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, Tips & Tricks

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 πŸ™‚


  • 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


❀ Ashley

*Edited on 04/04/19 to add: I now use 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup coconut oil to make this. I find the consistency is better and coconut oil is great for healing

Food Recipes

Homemade Chocolates

These are so simple to make, with only 3 ingredients. They are absolutely amazing and addicting…. and even…. healthy?! They are like a cross between a chocolate bar and fudge. Made with organic extra virgin coconut oil (which can be found in the vitamin section in Walmart), honey (local/raw is best) and unsweetened cocoa powder (raw organic is best but regular is fine too). I made these today to try the recipe and I didn’t even plan on blogging about it, but now I must!!! I really want to give credit to the creator of this recipe, but I cannot remember what site I found these on, so sorry! I had the recipe written down on a piece of paper. If I ever find it again I will post a link immediately! I doubled this recipe and ended up with about a sandwich bag full of chocolate. So this is what you need:

  • 4 tablespoons organic extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

First, melt your coconut oil. I used a glass measuring cup set inside of a pan with some water. I heated it low and slow, but I am sure you could melt it faster if you are in a hurry or have no patience, lol. Pour your melted coconut oil into a medium sized bowl, then add in the honey. Whisk together until combined. Whisk in cocoa powder, a little at a time. Keep stirring until your mixture has thickened up and no lumps remain. Pour into a flat container and stick it in the fridge or freezer until solid. You may want to spray your container with non stick spray first, I did have a bit of difficulty getting mine out. Then you just cut into small squares. So easy right?!Β This would also be perfect for silicone molds!

I sprinkled kosher salt and shredded coconut on top of my chocolate before sticking it in the freezer, and I have to say the little bit of salt makes these even more amazing! I really love sweet and salty combos. You could also stir in nuts, dried fruit, extracts, etc. There is a coconut taste to them, but even my husband who hates coconuts LOVED these chocolates. He ate several after dinner tonight lol. Don’t tell him I told you πŸ™‚ As I said in my deodorant post, coconut oil starts to melt at 76 degrees. So you may want to store these goodies in the fridge or freezer… in the back… where no one can see them but you! Seriously…. they will go quick!

Now you can have a treat and not feel so bad about it πŸ™‚ Sure coconut oil does have fat in it, but its the good kind! If you google “benefits of coconut oil” you will find lots of great info. Its also really good for your skin and can be a great treatment for damaged hair. If you get the raw organic cocoa you get the amazing benefits of that as well, bonus!

I really hope you will try these, they far exceeded my expectations and I had to share! Let me know if you plan on trying them, or if you do try them please let me know what you think!

❀ Ashley