Welcome Friends!!!

I am a scientist at heart, and my kitchen often looks like a laboratory with all kinds of jars and containers fermenting and brewing on the counters. I love to share my recipes, my herbal remedies and health tips, and I really LOVE to save money! We have a large extended family....two sons, their wives, eleven grandkids (and often a friend or two), my sister, Lanny's brother, and my parents that come over every Tuesday night for dinner...kind of a family reunion, only weekly instead of yearly! That adds up to from 17 to 22 or more people here every week. So I have to cook big, and cook economically!

So here we go! For all my friends and family that have been encouraging me to put all my recipes and ideas in one place like this....if you don't see what you are looking for, and cannot find it by using the "Topics" or the search field below right, just let me know and I will be sure to post it as soon as I can.

Be sure to check out our African Mission Adventure - we traveled to Malawi in August 2014 and you will find photo's and stories about our trip! LanDebLewAfrica.blogspot.com!!!

Lanny and I also have started devotional blogspots that you might enjoy:

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Health and Beauty Uses for Common Household Ingredients

Here is another hand-out I'll be using for my DIY class, and again, the information comes from a combination of great ideas you'll find in the "Links You'll Like" area on the right.


The anti-inflammatory properties of apple cider vinegar work to help internal inflammation within the gastrointestinal tract when added to salads or taken diluted with water. It helps reduce bloating, belching and heartburns.

Aids with weight loss:
By regulating blood sugar levels, apple cider vinegar also assists in weight loss. Insulin will not direct sugar to be stored as fat.

Clears skin:
Apple cider vinegar is astringent and is an antiseptic. It helps with acne and pimples.

Gets rid of dandruff:
The fungus, Malassezia furfur, which causes dandruff, is eradicated by the antifungal properties of apple cider vinegar.

Helps with Arthritis:
Apple cider vinegar has potent anti-inflammatory properties and helps with pain of the joints.

Lowers glucose in diabetics:
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which can slow down starch digestion. This will help lower glucose levels in the bloodstream.

Lowers bad cholesterol:
The presence of pectin in apple cider vinegar helps reduce bad cholesterol in the body.

Rich in minerals:
Potassium, magnesium and many other minerals are in apple cider vinegar. Potassium controls the water balance in the body. Magnesium helps with digestion.

Protects against cancer:
Apple cider vinegar contains beta-carotene, which according to the Mayo Clinic possesses antioxidant properties that counteract damage caused by free radicals. ACV protect against cancer and  boost the immune system.

Hair: It is widely known that apple cider vinegar can be used as a rinse for your hair after shampooing to add healthy body and shine. Recycle an old shampoo bottle and fill it with ½ a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a cup of cold water. Pour through your hair after shampooing several times a week.

As an after shampoo rinse it removes soap scum on your hair. Rinse with a cup filled with ½ a cup of warm water and ½ a cup of vinegar, and your locks will be shiny and free of buildup.

For dandruff use the same technique as the hair rinse above but with a higher concentration of vinegar; also acts as an effective dandruff treatment.

Face: Did you know that apple cider vinegar can help regulate the pH of your skin? Dilute apple cider vinegar with two parts water, and spread the concoction over your face with a cotton ball as a toner. You can do this at night after washing, and in the morning before you apply your moisturizer. You can also dab apple cider vinegar directly onto age spots and leave them on overnight to lighten their color.

Acne treatment: Apply equal parts vinegar and water to problem areas.

Facial toner: Using vinegar as toner is a great (and inexpensive) alternative to using alpha hydroxyl based products.

Hands and Feet: Are your hands and feet feeling tired and swollen after a long day? Treat yourself to a personal spa massage by rubbing apple cider vinegar onto them.

Athletes foot (and other fungus): Apply full-strength vinegar to the affected area twice daily until symptoms abate.

Sunburn: Suffering from a bad sunburn? Add a cup of apple cider vinegar to your bath and soak for 10 minutes.

Teeth: Did you know that apple cider vinegar can help remove stains from teeth? Rub teeth directly with apple cider vinegar and rinse out.

Aftershave: Fill a bottle with equal parts apple cider vinegar and water and shake to blend.


Soothe insect bites and bee stings: Create a paste with baking soda and water and pat over the affected area. It will create a cool relief and draw the sting out.

Smooth your skin: Create a soothing bath salt recipe and use in a warm soaking bath to smooth your skin.

Whiten your teeth:  Use a little toothpaste, mix in one teaspoon baking soda, plus one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide, and a 1/2 tsp. of  water. Thoroughly mix then brush your teeth for two minutes.  Repeat this once a week till you have desired results. Once your teeth are whitened, just repeat once a month.

Mouthwash: To make your own mouth rinse; You will need 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt,  and 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil. Add ingredients to a quart of boiling hot water and stir. Let cool and store in a glass jar with lid.

Homemade toothpaste: Dunk a wet toothbrush in baking soda to help whiten and freshen teeth. For a minty flavor. Make a paste of baking soda with a few drops of water and one drop of peppermint essential oil and stir together and brush away.

Relieve indigestion: Combine 1/2 cup of water with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 drop of peppermint essential oil, and drink for indigestion.

Relieve sunburn: To relieve pain, make a thin paste using water and baking soda. Gently apply to the burned area.

Exfoliate Skin:  To exfoliate your skin, make a paste using 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Apply to your face with your hands and rub gently to slough off dead skin, and leave your skin with a glow.

Soothe sore throat: Gargle with warm water and baking soda to heal and calm sore throats.

Detox: To relieve aches and pains, mix 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup apple cider vinegar in a warm tub of water.

Clean dentures and retainers: To clean, soak dentures and retainers  in 1 cup warm water and 3 tablespoons baking soda.

Soothe itchy rashes: Add baking soda to a warn bath and soak to relieve itchy rashes and dry skin.

Relieve heartburn:  to relieve heartburn, drink 4 ounces of water mixed with 1 teaspoon baking soda.

Antiperspirant: Apply baking soda under arms for quick-dry antiperspirant.

Soothe baby’s bottom rash: Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda, to a lukewarm bath, and have baby sit in it for a few minutes to soothe diaper rash.


