Beauty/Body Recipes, Tips & Tricks, Uncategorized

Homemade Beautyberry Mosquito Repellant


I recently saw a meme that said “Fall in Florida – It’s like summer but with pumpkins” and it’s SO true lol. Unfortunately, this means that we are still dealing with those pesky mosquitoes. My youngest kiddo must be extra sweet to them because they always go after her more than the rest of us. But since trying this Beautyberry repellant recipe she has not had ONE bite, I am amazed!

The leaves of the beautyberry plant are said to be at least as effective as Deet for repelling mosquitoes and even ticks. It will need to be reapplied every 2-3 hours, please test a small area of your skin first to make sure you will not have a reaction before spraying it over your body. This plant is found in the SE of the USA, there are beautyberries all over NE Florida where we live. If you don’t have this plant or can’t find any nearby, you can order some here: Beautyberry Plant – One Gallon Pot. They grow well in USDA zones 7-11 and they can be easily propagated from cuttings, so if you order one plant you can easily make more! I have a row of them along one of my fences now, you can see my Instagram post on that HERE if you’d like. You can also use the berries to make jelly, add to bread or muffins, etc. You can find more information about growing them HERE.

To make the repellant you will need lots of leaves, I collected a large bowl full. I didn’t weigh or measure in any way, but it was at least a few handfuls. I actually harvested entire branches, removed the leaves, cut into pieces that had a few nodes each, and stuck them in moist potting soil to grow more plants. After only a few days they already have new growth.

Beautyberry Mosquito Repellant Recipe:

Wash the beautyberry leaves you gathered and cut them into strips.

Fill any size mason jar with the leaf strips.

Pour boiling water over leaf strips and fill jar.

Let sit overnight, then strain.

Pour into spray bottle and store in fridge to extend shelf life.

*Warning* – Do NOT drink. Please label properly and keep out of the reach of children.

Enjoy!

❤ Ashley

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Back to Blogging!


Hey everyone!

Long time no see 😀 My life has been pretty much consumed with health issues these past few years and it has been hard to focus on much else besides that and my family. I didn’t want to stop working on my blog but I just didn’t have the energy at all. Even though I have been diagnosed with yet another disease, (one that is very painful and actually pretty rare) with the help of CBD oil I am feeling more like my old self! I’m ready to tackle this again.


There have been many changes, we are a homeschooling family now and my little helpers are getting so big!! We bought our first house, put in a garden, and have been working on the landscaping. I have learned a lot about gardening and plants and would love to share some of that info on here as well. We also have some new furry and feathered family members 😀 Life has been very hard in one way, but very good in others. I am trying hard to stay positive and still feel very, very blessed.

I’m so excited to get back into the swing of things, and I already have some ideas and recipes I can’t wait to share. It’s good to be back! Keep an eye out for new posts coming soon.

Love,

Ash

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Zazzle Community Member


Gifts

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Another Update – March 2016


Hello Everyone!

I hope 2016 is treating you all well. Spring is almost officially here which is very exciting! I wish this post was a recipe, but it will have to be another update.

Shortly after my last post, my health started declining again… very rapidly. I had some pain in my feet for some time but it became almost unbearable. I also started getting horrible joint pain all throughout my body, swelling, and the crushing fatigue is back. I do not think this is related to the parathyroid disease that I went through. I have a family history of auto-immune diseases RA and MS… and I am very afraid that all the stress I have been through may have triggered something in my body.

I made an appointment with my doctor but at the last minute I was told she called out sick… so I had to see another lady I had never met before. I was very unhappy when I left. She kept telling me things like “You are too young to feel this way” (To which I replied: “Yea well I was also too young for parathyroid disease but I just went through that!”) and just tried to blow me off. I really think she thought I was just a pill seeker by the way she was treating me. But the funny thing is that I did not even ask for anything for the pain. (Because I did not want to be labeled that way!)

So I am currently in limbo… no diagnosis on what is wrong with me, but suffering tremendously. Nothing for the pain, except tylenol which barely touches it. Just making it through the day has become difficult again. I actually had to break down and buy a cane last week, because I am sick of limping around. It was hard to do, but has helped. I have an appointment with a specialist in May, I am praying that they will be able to help me. I was just thinking yesterday that I can not remember the last time I baked something, or went outside to take pictures, or took my kids to do something fun. I am having a hard time with this mentally as well as physically because I will never get this time back. My children will never be this little again. I am very sad that I am missing out and they are not getting the mother they deserve. If anyone has any suggestions for making life easier while raising kids and living with chronic pain & fatigue I would love to hear it, please leave a comment.

I have thought of just shutting this blog down, but surprisingly there are still many views everyday… thank you Pinterest LOL. So I will leave it and hope that one day I can focus on it again. Right now I need to focus on getting better and use what little energy I have for my family.

