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Archive for the ‘Natural Products for the Home and Body’ Category

Lovely Coconut Oil. I love it. And you should too!

It’s thick and creamy. It offers substantial health benefits. It works wonders on detoxifying the body. And even helps curb appetite.

For your health –
  • Is antibacterial therefore, helps fight infection
  • Take a spoonful 20 minutes before eating to curb appetite
  • Assists with weight control
  • Use to strengthen immunity
  • Helps treat arthritis
  • Improves thyroid function
  • Increases energy
  • Improves digestion
  • Treats and prevents acid reflux, heart burn and indigestion
  • Treats sore throats and ear infections
  • Even been known to help ADHD and Autism

Coconut Oil is for more than cooking with!

Coconut oil is also great for your hair and skin! For real.

For the hair –

  • It is great for all hair types
  • It works especially well on dandruff
  • It offers incredible shine and softness
  • Great for color treated hair
  • Used to treat lice
  • Removes gum from hair

For the skin –

  • Heals burns fabulously
  • Is antibacterial so works wonderfully for cuts and scrapes 
  • Is nourishing and moisturizing
  • Offers sun protection
  • Is a fantastic eye make up remover
  • Treats rashes, fungal and yeast infections like ringworm and athletes foot
  • Soothes stings and bites
  • Softens cracked rough feet
  • Strengthens nails
  • Treats eczema and psoriasis
You love coconut oil now, too, don’t you? I told you you would!

Over the next few weeks I will offer a tremendous amount of tips on using coconut oil throughout your life. Stay tuned! 

Live Well!
~S 

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See the original post at A Life Enchanted

The winner of last week’s Lemon Wonder Scrub giveaway is….

Julie Primmerman!!

Congratulations, Julie!

Thank you for the support! And thank you for sharing the site!

Live Well!
~S 

We’re Moving!
Come visit our new home….

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Yesterday I spent the day with a bunch of lovely ladies. It’s rare that I have such an opportunity. And I cherished every bit of it. I forget sometimes just how important spending quality times with friends can be. It’s easy to get wrapped up in work and family. Then all of a sudden you realize you haven’t even seen someone you adore in months.

There was  one particular friend yesterday I hadn’t spent any time with in years. Years. It’s sad. We were once together every day. She was an intricate and very important part of my life. The kind of friend who is always there for you. The kind of person who is simply honest and caring and kind. How do these things happen? Because we let them, really.

I am blessed to know so many beautiful people.

I was chatting with one lovely momma about sunscreen. With temps unseasonably warm, it’s about time we talk about it here too.

We know we have to protect our skin from the suns rays, but what we might not know is that many of those products sought to do so, are loaded with harmful toxins. That’s right. There are dangers in sunscreen. Organic Lifestyle Magazine did a tremendous amount of research on the subject. You can read about it here.

   “The shocking truth is the fact that both petrochemical sunscreens (avobenzone, methoxycinnamate, padimate-o and the like) and physical sunblocks (chemically-reacted synthetics titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) are not natural and have been found to generate free radicals when exposed to sunlight, which then can attack the nuclei of your skin cells and cause mutations. That’s right, they can cause skin cancer. Furthermore, sunscreen chemicals have been found to pass through the skin and mimic the effects of estrogen, which may disrupt the delicate balance of the body’s natural hormones.”
~Organic Lifestyle Magazine

Even more alarming, since the increase in the use of sunscreen, skin cancer rates have risen. Many reports show that sunscreen actually increases cancer risks. Interesting isn’t it? For hundreds of years there was no sunscreen and there were few cases of skin cancer. And people spent far more time in the sun than we do now. The Environmental Working Group reports that only 39 of the 500 products they examined were considered safe and effective.

Did you know your diet can have a drastic affect on your reaction to the sun’s rays? Wholesome foods help our bodies immunity and ability to respond to toxins and other harmful invaders. Build your strength from the inside out. I will keep saying it, a healthy diet affects all aspects of our lives!

Ok, so now what? Even zinc oxide, used in most homemade recipes, is listed here as unsafe. This was my biggest dilemma in determining the safe route for my family. I have scoured reports and articles, books and magazines. I found that uncoated non-nano sized particles of zinc oxide are the safest form. These are found in diaper rash cream and calamine lotion.

And I have come to some delightful conclusions….