Most people are familiar with the traditional uses for lemons to soothe sore throats and add some citrus flavor to our foods.

However the diversity of applications for lemons far exceeds general knowledge and once you read the following list, you’ll likely want to stock at least a few lemons in your kitchen 24-7.

High Blood Pressure
Lemon contains potassium which controls high blood pressure and reduces the effect of nausea and dizziness

Mental Health
Lemon water can also pep up your mood and relieve depression and stress. Long distance walkers and world travelers as well as explorers look upon the lemon as a Godsend. When fatigue begins, a lemon is sucked through a hole in the top. Quick acting medicine it is, giving almost unbelievable refreshments.

Respiratory Problems
Lemon water can reduce phlegm; and can also help you breathe properly and aids a person suffering with asthma.

Treating Arthritis and Rheumatism
Lemon is a diuretic – assists in the production of urine which helps you to reduce inflammation by flushing out toxins and bacteria while also giving you relief from arthritis and rheumatism.

Prevents Kidney Stones
Regular consumption of lemon juice mixed with water may increase the production of urinary citrate, a chemical in the urine that prevents the formation of crystals that may build up into kidney stones.

Lemon water reduces the production of free radicals which are responsible for aging skin and skin damage. Lemon water is calorie free and an antioxidant.

Treat Infections
Lemon water can fight throat infections thanks to its antibacterial property. If salt water does not work for you, try lemon and water for gargling.

Purges The Blood
We consume a lot of junk food or food with a lot of preservatives and artificial flavors. This builds up a lot of toxins in the blood and body but daily consumption of lemon water helps to purify the blood.

Oral Health
Lemon juice also stops bleeding gums and reduces toothaches.

Lighten Age Spots
To lighten liver spots or freckles, try applying lemon juice directly to the area. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then rinse your skin clean. It’s a safe and effective skin-lightening agent.

Create Blonde Highlights
For highlights, add 1/4 cup lemon juice to 3/4 cup water and rinse your hair with the mixture. Then, sit in the sun until your hair dries. To maximize the effect, repeat daily for a week.

Make a Room Scent/Humidifier
Freshen and moisturize the air in your home on dry winter days. Make your own room scent that also doubles as a humidifier. If you have a wood-burning stove, place an enameled cast-iron pot or bowl on top, fill with water, and add lemon (and/or orange) peels, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and apple skins. No wood-burning stove? Use your stovetop instead and just simmer the water periodically.

Clean and Whiten Nails
Pamper your hands without a manicurist. Add the juice of 1/2 lemon to 1 cup warm water and soak your fingertips in the mixture for 5 minutes. After pushing back the cuticles, rub some lemon peel back and forth against the nail.

Cleanse Your Face
Dab lemon juice on blackheads to draw them out during the day. You can also wash your face with lemon juice for a natural cleanse and exfoliation. Your skin should improve after several days of treatment. Lemon water is also a cooling agent, best way to beat the heat.

Freshen Your Breath
Make an impromptu mouthwash by rinsing with lemon juice straight from the bottle. Swallow for longer-lasting fresh breath. The citric acid in the juice alters the pH level in your mouth, killing bacteria that causes bad breath. Rinse after a few minutes because long-term exposure to the acid in lemons can harm tooth enamel.

Treat Flaky Dandruff
Massage two tablespoons lemon juice into your scalp and rinse with water. Then stir one teaspoon lemon juice into one cup water and rinse your hair with it. Repeat daily until your dandruff disappears.

Soften Dry, Scaly Elbows
Mix baking soda and lemon juice to make an abrasive paste, then rub it into your elbows for a soothing, smoothing, and exfoliating treatment. Rinse your extremities in a mixture of equal parts lemon juice and water, then massage with olive oil and dab dry with a soft cloth.

Lemon juice with a few teaspoons of hot tea added is the treatment of a sophisticated New York bartender, for those who suffer with hangover headaches–and from headaches due to many other causes. He converts his customers to this regime, and weans them away from drug remedies completely.

Chills and Fevers
Chills and fevers may be due to a variety of causes; never the less the lemon is always a helpful remedy. Spanish physicians regard it as an infallible friend.

Stomach Health
Digestive problems are the most common ailments but warm water and lemon or lime juice is the solution to most digestive problems. Lemon juice helps to purify the blood, reduces your chances of indigestion, constipation, eliminates toxins from the body, adds digestion and reduces phlegm.

Disinfect Cuts and Scrapes
Stop bleeding and disinfect minor cuts and scraps by pouring a few drops of lemon juice directly on the cut. You can also apply the juice with a cotton ball and hold firmly in place for one minute.

Soothe Poison Ivy Rash
You won’t need an ocean of calamine lotion the next time poison ivy comes a-creeping. Just apply lemon juice directly to the affected area to soothe itching and alleviate the rash.

Remove Warts
You’ve tried countless remedies to banish warts and nothing seems to work. Next time, apply a dab of lemon juice directly to the wart using a cotton swab. Repeat for several days until the acids in the lemon juice dissolve the wart completely.

Reduce Asthma Symptoms
In addition to a general detoxifying diet, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice before each meal, and before retiring can reduce asthma symptoms.

  • If you do consume lemon peel, stick to organic lemons to reduce your pesticide exposure.


Slice open a clove of raw, fresh garlic and apply it to breakouts as a home remedy for acne. Your skin won’t smell terribly good, but the antibacterial properties of garlic will help lessen the appearance of acne, even those deep acne cysts that can otherwise be difficult to treat.

Cold sore treatment
These unsightly lesions always seem to pop up at the most inopportune times, like the morning before a big date. Raw garlic may work just as well as commercial medical treatments, though the acidity may cause discomfort at first. Cut a garlic clove in half and place it directly on the cold sore for 10 minutes, several times a day. Garlic supplements in capsule form may also speed up the healing process.

Weight Loss Aid
Even though it’s potent flavor may make you want to eat a lot of it, garlic actually has weight loss properties, according to some research. Compounds found in garlic send your brain signals of satiety, which will actually help you to feel full faster. It also boosts metabolic function helping you to burn more calories as well.

Athlete’s foot
Garlic is a potent natural anti-fungal, making it ideal for treating fungal infections like irritating and itchy athlete’s foot. Add a few cloves of crushed garlic to warm water in a foot bath and soak the affected foot for 30 minutes.

