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It is a chilly blustery weekend ahead and you might just have time to give yourself a nice shave or perhaps someone you live with would really appreciate some shaving kindness. Check out The Healing Place Farm's Recipe for Rosemary Mint Shave Cream. It's been very popular here on the farm and your skin will feel tremendous after use. If you don't care for this essential oil blend, choose your favorites and whip up this super special Shaving Cream! Remember that there are no preservatives in this blend so you would be better off to scoop with a spoon to keep it nice and clean.
Rosemary Mint Shave Cream
1/3 cup shea butter
1/3 cup virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup jojoba or sweet almond oil
10 drops rosemary essential oil
3-5 drops peppermint essential oil
In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the shea butter and coconut oil, stirring until just melted. Remove from the heat and transfer to a heat-safe bowl. Add in the jojoba oil and the essential oils. Stir to mix.
Place the bowl in the refrigerator and chill until solid. Remove from the refrigerator and whip using a hand beater or a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Spoon into a jar. Lid and keep in a cool, dry place.
Makes 8 ounces.
A LOTION IN A BAR
Beeswax Lotion Bars (a lotion in a bar) are made from all natural ingredients: Beeswax, coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil. Beeswax has antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties to help heal dry skin, cuts, burns, rashes and chapped lips. Through skin absorption, beeswax has been known to reduce symptoms of aging, allergies, hay fever and arthritis. The extra virgin olive oil is a gentle moisturizer for the skin. Coconut oil adds smoothness with increased moisture retention properties. Most other skin lotions use mineral oil and petroleum products that will actually pull moisture out of the skin. Our natural lotion bars and cream have propolis in the beeswax which will heal the skin and also provide a protective barrier that will lock in moisture without the need for repetitive applications. We use a generous amount of pure beeswax to give you the most healing benefit.
To apply, simply rub the Lotion Bar into the skin and the warmth of your body will melt the bar providing the protection needed. Great for the heels, elbows and knees. They do not spill or dry out, and are great for travel, even on airplanes. Many patrons use Lotion Bars (unscented or lavender) for psoriasis or eczema and find relief.
Ingredients: Extra virgin olive oil, Coconut Oil and Pure Beeswax.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, but heart disease is preventable and controllable. Here are just a few tips about what walking can do to assist you in your quest to be healthy.
1. Fends off the #1 killer: Regular walkers have fewer heart attacks and strokes, have lower blood pressure, and have higher levels of healthy HDL cholesterol than sedentary folks. In one study of women, a regular walking program did just as much in the heart-protection department as more vigorous exercise did.
2. Changes your actual age: As little as 90 days after starting a regular walking program, its age-reducing effects can be measured.
3. Dims your chances of diabetes: Thirty minutes of walking a day makes your muscles more sensitive to insulin. That allows glucose to do its duty inside your cells rather than accumulate in your bloodstream (that's what happens when you have diabetes) and cause other health problems.
4. Helps you kick the habit: Taking a daily 30-minute walk is one of the keys to the success for quitting smoking. Even just a 5-minute walk cuts down on cigarette cravings -- it engages your brain's emotion centers, unleashing mood-enhancing hormones that decrease cravings and take your mind off that cigarette. And establishing a walking habit proves to you that you have the discipline to stick with your stop-smoking plan.
5. Slims you down: Burn more calories than you eat, and suddenly you're wearing one-size-smaller clothing or your current clothes fit better. Plus, walking can help squelch chocolate cravings and nix the stress and anxiety that often lead to overeating.
6. Keeps you sharp: Physical activity nourishes brain tissue and stimulates its production of neurons, synapses, and blood vessels. Some studies have found that walking can counter faltering memories in people over age 50.
7. Reduces stress: Anyone who has come back from a walk in a different frame of mind than they went out with can attest to this. Studies back up that walking benefits your mood -- and may even ward off depression and anxiety.
8. Revs up your energy: Not only can a walk perk you up when you need it, but also it helps improve the quality of your sleep, so you're more energetic all day long.
9. Boosts your immune system: Walking regularly can lower your risk of arthritis, macular degeneration, and even cancer by an astonishing 50% compared with people who don't exercise.
