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Homemade “Vaseline”/ All Natural Non-Petroleum Jelly


Homemade "Vaseline"/ All Natural Non-Petroleum Jelly ~ Ashley's Homemade Adventures

I was inspired to make this because my husband’s hands are so dry and cracked this winter. Coconut oil healed the little cuts, but his skin is still super dry. He doesn’t just need a moisturizer, he needs something to protect his skin as well. What would most people turn to in that situation? Good ole petroleum jelly. Problem is, I don’t have any and haven’t for a long time. When I read about some of the dangers I threw it out. It can easily be contaminated and is a possible carcinogen. Cancer causing slop? No thank you! I don’t want that stuff anywhere near my family ever again. On top of that it does not even moisturize at all and can actually prevent your skin from getting rid of toxins. It is even banned in some other countries! It is amazing how many products I used to use all the time without even thinking about WHAT I was using, and many other people are the same way. Of course now I am always checking labels lol. Anyways I knew there had to be a better way, and luckily I found one! This recipe is for homemade non-petroleum jelly. I was even able to simplify it a little more and make mine totally organic! It could not be any easier 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1/8 cup (about 1 ounce) beeswax (I used organic beeswax pastilles)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (I used organic olive oil)

Pour your ingredients into the same jar you are going to be using to store it. Place the jar into a saucepan and add enough water to go about halfway up the jar. Heat on medium until the beeswax melts. Stir, and carefully remove jar from pan – I am sure it goes without saying but just in case, it is HOT. Let cool completely, store covered.

I loved using the same jar to store it in, because there was no clean up afterwards! I always have popsicle sticks on hand because we love to make our own, so I used one of those to stir. Literally the only thing I had to do was dump the water after I was done. You could even let it cool completely and use it to water your plants. It only takes a few minutes for the beeswax to melt so keep an eye on it. I would not recommend boiling the water because the jar might tip and spill. This only fills a small jar so if you want to make a large amount use a bigger jar and double the ingredients.

I actually made two jars of it, and while one was cooling I stirred some essential oils into it to make a natural antiseptic ointment. I used about 10-20 drops each of lavender, lemon and tea tree essential oils. I will probably also use this as a base for homemade vapor rub with some eucalyptus, peppermint and lavender essential oils. Any one of these would make a great gift too!

Homemade Petroleum Jelly & Antiseptic Ointment ~ Ashley's Homemade Adventures

Enjoy!

❤ Ashley

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Homemade Electrolyte Drink (Homemade Pedialyte)


Homemade Pedialyte Recipe - Ashley's Homemade Adventures

The flu is going around like crazy! We have been dealing with it in our house for several weeks now. My daughter and I are past the worst part now, thank God! There was one day we were both very weak with very high fevers. I was so happy I had made some of this homemade Pedialyte the day before. This is a great way to save yourself some money and a trip to the store. You can also flavor this any way you want! I know there are quite a few recipes out there but this is how we do it:

Homemade Pedialyte:

  • 8 cups water (I prefer to use distilled water, I always have some on hand)
  • 1/4 cup honey (you can also use sugar but we try to stay away from extra sugar and the honey has added benefits)
  • 1 teaspoon SEA salt (contains important minerals that table salt does not, you could also use Himalayan salt which would be even better)
  • Juice of an orange, lemon or lime (optional but has even more benefits, like Vitamin C)
  • Crystal Light or Kool-aid powder for flavor (also optional, we love the lemon Crystal Light with Stevia)

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher, stir until salt and honey have dissolved. Store in refrigerator.

We also love to make this into popsicles, great for when you or your child is burning up from a fever. When my daughter is sick I make sure she takes a sip of this every 10 minutes or so. Best served chilled.

Warning: Honey is not considered safe for children less than a year old.

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Also a quick update on my cousin Joe… (I mentioned in the First Birthday post about how he had a massive heart attack) Miraculously he has no serious brain damage, his heart is working on its own and it looks like he will be okay! He still has to get through heart surgery on Thursday so he is a long way from full recovery, but I am just so happy and thankful he is still with us. If anyone could send some positive thoughts or prayers his way I would really appreciate it 🙂

Homemade Glass Cleaner


Goodbye commercial glass cleaner! Who wants to pay more when you can make it yourself? Besides being cheaper it is much better to know exactly what you are using in your home. The kind sold in stores contains 2-Butoxyethanol, which can cause adrenal tumors in animals (not good if you own pets!). Moderate exposure in humans can cause irritation of the mucus membranes and heavy exposure can cause more serious side effects like hypotensionmetabolic acidosishemolysis, pulmonary edema and even coma. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be breathing that in or touching it, and certainly do not want it around my child. Luckily there is a solution and it is super easy!

Homemade Glass Cleaner:

  • Empty Gallon Container (I used a spring water jug)
  • 1/2 cup Ammonia (I used lemon because that is all I have)
  • 16 oz. Rubbing Alcohol (I used 1 and 1/2 cups of the regular kind and 1/2 cup of the mint kind because I ran out of the regular)
  • 1 tsp Dawn Dish Soap (I used the blue Dawn)

First fill your container halfway with water, add the remaining ingredients in the order listed, then fill the rest of the way with water. Give it a gentle shake and you have a gallon of glass cleaner! Pour some into a spray bottle and be amazed at how awesome it is!

I cannot take credit for this recipe, when doing a search for “How to make homemade glass cleaner” This was one of the top results. If this is not quite what you are searching for then check out Crunchy Betty’s Battle of the Homemade Glass Cleaners. I prefer this one because it cleans easier but the others are good if you don’t want to use some of these ingredients.

Here is a little secret to get streak free, fuzz free windows and mirrors…. clean them with NEWSPAPER! It works like a charm 🙂 I have been doing it for years!

Now get to work, those windows and mirrors aren’t going to clean themselves! 😀 Cleaning is a lot more fun when you make your own cleaners!

❤ Ashley

P.S.- You can use this on other hard non-porous surfaces as well. It is great for the outside of the toilet and bathroom counter tops!

Flax-seed Benefits & How to Get More In Your Diet


Don’t let this tiny seed fool you, it is packed with many benefits. Flax seeds contain fiber, lignans, micronutrients, and essential omega-3 fatty acids. It has been shown to help lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar, prevent hardening of the arteries and may even be helpful to people with certain types of cancer. You can find a lot more information on health benefits and other uses here and here.

The best way to consume this amazing little seed is to grind it up, whole flax seeds will just pass through your system and you won’t get the benefits. You can buy ground/milled flax-seed or you can grind it up yourself in a coffee grinder. It is best to store your ground flax-seed in the refrigerator or freezer to keep them from going bad. It is recommended to take 1-2 tablespoons daily.

If you have never used ground flax before, or you are not sure how to get more into your daily diet have no fear! I have some great ideas for you, and you won’t even taste the flax in most of these.

  • Stir into unsweetened applesauce (I like to add a sprinkle of cinnamon for the benefits of that as well)
  • Stir into yogurt
  • Add to your morning oatmeal or overnight oatmeal
  • Sprinkle on top of cereal
  • Bake into bread, such as this wonderful oatmeal molasses bread
  • Bake into muffins
  • Add to homemade tortillas (which you can also turn into baked chips)
  • Add to meatloaf or meatballs
  • Make some homemade popcorn, stir in some unrefined coconut oil and sprinkle on top along with some sea salt
  • Sprinkle on top of ice cream or frozen yogurt

I asked my Facebook friends to share some of the ways they use flax seeds and these were the responses I received:

Chandra- “I put flax-seed in my green smoothies in the morning. Spinach, kale, cucumber, flax seed, a banana, frozen blueberries, a couple frozen strawberries and a little fresh OJ. All 3 of the kids love it. (and so does my hubby!)”

Jessica- “I have made peanut butter/granola ball snacks with honey and flax-seed in it. Delicious! I did throw a little bit of chocolate chips in for some yummy goodness ;)”

Pari’- “We eat ground flax every single day in our lunch smoothies. Even if you don’t have this routine, ground flax is much easier than the seeds to consume wether it be cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, or baked into practically any goods. You can also get cold milled flax-seed oil & pour it on any dish once it’s done cooking. Such as salads, casseroles, stir fries etc. A little bit goes a long way!” (Note: The oil does not contain the fiber benefit)

Haley- “They make flax-seed chips and they are yummy!! They taste kinda like fritos!”  (She recommends these corn chips with flax seed)

I hope this has inspired you to get more flax into your diet. If you have any other ideas please let us know in the comments 🙂

❤ Ashley

Making Your Own Homemade Liquid Castile Soap


I love Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap, the only problem is that when you use as much castile soap as I do the price can add up. The price around here is about 5 dollars for one of the smaller bottles. I had heard of Kirk’s castle bar soap, so I bought it to use in the shower. I really loved it and it is super cheap too compared to other soaps. It is all natural and made with coconut oil, but it does not smell like coconut.  I found it in the regular soap aisle at Wal-Mart, less than $1.50 for 3 bars.

I had made liquid hand soap out of other bars of soap before, so I figured I could make this into liquid castile soap like Dr. Bronner’s. I grated up a bar of Kirk’s, put it in a big container, covered it with 10 cups of hot water, stirred and let it sit 24 hours.

After 24 hours I had a nice liquid soap, but very thin. I was actually a little disappointed and thought that I had watered it down too much, until I used it. It was still very sudsy and effective! You could use less water if you wanted it thicker but for me this works just fine. Here are some of the ways that we use it around our house:

Face/body wash in the shower (add baking soda for a great exfoliating wash)

Hand soap (in a regular pump bottle or about 1/4 soap to 3/4 water in a foaming dispenser)

In place of Dr. Bronner’s in my homemade shampoo (I double the amount for this)

To clean fruits and veggies from the store (to remove germs and pesticide residue if you buy conventionally grown produce)

In place of Dr. Bronner’s for cleaning (Diluted with hot water for mopping the floor, cleaning the walls, cabinets, etc.)

Bathing pets

Pest control in the garden (Drop bugs into a bucket of hot soapy water)


I really love this stuff and you can’t beat the price. You get 10 cups per bar of soap so that is almost 2 gallons for less than 2 dollars 🙂  Little changes like this can make a big difference in your budget and eliminating toxic chemicals from your life. It takes hardly any time at all to make, it is cheap, all natural and works wonderfully. If you can think of any other uses for this please feel free to share in the comments. Enjoy!

❤ Ashley

Homemade Liquid Castile Soap:

1. Grate 1 bar of Kirk’s castile bar soap into large pot or container.

2. Add 10 cups hot water, stir and cover.

3. Let sit 24 hours, stir.

Update added on Feb. 6th 2013 – This liquid soap seems to thicken or gel up when cold, store in a warm area of your house and it should remain runny like it should be.

Update added on July 12, 2013 – At my store they have raised the price. It used to be less than $1.50 for 3 bars, it is now over $3.00! I am kinda bummed but it is still cheaper than buying Dr. Bronner’s.

Texas Here We Come!


I apologize for not posting anything lately, my daughter and I have a vacation coming up and I have been preparing for that. We will be in Texas for a couple of weeks visiting family. Of course I will post some pictures when we get back 🙂

I just wanted to share something with you all before we go. I keep finding more reasons to love coconut oil. I have heard that a lot of people use it on their hair like a homemade hot oil treatment, so today I decided to give it a try. I am really surprised at how soft it made my hair after one treatment, my ends are so smooth and shiny too 🙂 All I did was melt it in the microwave, ran it through my hair, covered with a shower cap and left it on for about an hour. I had to wash my hair 3 times to get it all out, but I used  A LOT. Then I just used my conditioner like normal. This is the result: (All I did was dry my hair with a round brush, there is no product at all in my hair)

I wish I would have taken a before picture, but honestly I didn’t think I would be so pleased with the results. Sorry about the quality, my cameras are charging so this is from my phone. I would definitely recommend trying this if your hair is dry or frizzy from coloring it.

Hopefully I will have some of my Gramma’s homemade recipes to share when I get back! I hope everyone enjoys their spring break!

❤ Ashley

 

Regrowing Green Onions


I used to hate buying green onions from the store, you use a tiny amount and then the rest go bad… what a waste! Now, after using the green part I just put the remaining white part and the roots into some water. They will grow right back up, over and over again! The ones you see laying on the table in front of the jar were pieces I had to cut off this morning because they were so tall they were flopping over. This is my second batch of green onions in a few months. I made a mistake with the first batch by giving them too much water. What happened is that the white parts at the bottom were too soggy and turned moldy. It was not pretty, lesson learned! You want the water to cover just the roots. I would not fill it any higher than this:

All you have to do is change the water daily, I also like to rinse out the jar and roots too. They grow back very quickly. The last batch I had lasted me about a month or so before it went downhill (which was my own fault). I have had these for a few weeks now and they are still growing and looking great! I have also heard that you can replant these in some dirt or in your garden. My guess is they would last even longer that way but I have not tried it yet. I just keep my jar in the kitchen window. It is great having fresh green onions anytime you want them. It can also save you a bit of money if you use green onion frequently, especially if you buy the organic kind. If you have any other tips on re-growing green onions (or anything else) I would love to hear them 🙂

❤ Ashley