Ear infections
A common folk remedy for centuries, garlic can indeed kill the bacteria that cause ear infections. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should shove a clove of garlic into your ear and hope for the best. Crush a clove of garlic with a press and place it in a teaspoon of hot olive oil for five minutes. Strain, allow to cool and drip a few drops at a time into your ear canal. You can also purchase garlic oil made for this purpose at natural health food stores.

Splinter removal
Splinters! They’re painful to remove, and sometimes they slice too far into the skin to pull out. Instead of waiting for it to come out on its own, try this odd trick: place a thin slice over the splinter and hold on with a bandage. The garlic should help the splinter work its way out of the skin within hours.

Psoriasis relief
The persistent tightness and itching of psoriasis could be eased or even prevented by garlic’s anti-inflammatory properties. Active compounds in garlic interact with arachidonic acid, an omega fatty acid in the skin linked to psoriasis. Garlic oil may be rubbed directly on affected areas once or twice per day.

Cough syrup
Ease inflammation in the throat and clear up excess mucus by using garlic as cough syrup. Try steeping raw, minced garlic in hot water, straining it after five minutes and drinking the liquid as tea; you can add ginger and honey to make it more palatable.

Cold banisher
Can garlic cure and prevent colds naturally? It’s been in use for this purpose for centuries, and there’s a good reason for that. Researchers believe that allicin, the main biologically active component of garlic, could block enzymes that may impede bacterial and viral infections. Eat three to four cloves of garlic per day, preferably raw and crushed, adding them to soups, stews, pasta sauces and salad dressings.


facial cleansing: Witch hazel has the unique ability to clean skin pores and dry up excessive oil without leaving skin too dry. For healthy, normal skin, witch hazel can often replace a daily cleanser. For oily or acne prone skin, swabbing witch hazel throughout the day is a great way to quickly wipe off excessive oil without the hassle of a full face wash.

acne treatment: The tannin content in witch hazel has strong astringent as well as antioxidant properties. These astringent properties are cleansing to the skin, while minimizing the size of skin pores. Unlike many harsh commercial acne formulations, it is gentle and non-drying when used to tone and cleanse acne-infected or acne-prone skin. Plain witch hazel may be applied to the skin straight from the bottle using cotton balls. It should be applied to the acne-infected skin twice a day. It should never be applied more than three times a day.

scars & stretch marks: Witch hazel is often used by pregnant women to prevent stretch marks, but it can be used to help loose or excessive skin around scars or stretch marks to tighten, helping to minimize the scar.

soothe diaper rash: If your baby’s rash isn’t healing quick enough, apply witch hazel solution (Dickinson’s is good) with a cotton ball and you should see immediate improvement to your baby’s bottom.

bags under the eyes: Some people say that the application of hemorrhoid cream to those little baggies under your eyes can take them away. It’s not an old wives’ tale. One of the magic ingredients in a product like Preparation H is witch hazel, which helps tighten up the skin and reduce the bagginess.

varicose veins: Soak wash cloths in witch hazel and lay on legs, which are propped straight out, to reduce pain and swelling from varicose veins. The witch hazel helps to tighten the veins, relieving the discomfort temporarily.

soothe chicken pox blisters: Witch Hazel can also help the itching caused from chicken pox. To make a Witch Hazel mixture, take one cup of witch hazel and one cup of water. Mix the two and apply to the skin. Don’t be afraid to lavish this mixture on the skin. The witch hazel can be applied as often as needed. Once you apply the witch hazel and water, let dry.

heal cuts and scrapes: Many chemists and pharmacists refer to witch hazel as nature’s answer to Neosporin. Witch hazel can be a substitute for hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol when it comes to cleaning out a cut. Pour a liberal amount of witch hazel over the cut or sore and allow it to dry. Add a bandage and you’re set. You can also use witch hazel on bruises or skin that is blistered or cracked.

soothe razor burn: The anti-inflammatory properties of witch hazel stop itchy bumps from forming up around your irritated hair follicles. Splash on after shaving legs or face.

treat sunburn: Healing damaged skin is one of witch hazel’s specialties. But as sunburn is also a type of skin inflammation, witch hazel is ideal for treating this too (despite swelling not being obvious). Treating sunburn with witch hazel will lessen healing time and prevent the infamous skin peeling and flaking. Apply with a washcloth soaked in witch hazel, allowing it to soak into your skin for several minutes before removing.

treat dry skin: Apply witch hazel immediately after showering to lock in the moisture that has just soaked into your skin.

soothe tired, puffy eyes: If your eyes are puffy from crying or lack of sleep (or both), then soak two small cotton pads with witch hazel and put them over your eyes. After 10 minutes, your eyes should be refreshed, and any redness should be gone. Witch hazel is famous for shrinking blood vessels (which is why it’s one of the main ingredients in Preparation H cream).

natural deodorant: Witch hazel is often used in deodorants due to its natural skin-healing and skin-care properties.

sore gums, sore throat, laryngitis: The antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and astringent activity of Witch Hazel may help shrink and heal inflamed and sore throats, gums and larynx. Witch hazel tea infused with myrrh and cloves can make your sore throat feel better after gargling.

cold sores: Witch Hazel applied on a cold sore when you feel it coming on will prevent it from becoming a blister. If you already have one, use it right away and often and the blister will heal quicker.

scalp deep cleanse: Use a witch hazel hair-cleansing routine if you suffer from psoriasis, eczema, or dandruff. Massage the scalp with the witch hazel, followed with shampoo and conditioner. It is also an efficient “between-shampoos” method of washing your hair and scalp.

bug bites: With its anti-itch and anti-inflammatory properties, witch hazel is ideal for treating bug bites. Apply the witch hazel with a cotton ball, square or swab directly on the bite. It also works to soothe bites from fleas, flies and insect stings.

poison ivy and poison oak: Just like acne and blemishes, the witch hazel reduces itching and relieves swelling. Something definitely worth packing on your next camping trip.


Whiten Nails. Who needs a French manicure when you can make your nails shine with a little hydrogen peroxide? Just soak a cotton ball with peroxide and rub it on your nails.

