How to Naturally Color Soap with Plants, Roots, and Cla

When I first began making soap, I was just concerned about the soap lathering and being natural.  As I got better at soap making, though, my creative side took over, and I decided to begin experimenting with plant and clay-based colorants.  I've had all kinds of experiences, ranging from, "OOPS!"   "Meh."   and "Totally AWESOME!."  I'm here to share with you what has worked for me in the realm of coloring hand made soap naturally. 

Easy Seeded Whole Wheat Bread

Here's how to make the best, easiest bread you will love!  I've been struggling with baking bread for a long time.  I actually just gave up for about 30 years! No kidding!  When my kids were young, I tried...but it was just too much work.  And frankly, to have bread not turn out after all that time is disheartening to say the least.  BUT!  I happened upon a great recipe from the Minimalist Baker and it inspired me to create a recipe that works for us!  I tell you, I love this recipe and I am so grateful to Minimalist Baker--all her recipes look fabulous!  Here is my take on her recipe:

How to Make Vapor Rub Salve---Clear Up Those Sinuses & Breathe EASY.

I used to love Vic's Vapor Rub.  It just smelled SO good, and everyone could finally breathe again! But then I discovered that Vic's main ingredient contains petroleum based chemicals---so, "No, Thank you!."  Carcinogens, anyone?   I haven't used Vic's in years because of this.  Besides that, there are so many great essential oils out there, and if you know how to blend them, you can make your very own AWESOME, natural, SAFE, Vapor Rub.  And you can determine the strength you like too!  Isn't that great!?

Seven Natural Ways to Clear Up a Stuffy Nose and Nasal Congestion

How do you clear up a stuffy, runny nose super fast?  Find out here!   Stuffy nose (a.k.a. nasal congestion) is arguably one of the most horrible things about getting the common cold or a case of sinusitis.  This post was prompted because one of my friends called to ask how to get her stuffy nose cleared up.  She feels like she is coming down with that awful thing....the Big Bad Cold.  

One of the very worst things about getting a cold is nasal congestion---more commonly called a stuffy nose.  There are some pretty simple and powerful ways to clear up that horrible stuffy nose feeling naturally, without putting nasty chemicals into your body. Here are my favorite natural ways to clear up a stuffy nose from simple to more complex.

How to Dye Your Hair with Henna & Indigo....Natural, Chemical Free, Inexpensive, and Beautiful!

I work outside the home in addition to working on the homestead, and in my outside work world, I have to look and dress professionally.  Admittedly, I have had my hair chemically high-lighted and dyed for years.  Using chemical dyes and stripping my hair to highlight it has actually been something that has been bothering me a LOT for a REALLY long time.  

In my journey toward natural living, my hair has been one of my last hold outs.  So far, I have reduced the number of times I wash my hair per week, and have transitioned to a "Low Poo" shampoo (mostly natural ingredients, very little lather).  I make my own hair rinses, though!  :-) (Eventually, I'll get there with the hair cleansing.)  But I have to do something with my hair color---a darkish mousy dirty-blonde-brown.  Ick! Right?  :-)  

The time finally came when I could put it off no longer---I HAD to get my hair done.  It had been 9 weeks!  I'm not graying yet, and my roots blend pretty well---but still---it was definitely time.  So...I called my hair dresser to make that chemical appointment.  

Wouldn't you know?  Serendipity smiled upon me!  I texted my hair dresser (twice), and she didn't get back to me!  I figured she was busy.  So in desperation, I decided to give henna a try!  I had been researching henna for quite a while, but I hadn't been brave enough to just DO IT.  

How to Create a Beautiful Succulent Bowl

OK--It's winter, and there is not much happening in the garden right now.  I'm REALLY missing getting out there in the garden and playing in the dirt!  What can I say?  So I decided to make a succulent bowl for my Mom-in-Law, who loves succulents!  I had some older ones hanging on in my house, and I went out and bought a few more plugs, a cute bowl, and a decoration....  See how easy it is to make a succulent bowl--and what a great gift too! :-)  

I kind of have a rule around this house that everything needs a purpose.  Therefore, I don't have a lot of kitschy things hanging around.  This is actually a gift I'd like to have!  :-)  Its purpose is to make a person happy looking at it! 

