throughout history for their medicinal and therapeutic benefits. Not only will you save money by making your own body spray, you will know exactly what's being absorbed into your skin and inhaled into your lungs.

ingredients
spray bottle
vodka or water
essential oils of your choice

directions
Add vodka or water to the spray bottle. If you use water, you'll need to shake really well before each use because essential oils do not dissolve in water. I bought my 1 oz. glass spray bottle at Sprouts, a health food store, for about $2-3. But you can also find them online. Add essential oils of your choice. I used Mountain Rose Herbs' information pages for specific essential oils to figure out which essential oils blend well together. You can also check out Introduction to Aromatherapy Blending and Essential Oil Reference Guide for more helpful info.

favorite recipes
I had so much fun creating the following body spray recipes! I don't like any of these essential oils when used alone for a body spray, but once combined they make an amazing scent. I will definitely be creating more recipes and adding them to this list!

Grapefruit Bergamot Body Spray
8 drops grapefruit essential oil
8 drops bergamot essential oil
2 Tbsp vodka or water (1 oz)

Ylang Lime Body Spray
2 drop ylang ylang essential oil
10 drops lime essential oil
2 Tbsp vodka or water (1 oz)

Lavender Lime Body Spray
To see this recipe, check out my guest post at New Nostalgia

**I love citrus oils, but some of them cause photosensitivity, meaning when they are left on skin and exposed to sunlight, they can cause the sun's effect to be greatly magnified. So I use these body sprays on my clothing or on skin that isn't going to be exposed to the sun.

cost savings

$2.00/oz Bath & Body Works Fragrance Mist [$6/3 oz]
$0.92/oz Grapefruit Bergamot Body Spray
$0.26 Grapefruit Essential Oil [$9.75/0.5 oz at Mountain Rose Herbs]
$0.40 Bergamot Essential Oil [$15/0.5 oz at Mountain Rose Herbs]
$0.26 vodka [$6.47/750 mL] or $0 for water
$0.50/oz Ylang Lime Body Spray
$0.11 Ylang Ylang Essential Oil [$17/0.5 oz at Mountain Rose Herbs]
$0.13 Lime Essential Oil [$4/0.5 oz at Mountain Rose Herbs]
$0.26 vodka [$6.47/750 mL] or $0 for water

You can find essential oils at your local health food store, Amazon, dōTERRA, and Mountain Rose Herbs. Here are more ways to use essential oils. Learn more about essential oil safety.

Do you have a homemade body spray recipe to share?
What essential oil scents do you love when combined?


This post was shared at: Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Works For Me Wednesday, Raising Homemakers Link-Up, Homestead Barn Hop, Simply Natural Saturdays, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Get Schooled Saturday, Little House in the Suburbs, Thirty Handmade Days, Happy Hour Friday, Whipperberry Friday Flair, Simple Lives Thursday, Natural Living Link-Up, The 36th Avenue, Real Food Forager Fat Tuesday, Anti-Procrastination Tuesday, Show Me What Ya Got Tuesday, Teach Me Tuesday


Friday, September 28, 2012

Homemade Mouthwash

If you haven't noticed by now, I am in love with essential oils. (Sorry husband, it's true.) They are all-natural, they have disinfecting properties, there are so many ways to use them, they don't go rancid, they're so cute . . .ahem, I digress. Even though they might seem expensive, they are super concentrated and a little goes a very long way. When I was creating a recipe for homemade mouthwash, essential oils made perfect sense. I could make a mouthwash with real oranges, ginger, and cloves, but who wants to go to all that trouble when it only lasts about a week in the fridge and there's an easier way? I wanted a recipe that is simple. Simple to make, simple to use, simple to store. Look no further.


minty mouthwash recipe

1 cup distilled, filtered, or boiled water
2-3 drops peppermint essential oil

Mix together in a clean container. Shake before each use. Do not swallow. Store in a dark cupboard or medicine cabinet. (sunlight causes essential oils to lose their potency)


orange spice mouthwash recipe

1 cup distilled, filtered, or boiled water
3 drops clove essential oil
2 drops cinnamon essential oil
2 drops orange essential oil
1 drop ginger essential oil

Mix together in a clean container. Shake before each use. Do not swallow. Store in a dark cupboard or medicine cabinet. (sunlight causes essential oils to lose their potency)


ingredients
Click on the orange links to learn even more about each essential oil.

peppermint essential oil
excellent mouth freshener, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiseptic, astringent

clove essential oil
antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, freshens breath

cinnamon essential oil
antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, freshens breath

orange essential oil
anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, bactericidal, I added this for flavor

ginger essential oil
stimulates production of saliva (saliva helps prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath), antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiseptic, astringent, aphrodisiac (wink, wink, get your sweetie in the mood with a little ginger mouthwash)


additional mouthwash ingredients
Don't limit yourself to the essential oils I chose. Most essential oils have disinfecting properties, so feel free to use other essential oils. Here are a few additional ingredients, but certainly not all, that can be used in a homemade mouthwash.

baking soda
add 1/4 tsp per 8 ounces of water, neutralizes bad breath odors, neutralizes acid, but I'm not sure if it spoils in water

myrrh essential oil
add 1-2 drops per 8 ounces of water, used in many oral care products, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, astringent

tea tree essential oil
add about 1 drop per 8 ounces of water, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral



cost savings
Not only is it chemical and alcohol-free, it's practically free! Okay, not really. But it's close. Check out those savings!!

