DIY All-Natural Honey Lip Balm

Not only am I addicted to lotion, I am also equally addicted to lip balm. I have my trusty Chapstick with me wherever I go. I keep it in my purse, my car, my teacher clipboard at work, on my nightstand and even in the coffee table in the living room. It makes me anxious to be with out it. I am very picky about what I use, so I normally stick to my regular ol’ Chapstick brand in Strawberry. Needless to say, I was a bit nervous about making my own and actually liking how it felt on my lips. Turns out, I had no reason to be nervous! I LOVE it!

Here’s how I did it!

Ingredients/Supplies

1/2 cup natural beeswax, grated

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 teaspoon honey (I used local honey)

2 drops vitamin e oil

12 small containers with lids*

medium saucepan

glass bowl or mason jar (even an old sauce/pickle/etc jar will work)

small funnel

*it is important to have your containers set out and ready to go!

The How To:

Gather all your ingredients before you begin. Make sure you have everything set out and ready for this one!

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Step 1:

Grate your beeswax. I lightly packed mine into the measuring cup. This step was the most time consuming & really tested my patience. I used a small (and very cheap) hand-held cheese grater. It took what seemed like forever. I enlisted the help of the boyfriend for this part because my little pea-shooters (as he calls my arms) were getting sore.

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Step 2:

Place grated beeswax and coconut oil into your glass bowl or jar.

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Step 3:

In your saucepan, heat 1 1/2 cups water to boiling. Place glass bowl/jar into the saucepan. Stir occassionally as the ingredients start to melt. Once the beeswax and coconut oil has completely melted, remove the bowl/jar from the saucepan.

Step 4:

Add in the honey and vitamin e oil and stir. Immediately pour the mixture into your contains. This will begin to set very quickly so you want to work rather quickly. Cover your containers and let cool completely. I know it will be tempting to touch and test it, but resist the urge. You don’t want to go and poke your finger in and mess it up!

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The Verdict:

I am in love with this recipe. I used my lip balm the night I made it right before bed. It felt wonderful and moisturizing. When I woke up in the morning I could still feel it on my lips! I had friends/family sample it the next day and received great feedback! The only thing I would like to work on is how hard the top of the lip balm got. I may have to play around with the amount of beeswax I add the next time around. Because there will be a next time! Maybe I will add some essential oils next time as well. Since I like this recipe so much, I may invest in chapstick tubes instead of plastic containers next time. I mean, there are gonna be times I don’t want to stick my finger in it if I haven’t washed my hands!

Other Notes:

I have read on several sites that you want to be careful where and how you store this balm. Due to the oil in it, if it is in an area that gets too warm (ie: your pocket, in your purse on a warm day, a steamy bathroom…) the mixture will melt. Just something to keep in mind!

Have you tried any homemade lip balms? How did they turn out?

♥Amy

 

I just want to burn the sun with you

I’ve always loved this song, but the acoustic version makes this song 1,000 times better. I could listen to this over and over. (And I frequently do).

I’m on fire and nothing’s gonna hold me back
Endless blue sky and a pocket full of tricks to try
You pick a colour and I’ll sing it for you
I know you feel the same way
Say, say, say you feel the same way.

Fingertips alive – superhuman touch
Can’t get enough of this electric love
Burning the sun with just a wave of your hand
Sparks flying out in every direction
There’s more of this to come I think it must be heaven
Burning the sun with just a wave of your hand

I’m on fire, golden echoes upon my face
Tell those dreamers
They can dream up all they like in this place
You pick a colour and I’ll sing it for you
I know you feel the same way
Say, say, say you feel the same way.

Fingertips alive – superhuman touch
Can’t get enough of this electric love
Burning the sun with just a wave of your hand
Sparks flying out in every direction
There’s more of this to come I think it must be heaven
Burning the sun with just a wave of your hand

Just one day like this will keep me going on
Tender kisses will keep me going on

Fingertips alive – superhuman touch
Can’t get enough of this electric love
Burning the sun with just a wave of your hand
Sparks flying out in every direction
There’s more of this to come I think it must be heaven
Burning the sun with just a wave of your hand

Seems like heaven’s broken loose
It couldn’t be more beautiful
I just want to burn the sun with you
A messed up garden to inspire
The greatest minds in all their power
I just want to burn the sun with you
In just a wave of your hand.

