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

Photography, Uncategorized


I used to love fall, in fact it was my favorite season of the year when I lived in Virginia. All of the leaves turning, pumpkin spice coffee, sweaters, all of the comfort food and coziness that comes with it. The sky seemed to sparkle and the sunsets were gorgeous that time of year. Then something horrible happened…. One absolutely gorgeous fall day I got the worst call of my life. My sister Amanda was in the hospital, with fluid in her lungs and blood on her brain. She was 18 years old.

What happened with Amanda is a long story and something I am not prepared to go into at this moment, but she passed away. My beautiful, full of life, crazy (in a good way) sister that I grew up with was gone. (If you want to know what happened you can visit this site that I made for her right after she passed. Amanda’s memorial site. There is music so make sure your speakers aren’t too loud) Since then I have hated fall, the crisp air, the turning leaves…. they all reminded me of that horrible time in my life when I lost my sister. Last month was 7 years since that awful day and slowly I am learning to love fall again. I think I have appreciated it more this year than I have in a LONG time. I live in Massachusetts now so it is a little colder than I like, but I am appreciating other little things about this time of year.

I know this is not the normal post you would find on my blog, but I just wanted to share these pictures with all of you and a little of my story.

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. ~ Albert Camus. 

We do still have some flowers that are hanging on, I am trying to enjoy them because soon everything will be brown.

I hope you are enjoying this fall! I also hope that if you are grieving right now that this will give you some hope. Of course you will always miss your loved one and will still have very bad days, but the bad days get farther apart and slowly you start appreciating life again.

❤ Ashley

EDIT: The link for her site will not work for some reason but if you would like to see it copy and paste this into your browser: (It took a few tries for me before it actually came up, it must be an issue with their site)