Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Homemade Body Wash

James and I have been wanting to get back to basics as much as possible.  (This computer was a BIG step in the opposite direction for us, but hey, it’s helped me find fun recipes and also to connect with ya’ll!)  I’m sure you’ve seen on FB that I’m going to make my own laundry detergent, but I’m waiting til I run out of what I have before I do.  I’m sure I’ll blog regarding that, too!

I’ve been going NUTS on Pinterest (LOVELOVELOVE that site – here’s a link to my boards:  http://pinterest.com/stevieballinger/ ).  I found a recipe on how to make your own body wash on there, and was struck by the creativity fairy. 

YouTube is FULL of awesome “how-to’s”.  Anything you think you may want to make, just type it in the search bar on that site and who knows, you may get a hit or two!  I typed in “How to make homemade body wash” or something like that (b/c I am a visual learner and the Pinterest recipe didn’t have video) and here’s the video I came up with:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbXYv3DgUC8

(And now I shall cut and paste from a FaceBook comment string with a friend!)

The lady's a little... over-explanatory, if you will, but the recipe and technique are good. I like it better for the hand soap.  The body wash wasn't as moisturizing as I like it to be, but it worked!

I also used Sweet Almond Oil instead of Vitamin E oil, b/c that's what I had. I'd probably still go with it instead, though, just b/c it's so silky.

The hand soap is nice -- I like it way better than the Dial we were using -- it doesn't seem to dry my hands out as bad.  And you could use Tea Tree Essential Oil if you wanted it to be anti-bacterial.

You can get all the ingredients at Earth Fare (or I bet Fresh Market for ya'll in Hendo).   

       Here are the ingredients and utensils I used.

Instead of making big batches of both (the body wash calls for 8 cups of water and the hand soap for 10), what I did was cut the body wash recipe in half (so 4 cups of water and the 1/2 amounts of the rest of ingredients), and then when I was done mixing it all up, split it again, and added 1/2 cup water to make the hand soap.

That way I could see if I even liked it before I went into making a humongous batch that'd take me four years to get thru!

So here is my half-recipe:
4 cups water
½ tsp. Sweet Almond Oil
½ bar of grated soap (I used the Sappo Hill Lavender from Earth Fare – on the bottom shelf)
1 ½ tsp. vegetable glycerin
¼ tsp. lavender essential oil mixture (called Chill Pill by Aura Cacia)
1/8 tsp. sweet orange essential oil

***Oh yeah!  It started to look a little "gray", so I added 2 drops of blue gel food coloring and one of pink!***

All of the ingredients in the pan prior to melting.

Mix all ingredients in a pan or pot on medium heat.  I whisked it a lot, but it probably wasn’t necessary.  Pour 2 cups of mixture into another bowl and set aside to cool.  This will be your body wash.  Then, add 1/2 cup water to the remaining mixture and stir.  Wait til it cools, then put in bottles!
After the melting process.
Here, it's had the chance to solidify!

I'll probably play with the recipe a little, probably add more water to both hand soap and body wash, as they are both a little thick, and I may try to add more oil to the body wash or maybe less soap.  I dunno.  I love experimenting!!  I hopefully won't blow the house up in the process....

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Treasured By Pearl: My Swing, Thermometer, and the Bumbo Seat.

So I guess it’s bad, but I let my daughter sleep in her swing.  Not ALL the time, just for naps and when she’s got gas at night b/c she won’t sleep at all in her crib.  I LOVE the swing.  It has been a lifesaver SO many times.  We have a Fisher Price Cradle n’ Swing that my brother- and sister-in-law bought us.  It has a mobile, mirror, and plays songs and “white noise”. 

When you get a swing, get one that plugs in to the wall or is battery powered.  I don’t know if they even make the hand-crank ones anymore, but I hear they’re a waste of time.  For travel, my good friend, Brittany loaned me a collapsible swing that Amelia wasn’t using anymore.  It’s battery powered, and it’s what Lydia naps in when we are at my dad’s house. 

I’d recommend a swing for every mama.  They seem to offer babies something that helps soothe them when nothing else will.   Just don’t get in the habit (like I did) of letting them sleep in it frequently.  I dread the day that she grows out of it!

The thermometer I have was given to me when Lydia was born by a fellow mama, Beka.  It is the Vicks Temporal Thermometer.  It is (as Rachel Lewis says) “worth its’ weight in GOLD”.  When you get up in the middle of the night to nurse and your baby feels like she might be running a fever but you don’t want to fully wake her, just run the thermometer over her forehead and you have her temp in 3 seconds.  No waking the baby by undressing her and sticking an unwelcome device in who knows what orifice.  Just add a degree to whatever the readout is and that’s a pretty precise internal temperature.  It’s nice too, b/c if you don’t use a night light, like me, it glows so you can easily get a read-out in the dark.  And it stores the 10 previous temps, too.  I think this runs between $30 and $40, probably cheapest at Walmart.  WORTH THE EXTRA MONEY!!

The Bumbo Seat is such a handy invention!!  It helps babies sit up before their little bodies are developed enough to do it on their own.  It cups them comfortably and safely in an upright position.  I went in the thrift store one day looking for one, and found it in the color I wanted for just $22, a bargain considering that new they are almost $40.  The lady working helped me try it out to see if it’d work, and sure enough, when I got Lydia situated, she grinned at us! 

It gives them the feeling of being “big” without needing Mommy or Daddy to hold them up.  I take it everywhere – I put it on the table at restaurants to sit in while we eat, I put it in the big part of the shopping cart at the grocery store facing me and she gets to look all around, at my dad’s house while I clean, etc.  The makers of the product place a warning on the back that says that it is only for use on the floor, but I just keep a watchful eye on her and I haven’t had any problems yet.

She has been using it since she was two months old and still hasn’t grown out of it.  I guess that’s a lot of mom’s gripe with the product – the baby just grows out of it too quickly; I’ve been blessed with a small baby though, and haven’t had troubles yet.  On the other hand, if you get one and want to use it but your baby is too small, I recommend placing receiving blankets around and under your child to take up a bit of the excess space, it worked well for Lydia. 

Okay, so I was done typing this article a MONTH ago!  I should have posted it before now.  Lydia has grown out of her Bumbo, but I am thankful that we used one, b/c I’m sure that is one of the reasons she sits up so well on her own now.  Anyhoo, I think I’ll quit beating around the bush and post this already!  <3