  • We need some sun! Many people are vitamin D deficient because they are so afraid of the sun. But it’s actually ok to get out and get a bit of sun.
  • There are a number of natural ingredients that do protect us from the sun
  • We don’t need to slather on all those toxins to be “safe”
  • The very best protection comes from hats and light clothing

Natural Protection From the Sun

  • Coconut oil – I love this stuff!! I use it for so many things. Check out For the Love of Coconut Oil (coming later this week). It’s also great for your skin AND has a natural SPF. This is my first choice for sunscreen. I just slather it on. It can be used alone or added to other ingredients.
  • Raspberry Seed Oil – This has the highest SPF of 30-50 and is very nourishing to the skin. It helps fight free radicals and is an antioxidant.
  • Sesame oil – has an SPF of 30
  • Carrot Seed oil – has an SPF of about 20
  • Lavender, myrrh, peppermint, chamomile and marjoram are excellent added protection and skin nourishment.
  • Green and Black tea – the tannin’s are great at absorbing UV rays, offer excellent protection and are great for the skin.

A Few Natural Sun Protection Recipes

  • 15 drops lavender oil, 2 drops chamomile oil and 2 drops marjoram oil, 1 tablespoon avocado oil.
  • 1 t coconut oil, 1 t raspberry seed oil, 10 drops lavender oil
  • 1 t coconut oil, 1 t carrot seed oil, 1 T Shea Butter

Get creative! You can mix and match with whatever ingredients you have or are readily available.

Homemade Sunscreen

1 ounce oil or oil blend (I prefer coconut and raspberry seed)
1 ounce beeswax
1 ounce butter blend (shea, mango, cocoa)
1 teaspoon vitamin e oil
0.30 ounce zinc oxide
30 drops essential oil (lavender, peppermint, carrot, myrrh, coconut extract for scent)
*Do not use citrus oils – they can cause burning 

Melt oils, butter and beeswax. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly, then add vitamin E oil, zinc oxide and essential oil.

*Be sure to wear a mask when handling zinc oxide and always use bowls and utensil that aren’t used for cooking. 

Stir until zinc oxide is dissolved. Pour into a used deodorant container or purchase a new one from your local herb store.

An Alternate Sunscreen Recipe

1/4 c oil (grape seed, coconut or blend)
1/2c water
5 tsps zinc oxide
3T aloe vera gel
1T beeswax
1/8 t vitamin E oil
10 drops grapefruit seed extract
*essential oils for scent

Heat oil and beeswax just to melted. Remove from heat and cool slightly, add vitamin E and essential oils.  Put in a bowl that won’t be used for food. Add zinc oxide. Now heat water and aloe vera gel. Add to bowl and mix well. This makes a lotion. It can be thinned or thickened by adding more or less beeswax.

SPF 20 as is. It can be increased by using raspberry seed oil or adding more zinc oxide.

If you aren’t into making your own sunscreen you can check how your brand fared here

Do you have a favorite sunscreen recipe?

Live Well!
~S 

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I am often asked what crazy things I’m up to. It seems to entertain some that I do these, apparently, strange things like make my own sauerkraut and beer. And for others, they have said it makes them tired just hearing about it.

I don’t think I’m the kind that never shuts off. But I do like to be busy. And I do like the feeling of taking an active role in the creation of the things my family uses. I know what’s in them. I know that harmful chemicals and other potential toxins aren’t slipped in. That they are not only better for my family, but the environment as well. I know that they are fresh and wholesome.

It’s a bonus that I am usually saving money as well. And this one is a perfect example.

Laundry detergent can be filled with stuff  like alkyl phenol ethoxylates, ammonia and phosphates. The results can range from skin irritations to immune disruption, poisoning and even cancer.

Did you know that even Seventh Generation is considered toxic and potentially harmful?

Read more about it here.

Making your own laundry soap is super easy. It’s fast and it’s CHEAP!

Here’s what you need –

2c finely grated castile soap – 1 bar (I use Kirk’s for this. It’s the cheapest I have found)
1c baking soda
1c borax
1c soda ash (super washing soda)

*essential oils of your choosing if you would like to make it scented. I prefer lavender or grapefruit.

Grate the soap very fine in a food processor or with a hand grater. Mix everything in a large bowl, adding the scent a little at a time to be sure it gets mixed well.