10. Keeps you going: Walking has the highest compliance rate of any exercise.
Do you like to have a crackling fire in your fireplace, wood burner or fire pit? Do you have trouble starting your fire and use an entire box of matches to get it going? Use up all of your kindling? Don't have kindling? Today could be the last day that you have these problems. I'm going to explain how to make fire starters out of items that are commonly found and thrown away in your home. Make sure that you monitor the use of them in your particular fire receptacle to be certain that it works for your situation.
Pot to use on the stove that you might designate for melting wax
Cardboard/Pressed Paper egg cartons (No styrofoam)
Old throwaway candles/crayons (not in glass, metal, etc.)
Creating fire starters with these five items is simple. Make sure that you use a pan designated for melting wax because it is not easy to get wax out of a pan after melting candles. I designate a heavy pot just for this purpose. Also, have hot pads/plates so your hands don't get burned with the hot wax and you don't scorch your table.
Determine where you want to make these fire starters. Heat your wax over low heat on the stove. Keep warm wax out of any living beings way and also protect any surface that you want to make these fire starters on. I suggest using thick cardboard underneath newspaper so that every surface is well covered. The goal is to keep wax off surfaces. After well covering surface(s), open the cardboard egg carton, remove the top leaving only the egg holder (otherwise known as cell) part of the carton ie. traditional egg cartons have 12 cells. Place this on your surface until you have covered the surface with the number of egg cartons desired. Fill each cell about 2/3 full with lint pushing it down so that it is compacted. Then take warmed wax from your throwaway candles and ladle warm wax over lint in every cell until lint is saturated. Go SLOW. The wax may leak out the bottom of any cell in the egg carton. This is why you cover your surface.
Let cool. These store indefinitely. Cut them up or place the full egg carton tray away. They stack very nicely. I use one or two to get my fire started. They work great and burn for about 10 minutes each. Remember to check your own fire pit, fireplace or wood burner for directions on using these appropriately. I've used these for 20 years and don't ever get frustrated over building a fire. A simple fix.
Have a warm day.
PS. If you don't have these items in your home ask your friends. They are often VERY happy to rid their homes of these items.
Do you have trouble opening your peepers in the morning? Body Electric Soap was poured today. Peppermint, Spearmint and Clove Essential oils make it smell crazy wonderful. It is a WAKE you up and get you going in the morning. We wouldn't advise you use it before bed. It just might keep you awake! Goat's Milk is a great skin soother and is a key ingredient. The creamy texture, vibrant colors and great aroma are going to be a win for anyone in your household that needs a rise and shine. It's a beautiful bar. We can't wait to cut it tomorrow and cure it for six weeks.
What kind of soap do you choose? Dry scaly legs? Too much moisturizing and not getting clean? There are clear differences between handmade soap and soaps that are purchased at a big box store. Breaking the differences down is very simple. Most soaps that are purchased in a local grocery or chain store are considered to be cleansing, beauty or facial bars. You may even see the label "soap". When soap is created in the manufacturing plants they generally consist of an acid and a base....lye and oil. But then the difference happens. The glycerin is siphoned off the mix and converted into a glycerin bar. You can identify the glycerin bar because it is one that you can almost see through. Very pretty usually. The detergent remains and is sold as "soap".
Here is why that matters: When glycerin is removed during soap processing all that is left are the detergent ingredients. Think detergent. Drying. Harsh. Alligator legs. Scaly skin. Are you scratching yet? Conversely, when the detergent is separated out, the glycerin remains. While it is wonderful to have the moisturizing qualities in the soap, I need to have the cleansing feature too. I prefer to get authentically clean. Getting scrub a dub clean is important if you want to have friends.
Nitty details of store bought soap: Many of the detergents are made from petroleum products, ingredients you can't identify, surfactants, foamers and alcohol. (All drying). In addition, these chemicals don't have the best aroma so they are overly scented with many inexpensive, synthetic fragrances. The preservatives and antibacterial agents prevent them from becoming rancid. Yes, this is a good thing but also it allows your supermarket soap to sit on the shelf indefinitely. Since our bodies are not necessarily in tune with these chemicals we are seeing an alarming rate of allergic reactions. If you find this hard to believe, check out soap ingredients and common allergic compounds/chemicals. The association between the two is staggering.
Gritty details of handmade soap from the Healing Place Farm: Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Goat's Milk and Lye. Know your ingredients. Glycerin and cleansing together in one bar. Essential Oils. Unscented. You decide.