Get Rid of a Cold. It might sound a little strange, but putting a few drops of hydrogen peroxide into each of your ears every morning can help you beat a cold.

Use as a Mouthwash. Dilute in water (the mixture should be about half water-half hydrogen peroxide) and use as a mouthwash, being very careful not to swallow any of the stuff. It’ll kill germs & whiten your teeth. Some experts even think it helps alleviate toothaches and canker sores!


One of the most effective natural anti-aging skin care ingredients available is Shea butter. Shea butter helps to improve skin tone and elasticity while moisturizing to help skin appear smoother, making wrinkling less noticeable. Shea butter also helps to even skin tone and eliminates rough, scaly, dry skin; making skin softer and supple.
Shea butter is a slightly yellowish or ivory-colored natural fat extracted from the nut of the African Shea tree.

Shea butter helps diminish wrinkles by moisturizing your skin, promoting cell renewal, and increasing circulation.

Shea butter also contains cinnamic acid, a substance that helps protect the skin from harmful UV rays. Although Shea butter should not be used instead of sunscreen, Shea butter does offer some sunscreen protection, making it a beneficial moisturizing choice to help protect your skin.

Shea butter softens dry, winter skin.

Shea butter is very good for dry and brittle hair and prevents breakage.

Shea butter is used for the management of sinusitis and relief of nasal congestion. This is due to its hydrating properties which help in relaxing the tension in the facial skin thus easing respiration.

How To Apply Shea Butter For Everyday Use!
Before application, melt completely by rubbing in your hands until butter is perfectly liquid.

Revitalizing Your Hair
The day before shampooing, oil your hair by massaging your scalp with a plop of butter. Wrap your hair in a hot towel; your keratin will absorb all that is required. 

Love Your Face
The face is the main beneficiary of the daily use of Shea butter especially for those with dry skin; concentrate on inner parts (lower part of the nose, the corners of lips). Massage about ten minutes.

Protect Your Body in Winter
All of your body parts that are exposed are attacked by the cold weather. The film that Shea butter leaves on your skin will screen and protect it for hours. Never forget that the fight against aging begins with protection.

Dry Hair Care
If you have very dry hair, ten minutes after shampooing, apply a little Shea butter to bring brightness and life to your hair.

The superficial layers of the skin absolutely require an acceleration of blood circulation. The butter will penetrate deep into your skin, leaving a satin finish to the skin. The protection is real and will last a long time.

Kissable Lips
Shea butter softens the lips and gives them a protective film against dryness and cold. Shea butter also helps irritated noses due to allergies or colds. A little Shea butter may be applied in each nostril. 

Relax Your Muscles
Apply carefully on arms and thighs for instantaneous muscular well-being.

Applying Shea butter immediately after shaving or waxing will prevent irritation and give your skin a lustrous, satiny look and feel.

Essential For Baby's Daily Care
Africans have been using Shea butter daily for centuries as a unique link between mother and child to prevent delicate baby skin irritations.

To Regain Freshness
Apply butter to every part of your body after a warm bath.

Care For The Summer
Your skin suffers during the whole summer. Regular use of Shea butter in addition to sun screen products, before and after sun exposure, leaves you with tanned skin and avoids peeling.

Shea Butter and Sport
Shea butter is particularly recommended for sportsmen. It has been used by Africans for centuries to relieve muscles tension and stress, Shea butter accelerates warm-ups, afterwards Shea butter helps drain toxins from sore muscles for a faster recovery.

Take note that Raw Shea butter offers the highest amount of anti-aging nutrients. This is Shea butter that has not been exposed to a refinement process.


Health and Beauty Uses for Essential Oils

This is a fairly long read. I am doing a class for a group of sweet ladies and will share some of my hand-outs here. I've combined information from so many sources so I will just say that if you frequent the "Links You'll Like" that I have listed on this blog, you will definitely be able to give credit where credit is due!!


Restless leg: rub some lavender oil on the front of the leg, anywhere in the shin to knee area to get relief from RLS.

Stress and anxiety: lavender has a natural calming effect, and will soothe anxiety and stress.

Insomnia: lavender essential oil will help you sleep and relax. Rub it on the bottoms of your feet

Menstrual cramps: rub essential oil on the abdomen area where you are suffering, and it can bring relief within 15 minutes.

Headache: rub some on the temples and forehead.  If you also have peppermint oil, the combination of lavender and peppermint in a carrier oil will work wonderful for headaches!

Aching muscles: add lavender essential oil to a carrier oil and massage into aching muscles. This is a great thing to do at bedtime.

Seasonal Allergies: Create a mixture of lemon, lavender, and peppermint to help with symptoms.  Mix 2 drops of each oil into 1/4 cup of water and drink.  You can also rub this mixture on your temples, across the bridge of your nose, on your feet, and/or inhale by holding hands up to nose and breathing deeply.*Please note not all essential oils are able to be ingested.

Heals insect bites: a drop of lavender oil on bites helps relieve the itch.

Fatigue: add some drops of lavender essential oil to your bath water to relieve fatigue.

Fevers: add some drops of oil to a cool washcloth and rub gently on forehead, neck, and trunk to cool down the body. You can also use lavender in a steam vaporizer to bring the comforting warmth to a chilled body.

Muscle pain, sprains: again add lavender oil with a carrier oil and rub on sprains and muscle pains.

Soothes burns: Lavender will help soothe sunburns and other types of burns as well.

Add to bathwater for a soothing bath to relax after a long day.

Make your own bath scrubs. Use sugar, olive oil, and lavender to create a wonderful exfoliating scrub for rough skin.

Minor scrapes: to prevent scarring.

Stop bleeding: lavender will help stop bleeding of small cuts and wounds.

Lavender can be used in cooking and a large variety of recipes.

Calming your children: put oil into a diffuser and place in a child’s room to help them sleep. Or…Add oil to a carrier oil and rub on the bottom of their feet anytime you want to calm down your child.

Strengthens the immune system: using lavender regularly can help build up your immune system.

Summertime drinks: Add lavender to sweet iced tea and lemonade for a refreshing drink.


