Home-made lip balm
I really like this one. This recipe makes enough for twelve 'chapstick' tubes. I used 3 - 2 oz. jars, purchased at Good Foods Co-op , and an empty small mint tin for a purse-pack. If you prefer tubes, they, along with some of the ingredients, can be purchased here - Mountain Rose Herbs.
What You'll Need:
2 tablespoons beeswax (about 1 oz)
(note - beeswax pastilles are far easier to use and measure than grating beeswax bars)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons shea butter
12 lip balm containers - or equivalent in jars
A dropper ( I used a teaspoon to fill my jars)
What to Do:
1. Melt coconut oil and shea butter, in a small pan over low heat. Add beeswax melting the ingredients together. Add your essential oils here.
2. Using a small medicine dropper, pour the melted liquid into your lip balm containers. Add a few extra drops to the top after filling each container as the ingredients will shrink as they cool.
3. Cool completely to harden. Cover with cap and decorate or label if you'd like.
Homemade Body Butter
1/2 cup shea butter
1/2 cup coconut oil (unrefined)
1/4 cup apricot or almond Oil
2 tsp grated beeswax
Vitamin E oil (1 capsule)
Stir all ingredients except vitamin E over low heat until melted. A double boiler (a glass or metal bowl set over a pan) helpful. As it cools but is still pourable, whip with a whisk several times to incorporate some air and keep it soft and spreadable. Pour into a jar. (I filled one 8 oz jar) You could also add herbs or essential oils if you want.
Coconut oil as a makeup remover and moisturizer
If you are not familiar with coconut 'oil,' it is a food oil, and can be found in any 'health-food' or well-stocked grocery store. Solid white at room temperature, it has an extremely low melting point, and liquefies instantly at body temperature.
I bought waterproof mascara by mistake, and went to the internet a to look for a natural way to remove it, without having to go to the store. Many places recommended olive oil, and I know it is supposed to be good, but when I saw one place recommend coconut oil, I thought I would try that. I worked great. I don't use foundation makeup, but it is highly recommended as a makeup remover and general moisturizer.
I also bought some coco butter when I bought my shea butter. It is tan in color, smells strongly chocolaty, which may be good in some things, but since I don't want to go around all day smelling like a Hershey bar, I prefer the shea butter.
By using natural products when we can, we know what is in the product. My Mountain Rose ingredients are far from local, but they are unrefined, organic, often 'Fair Trade' and lets not forget - no animal testing!!
Things are beginning to grow on the Wren Cottage Urban Farm. In fact, some things never stopped! Because of the unusually mild winter, kale and Brussels sprouts never did die back. That has also allowed some weeds to run rampant. I've got some sort of lamium covering half the garden bed.
Sometime in February - I didn't even write the date down - I threw a few radish seeds in a pot. This is what I found yesterday -
It remains to be seen if the seedlings will survive, but this, and what I am reading, have convinced me I'm waiting way too long to plant some crops. Those crops that love cool weather need to go in very early, and since several of my crops will be grown in pots, they will be warmer than the earth, so I should be able to get them in sooner than the garden-grown ones.
This should also allow me to 3-season garden: Very early crops such as peas, radishes, beets, turnips, etc. in the Spring, some of those, such as peas, will come out in time for Summer crops - beans, tomatoes, peppers, then in the Fall repeat some Spring crops, and plant for very late harvests into Winter.
I also thought I would try the old-fashioned, Farmer's Almanac method of planting according to the phases of the moon: this link is informative, but I found it a bit difficult to tell just what date I should plant. This one on the other hand, says what to plant and when. According to that, I should/could have planted peas, and lettuce this weekend. Yesterday would have been fine for that - sunny and temps not bad for being outside. But I was tied up doing a spinning demo for the Lexington Arts and Science Center at the Kentucky Crafted event at the convention center. That was good for us though, we talked to tons of people about the upcoming Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival and our session went 2 hours overtime!!
Today however, looks like this - intermittent snow flurries, and cold! I don't really want to be out digging and planting - so I will just have to wait until later to get the peas in. I have started leeks inside, and could start some other seeds so the day won't be wasted, garden-wide.
Lots of budding going on. This is apple mint.
That's all for now from Wren Cottage ....