DIY All-Natural Lip Balm

A few years ago I was battling cold sores and started doing some research. I ran across some claims that color dyes can cause lip irritation. Then I realized that the Vaseline lip balm I had been using had yellow dye in it. That may not have been the source of my issue, but I figured it was worth eliminating.

I really like a thicker lip balm like Vaseline so I set out to try to find a DIY that would make a good replacement.

Young Living essential oils are therapeutic grade so they are safe for use on the skin and many have great healing properties (particularly Lavender which is said to have antiseptic and antifungal properties making it a great oil for lip balm!).

Today I’m sharing my favorite lip balm recipe! The great thing about this recipe is that it can be customized using any essential oil or blends that you prefer.

diy lip balm

The consistency of this balm is a bit more solid than petroleum jelly, but it is still on the “soft” side so I recommend using a jar for storage [rather than the twist tubes – I’ve got another recipe for those so keep reading!].

Speaking of jar, I recycled a Mary Kay loose powder container for my balm. Once it was empty it was easy to pop the sifter out. I cleaned the container by soaking it in hot, soapy water with a few drops of Lemon essential oil (it helps with removing stickers and other gooey residue from contains) for about a half hour and then scrubbed it really good.

The recipe below makes enough to fill the MK jar. While I realize not all of you will have an empty powder jar to use, here are some alternative ideas for containers:

  • You may have a little empty space (you could try doubling the recipe), but you could also use a 4 ounce jelly jar (like these)
  • An Altoids tin (don’t have one? Ask your friends. I did that once on Facebook and several people shared their empty tins with me)
  • Several of these cute little sample jars (just ordered some & they’re great, but teeny tiny!)
  • Small baby food jars
  • Or really any small [clean] jar with a lid

If you are planning to use a Citrus essential oil (like Lemon, Orange, Grapefruit, etc.), I recommend avoiding plastic containers because the citrus oils can breakdown some types of plastic over time.

Rather than using a fancy double-boiler and making it forever slimy from the oils, dig through your cabinet for an unloved, empty mason jar (or recycle a marinara / salsa jar – just clean it really good using the same method I used to clean the powder jar above and/or run it through the dishwasher). It’s tough to get the jar clean once you’ve melted the oil in it so it’s best to reserve it for your oily projects.

To create the double boiler, put some water in a pot (no more than half full) then place the mason jar upright (lid removed) into the pot. You’ll add the ingredients into the mason jar while the water in the pot boils around it which will melt the ingredients. You will want the ingredients in the mason jar to be below the water line so it will melt your ingredients evenly.

I don’t bother stirring the oil as it melts because it will just dry onto whatever you’re using to stir and make a mess [warning: don’t ruin your silverware]. You can pick up the jar (use oven mitts!) and gently swirl it a few times during the process if you’d like, but it’s certainly not required.

You will want to wait to add the essential oils after you remove your double boiler from heat.

You may also want to wear an oven mitt when pouring the mixture into the tubes or jars. During the heating process, the glass mason jar can get quite hot and we want to avoid DIY-induced-injuries! If your oven mitt doesn’t have grips, the jar could slip out of your hand so be careful.

Supplies

  • Clean container(s) for your lip balm
  • Glass jar to combine ingredients (don’t use a fancy one you plan to ever use again 😉 )
  • Small sauce pot
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Beeswax (I ordered pellets on Amazon, but I’ve heard you can get beeswax from local beekeepers which is a wonderful option if you know any)
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Almond Oil
  • Essential oils for scent (I used 4 drops of Thieves essential oil)
  • Stir stick (this can get messy so keep that in mind – do not use your fine china. Chopsticks or a plastic straw work great.)