$0.25/oz Tom's of Maine Natural Mouthwash [$3.98/16 fl oz]

$0.12/oz Listerine [$3.97/1 L]

$0.02/oz Minty Homemade Mouthwash
$0.06 Distilled Water [$.99/gallon]
$0.08 Peppermint Essential Oil [$7.50/15 ml at Mountain Rose Herbs]
$0.14 Grand Total for 8 oz mouthwash
$0.03/oz Orange Spice Homemade Mouthwash
$0.06 Distilled Water [$.99/gallon]
$0.06 Clove Essential Oil [$6/15 ml at Mountain Rose Herbs]
$0.02 Cinnamon Leaf Essential Oil [$3.50/15 ml at Mountain Rose Herbs]
$0.02 Orange Essential Oil [$2.25/15 ml at Mountain Rose Herbs]
$0.04 Ginger Essential Oil [$13.25/15 ml at Mountain Rose Herbs]
$0.20 Grand Total for 8 oz mouthwash

You can find essential oils at your local health food store, Amazon, dōTERRA, and Mountain Rose Herbs. Click here to see more ways to use essential oils. Click here to learn about essential oil safety.

Have you made homemade mouthwash? Please share!



This post was shared at: Simple Lives Thursday, Natural Living Link-Up, The 36th Avenue, Little House in the Suburbs, Frugal Friday, Thirty Handmade Days, Happy Hour Friday, Whipperberry Friday Flair, Simply Natural Saturdays, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Get Schooled Saturday, Tatertots & Jello, Morristribe's Homesteader Blog Carnival, Homestead Barn Hop, Monday Mania, Motivate Me Monday, More the Merrier Monday, Tiny Tip Tuesday, Real Food Forager Fat Tuesday, Anti-Procrastination Tuesday, Living Green Tuesdays, Show Me What Ya Got Tuesday, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Works For Me Wednesday, Healthy 2day Wednesday, Raising Homemakers Link-Up


Sunday, September 23, 2012

favorite bath & body products

I LOVE making homemade products, but let's face it. There are some things I just can't make, don't want to, or haven't gotten around to making yet. I'm a busy mom with young kids! So here are some of my favorite store-bought products that I currently use. I chose these products carefully after spending way too much time comparing ingredient lists at my local health food stores. The store employees thought I was a weirdo.


Everyday Shea Shampoo & Body Wash
for Babies & Up
This shampoo/body wash contains the most natural ingredient list I could find. It's so simple and it contains a very gentle surfactant. It smells like lavender, which isn't my favorite scent, but I can live with it. I have dandruff so I haven't used it on my hair, but I shampoo my kids' hair with it and my husband uses it. I use it as a body wash and to shave my legs. That way I don't have to buy another product (shaving cream) to clutter my shower. I buy it from my health food store or Amazon, depending on which price is better at the time.


Andalou Naturals
Conditioner
I don't use conditioner every day because my hair is so fine and it's usually not dry. But when I need it, this is the conditioner I use. (I just noticed my picture is shampoo, not conditioner. Oops!) I really love the Sunflower & Citrus scented conditioner. It smells great, it doesn't weigh my hair down, and the ingredient list looks more natural than others I compared it to. You should be able to find it at your health food store or Amazon.



Badger
Sunscreen
It's expensive, but I don't mind paying extra for a safe sunscreen. It takes more effort to blend in to get rid of the white hue, but I don't mind. It's whiter than regular sunscreens because it uses zinc oxide (a mineral) instead of toxic chemicals like oxybenzone. I buy this sunscreen from my health food store or Amazon. For more safe sunscreen options, check out Environmental Working Group's Sunscreen Guide.



Desert Essence Organics
Hand & Body Lotion
Usually I use coconut oil for lotion, but sometimes I don't have patience to let it soak in so that it's not greasy. And my husband refuses to slather coconut oil on his body so I need a lotion to have on hand. My favorite scent is spicy vanilla chai, but I've also liked the other scents I've tried. I can find this lotion at my health food store or Amazon.



Tom's of Maine
Children's Fluoride-Free Toothpaste
My kids still swallow their toothpaste. They haven't gotten the hang of rinsing and spitting yet. I'm not going to let them swallow fluoride every night and morning AND drink it in the water supply. I don't want them to get dental fluorosis. So that's why I chose a fluoride-free toothpaste. You should be able to find this children's toothpaste at a health food store or Amazon.



Desert Essence
Tea Tree Oil & Neem Toothpaste
Desert Essence toothpastes have a very simple, natural ingredient list so I went with that brand. Neem oil is very good for your teeth and tea tree oil is disinfecting. When I first started using this toothpaste, I noticed my teeth looked whiter although it doesn't advertise that it whitens. You should be able to find this toothpaste at a health food store or Amazon.



Zuzu, Mineral Fusion,
and Dr. Hauschka Make-Up
These are the brands of make-up my Sprouts and Whole Foods store sells. Dr. Hauschka's is more expensive so I usually go with Zuzu or Mineral Fusion. Mineral Fusion mascara was clumpy, so I prefer Zuzu mascara. I'm happy with the Zuzu eyeliner pencil. I chose Mineral Fusion eyeshadow because I like how it comes with three colors in one container. The only problem I've noticed with the Zuzu blush and Mineral Fusion eye shadow is, it breaks easily so be careful not to drop it (can you see my broken blush in the pic?). I really love Dr. Hauschka's liquid concealer pen. It goes on smoothly and blends in easily. I like the Mineral Fusion lip gloss, but wish it was shinier.

Has anyone tried 100% Pure Cosmetics? I'm dying to try their brand because their ingredients are a lot more natural and simple than even the "natural" make-up brands I'm currently using. I'd love to hear about your experience with it if you've tried it.



Burt's Bees
Beeswax Lip Balm
I usually use oil and shea butter on my lips, but sometimes I need something faster. I'm sure most people are familiar with this lip balm. You can find it almost anywhere (even Amazon), which makes me happy! I love the cool peppermint flavor and smooth texture.



Now it's your turn! What are your favorite natural products?