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.


❤ Ashley

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 🙂


  • 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


Texas Vacation

Well we made it back safe and sound, barely! We survived a shooting and a tornado outbreak. Ok maybe that is exaggerating just a little bit, lol… but those things really did happen. One night someone tried to steal the neighbor’s motorcycle, at least 2 shots were fired. One of the bullet holes was found in the front yard. I was thanking God and who ever else was watching over our family. You hear stories all the time of stray bullets going through windows, so thank God that didn’t happen. Then another night we were under a tornado warning twice, the first time it was not that bad, and the warning expired. Well the second time it was like all hell broke loose. I heard the weather man say and point to where the confirmed tornado was headed, and it was coming DIRECTLY at us. Me being paranoid about tornadoes as it is (I swear I must have died from one in a past life, I dream of them chasing me) made my dad help me clear out the hallway closet just in case. Tornado coming at us and no basement, I was a nervous wreck! Well the storm was getting stronger, and it started hailing (about quarter sized) at the exact moment that the tornado sirens went off. I ran to that closet with my daughter so fast, we stayed there under pillows and a mattress until my dad said it was safe to come out. Thank God again because the tornado did not hit, but I was told it was within 2 miles of the house. After that we had a break for a few hours, but then from 12:45-3:30 in the morning it stormed like CRAZY again. No tornadoes with that round, but the thunder was incredibly loud. Other than thinking we were going to die it was a great trip lol. We got to visit with a lot of family and I got to take a ton of pictures. There were a few bumps in the road that ruined some of our plans (thank you herniated disc & sciatic nerve, and mother nature for the crappy weather most of the time we were there) but we had a good time anyways 🙂

I did get to snag some of my grandma’s and great grandma’s recipes (for food and cleaning) so I will be sharing some of those in the near future. I will also be sharing an amazing recipe for homemade dishwasher detergent that really helps with cloudiness.

I have to admit that I did buy some shampoo and conditioner because I didn’t feel like making more of my shampoo and worrying about it spilling in the suitcase. I bought Floral Cherrynova Natural Nourishing Shampoo and conditioner. It was pretty pricey to me $7.00 for a 12 oz. bottle, but I wanted something without the parabens, etc. Well I absolutely loved the way it smelled, so did my daughter. Sadly that was the only thing I loved about it. The shampoo cleaned our hair just fine but did not leave it shiny like my homemade shampoo. The conditioner was very disappointing too, it left our hair tangled and hard to brush. I could not wait to get home to my homemade shampoo and regular conditioner (Simply U Conditioner, less than $5.00 for 24 oz. at Walmart) My hair is now soft and shiny again 🙂 Speaking of my hair, I got it colored and trimmed while we were there. What do ya think? (This was taken after returning home, notice the shine lol. There are no products in my hair) It came out a little darker and more red than I anticipated but since it was  already processed it soaked up the color a lot more. It will fade a bit over time and hopefully match my roots when they grow out, I am sick of coloring it 🙂

Anyways, I did not forget my promise to share photos of the trip! I am still working on getting back into the swing of things so I am only editing a few at a time here and there. I just wanted to let you all know that I am still here! hehe. I will be doing a post soon of just the pictures. Stick around I have lots more to share with you all.

❤ Ashley