A few weeks ago, we worked with some of the pieces of walnut and oak we have, and we updated our shop. Check out the new pieces on Etsy. Most are one of a kind. Get yours today!
A few weeks ago, I ran out of lotion. I sort of despise going to the store to buy new personal care products. The labels confuse me. I don’t understand all the ingredients, what I need, why, what it’s good for. The longer and more chemically the name sounds, it raises more red flags than I care to admit.
So, my lotion ran out. But, I have sensitive skin that needs routine hydration. I have autoimmune issues that exacerbate that sensitive skin, so no matter how hot or cold or wet or dry it is outside, I need hydration for my skin.
What’s a girl to do? Well, not unlike my cooking, I went for whole ingredients. Herein lies the confusion, how do you make lotion? Why do you need certain ingredients.
Confession: I love to read and I love to research. But, if it’s not easily understood, then I pass. In college, I loved digesting complex ideas and trying to understand them. As my son has grown, and my family and I have settled into these roles, though, I find the more complex something is the more of a turn off it is.
So, when looking at a recipe, I found I want simple, easy to understand, just like my cooking desire of 5 ingredients or less.
Lotion added water. Body butter was straight plant fats, which meant simpler though there was a bit in the process. I opted for the body butter, because the whole thing felt simpler. Comparing some recipes, the ratio seemed to be 1 part plant oil to two parts plant butter, and for every 1 cup of body butter about 10 drops of essential oil. I decided on my amounts not unlike making soap. You figure out how much you want in an end product, and adjust accordingly. I figured 3 cups of finished product would be enough. And, I then proceeded to make about 4 cups! (Oops!)
Recipe & Technique
- 1 bowl filled with ice
- 1 bowl, smaller, to nest in iced bowl later
- I crockpot for slow melting of fats
- Container(s) for finished product
- A stick blender for mixing
- 1 cup mango butter
- 1 cup shea butter
- 1 cup coconut oil (counting as a butter because of consistency)
- A few shavings of coconut butter
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup jojoba oil
- 10 drops clary sage
- 10 drops geranium
- 10 drops lavender
I found this didn’t scent my body butter as much as I wanted. Next time, I’ll up the geranium and lavender to 15 or 20 drops each. And, next time, I’ll maybe have ⅔ cup each of the mango and shea butters and coconut oil.
Add all plant butters and oils (except essential oils) to your crockpot. Put on low, and let sit until all oils are melted. One blogger noted that letting her oils melt together for 20 minutes refined them enough that the finished product wasn’t grainy. I forgot about my crockpot for a bit, so my oils sat for nearly two hours. Note, many recipes instruct you to use a double boil method. I don’t like it. Something about the steam and hot bowls that turns me off. I found the crockpot method works best for my “fix it and forget it” world.
When the oils are sufficiently melted together, you now need to cool them. After they had been in the ice bath for about 5 minutes, I added my essential oils and I began mixing with my stick blender. I didn’t have enough ice, so while I was using my blender to mix up the oils, I noticed it wasn’t coming together as well as I liked. I refrigerated the mixture for about an hour. Some recipes skip the ice bath and say to refrigerate for 2 hours.
I compared the process to making a meringue or whipped cream. The oils cooling, the mixing to change the texture, it felt the same. So, that’s what I used as my guide to know when I was done. Once the oils were cool enough, whipping them up was quite fast. The yellow color quickly changed to the thick white you see pictured above. I made enough to fill that container plus another.
About the Essential Oils
The oil of clarity and vision, it gives courage to see the truth, see limiting beliefs, encourages openness to new ideas and perspectives. The body system affected by clary sage is largely the hormonal system, which is why it can help balance hormones and soothe monthly discomfort associated with menstrual cycles. Clary sage also soothes nervous tension and lightens mood. I chose it for this body butter because of it’s calming properties and how it is soothing to the skin.
The oil of love and trust. Need I say anymore? It seems so obvious to me that for something I am putting on my body, it should absolutely include proving love, trust, and emotional healing. Geranium can even encourage forgiveness, and it fosters human love and connection. Geranium primarily supports emotional balance and skin. With skin, it promotes clear, healthy skin. It can also helps calm nerves and lessen stress. And, as a bonus, it supports liver health! We like to say, with using essential oils there are side benefits.
Lavender is widely known for and used for its calming and relaxing qualities. But, did you know that it’s also the oil of communication? While it can soothe occasional skin irritations, helps skin recover quickly, and even ease muscle tension it can also promote emotional balance. It encourages positive emotions of open communication, being released, expressive with emotional honesty, and being heard.
We had an adventurous week. We’re still struggling with this midnight schedule. Spring has sprung further. Pinewood Derby required a lot of attention, and it amounted to a lot of lessons learned. For example, we could benefit from a drill press to assure we get the subpar axels and wheels on straight. We need to practice painting on wood, because our combination of sealers and paints didn’t equal lasting sharpness.
This week, we just got by. Peter started his new schedule. Seven years after working at TriMet, we have finally been besieged by the dreaded midnight schedule. In large part due to TriMet management’s refusal to understand scope of work and fail to fill 7 retiree jobs. So, our schedule is upheaved, again.
Here are a few pictures of a few moments that captivated our attention during this adjustment to upheaval.