Anti-Depressant – if you suffer from mild depression smelling the orange essential oil will help to alleviate it. Apply topically near the nose for best results. We call orange essential oil the happy oil in our house, and when we diffuse orange oils into the air, it lifts our moods.

Anti-inflammatory – If you suffer from digestive issues such as gastric upset, heartburn or nausea, orange essential oil helps. Add 2-3 drops to water and drink.

Anti-Septic – if you have a minor abrasion or cut on the skin the orange oil will work as an anti-septic killing bad bacteria to prevent infection. Always wash the affected area with soap and water first and then apply the essential orange oil.

Bath oil & Bath Wash - use 3-5 drops of orange essential oil in a nice warm bath to release the aromatherapy and enjoy a relaxing soak. Or for a bath wash, add a few drops of the oil to your favorite liquid bath soap to enjoy the properties of the oil while you bathe or shower.

Digestive Aid- rub a few drops of orange essential oil on the abdomen. Massage in a clockwise motion on the abdomen to help relieve constipation and water retention.

Brings relaxation – if used as aromatherapy the oil brings about a sense of relaxation. You can use drops of orange essential oil in a diffuser or breathe directly from the bottle.  You can place a small amount on hands and cup the hands and breathe in.

Calms skin irritations – if you have bug bites, poison ivy or oak. Precaution – Orange essential oil makes the skin photosensitive so use caution when being in the sun.

Collagen booster – orange essential oil acts as a collagen booster when applied to skin, helping to give skin anti-aging properties.  Do not apply the oil directly to the skin, but mix within a cream or oil and then apply to the skin.

Detoxifier / Diuretic
– orange oil helps to bring about a detoxification of the bladder, kidneys, and the lymphatic system. It helps to alleviate fluid retention and eliminates bile, salts, and uric acid. Add 2-3 drops of orange essential oil to a glass of cold water to cleanse the body and detoxify.

Flavoring – use a few drops in foods for a light orange flavoring. Ways to use orange essential oil could be things like smoothies, homemade ice cream recipes, and even in homemade brownies. Use sparingly until you get the taste you want.

Massage oil – blend your own massage oil, add 3-5 drops of your favorite essential oil to 1 oz. Fractionated Coconut oil, almond oil, or grapeseed oil. Massage areas of the body with irritated skin, fatigued muscles, etc.

Mouth wash – add a few drops of orange essential oil to water and gargle for a refreshing mouth wash. Peppermint oil and orange oil are a great combo together for cleaning the mouth.

Sleep aid – if you have trouble falling asleep due to mild depression or anxiety the oil brings on a feeling of relaxation. You can combine orange essential oil to a carrier oil, and rub on the bottoms of feet, and back of the neck for relaxation.

Sore throat gargle – mix 2-3 of drops of the oil in a glass of warm salt water and gargle to help soothe a sore throat.

Vapor therapy – add a few drops to a vaporizer to help in the treatment of respiratory conditions like colds and flu. You can combine orange essential oil with a carrier oil, and rub across the sinuses and on the chest to help with breathing.


Body cleansing drink: Add one drop of lemon oil to a glass of ice water for a gentle natural body cleansing in the morning.

Lemon iced tea: Add some lemon oil to fresh cold iced tea.

Sooth a sore throat: Add lemon essential oil to hot water and honey to soothe a sore and scratchy throat.

Hair highlights: Add some drops of lemon oil to a spray bottle of water and spritz hair and go out in the sun for natural highlights.

Mood uplifter: Combine lemon and lavender and use topically or diffuse in your room to uplift your mood, and chase away the blues.

Add lemon oil to sweet treats: Lemon frosting, lemon meringue, lemon cakes, lemon squares, lemon cookies, and of course lemonade!

Softens calluses, corns, and bunions: 
Apply lemon essential oil consistently to your hardened skin conditions, and the lemon oil will soften those areas.

Mind clarity: Add lemon oil to a room diffuser to clear your mind and bring clarity. You can also rub the lemon oil on your hands and inhale for a quick pick-me-up!

Skin brightener: Add lemon oil to your facial cleanser to help slough off dead skin cells and create a fresh clear complexion.


Helps heal and soothe sunburns.

Heals skin infections naturally.

Relieves itchiness from rashes as well as healing.

Treats acne.

Gets rid of head lice naturally; just add a few drops to your shampoo.

Cures toenail fungus and Athlete's foot.

Helps remove skin tags and is an effective treatment for warts.

Naturally cures bad breath. Swish some tea tree oil and water in you mouth and spit it out.

Soothes insect bites.Treats psoriasis and other skin conditions.

Relieves asthma or other breathing conditions when a few drops are added to a humidifier.
Works as as antiseptic on small cuts.
Relieves earaches; mix 1 drop of tea tree oil with 1 tsp. olive oil, drop mixture into the ear and then remove by tilting head.


*Oil of oregano should be diluted prior to use.
For topical application: Make a 50/50 mixture of oregano oil and olive oil and store in a dropper bottle to use as directed below.

For internal application: Mix 1 to 5 drops in milk, water or juice and drink as directed below.

Alleviate Migraine/Sinus Headaches: Rub the 50/50 mixture on the temples and forehead, between the eyebrows, or on the sides of the nose. Be careful not to get it into your eyes. It can also be sniffed full strength from the bottle to allow the fumes to get up into the sinuses and head.

Insect Bites & Stings: Apply 50/50 mixture to bites and stings to help neutralize and pull out toxins, and help them heal.

Burns: For painful and blistered burns, mix 1 drop of oregano oil into 1 teaspoon of olive oil and apply gently to the affected area. If applied immediately, it can prevent blisters from forming.

Toothaches & Mouth Sores: Rub 50/50 mixture around the infected tooth or gums to pull out toxins and reduce pain. If mixture is too strong, dilute with more olive oil.

Digestion: Oil of oregano helps to stimulate the flow of bile, which aids in digestion. To relieve digestive problems, take oregano oil internally 1 to 3 times a day.

Skin Infections: Mix 1 drop of oregano oil into 1 teaspoon of olive oil and apply to itches and skin infections.

Colds & Sore Throats: Take 3 drops internally once per day, for up to 5 days until symptoms are gone.

Ear Infections: Rub 50/50 mixture around the outside of the ear. May need to be diluted more for younger children. Never put oil of oregano directly into the ear canal.