Directions

  1. Clean the glass jar you will use for your “double boiler” and the container(s) you will use to store your balm. Dry them completely (I recommend letting them air dry overnight).
  2. If you are using pellets, skip to step 3. If you are using a block of beeswax, grate it until you have enough (2 TBSP).
  3. Fill the small sauce pot half full of water and place over medium-low heat. The water should simmer slowly.
  4. Set the empty glass jar upright in the pot. The water should surround the glass jar, but no water should be coming into the glass jar.
  5. Add beeswax and coconut oil to the empty mason jar and heat slowly until both are melted.
  6. Once the beeswax and coconut oil have melted completely, remove from heat. Using your oven mitt, remove the glass jar from the hot water/pot. Do not pour out the hot water yet (you could leave it on the stove to keep it warm or just set it aside in case you need it to remelt your balm).
  7. Add olive oil and almond oil to jar and stir using your stir stick. Then add essential oils and stir again.
  8. Slowly pour mixture into your container jar(s). If the mixture begins to solidify, place the jar back into the hot water (just like you did for the double boiler) until it melts again.
  9. Leave the balm uncovered so that it can set for a few hours before use. I have 2 dogs who shed like it’s their job so I covered mine with a paper towel to avoid pet fur contamination. If you want to cover the balm while it sets, I recommend using a paper towel or lightweight cloth so that the balm can cool without condensation diluting your recipe (like it may if you use the container’s lid). 
  10. Label your balm container and enjoy!

If you are looking for lip balm that will make a cute gift, you could use the recipe above in small jars (like these tiny pots I ordered on Amazon recently. Be warned: they’re super tiny!) or you can make a sturdier balm for twist tubes.

Lip balm tubes are super easy to find online and are pretty cheap (I ordered these and they work great!).

Making the balm is exactly the same as above, but the recipe will be slightly different. I followed this recipe for Lavender Honey Chapstick from Practically Funcational and it turned out great!

chapstick

homemade chapstick in the cooling process

Before I made this balm, I heard that having a small funnel was key so I ordered this one. I used it at first, but it made the process more frustrating because when I removed it, the oil would rise up and overflow the tube. All that said, I ended up pouring [very carefully] from the glass jar straight into the tubes and it worked out just fine.

Because I was feeling fancy (and I knew I’d be gifting these), I ordered sticker labels for my chapstick tubes:

balm label

It was easy to find labels on Etsy. I ended up ordering these stickers from Chickydoddle and having half of them printed. Winnie (of Chickydoddle) was super easy to work with – she sent me proofs before printing and I received them quickly thereafter. I am really pleased with the quality and will certainly order printed labels from Chickydoddle again! I also ordered these 1-inch circle stickers – they fit perfectly on top of the tiny balm jars I ordered.

I gifted the lip balm tubes with a handmade lotion bar. I used this recipe from Wellness Mama that a friend recommended and added 10 drops each of Lavender and Ylang Ylang.

lotion bars

lotion bars while cooling

I just so happen to have 2 of these heart shaped silicone molds which made the perfect shape for the lotion bars. The heart makes a great shape for these because the indent at the top is perfect for rubbing over knuckles!

Lotion bars might be one of my favorite new discoveries. I love rubbing the bar on my hands and feet before bed. They are so easy to make and are incredibly effective at moisturizing!

If you’ve never used a lotion bar: you rub it on your dry skin like you would a bar of soap. Your skin will melt a thin layer of the lotion onto your hands, feet, whatever it touches. You just rub it on and leave it (when I describe the application like soap, everyone always asks: “Do I wash it off?” and the answer is no – let is soak in to your dry skin and enjoy!). I now prefer the bar to regular slimy lotion. Can’t get enough of it!

**Disclaimer: Links in this post are not affiliated with me in any way and I would not benefit from your purchase. I just wanted to share sources for ease of replicating the recipes. Enjoy! 🙂 **

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DIY Carpet Powder

Last year at Crafty Feast, I picked up the most amazing handmade carpet powder. It was lavender scented and even had pieces of dried lavender bud mixed in. It came in a 16 ounce jar which [unfortunately] only lasted me one application.

I may have ignored the “sprinkle lightly” instructions… {I have 3 dogs!}

Being frugal [and stocked with essential oils] I was determined to make my own.

I was quite surprised at how simple it was to make. Let me follow that with: I am not a professional carpet-powder-connoisseur. I am just a frugal gal who was in desperate need of help alleviating the affects of three dogs on rugs – and I think I found a pretty good solution!

carpet-powder

What you need

  • Glass jars with lids
  • Baking soda (1 pound will fill a 16-ounce jar)
  • Essential Oils (my favorite odor-busting combination is Young Living’s Thieves [10 drops] + Purification [20 drops])
  • Mixer or whisk 
  • Mixing bowl

To start, I gathered two 16-ounce jars. After realizing how easy this was to make, I would’ve made more if I had more jars available!

