Bath and Body, Health, Personal experience

My First Homemade Soap Fail – Sort Of

Oatmeal honey soap
Trial photo of Oatmeal Honey soap

Trying to change our habits to a healthier lifestyle, I decided I wanted to start making our soap instead of buying it from the store. I purchased a book or two for soap making, and chose my first soap from the book, “Natural Soap Making”, by Elizabeth Letcavage.

I decided to start with a simple yet healthy soap, Oatmeal, Milk and Honey soap. I made it just as it said, using the cold process (CP) method. I did everything it said and let it cure for 4 weeks. They seemed a little bit smaller in size than they should have been because I didn’t catch that I bought a 3-pound mold, and the recipe called for a 5-pound mold. So when I poured it, I had a lot left over and had to hurry up and pour the rest in the first plastic container I could find.

The soap I cut from the mold looks fine, but the remaining soap is cut in funny, small shapes, that I doubt I could sell. Let’s just say I will not run out of soap for a long time! 🙂

Really, this wasn’t a total fail. Just two pounds of the five-pound recipe. I am working on designing packaging because I have decided to OPEN AN ETSY SHOP! I am so excited, but kind of scared. Not selling anything would be so disappointing.

I just have to remember the first thing is that I love making them. The second thing is that it is pure, organic, and healthier for me, my family, and whoever else decides to buy them. I will just continue researching, learning, and enjoying every minute of it!

Oh, P.S.  If you are interested in purchasing one of my Oatmeal, Milk and Honey Soaps, just let me know through my Contact page, and we will set up a way for you to buy one, even before they are listed to the public!

Bath and Body, Fibromyalgia, Health, Homesteading, Personal experience

It’s All About the Weeds

IMG_2459
Plantain (Plantago lanceolata) aka Weed

I don’t know how many times over the years I pulled weeds just to find them growing more abundantly than before. One of the biggest jobs a homeowner has is killing weeds so they don’t take over the yard. It can be very frustrating. Too bad most people don’t realize how beneficial those weeds really are.

After having herb gardens on and off for at least 15 or 20 years, I decided I wanted to devote more of my life on learning about them. After all, they seem to be the best thing I grow. I let the pests overtake and kill most of my brand new little vegetable garden. But my herb garden remained healthier than ever.

Do I want to start a little herb business again like I had 15 years ago? I loved that little business! I had a beautiful little herb garden. I made dried spices that I sold, dream pillows, teas, catnip toys, gift baskets. I really enjoyed doing it.

I wanted to do that again! This time, I was going to spend more time learning about herbs and their many health benefits. After all, being on long-term disability due to chronic pain, it would be very beneficial to find out what would help me be more comfortable and healthy.

In my research, I found incredible information, not only about beneficial herbs, but how beneficial those “weeds” are! We are killing the stuff in our yard that can be way more beneficial then the boring, stagnant grass is! Many herbalists say, “grow weeds, not useless grass.” Because weeds aren’t “weeds.” They are herbs that can heal wounds, help the digestive system, strengthen our immune system, stop pain, and so many other things.

Take the above “annoying” weed for instance. It is the plaintain (Plantago lanceolata) (not the banana). See the very defined, straight veins in the leaves, all going straight up and down? That is a distinct characteristic of the plaintain. There is also the Plantago major, which has fuller, rounder leaves. It also has the distinct veins going straight up and down, and has the exact same benefits as this one. This precious, God-given plant can heal cuts, scrapes, minor burns, bee stings, and even draw out a splinter! And we are doing our very best to kill the poor thing.

I have purchased organic plantain seeds (Plantago major)  to grow next Spring so I can continue to make healing salves for my family and friends. I named the salve “Champion” because it is the champion of healing ointments. It is organic, pure, and way healthier to be rubbing into your body than any ointment you can buy in the store. It has plantain-infused olive oil (Plantago lanceolata), St. John’s Wart-infused olive oil (Hypericum perforatum), Witch hazel extract, organic beeswax, lavender essential oil (Lavendula spp. 40/42), and organic Peppermint essential oil (Mentha piperita).

Champion Healing Salve
Not the best picture, but you get the idea.

I didn’t really plan this post to sell anything, but if you have the need, just let me know through the Contact page, and we will plan a way for you to buy one from me. I only made it for family and friends, and if you’re reading this, you are my friend, so I am more than happy to help you and your family start living a healthier lifestyle.

You would be shocked to know the benefits of other plants growing wild that we normally call weeds. I plan to devote special posts here and there highlighting one of those wonderful weeds, and you will never look at them same way again!

When it comes to our health, it really is all about the weeds.