The thought occurred to me today that, now six days before Thanksgiving, I should theme the next few days of writing. Each day, I should consider something I am thankful for. Now, that I am home, considering writing, I thought since there are six days left, perhaps I could do a count down. What six things am I thankful for today, and tomorrow five, and so on.
So, today, the six things I am thankful for in no particular order:
- A school for my son that is a community,
- A boss who expresses gratitude each day,
- A husband who surprises me with his silly sense of humor,
- A possible change in neighborhood,
- A considerate son who expresses his love and need for me daily, and
- A commute that, into work, is less than twenty minutes.
What are you thankful for?
“Don’t do that,” I scolded Levi as he tried to crash into me with one of his attack hugs.
“Why not?” he asked.
“Because, I’m all topsy-turvy.”
“What do you mean, ‘topsy-turvy’?” he queried.
“I mean I can’t stand up straight. I can’t balance.”
He considered that for a bit and understood by replying, “Oh, you mean you’re tippy!”
Yes, I’m all topsy-turvy today. Last week, our first week of full day schedules, and I was so proud. We had our stuff together. We woke up early enough. We had enough time for breakfast. We had enough time to make lunches the night before. There is never enough play time, but we digress. And, it all sort of worked.
And, then, I woke up Friday morning. I had one of those sore throats that make me wonder if I am getting strep. It actually started the night before, Thursday night, which resulted in several throat examinations, where I stare in the mirror positioning my tongue just so I can shine a flashlight down the full length examining, past my tonsils into my throat for white spots that are likely not food. I can see some white spots where my throat is sore, so I continue to watch the right side of my throat.
The next morning, when I woke up with it even more sore, it wasn’t even red! Let alone a showing of any white spots. So, I started to chalk it up to allergies and did what I could to ease the pain. I did not go into the office lest I be tempted to torture my sandpapered throat. I got work done outside of the office on my new little white computer, instead. The head was clear, the brain was functioning. It was just a throat thing.
Until Saturday morning. At which point I woke up to a full-fledged cold. The aches. The pains. The runny nose. Oddly, the sore throat had disappeared.
This was our little hitch in the road. Because I was not feeling well all weekend, the grocery list didn’t get made. The menu didn’t get planned. And lunches didn’t get prepped (save Daddy’s) the night before. And, Monday still existed, and we still got to school on time, though not as early as I would have preferred. And, why? Because mommy was all topsy-turvy with a cold.
Well, I’m feeling better now, thankful for the leftovers re-imagined twice, equalling semi-quick and quick meals that keep on giving. And, hopeful for tomorrow and a cleaner start.
Day two of days is complete. The dishes are done. The lunches are prepped. The coffee is programmed. Some of the laundry is folded, the dishwasher is loaded.
I am loving day two.
One of the hardest things to do is come home from work – having anticipated needs, taken care of fires, and attempted to stay on task amidst distractions – is to come home from work and again have to clean up after everyone. I don’t know if it’s because we were at such opposite schedules that we couldn’t communicate our needs or desires. But, I am loving this day two of communicating, and helping, and doing the work together so we don’t all have to do it by ourselves.
And now, now, it’s almost 11pm, and the boys are in bed, and I’m having an appropriate quiet time before I venture off for some reading time.
I am hoping day three continues this trend.
Tonight feels successful. Let’s hope this sets us up for a good week.
- Icing the foot, twice
- Soaking three bowls of beans
- Cooking three types of beans
- Baked two loaves of bread (whole wheat, barley flour, unbleached white)
- Visited Meat Market (food club meat on hiatus via lack of fridge space)
- Cooked chili
- Prepped lunches
- Crock pot roast slow cooking
Sometimes Levi gets a hold of my phone, when it’s locked. He used hit number after number, locking it up further with wrong combinations. Now, he’s realized that he can at least play with the camera. And, so he does, until I come along.
So, today, I bring you a few photos taken by Levi and me of the last few days and weeks.
It’s my birthday, and I’m throwing a party! Okay, clarification, it was my birthday, but I’m still throwing a party. Come join me at the Lucky Lab Tap Room on Friday, September 13th. Join me and raise money for CAT!
Why do I want to raise money for CAT? What is CAT? CAT is The Community Alliance of Tenants, Oregon’s only renters’ rights organization. I’ve spent a lot of time there, over the last five years, because I firmly believe that societal change begins at home. And, that’s what CAT does – we empower renters to make sure they have safe, stable, and affordable homes.
It is our job to make sure we leave this world in a better place. I believe this world would be a better place if we could all realize our potential. I believe in Maslow’s Hierarchy of achieving self-actualization – our potential – but it starts with taking care of basic needs. And basic needs start with having enough to eat, enough to wear, and a safe home to call home.
I am celebrating my 35th year by raising $3,500 for this organization I love. And, I am celebrating at the Lucky Lab Tap Room. Don’t worry, if you don’t live in the area, there are plenty of ways to give! Donate to the organization I love, and help make my dream of raising $3,500 come true. Change starts at home. At CAT, we make good renters. Good renters make good communities, and good communities support one another to make our entire society better, more understanding, and more loving. At CAT, we make positive change a reality.
You’re invited. Please join me on Friday, September 13th as I toast my 35th year by raising $3,500 for the Community Alliance of Tenants. You can RSVP today or just give if you can’t come. I would love to see you all there. YOU are a part of my community, and I would love for you to help me celebrate a better society for us, for our children, and our children’s children.