One of my jars was leftover from the carpet freshener I purchased at Crafty Feast. The other jar was a salsa jar that I cleaned and thoroughly air-dried. I found that running the jar through my dishwasher loosened the label enough for me to peel off, but if you do not have a dishwasher, you could soak the jar in hot, soapy water and use some lemon essential oil to remove it.jars

The purchased powder came with a super cute lid for sprinkling, but I have seen some at Hobby Lobby and also here on Amazon. Alternately, you could drill holes into the lid you have or just plan to sprinkle with the lid off.

lids

One two-pound box of baking soda will fill two 16-ounce jars. Any brand of baking soda is fine!

baking-soda

Gather your supplies. While I used my electric mixer, you could easily mix this with a whisk. The substance is light so you don’t need much power.

Some essential oils (mostly citrus-based) can break down plastic so I avoid using plastic kitchenware when mixing recipes with essential oils just in case. I found this metal mixing bowl at Target, but a glass bowl would also be fine.

supplies

You can either measure out two cups of baking soda or pour the baking soda into your jar until it fills the top then dump into your mixing bowl. The latter is probably best – I  found that when I measured out exactly two cups I ended up with a little spilling over my jar.

powder

The best recipe I have found incorporates 10 drops of Thieves Essential Oil and 20 drops of Purification Essential Oil. These are definitely two of my favorite, most used oils (second to lavender!). The fragrance of the Thieves oil reminds me of Christmas so the scent is really comforting. The Purification oil is great for cleansing the air and alleviating odors (also makes a great spray for your car).

Note: I use Young Living essential oils. I have a membership with them and have been very pleased with the quality. I have not tried this recipe with other brands of EO’s, but use whatever suits you best!

pet-oils

The Thieves + Purification combination is a heavy hitter for odors. It is a great combo if you have pets. Another combination I tried for a fresher scent was Grapefruit and Citrus Fresh (Orange could be a good substitute) – 7-8 drops of each oil.

citrus-oils

Whatever combination you choose, sprinkle the drops directly onto the baking soda dumped into your mixing bowl. Try to sprinkle them evenly – I found that the oils clump a bit in the baking soda so spreading them around is best.

oils-in-powder

Now mix it up! Again, you really don’t need much power since this is a light mixture. If you are using an electric mixer, use the lowest speed. You could also use a whisk.

If you do not have a funnel in your kitchen (I did not), grab a clean piece of paper and twist for a make-shift funnel. Use the funnel to help pour the mixture into your jar. This can still get quite messy so placing a tea towel under your jar might be a good idea 😉

funnel

You  will want to let your mixture sit for at least 30 minutes for the oils to mingle with the baking soda. I let mine sit for a few days before use. Since these are so easy to make, it’s worth whipping up several at a time so they are ready for use when you need them. This would also make a great housewarming gift.

Be sure to label your jars – particularly if you are making multiple scent combinations so you will know which to grab depending on your needs. You can use washi tape across the top of the jar or on the side of your jar if you don’t have a label-maker (that’s on my wish list!). Alternately, you could use these chalkboard mason jar lid labels.

citrus-powder

I’m a heavy sprinkler so one jar typically lasts me one area rug. Depending on the odor you’re dealing with, you could very likely stretch it further. Since I know how easy it is to whip up, I’m less concerned with stretching it 😉

Once you sprinkle on your carpet, let it sit for at least 30 minutes. I usually let it sit for a few hours or even overnight before vacuuming up.

pet-powder

And you’re done! Can you believe how easy that was?!

Turn this recipe into a room air freshener/odor absorber by cutting in half for an 8-ounce jar (like these) or quartering for a 4-ounce jar (like these). Just leave the lid off or add one of these pretty lids.

What I’m Lovin’ in April

The pollen is finally starting to wash away so we can enjoy the not-so-hot-I’m-sweating-all-day weather so I’m lovin’ April!

Read on to see all the little things I found enjoyable this month.

april

1. Classroom Inspiration

Last month I presented to a group of middle school parents. This quote was in the classroom where I presented:

As long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you otherwise might. – Marian Anderson

marian anderson quote

One of the things I love about visiting schools is seeing how the teachers decorate their classrooms and seeing the student work hung in the hallways. I always find inspiration when I’m in the schools – whether it’s an empowering quote hung in a classroom or a colorful display of bar charts from a math lesson hung in the hallway {future #DataDivas!}.