Eating Well

Since Jake and I have had time off together, we have had the chance to try some new, and healthy, recipes. Normally I save the new recipes for the weekends when I’m not as tired and rushed for time, so it was fun to try these on a week night (even if we didn’t have to work the next day). These were my two favorite recipes that I felt were share-worthy. Both were from the site that may become a favorite of ours: Eating Well. We are trying to make more health-conscience dinners and only eat meals out once on the weekend. These were pretty easy and quick which I always love.

The first one was a Tuna & White Bean Salad. I love me some tuna salad, but I wasn’t sure how I would feel about beans in it. However, the texture works pretty well with the tuna. Jake skimped on the onions, but I would have loved to have had some more. We found a really good italian loaf bread and made sandwiches out of it. We added some lettuce and a little sliced mozzarella. It even tasted great the next day as leftovers so nothing got wasted.

Tuna & White Bean Salad

Tuna & White Bean Salad

The second I was pretty excited about because I adore pasta and could eat it every single day I think. This one was Penne with Vodka Sauce & Capicola. It was super yummy as well, but probably would have been even better had we payed closer attention to the ingredients list. We didn’t have any half and half or vodka. So we improvised and used evaportated milk and just left out the vodka completely. I can’t wait to eat it again tomorrow for a Sunday lunch!

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Penne with Vodka Sauce and Capicola

I’m always looking for healthy recipes that are inexpensive and taste good so any site suggestions are welcome!

♥A

DIY Project #4: Brown Sugar Face Scrub

Are you getting tired of all my DIY posts lately? Well too bad. Here’s another one! 🙂

I have been using a homemade brown sugar scrub for a couple months now, but this recipe is a better version in my humble opinion. I love the ingredients because:

*there are no crazy chemicals
*brown sugar is an awesome, but relatively gentle, exfoliant (I find that white sugar is too rough for my skin)
*the vanilla adds a yummy scent (to the already yummy scents of brown sugar and honey)
*the almond oil moisturizes and doesn’t leave a scent like I’ve found the olive oil in my recipes has
*honey is a natural antibiotic

What you’ll need:

2 cups brown sugar, lightly packed (I used light brown but it shouldn’t matter if you use the dark)
1/2 sweet almond oil
1/4 cup honey (I used local raw honey that we had bought at a pumpkin patch in the fall)
1 tsp vanilla (optional, but the scent is pretty nice)

BeFunky_ViewFinder_1.jpgStep 1:

Add all ingredients in a bowl.

2BeFunky_ViewFinder_1Step 2:

Use a spoon to mix it all up. You want to make sure all the brown sugar gets coated in the oil. See below. It kind of makes me think of wet sand.

3BeFunky_ViewFinder_1Step 4:

Scoop into a container(s). I found these really cute hinged-lid jars at Michael’s. They ended up being the pefect size to keep in a drawer or cabinet in the bathroom and were only $1 each!

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This stuff works so well and makes my face feel great afterwards! I typically use it 3 times a week. After I wash my face, I use a small nickel-sized amount and gently massage it all over my face. Then I just rinse it off with warm water. I’ve heard that you can leave it sit for 10 or 15 minutes or so, but ain’t nobody got time for that ;).

Other Notes:

*This scrub has a long shelf life so you an make a larger batch like I did and store it or gift it! I’m planning on gifting some this time around!

*Yes, it is normal for it to “separate”. After it settles for a few minutes, the oil will be at the bottom of your jar. This is because you’ve used natural ingredients. Store-bought scrubs use chemicals to keep this from happening. Just use a spoon or even your finger to stir it up a bit before you use it.

*You can use olive oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil etc. in place of the almond oil. Like I said, I find that olive oil leaves a strong scent on my skin which I’m not fond of. However, it’s much more likely that you have olive oil on hand in your kitchen and it’s cheaper than almond oil and easier to find (my local Kroger’s did not have it). I have not tried any of the other oils. I’m pretty happy with this one so for now I’ll stick to it.

*I have used this on my hands, feet, and legs as well. Just be careful if you use it as a leg/foot scrub in the shower-the oil in it can make it a little slippery!

