Are you looking for a facial toner or facial spray that is soothing, hydrating, refreshing, and ever so gentle? Well, this may be the the recipe for you. It is all of the above and oh so good for your skin. The witch hazel and floral water cleanse the skin, the glycerin helps lock in moisture, and the aloe, lavender, and chamomile soothe and balance.
Rose essential oil is amazing for the skin but it is also very expensive. A hydrosol is a floral water leftover from the steam distillation of plant materials. It is like an essential oil but far less concentrated and in the case of rose hydrosol, it gives us affordable access to this lovely plant essence.
Make it according to your own needs and skin type. If it feels a tad sticky then use less glycerin. If your skin feels dry and not supple then add more glycerin and perhaps a touch of almond or avocado oil. It’s an easy to make facial cleanser and it is a snap to use. No muss, no fuss beauty!
Rose & Lavender Facial Cleanser & Toner Spray
2 ounces rose water or rose hydrosol
1 ounce witch hazel
1 teaspoon aloe vera gel
1/2 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
6 drops lavender essential oil
4 drops chamomile essential oil
Add all ingredients to a small glass bottle with a fingertip mister, shake, and voila! Shake before each use and keep it in a cool, dark place for up to six months. After spritzing allow your skin to air dry.
You have probably heard all about the benefits of using essential oils in your home by now. There are so many benefits for a healthy body, mind, and home. You may not have realized though that some of our four legged friends may also benefit from essential oils. Dogs and horses can both benefit from essential oils. Cats are usually considered to be more sensitive and their liver’s do not break down substances in the same way so there is the potential for toxicity. Greater care needs to be taken with kitties. In general though most birds, fish, reptiles, rodents, or small mammals like hamsters.
Other animals that may benefit include farm animals. In fact study was just done on using essential oils for raising poultry. The study, published in October 2014 shows that chickens who consumed feed with added oregano oil had a 59% lower mortality rate due to ascites, a common infection in poultry, than untreated chickens. This bodes well for poultry farmers and for those of of us who don’t want antibiotics in our meat. I am pleased that the scientific community is seeing essential oils as so beneficial and worthy of study.
So now that we know which animals may benefit how do administer the oils?
Topical (spot application, massage therapy, bathing)
What to use them for…
bed freshener –
cracked paw pads
Lavender is a great all around oil for animals. You can make a lavender compress, a lavender ointment, and put lavender on a cotton ball next to their crate or bed.
For further reading I recommend Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals: A Comprehensive Guide to the Use of Essential Oils & Hydrosols with Animals.
For the oils I recommend Young Living Animal Scents line. They have oil blends, shampoo, and ointment.
PuriClean™: Add 1–2 drops to the affected area to support proper cleansing. Put 8–10 drops in a 1-oz. spray bottle with distilled water for a quick skin-cleansing spritz.
Mendwell™: Massage 1–2 drops on the affected area.
ParaGize™: Add 2–4 drops to water.
Infect Away™: Add 1–2 drops to the affected area to support proper healing. Put 8–10 drops in a 1-oz. spray bottle with distilled water to support wound-healing properties..
RepelAroma™: Apply 2–4 drops to your hands and pet onto your animal’s coat. Add to a spray bottle and spritz generously on your animal’s coat or skin. Diffuse in the home or small areas outdoors.
T-Away™: Add 1 drop behind each ear to calm during times of grief or agitation.* Diffuse for 30 minutes 3 times daily to support positive emotional perseverance. *Carefully apply according to the size and species of animal. General rule: Dilute more for smaller species.
I am not a fan of conventional, waterless hand sanitizers. They are loaded with nasty ingredients that I would rather not rub all over my hands, or on my children’s hands. And yet this is the time of year when products such as this are sorely needed…when germs and illness are being spread around like party favors. Hand washing and good old soap and water are still king but there will be times when soap and water are not at hand or when a trip to the bathroom isn’t possible, so I see the benefit of safe and natural hand sanitizers.
For me there are a couple options. I use the Thieves spray from Young Living and carry it in my purse. I can also make a spray of my own using witch hazel and Thieves oil in a small spray bottle. During these cold winter months though all the hand washing and hand sanitizing can really dry your hands out. I need something that nourishes and soothes the skin while sanitizing with its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Enter this DIY hand sanitizer gel. Put it in a glass jar with a lid and you can take it anywhere…
Safe, Natural, Nourishing DIY Hand Sanitizer
1/4 cup aloe gel
1/4 witch hazel
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 t vegetable glycerin
8-10 drops Thieves oil or Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tee oil)
Shake well, dab on hands and rub it in. Gets rid of the germs and it won’t dry your hands out! Enjoy!