Select your soap. Love your largest organ, the skin. Take care of your body. You are important.
Have you ever enjoyed the aroma of Lemon Verbena Essential Oil? It is light, soft and has beautiful lemon aroma. There is no sharpness to Lemon Verbena. The Lemon Verbena herb is native to South America. The entire plant smells like a lemon but the distillation of the leaves is what produces the essential oil. It is a top middle note and can bring a lovely citrus to any blend. Anxiety and depression may be chased away by the aroma of Lemon Verbena. In addition, there might be some favorable impact on digestion.
Most of all, I love Lemon Verbena in soap. This morning I handcrafted 250 bars of Lemon Verbena Goat's Milk Soap. I'm looking forward to using it as a refreshing wake up in the morning. By the time it has completed curing it will be just about Spring. Can you smell the alluring lemon, picture the melting of the snow and sense the longer days? As we usher in the tulips, lilies of the valley, hyacinths and lilacs, remember this day foreshadowing the promise of a warm appealing shower sprinkled with a gentle lemon that started in early January.
A side of porridge percolates between batches of Lemon Verbena Soap. The recipe is below. It's an every day staple in our diet on the farm. Change it up with yogurt, milk, fresh or dried fruit, ginger, raisins, fresh cranberries or even a shake of cinnamon. Enjoy!
1/4 cup cracked wheat (use any wheat...kamut, red, spring, white, winter)
1/4 cup of oat groats or steel cut oats
1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut or add additional oats
1/4 cup pearl barley
1/4 cup brown rice
3 cups of water
Combine all ingredients in a crockpot. Just before bed set crockpot on LOW temperature. (This porridge needs at least 6 -8 hours of cooking time).
What in the world am is happening over here? I'm a clinical aromatherapist and had planned to post mostly about essential oils, essential oil safety, soap, rollers, recipes..... you get the drift. Instead, I'm finding myself blogging about books, change, oats and the farm. This world is so exciting and full of possibilities that I want to give you the best pearls that I have from all aspects of life here on the farm. Essential Oils. Animals. Farming. Working mother. Grandmother. Nurse. Nature. Compassion. Grace. Kindness. Sustainability. Simplicity.
It's the paisley glasses. (See first post if you have no idea what I'm talking about). Through them exists potential. Beauty. Serendipity.
I'm not going to overthink. I'm going to bring you my best day in and day out. Today, I offer you a very simple method to make your own yogurt. It's downright delicious.
2 TBL organic yogurt with active live cultures per quart of milk
1 quart of organic whole milk
Heat milk to 125 degrees. Let milk cool to 110 degrees. I like to take 4-5 quart canning jars and put 2 TBS yogurt in the bottom of each quart jar. Next, fill jars to one inch from top with heated milk and cover with jar tops. Fill a cooler with 1-2 inches of very hot tap water. Then, when all quarts are filled with warm milk, place them in the cooler and close the lid of the cooler. Place them upright. Let sit overnight. In the morning, place jars of fresh yogurt in the refrigerator and let them sit all day.
Now, if you can diffuse a little something....lavender chamomile or lemon mint essential oils while you are readying your yogurt it will be a great evening!
What are your favorite ingredients in bread, soap or chicken feed? I know mine: oats, milk, honey and eggs. It sounds like a great bread recipe too! To me, oats are a timeless ingredient. Always appealing. On the farm we make oats into all of the above. The protein, vitamins, calcium and fiber found in oats are bonuses nutritionally. Oats can act as a wonderful exfoliator in soap if you use flaked, rolled or pulverized oats. Oats in soap can also be very soothing (think of a very popular bathing product) and with no essential oils, in my opinion, it is equal to our egg soap.
WEB MD reports, "oatmeal binds to your skin and forms a protective barrier. It also helps hold in moisture and ease inflammation. If that isn't enough, it cleans your skin too. People have used it for centuries to ease irritated skin." (https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/eczema/colloidal-oatmeal-baths) FYI pulverized oats are often called colloidal oatmeal when suspended in a liquid.
In recipes, I generally do not use quick cooking oats. I use the old fashioned oat groats (also known as Irish Oats or steel cut oats). They make take a little more preparation but you will lose the gummy/sticky texture and there is something for me about going back to basics. I prefer fresh and organic ingredients if possible. Raw oat groats find their way into many recipes here on the farm after being flaked or pulverized. No time for that? There are oats available in every grocery store, ready to use.