Kids can be little rockets of inspiration for us jaded adults in the most needed moments. 😉

2. Yard Flowers

Everything seems to be blooming – even in the yard of this very-brown-thumbed-gal!

yard flowers

If I’m being honest with you, I stole the flowers pictured here from my neighbor’s yard!

BUT: If you look closely, you can see MY flowers blooming out the window.  🙂

AND: If you look closely to the left, you can see little baby succulent sprouts. A coworker told me that when a leaf drops off a succulent to just plop it in soil and it’ll sprout little babies. I’m so surprised it actually worked {considering all my other succulents are currently dying on the front porch because I forgot to bring them in for the winter…}.

3. Eucalyptus Globulus essential oil

eucalyptus globulus

While on our spring break road trip, my allergies were in full swing {le sigh…does our body always have to rebel when we’re going on VACATION?!}. I went through cough drops like I’d bought stock in them and kept telling myself to get over it.

When we got home, I found my Eucalyptus Globulus oil was waiting for me. It was a freebie with my Young Living order last month so I wasn’t totally sure how I’d use it. I pulled the cap off and took a whiff and – wow!! – it smelled just like a menthol cough drop! I carried it around with me for a few days until my congestion subsided. I rubbed a drop on my neck and it worked so well to help me breathe easier. It reminds me a lot of those Vicks inhaler sticks {I used to love those!}.

4. Abby Glassenberg’s article Craft as Escape and Affirmation

glassenberg

{Image borrowed from Abby’s site – click the photo to read her post}

Abby’s post is so perfect. I love the story of her time as a teacher and how crafting served not only as an escape from the stress of her job but also as an affirmation of who she was.

It is a must-read for all creative people / people who work in stressful careers / everyone! Click here to read the post.

5. Excuses to go on Vacation again

Last weekend the Hubs played in a hockey tournament in Charleston so we had a great excuse to go on another vacation – even if just a weekend getaway!

hockey

To all the hockey wives/girlfriends out there: I’ve discovered the secret to surviving the frigid chill of an indoor ice rink. It involves two blankets (one for your upper half and one to wrap around – not just over – your legs), hot coffee (warning: do not buy coffee from the teenagers working the concession stand. Ain’t nobody got time for room temperature coffee that tastes like garbage. Do yourself a favor and find the nearest Starbuck’s as soon as you drop your man at the rink), and a good book (for when you’re wasting time before the game because your main squeeze insists on arriving an hour early…).

{PS: We ate some of THE most delicious food while in Charleston. You’re probably thinking “duh, it’s Charleston” but for a vegetarian sometimes that can be tricky. I’m planning to post a recap soon of some of the amazing places we found.}

6. Ice Cream with Breakfast

which cream

While in Charleston for the weekend, we stopped by the Charleston Farmers Market before the tournament games began on Saturday. While there we had the most delicious breakfast, drank amazing coffee (found another swoon-worthy Chai Latte) AND ate ice cream sandwiches {wich cream is our new obsession – handcrafted ice cream?! Yes, please.} before 9am because #WhenOnVacation.

7. Grilled Cheese Food Trucks

speak cheesy food truck

Did you even know such a thing existed?! Me neither!

You can imagine my delight when my sister and I stumbled upon the Speak Cheesy Food Truck at the Indie South Fair in Columbia a few weeks ago.

You know how sometimes when you order a grilled cheese somewhere and it is so greasy that you’re pretty sure your insides have turned into a slippery mess? NOT SO with Speak Cheesy. The bread was perfectly fluffy with a lightly crisp, buttered coating. Rather than sliced cheese, the sandwich involved a mix with the consistency of pimento cheese (but not the runny garbage you find at the grocery store…this was the made-from-scratch kind – chunky and delightfully fresh).

My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Without further adieu, here’s photographic proof it was heaven:

grilled cheese

Unfortunately for me (or fortunately for my health), Speak Cheesy is based in Rome, Georgia. They graced us with their presence for the Indie South Fair when it visited Columbia this month. Fingers crossed they’ll come back sometime!