I didn’t always get hives. My issues with these horrible, itchy little buggars began sometime after my cancer diagnosis and treatment. Some time after that rough patch in my life I started to break out in hives every now and again. I am not sure why I get them either. If you do an Internet search on the cause you will find dozens of possible explanations…allergy, liver damage, stress, lupus, food sensitivity…you name it. I don’t know what to make of all these possibilities so I don’t even worry about it. I only break out in hives a handful of times a year, nothing too frequent.
So what are hives you may ask? Hives are an an outbreak of swollen, red bumps on the skin. The bumps can be as small as a pencil eraser or as big as a saucer. Many of them merge together to form plaques. They last typically for an hour or two and they are often very, very itchy. Rarely you can get them in your throat and they can obstruct airways. I had this happen only once and a trip to the ER was in order.
My biggest issue with hives is the itch. It is so itchy I am ready to claw my face off and I typically do scratch myself up after an episode. Thankfully though I think I have my personal hives protocol down. I have tried so many things over the years and this is hands down my go-to solution now.
When I feel hives coming on I do the following…
Jump in the shower
Rinse my scalp with an apple cider vinegar and cedarwood oil blend
Apply Tranquil essential blend after my shower (apply to temples, wrists, and on hives)
The hives stop itching almost immediately…no reason to claw my face off. The Tranquil oil (lavender, cedarwood, roman chamomile, and coconut oil) makes me relax and it helps reduce the redness and itch. The red blotches on my skin also go back to flesh colored much, much faster.
Now I just have to perfect my away from home plan of action. I am not always at home when the hives hit and I hate scaring people. So far I hope to be able to get to a bathroom where I can use towels and cold water to rinse my face and neck and then apply the tranquil oil. I carry a bottle of it in my purse. It’s a roll-on, so that is uber convenient.
I am happy to find a way to deal with the hives in 10-20 minutes rather than letting them run their course in 1-3 hours!
I recently read an article about a new term for some men called Lumbersexual. I got a real kick out of it because it fits my husband to a tee. The definition is something along the lines of a metro-sexual who has the need to hold on to some outdoor based rugged-ness, and a finely trimmed beard. My husband often looks as though he just stepped out of an L.L. Bean catalog. He rocks the flannels, boots, and the beard. He is a real manly man…my Grizzly Adams, who looks a little less Grizzly and a bit more Adam Levine. I adore every manly inch of him.
I wouldn’t be caught dead giving him a stuffed teddy bear on valentine’s day though. A mushy card maybe because he loves to hear how much I love and adore him but silly v-day gifts you often see on the market…are just that, silly. If you really want to wow your Valentine this year, give him something he can really use. Here are some ideas for your manly man.
1. Food – The quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Your mother was right! Prepare something special just for him or take him to a place that serves something a little different. Think…duck, rabbit, quail, pheasant, or other wild game….locally sourced of course.
2. A fun and manly experience – Check out Groupon and other local businesses for activities such as time at a gun range or archery range, a survivalism class, a hunting excursion, a camping trip, etc. This can be something you can do together or something he can do with his buddies, either way he will love it!
3. Technology – A solar cell phone charger, a subscription to Beats Audio, wireless earbuds…anything techy that shows your special guy that you also love his geeky side.
4. Games – Video games are to a gamer what chocolate is to a woman. He can’t go out and wrestle with lions or get into caveman brawls right? He is a modern man and he works out his manly aggressions online via video games. Surprise your guy with that video game he has been wanting.
5. Auto accessories – Men often take pride in their wheels. Custom-car floor mats, new parts for a more tricked out ride, there are many accessories to choose from to accessorize your honey’s wheels. If you are unsure what he wants than a gift card also works well. Often times men are hesitant to spend on themselves and this way he knows you want him to splurge on himself.
6. Books – How-to and DIY books are often a good gift. Try books about home construction, boat building, sheds and outbuildings, aquaponics, homesteading projects, and brewing beer.
7. An emergency kit – Fill a backpack with things your fellow could use when camping, or if he spends a lot of time driving. Things to add might include a heat sheet, a fire starter tool, waterproof-proof matches, a knife, first-aid kit, a wool blanket, a weather-ready LED crank radio/flash light combo and a micro tent. Think small, lightweight, protective, informative, and functional. He will be moved that you care about his safety.
8. Beer – If your Valentine is a beer geek, give him an assortment of gift cards for local breweries. That way you both gets regular nights out and he gets to try all sorts of new, local beers.
Hopefully this gives you some ideas for something unique and ultra-masculine this Valentine’s Day for your own Grizzly Adams.