Makes – 5 cups

Use – 1/8c per load

Cost – 2-6 cents a load!
The higher being with a heavy amount of essential oils and top price for the products.

That’s it!

You can make it a liquid soap by adding water and heat. Use a 5 gallon bucket to mix and store it in.

For liquid soap –

1 bar grated castile soap
1/2c borax
1c washing soda
1/2c baking soda
3 gallons water

Add the soap to 6c water in a pan. Heat until the soap melts. Add the sodas and borax and stir until it dissolves. Remove from heat. In a   large bucket add 4c hot water. Add the soap mixture and stir. Add remainder of water and stir. It will take about 24 hours for the soap to gel.

Use – 1/4 – 1/2c per load

Cost – 2-6 cents per load!

Now let’s compare….

Tide Laundry Detergent costs $17.97 for 96 loads. 19 cents per load.
Contains (ingredients list)  ethanol, phospates, alcohol sulfates, benzene sulfonic acid and other potentially harmful chemicals.

Home-made laundry soap costs approximately $10.04 or less for economy sizes. Roughly 5 cents per load.
Contains sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), sodium carbonate (washing soda), sodium tetraborate (borax), coconut oil and vegetable glycerin.  And takes an extra 10 minutes to prepare.

And to add to the fabulousness (it’s a word. sort of) of home-made laundry soap, it works just as well. Swear!

Oh, and you get to scent it any way you like. I love that part.

Have you made your own laundry soap?

Live Well!
~S 

 

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You heard right.

Whole Living With Stephanie is currently searching for Guest Bloggers! AND small companies interested in sharing their wears, plus a little about themselves and their business.

The BRAND NEW site will be up and running soon and so many new things are coming our way.
(…including a new name! sshhh.)

Do you have a blog you want to promote? Are you a budding writer? Do you have a product you love or create that you would like to get in front of hundreds of people a day?

Well, here’s your chance. Just send me an email with some details of your work. I will have a limited amount of space and do ask that all be of the same mindset we share here – green, handmade, natural lifestyles, great writing, wellness, holistic ideas… the options are truly endless. Jewelry makers, crafters, artisans or even just those who welcome the chance to share a favorite recipe, home make-over or thrifting find. You can promote your blog or not be a blogger at all. Have a local book club you would like to promote? How about a design company looking to expand?

You don’t have to be a writer so don’t fear. There will be interview options and articles written for those who prefer.

Let’s share what we do!

Live Well!
~S

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Hands Down.
The. Best. Bathroom. Cleaner.

Ever.

I have sprayed and scoured. Waited for those little bubbles to start zooming around my shower. Even gassed myself trying to get every last speck of soap scum off. To no avail most times.

You are not going to believe me when I tell you how amazing this works once you see the ingredients.

Best Green Bathroom Cleaner

White vinegar
Dish liquid

Mix 2 parts vinegar to 1 part dish liquid in a spray bottle. Spray on surface and allow to sit for a few minutes. Then wash off with a rag and water.

That’s it! Seriously. I sprayed this on, then cleaned the rest of the bathroom. By the time I got to the shower every bit of everything came off in a breeze. I kid you not. And it wasn’t pretty, let me tell you. We take a minimum of 4 showers a day in this house. Often more. That shower gets use. And I had just come off a week-long cold that knocked me flat. Let’s just say the shower was long overdue for cleaning. So I was pretty skeptical.

The original recipe called for Dawn brand dish liquid. I don’t use Dawn. I use Seventh Generation or home-made. It worked wonderfully.

And check this out… I had some scraps of cheap, not so green liquid hand soap lying around forever. I didn’t want to just throw it out so it lingered in a closet. I tried it for this and it too worked great!

Oh! And did I mention that it’s WAY cheaper to make than to buy that chemical filled stuff?

Try this Green Bathroom Cleaner and let me know what you think!

Live Well!
~S

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My dearly beloved, amazingly talented, sweet friend Sandra helped me create a new business card for my botanicals today!!!

What do you think?

I have this thing for shades of teal – sea glass, aegean blue, sunken pool. Martha Stewart has some of the best in her color pallet for paints found at Home Depot. I’ve used a few of them in my house.

Sandra, you did a wonderful job!! Thank you so much!

See my last post for a list of products currently available.

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