Laryngitis: Use internally or by rubbing 50/50 mixture on the chest or throat. You may also heat water with oregano oil and inhale the vapors to help kill bacteria and ease the throat.

Warts: Mix 1 drop of oregano oil into 1 teaspoon of olive oil and apply directly to the wart and cover with a bandage. Add more oil and replace the bandage every day for up to 1 to 2 weeks.

Side Effects and Cautions

While oil of oregano is not dangerous in itself, it can have side effects that should be noted and considered prior to use. As always, please consult your doctor before starting any long term regimen.

It may affect the body’s ability to absorb iron, so an iron supplement should be taken along with any regular internal oregano oil regimen.

Pregnant women are not advised to use oregano oil since it may cause bleeding, especially for those in early pregnancy or prone to miscarriages.

People with allergies to mint, thyme, sage, or any other member of the mint family should take precaution and discontinue use immediately if rash, irritation, or vomiting occur during use.


Stay alert while driving: Place peppermint on temples and under nose or just put the bottle under nose, and inhale several times to wake up.

Cool a fever: Place a few drops of oil on a wet washcloth and wipe down fevered body to cool down.  You can also apply the peppermint to bottoms of feet to bring down the fever.

Herbal tea: Add a drop of peppermint oil to a cup of herbal tea to clear sinuses, and enjoy a brisk cup or warmth to soothe you.

Relieve nausea: Rub a drop of peppermint oil on the tummy, and place a drop in a cup of hot water and sip it.

Relieve joint pain: Rub on joints to relieve tendinitis and arthritis pain.

Freshen breath: Place one drop of peppermint essential oil on tongue for a freshness.

Ease seasonal allergies: combine lavender, peppermint and lemon essential oils together to relieve allergies. Add the three to a carrier oil, and rub on bottoms of feet, to the back of the neck and across the forehead. Then take hands and cup over nose and inhale with deep cleansing breaths to bring fast relief.

Bring focus and alertness: Rub peppermint on the back of neck to wake up and bring focus when you are tired.

Improve digestion: Add peppermint to a glass of water hot or cold and drink for a daily digestive aid.

Relieve headaches: Place drops of peppermint on temples and back of neck, even across the forehead to ease a headache.

Use in cooking: Add peppermint essential oil to cookies, brownies and sweet treats, oh yum!

Curb your appetite: Inhale peppermint oil right from the bottle to help suppress hunger.

Relaxing foot soak: Add peppermint oil to a warm foot soak, or add peppermint to an unscented lotion and do a foot massage with it to relieve the tension.

Clear congestion: Add peppermint oil to a hot cup of steaming water, and inhale.  Even make a tent over your head and bend over the peppermint steam and inhale to relief pressure in sinuses.

Rub peppermint oil combined with a carrier oil to the chest to relieve congestion.

Relieves itching: Apply peppermint oil to bug bites to stop itching.  (don’t apply to open sores, it will burn!)

Relieve motion sickness: Rub peppermint essential oil to tummy, place some on your tongue, and even to your wrists to help with travel and motion sickness.

Add drops of peppermint to a humidifier to freshen air and relieve breathing while sleeping.

Massage it in: Combine lavender and peppermint essential oil to a massage oil to bring relief to feet, shoulders and back.


Over-The-Counter Replacements Using Essential Oils

Medicine Cabinet Makeover Using Essential Oils

Homemade Hair Spray

I haven't tried this yet (if you've looked at the photos you will notice I have really short hair!), but it sounds wonderful. I may make it just for the fun of it!! This is another one from DIYNatural.com. You just need to head over to that site and check out all the great ideas!!

Citrus-Lavender Hairspray

1 Whole Orange (For Dark Hair) Or Lemon (For Light Hair), preferably organic (to avoid having pesticides in your hairspray)
2 cups Distilled Or Filtered Water 
2-3 Tbsp High Proof Vodka (Or Other Clear Grain Alcohol)
6-8 drops Of Lavender Essential Oil 

Step 1: Cut a whole orange or lemon into wedges and combine with 2 cups water in a small pot. Boil over medium high heat until liquid is reduced by half.

Step 2: Strain liquid through cheesecloth into a measuring cup. If you boiled too much liquid out add water until you have 1 cup. Allow citrus juice to cool.

Step 3: Combine alcohol and essential oils in a small bowl, swirl to mix, then add to the cup of citrus juice. (Feel free to experiment with your favorite essential oil or leave them out altogether.)

Step 4: Use a funnel to pour into a spray bottle with a fine mister and shake to combine ingredients. Shake before each use.

A Few Things to Note: This is not a maximum hold hairspray that will freeze a prom up-do or 80′s bangs. It is a flexible hold formula. 

This formula is great for brunette hair. Use an orange for darker hair, and lemons only if your hair is light-colored. There is a chance the lemon can lighten your hair when exposed to sunlight.

Grab the orange or lemon sitting in your fruit bowl and give this hairspray a whirl!

Homemade Shaving Cream

All Natural Homemade Shaving Cream

4 Tbsp Solid Shea Butter
3 Tbsp Coconut Oil
2 Tbsp Jojoba Oil
5-6 Drops Pure Roman Chamomile Essential Oil, optional 
5-6 Drops Pure Lavender Essential Oil, optional 

Using a double boiler, (I use a glass bowl over a pot of simmering hot water) add the shea butter and coconut oil and let them melt over the lowest heat setting, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat once completely melted.

Homemade Hand and Body Lotions

Nourishing Hand And Body Cream

¼ cup Coconut Oil (I Use Nutiva Organic Or Tropical Traditions)
⅛ cup Shea Butter
⅛ cup Cocoa Butter 
1 Tbsp Aloe Vera Juice
1 Tbsp Liquid Oil Of Choice (Like Sweet Almond, jojoba, etc.)
5-10 Drops Essential Oils (Optional)

Heat the shea butter, coconut oil, and cocoa butter over low heat until melted.

2. Remove from heat.

3. Add the aloe vera juice, liquid oil, and essential oils and stir to combine well.

4. Store in container of your choice. I used small canning jars.1. I love how versatile this recipe is. I used extra coconut oil and shea butter since I was out of cocoa butter and it still turned out great.