How to Get a Small Homestead Ready for Winter Freezes...Are You Ever REALLY Ready?

I love that saying "Winter is coming," from the show, Game of Thrones.  It sounds foreboding, doesn't it?  Well, when you have animals to care for, and it's your job to protect them from the elements, it sure can be a foreboding and stressful feeling.  You need to be sure shelter, water, and predator control is in place.  Although we are new homesteaders, just under four years, we have learned to start thinking about the upcoming winter in June or July! And still----we are never really ready, it seems.

Peppermint: Handmade Hot Process Essential Oil Soap Recipe

I love Peppermint!  The smell, the feeling of it on my skin!  Its lovely green color!  The way Peppermint wakes me up! Therefore, I just love making my own Peppermint Essential Oil Hot Process Soap!  This was supposed to be an article for holiday gift giving, and here I am a bit late!  However, I'm posting this anyway because you can make this soap any time!  It's especially great in the summer because it's so refreshing!  The Peppermint essential oil wakes you up, gives you mental clarity, and just smells sooooo delicious!

How to Make Magnesium Oil...Plus, Why You MUST Use Magnesium!

I love magnesium!  I never thought I would, and never even thought much about magnesium!  However, after giving Magnesium Oil a try, using it daily for the past several months, I am a true believer!  I started out using Ancient Minerals brand, after doing a lot of research.  They obtain their magnesium from the Zechstein Bed in Europe, about 1200 meters below the surface of the earth.  The purity is excellent, and potential contamination is not a concern.  But then, as always, I thought, "Can I just make my own?"  The answer is YES!  I, and anyone else who is interested, can absolutely make their own!  The key is in the type and quality of magnesium you use.

Basics About TEA, Otherwise Known as Camellia sinensis

There is absolutely nothing better than a cup of tea...in the morning, in the afternoon, or in the evening!  What is regular old tea?  Otherwise known as Camellia sinensis, there are all kinds of varieties---but only FOUR main types!  I love to blend "regular" tea with medicinal and/or nutritive herbs.  I love the way you can blend and combine them for an amazing taste experience while helping your body self-heal.  Lately I have been making quite a bit of refreshing probiotic Kombucha (a fermented drink that requires a base of white, green, oolong, or black tea---what I call "regular" tea) and mixing that with medicinal and/or nutritive herbs.  Here is some basic information about Camellia sinensis teas (what I call "regular" tea).  

How to Make Tea for the Sniffles---Get Rid of That Stuffy, Runny Nose Naturally with Herbs!

Winter colds and flus are upon us, and with those come stuffy and runny noses....Pretty much misery in the sinus area.  I recently wrote about how to make a great natural decongestant, and here is another idea:  an herbal tea that really works and tastes delicious on top of it!  Of course, with a tea, you need to take time to brew it up, then enjoy it....but it's sure is wonderful for relaxing while your nose clears up like magic!  

How to Infuse Herbs in Oils for Salves, Soaps & Remedies

If you want to make herbal salves, you need to infuse your herbs in oil first! Herb infused oils are great to use for soap making, salves, body oils, and butters! Plus, they look pretty cool on your shelves.  I always get asked, "What is that?" with fingers pointing toward my herbal infusions.  I love to explain, and people are always impressed with them!  Here is how to make some great infused herbal oils.  

How to Make Natural Pine Soap...Favorite Christmas Recipe #2

Don't you just love the scent of pine trees?  Especially now, during the holidays, Pine is "the" scent!  Pine is uplifting, calming, and mentally clarifying too.  When I use my Pine Soap in the shower, it just starts the day off right!  Here is a recipe for Pine Essential Oil Soap that can be used with either the Cold Process or the Hot Process methods.  I will link to my Hot Process Soap photo tutorials for clear, step by step directions on how to make hot process soap!  ---If you choose the hot process route, you can use the soap right away!  Bonus! :-)