I hope you get a chance to try this scrub out. It’s super easy, cheap, and will feel great!

♥Amy

DIY Project #3: Homemade Lotion (version 2)

Ok, so this is version 2 that I made this afternoon. I love version 1 and will most likely still use up my supple of it (or maybe gift it). This version is more natural, however, so probably better for your body. although I’m not claiming to be an expert on such things. I didn’t take photos during this one because it is made almost exactly like version one. You can always look to version 1 for photos of a step-by-step. Here it is!

Ingredients/Materials

16 oz baby lotion

8 oz vitamin e cream

8 oz coconut oil (solid form)

a mixing bowl

a hand mixer

container(s) for storage of finished product

So how is this different from version 1? Let me tell you. 1. This time around I chose an organic baby lotion, unscented. 2. I finally found a vitamin e cream that did not contain retinyl palmitate (see my thoughts on that in version 1) 3. I used coconut oil instead of vaseline and 4. this recipe needs a hand mixer.

Step 1: Combine all ingredients into your bowl. Using a hand mixer, set it to “whip” and mix until all the ingredients are incorporated and have the look of icing. You really do need a mixer for this to get all the coconut oil to combine. I still had a few chunks in mine that I just picked out by hand. Made me miss the vaseline a little…it was easier!

Step 2: Scoop the mixture into your container of choice! All done! Easy peasy!

The verdict/side notes:

I’m still partial to version 1, but mostly because I liked the shea & cocoa butter scent and it was slightly easier . This version turned out very well too and works great.  I only choose the unscented organic because it doesn’t contain all the “bad stuff”. Like I said, the vitamin e cream that I used did not contain retinyl palmitate this time around (I found it at CVS, their brand). That was a plus. Also, I liked using the coconut oil better than the vaseline since it left a less greasy feeling. It’s still not “all natural” but it’s definitely better than your average store bought with out having to pay an arm and a leg for organic brands. This batch ended up filling a 16 oz mason jar, an 8 oz mason jar, and 1 3/4 of the vitamin e containers (they each held 4 oz).

While I’m having fun with all this DIY, I’m done for awhile with the lotions 🙂 I have enough to last me for quite some time. I’m going to move on to other things for awhile so stay tuned!

♥A

DIY Project #2: Homemade Lotion

I am a lotion addict. I apply it all over my body immediately after every shower. I apply it every time I wash my hands. I have it stashed in my “teacher” cabinet at work, in my car, and in my purse. Needless to say, I go through a TON of lotion. I’m also very picky about the lotion I use. My absolute favorite brand is Curel, but it’s pretty pricey (for me). I test out a few other brands from time to time, and so far Jergens and Equate also make the cut. Even though Equate is the cheapest, when you go through it as fast as I do, the cost adds up. So I decided to try making my own and seeing what happened. Here it is:

BeFunky_IMG_0069.jpg Ingredients/Materials Needed:

16 oz Baby Lotion

8 oz Vitamin E Cream

8 oz Vaseline

A bowl for mixing

A whisk

A container for storage of finished product

 

 

 

BeFunky_IMG_0070.jpgStep 1:

Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. You could use an electric mixer for this, but I ended up just using a plain old whisk.

*I used the Shea & Cocoa butter scent of Johnson’s Baby Lotion because I liked the smell. Walmart had the Vitamin E cream on sale and in a two-pack. I also used the Equate brand of vaseline. You could cheapen your cost here buy using a generic brand of all these ingredients. I splurged on the brand name baby lotion because I didn’t like the smell of the generic.

 

 

 

 

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Step 2:

Keep mixing until all the ingredients are blended together well. It should start resembling a whipped icing consistency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BeFunky_IMG_0072.jpgStep 3:

Add the mixture into your storage container. This ended up being the trickiest part for me. The easiest way to do this would be to use a plastic screw-top container or a small 8 0z mason jar. I really wanted to store it in a pump, however. I ended up pouring the mixture into a ziplock baggie, snipping the corner off, and piping it into the bottle.

*This lotion will probably be thicker than your normal lotion. It pumps out of the bottle I used, but it requires a little more effort to get it out and comes out in smaller amounts. A little frustrating for an impatient person like myself.