2. For essential oils, use whatever you like. I used orange, which was really heavenly smelling, especially combined with the fragrance of the coconut oil. I felt like a creamsicle . I guess if I used the cocoa butter I would smell like chocolate covered candied orange peel (I’m working on a recipe for that), or something like that. Lavender would be very soothing as well.

3. This makes a small amount–just enough for one of these small canning jars.


How To Make An Easy Beeswax Lotion

1 C. Olive Oil
½ C. Coconut Oil
½ C. Beeswax (I Prefer The Pastilles For Easy Melting, if using solid beeswax use 2 oz.)
½ T. Vitamin E Oil (Or About 5 Capsules Cut Open And Squeezed Out) (Optional)
20 Drops (Approximately) Essential Oil (Optional)

Combine olive oil, coconut oil and beeswax pastilles into a pint sized canning jar. Put this jar into a saucepan and fill the saucepan with water until it comes ¾ of the way up the canning jar, being careful not to get water into the oil mixture. Put on the stove over medium/low heat. Heat and stir occasionally until melted. Let cool to room temperature either by leaving out or quicken the process by putting into the refrigerator. During the cooling process, put a fork into the jar and stir vigorously every 15 minutes or so. Once at room temperature, add in the Vitamin E and essential oil. That’s it. You have lotion!


If you need essential oils, PLEASE check out Young Living Essential Oils.

Homemade Deodorant

I like using a salt crystal myself, but this is a very nice deodorant alternative for those of you who like some fragrance and a little more protection. This recipe comes from ThePolivkaFamily.com

Homemade Deodorant, That Lasts All Day

Empty Deodorant Container 
3 Tbsp Coconut Oil 
2 Tbsp Beeswax
2 Tbsp Baking Soda 
2 Tbsp Arrowroot 
⅛ tsp Tea Tree Essential Oil
⅛ tsp Lavender Or Rosemary Essential Oil


Melt beeswax and coconut oil in a pan or double boiler over low heat. Whisk in the baking soda and arrowroot powder. Remove pan from heat, and stir in essential oils. Add more if it isn’t fragrant enough for you. Pour into deodorant container. Leave uncapped for 24 hours or until cool. Then cap.

If you need essential oils, PLEASE check out Young Living Essential Oils.
Click on the member sign-up in the upper right, check retail customer and use my number #1487150 so that I will get credit for the purchase. Then fill out the information, place your order, and you're all set!!

Homemade Vaseline

This is a terrific alternative to vaseline and comes from LittleHouseLiving.com

Homemade Natural Vaseline

Description: When we have a cold and one very runny stuffed up nose there isn't anything better than a nice smear of petroleum jelly across the sore, red, chaffed spots.

Well, except the petroleum part.

Lucky for all of us, it turns out that a homemade, all natural version of "Vaseline" is super easy to whip up! Here's all you need:

1 ounce Beeswax (Around ⅛ C. A Little More If You Want It Softer)
½ C. Olive Oil


Mix the ingredients together in a small mason jar and set it in a saucepan of water -  heat on a very low heat until the beeswax has melted. While it's warm, pour into a jar or another container. Use as you would Vaseline! This recipe makes enough to put in a little jelly jar.

Homemade Shampoo Recipes

Here are several shampoo recipes that we've tried and enjoyed. These three recipes come from Instructables.com.

Homemade Chamomile Shampoo

Description: Chamomile makes this 'poo a calming treat. Chamomile also has natural lightening properties, so combine this with lemon juice if you want to lighten your hair!

1 cup Distilled Water
1 cup Castille Soap - Try Lavender!
6 Chamomile Tea Bags
1 ½ Tbsp Glycerin
Flip Cap Bottles Or Foaming Bottles To Dispense


Steep the teabags in 1 cup of boiled water for 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags and discard. Add castille soap to the tea. Stir in glycerin until well blended. Keep in a dark, cool place in a sealed bottle.

Homemade Shine Shampoo

Description: Fragrant and lively, try this recipe to add shine to your hair

¼ cup Distilled Water
¼ cup Liquid Castile Soap - Try Lemon!
2 Tbsp Dried Rosemary
2 Tbps Sweet Almond Oil
¼ tsp Lemon Essential Oil
Flip Cap Bottles Or Foaming Bottles To Dispense

Boil distilled water, add rosemary and steep until fragrant.

Strain leaves and let cool. Mix all ingredients and add to water and stir well.

Store in a bottle. Use as you would any shampoo, rinse well.

Homemade Rejuvinate Shampoo

Description: This is a great shampoo for any hair type.

¼ cup Distilled Water
¼ cup Liquid Castile Soap - I Use Unscented, but you can choose your favorite
½ tsp Jojoba, grapeseed, or other light vegetable oil
3 Tbsp Rosemary
1 Tbsp Lemongrass
2 tsp Tea Tree Oil
1 tsp Vanilla Essential Oil
Flip Cap Bottles Or Foaming Bottles To Dispense

Boil distilled water, add rosemary and and lemongrass (in tea strainer if you have it) and steep until fragrant (about 20-30 minutes)..

Strain leaves and let cool. Mix all ingredients and add to water and stir well.

Mix the tea tree oil and vanilla into the water. Add soap.

Store in a bottle. Use as you would any shampoo, rinse well.

Let the shampoo cool, and then place the top on tightly.

Homemade Blush

Here is another great recipe from ThankYourBody.com. I used beet root and hibiscus powder for mine and I love it. 

Homemade Blush

Arrowroot Powder
Hibiscus Powder
Cinnamon (Optional)

Start with a base of arrowroot powder, about 1 Tbs. Add in the hibiscus or beet root powder a little at a time until you get the desired color. Add cinnamon for a little depth and glow.

*Note: Hibiscus powder gives a nice subtle pink glow, but for some it may seem too subtle. You could also try Alkanet Root or Beet Root powder which has a richer, more reddish, tone. But in either case, add the color gradually. You can always add more arrowroot powder to lighten back up, but if you get too heavy handed you’ll end up with a whole lot of blush on your hands.