8. Our Spring Break Road Trip

Are you tired of hearing about it yet?! I had such a blast writing the posts and reliving our trip. If you missed it, you can follow the trip with these posts:

I’m still working on the last stop (Virginia again) so stay tuned! 🙂

9. Empowering Quotes with Foul Language

Nothing makes me feel more fierce than a quote flavored with foul language. So, here’s a little flavorful empowerment for you too:

kate nash quote gif

{Click the image to find a free download via Melissa Chaib}

10.  One last giggle to share: check out this adorable video of dachshunds playing hockey!

Sending you sprinkles of joy and warm hugs til next time,

Jordan

{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}

What I’m Lovin’ in March

As you read this, the Hubs and I are road-trippin’ to Boston to see his sister! We had contemplated flying and then remembered how much we love road trips {with lives that sometimes make us feel like ships passing in the night, being trapped in a car together felt like the perfect adventure!}.

I promise to bring back lots of pictures for the blog, but in the meantime you can follow our adventures on Instagram.

And so, here’s the short list of what I’ve been lovin’ in March!

what i'm lovin

1. Vegan Buffalo Wings

Proof that my husband loves me: he made this recipe for vegan buffalo wings totally from scratch!

wings

They were AMAZING. He found the Edgy Veg’s recipe for Vegan Buffalo Wings after a quick google and followed it to a T (although he used flax and water for the egg replacer).

It was the first time I’d had homemade seitan (we usually just buy it from the store #LazyCook) and I tell ya – there was a huge difference in taste!

I haven’t had buffalo wings since long before I gave up meat (about 4.5 years ago). I used to love boneless buffalo wings until they started giving me serious heartburn and I had to abandon them.

The recipe had just the right amount of heat [no heartburn!]. They were also perfectly crispy and chewy. Just delicious!

I wasn’t allowed in the kitchen during production, but he said the recipe was pretty easy and he’d be willing to make them again (YAY!).

2. Flying Geese and Paper Piecing

flying geese

I’m totally hooked on paper piecing!

I got a bag of teeny-tiny Liberty of London scraps from Mad for Fabric a while back. I followed these instructions and shrunk the pattern to 33%. The square pictured above is 6.5″ x 6.5″ with the border (about 5 inches without). I think I’m going to turn it into a zip pouch!

3. Fuller House on Netflix

fuller house

If you grew up watching Full House, you definitely want to check out Fuller House on Netflix! We’re addicted and have totally binged on Season 1 already.

4. Inside the Hem on YouTube

I have been following Sew Charleston for a while (I love her style!) so when she announced she and her gal pals were launching a sewing YouTube channel, I was pretty excited to check it out! I immediately subscribed and have been loving the videos.

It’s tough to pick a favorite, but I’m in a comfy-sewing-mood so I really loved Abbey’s Favorite Sweatshirts video:

After the video {and asking Abbey’s advice}, I ordered the Lola dress pattern from Victory Patterns. I think this may be the pattern I use for the Liberty of London French Terry I splurged on when the Hubs and I were in England last Christmas (yes, it’s been gathering dust for an embarrassing amount of time…).

You can browse all episodes from the channel – called Inside the Hemhere!

5. My cute new bags from Trish Stitched!

trish stitched 1

I’ve been following Trish Stitched for a while and love her blog. She’s super talented and she often sews patterns I’ve had my eye on so it’s nice to see how they look on a real person (it’s just icing on the cake that she’s also petite so I can follow her alterations!).

Last month her blog celebrated its first anniversary and she hosted a giveaway. Lucky me – I won!

love the adorable bags she sent me! The top bag is the perfect size to hold a checkbook or store a fancy pen collection [stuff it with colored pencils and pair it with a hip adult coloring book and you’ve got yourself the perfect birthday gift for your gal pal].

The bottom pouch is a great size for essential-oils-on-the-go!

trish stitched 2

The pouch easily fits 2-3 bottles or rollers. It also makes for a cute gift card holder or a fun place to store cards from all your favorite fabric shops.

Check out all of Trish’s beautiful handmade bags in her shop on Etsy and don’t forget to check out her blog!

6. Nerding out with organization videos on YouTube

Did you know there are videos on YouTube dedicated to home organization?! I know this puts me in a super nerd category, but to my defense: this video was sent to me by a friend {who shares a very nerdy desire for everything to be organized, labeled and tucked out of sight}.

