About Me

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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Ahh, I LOVE This Bath Soap (Homemade)

This homemade bath soap recipe I found at Little Seed Farm isn't the cheapest, but it is cheaper than store bought bath soap and it is very thick, rich, moisturizing and just feels expensive.  It also is good for your skin because it doesn't contain the harsh chemicals that store bought have in them.  I love it!   Initially the ingredients will cost a bit but all of them except the castile soap will last a long, long time.  Castile soap is about $10 a Target and you should get two batches of this recipe (or 4 bottles of soap) out of it.  As with all homemade products, the initial cost is the biggest.  Once you have a supply, its all good from there. 

Its also very easy to make and not too time consuming.  The longest part is waiting an hour for the infusion to take place - but you can do something else while you're waiting for that.  The rest is very fast and easy. 

Here is how to do it:

Pour 1 Tablespoon of Steel Cut Oats into a glass measuring cup. (Irish Oats can be found at Meijer or Jungle Jim's)


Throw in a spring of fresh Rosemary (great if it comes from your garden)

Bring water in a tea pot to a boil and pour into the measuring cup with the oats and rosemary, filling to the 1 cup mark.  Cover and let it steep for an hour. 


After it has steeped strain it with a mesh strainer to separate the oats and rosemary from the water.   

Put the following into a mixing bowl.

2 Tablespoons coconut oil (found at any grocery store in the Asian section)

1 Tablespoon honey (raw is best but I think you can use any)

1 Teaspoon non-corn based citric acid (found at health food stores or at Jungle Jim's)  This prevent bacteria from growing in your soap.

The water from the infusion with oats and rosemary 




Mix with an electric mixer

Add 1 teaspoon of Guar Gum and whisk.  Immediately add 1 1/2 cups of liquid castile soap and stir until well blended. 
Guar Gum can be found at Jungle Jim's near the Bob's Red Mill grains in the Organic Section)  Castile Soap can be found at Target or Jungle Jims or a health food store.

At this point you can drop in 30 drops of essential oils for fragrance if you wish (I didn't) and then pour into your containers. 





For containers I used two large water bottles with a flip top spout.  They are plastic so they won't break in the shower and they were the right size.  I filled two of these water bottles with this recipe. 

This soap lathers a lot so a little will go a long way. 



Tip:  Do not use an electric mixer to mix in the castile soap or you will have a ton of lather.  The electric mixer is good to mix the other ingredients but once you add the castile soap, use a spoon to stir it in. 




Homemade Salve for Dry Skin

I know people think I'm nuts, but I like saving money and if I can find a homemade product that saves money and is healthier for you, all the better.  I personally don't like all the chemicals that are in the food we eat and the products we use, so anytime I can cut those out with something that works just as well or better, I'm in. 

So, I found a recipe for a Homemade Salve for Dry Skin on the TLC site and decided to give it a try.   It was surprisingly easy and inexpensive and for the most part, could be made with things you have around the house.  

I know some people think its just too time consuming or too much trouble to make your own products, but really the hardest part of this was grating the beeswax and that took maybe 2 minutes.  You can easily do this while you're doing something else around the house because the biggest time investment is waiting 30 minutes for the oil to infuse with the herbs. 

Here are the steps:

Pour 1 cup of olive oil (or any kind of oil you like) into a saucepan. 
Add 1 cup of flower petals or fresh herbs of the aroma you like.  (I used Rosemary but you can use any flower or herb you have growing in your garden).

Heat to a simmer over medium heat.  When it begins to simmer, remove it from the burner, cover, and let steep for about 30 minutes. 





While that is steeping, grate 1/4 cup of beeswax.  Beeswax can be found at health food stores.  I found a small piece at Jungle Jim's for $1.99 and I should be able to get 5-6 jars of salve out of it. 


After the oil has steeped, strain it through a cheesecloth into a small mixing bowl. (I used a coffee filter and metal strainer).

Stir in the grated beeswax until it melts. I had to reheat the oil in the microwave because it had cooled to much to melt the beeswax. 

Then pour it into a jar (the small half pint Mason jars are perfect).  Let cool until it thickens into a salve consistency. 


So for the cost of the beeswax ($1.99) and oil (if you don't have olive oil on hand you can usually find it on sale for less than $5.00) you can probably get at least 4 jars of salve.  AND its healthy for your skin because its natural and contains no chemicals.  

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Junk Drawer

Everybody's got at least one, right?  I've got one small one that wasn't toooo awful bad, and then .... there was the monster.  It was the drawer that everything that no one knew what to do with got stuck in.  This morning I could barely get it open or closed because it was so full of clutter.  Sadly, it was only about a year ago that I cleaned it out.  Amazing that it can get so bad in a year.  SO, today it was time to do something different. 


Before

I made custom drawer organizers.  If you buy then, they cost quite a bit.  This was a cheap alternative.  Here is what I did:

  • Dumped the drawer and washed it out.

  • With a garbage can nearby, I sorted through the pile, throwing away and grouping like items together. 

  • Then I put things away that really had a home somewhere else in my house. 

  • Then I layed out the grouped items in the drawer to determine what size compartments I needed. 

  • Then I measured, twice.  Then I marked the foam board according to my measurements and cut it with an exacto knife. 

  • A little super glue held the cut pieces together.
  • For tiny items like saftey pins, I small Mason jelly jar placed in a compartment worked great. 


After
Its not permanent.  Eventually the foam board pieces will get messed up, but that's OK because my needs may change.  I'm sure if you felt the need to be fancy and cute, you could cover the foam board pieces with contact paper or left-over wallpaper, but that just seemed like more work and expense.