You can find Hibiscus and Beet Root at My Spice Sage (as well as a gazillion other spices). It's not the only place of course, but their prices are good, quality very good, and your order arrives very quickly!!

Natural Homemade Face Powder/Foundation

This recipe comes from ThankYourBody.com. This is a great powder, very light, and silky on your skin. It doesn't cover heavy but just evens out your skin tone.

All Natural Homemade Foundation


For The Base:
Arrowroot Powder

Add One Or A Combination Of:
Cocoa Powder
Ground Cinnamon
Jojoba, Olive, or Almond Oil (optional)


1. Start with a base of arrowroot powder (1 tsp. for dark skin – 1 Tbs. for light skin)

2. Slowly add in one or combination of the cocoa powder, cinnamon, or nutmeg until you reach your desired tone.

3. If you want more of a “compact” foundation, add some jojoba/olive/almond oil to the mixture and press down into a compact. (Start with 5 drops and keep adding until it reaches your desired texture).

Use a brush to apply foundation. Make sure to tap off excess before swiping face.

Homemade Lipstick and Lip Balm

This is such a great lip balm or, with some color, lipstick. I made some with just a very slight tint and some a little darker. You can add many different spices to custom make your shade. You can order empty containers or use an old chapstick container. Super easy!! This recipe comes from DIYNatural.com.

Homemade Natural Lip Stick or Lip Balm Recipe

1 tsp Beeswax Pastilles
1 tsp Shea Butter Or Cocoa Butter
1 tsp Coconut Oil

This base recipe will create a smooth, clear lipstick that is very moisturizing and protective. It is made from completely natural ingredients and is safe for use on the lips or skin. If you want, you can add color with the following add-ins to create a color of your choice.

Optional Color Add-Ins

For Red Hues: ⅛ teaspoon of beet root powder or 1 drop of natural red food coloring with no chemical additives. NOTE: Add these very slowly as a little goes a long way!

For Brown/Tan Hues: ¼ teaspoon (or more for color) of organic cocoa powder, a tiny pinch of cinnamon or turmeric to get the shade you want

For a more Matte texture: ¼ teaspoon bentonite clay- I use this with a color so it doesn’t leave a white tint on the lips.

For Scent: A drop of essential oil of choice (optional)Melt the beeswax, shea butter/cocoa butter and coconut oil in a glass jar without a lid in a small pot of simmering (not boiling) water. It should melt quickly because so little of each ingredient is used.

When melted, remove from heat and add any optional ingredients like color or scent. 

Once all ingredients are mixed well but still liquid, use a dropper to pour into the lip chap container. I used the glass dropper from an old tincture bottle. Fill just below the top as it will expand slightly as it cools. Leave to cool for at least half an hour. Store in a cool place (under 80 degrees) or it will soften.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Peppermint Sage Toothpowder and Mouthwash

I'm going to be putting up some of my favorite Do It Yourself Health and Beauty recipes over the next few days. Stay tuned because these projects will save you lots of money as well as being really good for you!! These come from DIYNatural.com!!

Peppermint Sage Toothpowder
2 Tbsp Bentonite Clay 
2 Tbsp Baking Soda
1 Tbsp Dried, Finely Ground Sage Leaf
1 Tbsp Xylitol Or Stevia To Taste (Optional), - I don't use a sweetener)
½ Tbsp Pure Sea Salt 
15-20 Drops Peppermint Essential Oil 

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly with a spoon. Drip essential oils into the mixture and stir well to combine. Transfer to a small container or jar with a tight fitting lid. Particles of the tooth powder are fine enough that a small squirt bottle can also be used (as long as you don’t get the squirt-tip wet, which will cause clogging).

To brush with tooth powder, sprinkle or squirt some onto a wet toothbrush. Brush teeth as usual.

Peppermint Mouthwash

½ c. aloe vera juice
¼ c. water
1 tsp witch hazel
1 tsp baking soda
10 drops peppermint essential oil


Combine the aloe vera juice, water, and witch hazel in a bottle. Gently add in the baking soda, being careful that a reaction doesn’t overflow. Add in your drops of peppermint essential oil, cover, and shake vigorously. Store in a cool, dark  area for up to 2 weeks.


If you need essential oils, PLEASE check out Young Living Essential Oils.
Click on the member sign-up in the upper right, check retail customer and use my number #1487150 so that I will get credit for the purchase. Then fill out the information, place your order, and you're all set!!

If you'd rather not make it yourself and would like to buy some of my homemade items, just email me for prices: landeblew@gmail.com

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mimi-Lada's (The number ONE most requested dish around our house!!)

I cannot believe I didn't already have this recipe posted here. This is one of the easiest, yummiest, and most requested dishes you'll ever make. You will notice that there are no amounts listed in my ingredient list. That is because it's just up to you. You can start with a pound of ground beef, a pack of 10 tortillas, a jar of refried beans (I make my own) for a small casserole, or go all out with several pounds and feed a small army. Start small, but I promise you that you will soon be making big pans of it so that you can split it up and freeze it for later. It reheats perfectly. Put your frozen casserole, (covered) in a cold oven, set to 350 and check in an hour. If the center is thawed you can uncover to heat thru. This recipe came about because it was taking me too long to make enchilada's for such a large crowd...so I made them into a casserole!!

Ground Beef
Refried Beans
Flour Tortillas Any Size (Can Also Use Corn Torillas)
Shredded Cheese
Taco Seasoning Mix

Toppings: Sour Cream, Shredded Lettuce, Salsa, Chopped Tomatoes, Chopped Onions, Quacamole

Tortilla Chips 


Brown ground beef and add taco seasoning - warm the beans - layer tortillas, beans, tortillas, beef in a baking dish - top with cheese and bake 350 for around 30 minutes till bubbly and cheese melted. This recipe can be doubled, tripled…I make it for LARGE groups. Serve with shredded lettuce, chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, tortilla chips and guacamole or salsa dips. A favorite around our house!

I usually put some salsa or diced tomatoes on the bottom of the pan
then layer the tortillas - as you can see, I cut and paste!

Then I spread a layer of refried beans...

...another layer of tortillas....

...a layer of ground beef...

...and top it with cheese.

Bake it at 350 until bubbly (all the ingredients are already cooked and warm).
And enjoy!!!