One of my other favorites: Cheap Storage Ideas full of Dollar Tree finds. {Budget-friendly storage solutions?! #smitten}

I’ve basically fallen head-over-heels for Alejandra’s YouTube Channel and now I want to buy all the plastic containers in sight [label-maker is now on my Christmas wish list…]

7. Mindless Saving with Acorns

The Hubs and I recently opened an Acorns account after hearing about it from Afford Anything {love her blog..and her new podcast!}. As someone who is very, very far from being an expert investor, I appreciate how simple Acorns is. We linked up our bank accounts so that they send over change from purchases by rounding up to the next dollar and sending the excess to Acorns. You can also set up automatic (whole dollar if you wish 😉 ) deposits. Then Acorns does its magic to invest your money then – poof! – you have a savings account that’s growing while you spend zero time thinking about it {#MindlessSaving}.

If you are interested, you can use our referral link to sign up and receive $5! #winning {FYI: I also get $5 which is stellar, but just to be clear: the statements above are 100% mine. Acorns has no idea who I am other than a name in their list of users. You are in no way obligated to use my link if you sign up for Acorns. I just wanted to share my experience with you, my lovely reader!}

Also – when you sign up, you get weekly emails with savings tips [and they’re not those “UGH…yeah right!” kind of tips]. A recent email closed with the quote below which I felt was so appropriate given the fact that we are en route to gather some fabulous experiences in Boston as we speak…

acorns quote

And on that note, I bid you farewell! I hope your March was fabulous and you are off having experiences with people you love! ❤

Sending you sprinkles of joy and warm hugs til next time,

Jordan

{Catch up on all of my monthly What I’m Lovin’ posts here.}

What I’m Lovin’ in June

June jumped right by! In celebration of Independence Day (since I’m late to post again…), I’m sharing with you the short list of things I loved last month!

june

1. Chickpea of the Sea sandwiches

chickpea-of-the-sea

{Image source: Practically Poppy – click to view on Pinterest}

I know, kind of a weird addition to the “what I’m lovin'” list, but I had to share! In the summer, we switch to 10 hour workdays (so we can have Fridays off – yay!) with shorter lunch breaks. The days start early (7 am) so I’ve had to switch some of my workouts to the afternoons which means I need a heartier lunch to get me through. Chickpea of the Sea sandwiches have turned into my staple! It’s super easy to whip up a batch on Sundays and split up for the week.

I made a few modifications to this recipe from Practically Poppy: I use Dijon (because it’s what I had on hand & Lindsay said it’s be ok 😉 ). Rather than adding all ingredients to the food processor, I exclude the celery & scallions (both diced) and mix in after the others have been processed. Back when I ate meat, I enjoyed a chunky chicken or tuna salad so I like the celery chunks mixed separately to keep it thick.

Vegetarian or not, you should give this recipe a try!

2. My weekly CSA box

csa1

Week 1 of the CSA – squash, zucchini and dirt-covered red-skin potatoes

csa2

…and a bag of the most beautiful green beans you’ve ever seen!

I am absolutely LOVING being a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) member! I recently bought a “small” crop share for the season from Limited Edition Farms. For a few years, I have been toying with the idea of buying into a CSA. One of the things holding me back was that I didn’t want to end up wasting a bunch of produce since most of those boxes are stuffed for families much larger than just Jeremy and I. Boy was I excited to see that Limited Edition Farms offers a small food box to feed 2 adults. Despite buying the small share, we’ve still been able to share every week with our family and friends.

My favorite item has definitely been the potatoes! There’s no denying that I’m a carb lover. The potatoes are so precious and I love scrubbing the dirt off of them! We’ve been slicing and roasting them (at 425 for about 20-25 minutes – until golden at the edges) with a little bit of olive oil, sea salt and pepper. The flavor is just so great!

Here’s a recipe we made a few weeks ago – Vegan Barbecue Chili with Tempeh (click here for the recipe from Vegetarian Times) on a wheat bun with those roasted potatoes on the side:

bbq

This is a lot more beige on a plate than I usually tolerate, but it was so good (and I assure you that we had salad!).

With all the zucchini I have now, I am thinking of using them in place of noodles for a veggie lasagna – like in this recipe! I’m looking for a chunkier veggie lasagna recipe (with real cheese :)) – if you have a good recipe, share it in the comments below! I’m no chef, but I think lasagna is relatively safe to mix-and-match so if I come up with a great combination, I’ll share the recipe with you (unless you share a better one with me first!).