The chickens on the other hand can easily consume oat groats or flaked oats. A warm mash for them is just the ticket for the cooler months or if one of your flock is under the weather. They are full of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. To simplify this mash, a person could cook them overnight in a crock pot and have it chicken giving ready in the morning. Making your own chicken complete feed is also an option. Oats are a popular ingredient. Make sure that you calculate out the other ingredients too so that you have a healthy balance. As you may or may not know, kitchen scraps are a great adjunct to a feeding program but be mindful that you include chicken friendly scraps. This requires some homework.
Oatmeal soap is a treat. We make a soap called, The Big Oat Goat. It includes pulverized and flaked oats for a gentle exfoliator and goat's milk. It's a delightful bar of soap with no essential oils with the goal of being sensitive skin friendly. It's been a popular variety here and will be a staple as we continue our 22nd year of creating handcrafted soap.
Oatmeal bread provides energy and may be a great breakfast choice. There is some commentary about benefits for cholesterol, blood sugar and constipation. Did you know that oats contain no cholesterol? Bonus! They are also low sodium and easily accessed.
Incredible oats. Soap. Chicken feed. Oat Bread. Staples here on the farm. Wonderfully versatile. Easily accessed. A win for anyone thinking about making a simple change in the new year.
Favorite Oatmeal Bread Recipe (Makes 4 loaves)
350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes
5 cups hot water
2 cups uncooked rolled oats
4 tsp salt
2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup honey
Add oats to hot water and soak for 30 minutes.
After soaking, add other ingredients to mixing bowl. Blend. You may reduce or OMIT honey.
6 cups whole wheat flour
2 TBS active dry yeast
Mix in 5-7 cups of whole wheat flour until sides of bowl are clear. (Depending on your oats, you may need to reduce whole wheat flour by 1-2 cups as needed...watch the sides of your mixing bowl). Knead for 8 minutes. Shape, let rise, bake and cool.
How do you prepare for this very cold weather? Dress extra warm? Fill your car with gas and supplies should you have car trouble? Open your cupboards so the heat gets into the pipes under the sink? Nothing special, it's Wisconsin after all and we've had this weather hundreds of days before. Whatever you do, keep yourself safe, hydrated and warm. It is -7 real feel here today in Wisconsin. Our first thoughts always shift to our animals both inside and out. We have horses, donkeys, mini-horses, chickens, guinea fowl and one turkey outside. The dogs and cats here reside within the walls of our home. After feeding the inside crew and taking care of their morning routine, applying nose and paw protectant that we make/sell here on the farm, we race outdoors to check on the outside residents.
This morning, all horses/donkeys/minis are in the barn (not stalled) and warm. They have fared the night very well with their natural propensity to lift their hair to help insulate their bodies. It never ceases to amaze us at how well these animals are prepared for the many climactic changes. They huddle together and a few of the oldsters have blankets on to help them weather this extreme cold. There is a lot of discussion around blanketing but when the shivering gets to be too much despite 24 hour hay and movement, we are blanket failures. :) All of them eat their warm mash well and are drinking significant amounts of water. Great.
The chicken coop remains closed for now. We are using the deep bedding method this year to try out the idea of composting chicken manure and shavings/oak leaves/hay and a new product we heard about called Koop Clean. We like it so far. The Koop Clean has something called Sweet PDZ (a mineral called zeolite made from volcanic ash) blended with hay and straw. The chickens like scratching around for tidbits and the coop doesn't smell like ammonia. A win. Most of the chickens are clucking around, pecking the ground and are warm. Some of the girls remain in their nests resting and keeping warm. The deep bedding method seems to be doing it's job because we continue to be blessed with many eggs and most importantly, the chickens are warm. The coop is toastier than it's been before with just one heat lamp. There is some management to be done with deep bedding like kicker boards which need to be adhered to every entrance. Otherwise, their bedding flies out the door and blocks it (Can you tell we learned this the hard way?). In addition, the shavings need to be turned over weekly to mix with the chicken manure. So far, so good. We will continue to monitor and provide some other activities for them indoors during this colder weather including hanging a cabbage in the coop, giving them a warm blend of scratch grains and adding a bale of hay for entertainment. All is well.
Be warm. Be well. Be safe.
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