So after that bad news I must give you all some good news. My husband and I are buying our first house! We have been joking that we feel like “Adultier adults” now 😀 I actually just drove by it again tonight. Maybe that is weird but I don’t care because I am too excited! I am mostly excited about my new lovely kitchen and the yard. The yard is tiny but we plan on turning the entire thing into a garden. I have so many ideas in my head for the new home. I hope my health will cooperate for me to get things done and I hope I can blog about at least some of it as well 😀

Until next time,

❤ Ashley ❤

 

 

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Update- Parathyroid Disease


Hello everyone and happy 2016!!

I have great news, I am CURED from parathyroid disease.

Although I was not able to make it to Tampa to see Dr. Norman I was able to make it to Dekalb Medical Center in Decatur, GA to see doctor John Kennedy and he truly changed my life.

Dr. Kennedy was able to located and remove the bad gland (tumor) and cured me! He also discovered during my surgery that the first surgeon had actually removed all of my glands except for the bad one. No wonder I was feeling worse after my first surgery, I had no good gland left at all! Because of this Dr. Kennedy had to transplant a piece of the bad gland back in. He is not sure if I will have this problem again in the future, I am his youngest patient ever with this problem. But For now I am enjoying my life again! I have the peace of knowing that if it does happen again, the bad gland will be easily located next time.

Here is a photo of the tumor removed from my neck. A normal parathyroid gland is the size of a grain of rice.

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I can not even begin to describe how different my life is now. I am still recovering from this devastating disease and still having some problems because of it, but I am SO much better than before. I am amazed that I can do normal things now, like vacuum the floor and then steam clean it and still have energy for other things lol. It sounds silly but I was so exhausted all the time before.

A few days after surgery I felt like I was living again and not just existing. I told my husband it was like the lights were coming back on.

If anyone happens to find my blog on the search for information about parathyroid disease and you are hesitant about the surgery please don’t be! Just make sure you find an expert. It is worth it, I promise!

I want to say thank you so much for everyone who was there for me while I was sick, everyone who prayed for me and everyone who shared and/or contributed to the gofundme that my mom set up. You all have no idea how much it means to me.

I have been trying very hard to spread awareness about this disease. Most people have never heard of it and most doctors don’t know enough about it.

If you are searching for more information I definitely recommend starting at http://www.parathyroid.com

I hope to start working on this blog again soon and would like to incorporate more things as well. See you soon!

 

Love,

Ashley

 

 

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New Addition


New Addition

Our new family member ❤ This little beauty was born October 2013. Last year I had a high risk pregnancy and other health issues at the same time, and now I am very busy with two little ones and still dealing with a couple of the health issues. I really appreciate all of the views and comments and I have been trying my best to respond when I can. I know I have been majorly slacking with this blog, and I am sorry… But I have some ideas that I can't wait to try and recipes I can't wait to share. I hope to get back into the swing of things soon 🙂

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Taking A Break


I just wanted to let you all know that I am still here! I have been sick lately and have also been dealing with an old injury that is acting up. I have to have a procedure done on my right eye tomorrow. I probably will not be doing another post for a little while, but I will be back! 🙂

Beauty/Body Recipes, Uncategorized

Homemade Shaving Lotion


Homemade Shaving Lotion ~ Ashley's Homemade Adventures

Finally an alternative to store-bought shaving cream! I have tried using plain soap or body wash (can we say razor burn?!) and also plain conditioner (worked fine but not silky enough for me) So yes I will admit I was still using store-bought, but now I can kiss it goodbye! I was using lotionized shave creme, but looking at the label makes me cringe. Sulfates, parabens, and a whole bunch of other crap I can’t even pronounce. I am so glad this homemade shaving lotion can be made without all that! Not to mention it works great and leaves your skin feeling silky smooth.

I found this recipe here but I did modify it a bit to make it more natural 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup shampoo (I used 1 cup of my homemade liquid castile soap)
  • 1 cup conditioner (I used Simply U sulfate and paraben free conditioner)
  • 5 tablespoons baby oil (I used grape seed oil)
  • 5 tablespoons lotion (I used 1/2 cup of St. Ives with natural moisturizers, but I plan on using homemade lotion in the future)
  • Essential oils (optional, I did not use any in this batch but probably will in the future)

Wisk all ingredients together, pour into a bottle and you are done! I am absolutely in love with this stuff and never plan on buying any chemical laden shaving cream from the store again! I store mine in a pump bottle, which makes it super convenient. Enjoy!

I will leave you with this bonus tip… Dry your razor blades off when you get out of the shower. They will last longer, seriously! 🙂

❤ Ashley

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First Birthday!


Ashley’s Homemade Adventures is a year old! Wow that went by REALLY fast. I am a bit shocked that my blog received about 65,000 views this year. I never expected to have more than a couple of views a day LOL. I am so glad I have been able to share things I am learning and help others on their own homemade adventures. Thank you to all of my readers!

I did have a recipe planned but it will have to wait. My daughter and I are battling an awful flu, we have been miserable for days. On top of that I found out a family member had a massive heart attack this morning and is in intensive care. It has not been a good day to start off the new year. Hopefully everything will be okay, and we will feel better soon so things can get back to normal.

Anyways, thank you again to my readers! I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday season, and I wish you health, wealth and happiness for 2013! Cheers!

❤ Ashley

Snowy Sunrise 12/30/12