The Limited Edition Farm is actually located in Windsor, South Carolina (near Aiken), but Ami (one of the farmers) generously hosts a pick-up in downtown Columbia on Wednesdays. If you are local to either area, you should consider joining their crop share program (you won’t be disappointed!)! You can find more information about the boxes and view the list of seasonal produce LEF offers here.

3. Homemade Remedies with Essential Oils

A few months ago, I ordered a Young Living Essential Oils Premium Starter kit. My original motivation was because I wanted to make my own lotion (I’m still trying to find a recipe I like – a friend recently recommended this recipe for lotion bars that I’m going to give a try). In the meantime, I’ve become more comfortable with some of the home remedies. Since Young Living oils are therapeutic grade and most are safe to consume, I feel a little more comfortable about it.

My favorite homemade remedy so far has been adding a drop of thieves essential oil to a cup of hot water and tea to soothe a scratchy/sore throat.

thieves

I don’t know if it’s allergies or just a random fluke, but there were a few days last month that I woke up with a sore throat out of nowhere. I boiled some water and added one drop of thieves and a little dollop (about 1 teaspoon) of honey (the honey pictured is actually from Jeremy’s grandpa’s harvest last year). It immediately soothed my throat and I didn’t experience any additional soreness or scratchiness for the rest of the day!

You might also remember the beard oil and shaving cream that I made with my essential oils – which was a big success! Boys are hard to buy for so this recipe is worth keeping in your back pocket 😉

I will be visiting my Mom at the beach in the next few weeks and plan to make this homemade sunscreen recipe to try (I’ll keep you posted as to how it works!).

If you are interested in trying essential oils, let me know! I would be happy to order you some to try or talk to you about the kit. If you’re curious about some of the ways to use essential oils, check out my “Oil Therapy” Pinterest Board.

4. Spending Girl Time with my Momma

manipedi

My Mom & sister (and me not pictured) enjoying a little pampering together with a mani + pedi

It’s been quite a while since my Mom, sister and I spent some girly time together. It was much needed! This past weekend we soaked it up with manicures + pedicures. The lovely Chapin lacrosse family gave me a gift certificate to SC Nails at the end of the season (as a note to all people with children who play sports: treating the coach’s wife is brilliant! I may not have been on the field giving orders, but I had to deal with the coach after a loss! 😉 ).

We ate delicious food all weekend. We had lunch at Cantina 76 (best tacos in town), walked down to explore the Mast General Store and shared Lemon + Mint ice cream at the Sweet Cream Company on Friday.

After enjoying our mani/pedi’s on Saturday, we had brunch at Cafe Strudel which has quickly become one of mine and my sister’s favorite places to brunch. While waiting for a table, my mom spotted a berry cake layered with mascarpone cheese in the display case (which was conveniently located by the waiting area..). After enjoying a delicious breakfast, we agreed to go for the cake!

It was worth every calorie.

It was worth every calorie.

The cake was perfectly moist and the layer of fancy cheese was delightful. I think we can confidently conclude that I get my sweet tooth from my Momma!

Because I am an evaluator by trade and I believe in the importance of providing feedback, I reviewed all of the places we visited for our girls weekend on Yelp – you can read all my reviews here (in case you are interested in visiting them…and I hope you are!).

5. Jack is standing!

weekend

That’s Jack on the far left

I saved the best for last 🙂

I haven’t shared about Jack on the blog yet so I’ll give you a little background: Jack was a junior (now rising senior) at Chapin High School and was a co-captain of the Varsity Lacrosse Team this past season. My husband is the Varsity Lacrosse Coach for Chapin.

During a game on March 4, 2015, Jack suffered a spinal cord injury. He immediately had no movement in his lower body and only slight movement in his arms and hands. He was told there was only a slight chance he’d ever walk again. After undergoing surgery in Columbia, he was transferred to the Shepherd Center for recovery. He has been undergoing rehabilitation at the Shepherd Center since March.

Watching Jack, such a sweet, determined young boy struggle and suffer like this was tough. Watching my husband endure this as a coach was also tough. It’s hard to put into words what this experience was like, but I will say that I’ve never been more proud to be Jeremy’s wife. When times are tough, you really see what people are made of. And I tell you – my husband proved he’s made of gold.