 

 

 

 

BeFunky_IMG_0068.jpgStep 4:

If you follow the recipe as layed out, you will have quite a bit of extra lotion. I ended up having enough to fill the pump bottle, both vitamin e cream bottles, and half a mason jar.

Viola! You’re all done!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Verdict:

I love this lotion! It’s a little thicker than what I’m used to and it goes on a little greasier at first, but I’ve been using it for a week now and it dries pretty quickly. The great part about this lotion is that a little bit goes a looonnnggg way, so you get more bang for your buck. This supply will last me quite awhile. I had to spend a tad more up front by needing to buy a pump bottle, which ended up being not necessary. Other than that, it was pretty inexpensive. I am interested to see how long a single batch will last me since I need to use so much less!

BUUTTTT….here’s the downside. And I was really bummed about this discovery. Because did I mention I loved the way this turned out?? The day after I made this, I happened to glance at the ingredients list for the vitamin e cream. I was sad to see that it said it contained retinyl palmitate. Now, not everyone agrees on whether or not this is “toxic”, but the more I’ve read in to it, the more I’ve decided I just want to stay away from it. I am usually very good about checking the ingredients on things, but I was so excited to try this that I slipped up. I’ve continued using it (I mean, hey..I bought all the stuff and spent the time making it right? Right?!), but I am already planning on a remake. I found a very similar recipe that I would like to try and make a few tweaks to. It sounds like it may turn out even better than this batch, which would be amazing! All I need now is to find some toxic-free vitamin e cream darn it!

I’m having fun with this whole DIY thing, but I’m still very new to it. Have you experimented with any DIY lotions or lotion bars? What recipe did you use? How did they turn out?

Happy Friday!

♥Amy

 

 

Life this week: 2

Thinking

Thinking

1.Thinking: In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I think a quote from an Irish proverb is fitting. “A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.” Laughing truly is the best medicine sometimes. And as an avid napper, I believe that sleep can usually make things better too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dreaming

2. Dreaming: With spring officially around the corner, I can’t help but be dreaming of warmer weather. When I think of a warm spring day it makes me want to be outdoors. I’m thinking that a hammock for our backyard would be perfect for a sunny day, relaxing with a good book. Unfortunately, we don’t have any trees close enough to one another for a typical hammock, but I’d be more than happy with a free standing one under a shady tree!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listening

Listening

3. Listening: Although the song is not new to me, I have not been able to get enough of Athlete’s I Love. While adding my itunes onto my phone last weekend, I was listening to my songs on shuffle mode. When this song came up, I remembered how much I like it. The music is soothing. The words are uplifting. In fact, it puts me in such a good mood that it is now officially my “wake up” alarm tone on my phone. I don’t mind one bit having the lyrics stuck in my head for hours after I roll myself out of bed to start my day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watching

Watching

4. Watching: River Monsters. Sunday, April 7th begins the new season. I’m always easily fascinated by shows that pertain to nature, so it’s really no surprise that I like this show. I don’t catch it on often, but this week we happen to have caught a mini-marathon on Animal Planet. It’s interesting to see so many different parts of the world they travel to. Of course, seeing as I recently (last spring) took up fishing, that aspect is my favorite part. My boyfriend seems convinced that by watching the show, it somehow means he will catch a monster of his own. I’ll let him keep on dreaming. I on the other hand, have absolutely no desire to catch anything bigger than my forearm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspiring

Inspiring

5. Inspiring: I’ve always liked doing pilates and I would like to give yoga a try as well. I’m thinking of starting by trying this Good Morning Yoga Sequence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The past week was a little chaotic for me. I had been house/dog sitting for my mom for 8 days. It was tough going back and forth from my place to hers, taking care of her house and dog on top of my own house and dogs. I’m glad she enjoyed a much needed vacation, but I’m glad she’s back! It has been so nice being able to get back into my normal routine!

My boyfriend is on spring break this week at U.C. so I took this coming Thursday and Friday off. I’m looking forward to a short work week and hopefully some fun and relaxing days with the bf!

What were listening to this week? Any inspriring thoughts to share? Anything exciting planned for the upcoming week?

♥A