March was a dark month, but the light was always Jack. He is so optimistic and so determined, it’s hard to be sad on account of what has happened to him.

It should come as no surprise that Jack has made incredible gains and amazing progress. Last week his Mom posted this video of him standing from his wheelchair (on his own with no use of his hands). Watch the video (here) and look at that smile! He’s so amazing.

You can keep up with Jack’s inspiring story and find many ways you can support his journey by following the Pray for Jack Facebook page.

That’s all, folks! I hope you have a wonderful Independence Day!

{Catch up on all What I’m Lovin’ monthly posts here.}

DIY Beard Oil & Shaving Cream

We celebrated the Hubs’ 27th birthday on February 5th. I love celebrating the Hubs – for obvious reasons [he’s awesome] and also because I always try to DIY most of his birthday presents which can be a fun challenge.

It’s not super easy to find DIY gifts for men that aren’t centered around beer (since he doesn’t drink that rules out about half of the DIY ideas online).

Well, this year I had some great ideas!

The Hubs has been growing a pretty nice beard which he has lovingly been maintaining because I told him I liked it 🙂

I have also recently purchased a Young Living Essential Oils Premium Starter kit that came with a set of everyday oils. I’ll admit that I primarily ordered my kit so that I could use the oils to make lotions, lip balm and shaving cream {and it was the biggest bang for my buck in terms of ordering a variety of oils}. There are tons of other benefits of having these oils, but that was my primary motivation 😉

And while I do love my diffuser (Stress Away + Lavender is my absolute favorite combination so far), the oils have proven very handy with my DIY projects.

{As a side note – by ordering the kit, I’ve become a “member” with Young Living. If you are interested in essential oils, I’d be happy to chat about them and share what I know [which isn’t too much]. If you want to place an order, I’d be so grateful if you used my member number: 2434224 :)}

Ok, back to those manly DIY gifts…


DIY

Beard Oil

Inspired by the Art of Manliness DIY Beard Oil post

Materials / Ingredients

Directions

  1. If you are using it, place the mini-funnel atop the glass jar and fill about half the jar with your carrier oil of choice (Almond oil).
  2. Add your essential oils. I used 4 drops of the tea tree oil, 2 drops of the peppermint oil and 1 drop of Frankincense.
  3. Close the jar and flip a few times to mix. Take a sniff and adjust the scent as necessary. If the scent is too strong, add more almond oil to dilute.
  4. Optional label: Add washi tape to the outside of the bottle and stamp or write (with permanent marker) “beard oil” for your label. You could get fancy if you have a label maker, but I’m a frugal DIY’er.
beard oils

Beard oil combination: Peppermint, Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree), and Frankincense essential oils.

Shaving Cream

Original recipe from One Good Thing by Jillee

Materials / Ingredients

  • Glass container(s) – I used three 4 oz. mason jars, but you could use 1 bigger jar if you prefer.
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup raw shea butter (I ordered mine from Amazon)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (you could substitute other carrier oils like Almond or Jojoba)
  • 10 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops Peppermint essential oil
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • washi tape – optional label

Directions

  1. Add water to a sauce pan (so it is between 1/3 and half full) and bring water to a low boil over medium heat.
  2. Add coconut oil and shea butter to the glass measuring cup. Create a makeshift double boiler by placing the glass measuring cup into the sauce pan. Stir occasionally until both materials are completely melted.
  3. Carefully remove glass measuring cup from sauce pan (using an oven mit). Add olive oil and essential oils and stir to mix.
  4. You can either refrigerate until the mixture becomes solid or cover and leave on your counter overnight.
  5. If you’ve refrigerated the mixture, remove once it is solid and let it sit at room temperature for about half an hour.
  6. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and add baking soda. Whip mixture for about 3 minutes until it is smooth and fluffy.
  7. Transfer fluffy mixture to your jar(s) and store at room temperature.
  8. Optional label: Add washi tape to the top of the jar and write “Shaving Cream”. The jar I ordered came with labels so you could use those or add a fabric swatch to the top – there are all kinds of options with mason jars.

Had I been better prepared this year, I would’ve made the Hubs a new toiletry bag (like this one or this one) to store the two.

What are some gifts you’ve made for the men in your life? Share your experiences and ideas in the comments! {And help me be better prepared for next year!}

Save this DIY for later: