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:

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Essential Oil Conversions - Ounces to Milliliters to Drops

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to converting ounces to milliliters to drops and diluting essential oils with ease.

1/8 oz. = 3.75 ml.          1/4 oz. = 7.5 ml.
1/2 oz. = 15 ml.             
1 oz. = 30 ml.
         4 oz. = 120 ml.          8 oz. = 237 ml.          16 oz. = 473 ml.

Technically, there are 29.57 ml. in 1 oz., however, this is usually rounded up to 30 ml. on labels and in recipes. This gives you a nice whole number to work with and less agonizing over decimals.
There are around 20 drops of essential oil in 1 ml. This works out to be…

1/8 oz. = 75 drops          1/4 oz. = 150 drops
1/2 oz. = 300 drops          1 oz. = 600 drops

These drop conversions will help you increase any 10 drop blend to the appropriate size that you need.

Essential Oils are very strong and must be diluted (usually in a carrier oil) or incorporated into a finished product such as a massage oil, lotion, or aroma spray. Whether diluting an essential oil or adding it to a finished product, the oil content should only account for 1 to 2% of the total blend. Here is the break down of how much essential oil to add to 1 oz. of carrier oil or to a finished product. These dilutions for 1 oz. can easily be multiplied for larger batches of finished product or divided for a fraction of an ounce.

We are going to use our conversions from above!
1% dilution: 1 oz. = 30 ml. = 600 drops of oil. 1% of 600 drops is 6, so………. for 1 oz. of carrier oil or finished product you are going to add 6 drops of essential oil.

2% dilution: 1 oz. = 30 ml. = 600 drops of oil. 2% of 600 drops is 12, so………. for 1 oz. of carrier oil or finished product you are going to add 12 drops of essential oil.

This information comes from Mountain Rose Herbs

How to Make Homemade Hand Lotion with Preservative

This is a great recipe and comes from A Sonoma Garden
In my first batch I used grapefruit essential oil and it's wonderful!! My next will be lavender! And just so you know, I don't own a microwave so I do it on the stove...and it works perfectly :-)

1 1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup emulsifying wax (Don’t use beeswax, here’s an easy homemade beeswax lotion recipe)
1/4 cup olive oil  or grapeseed oil
1/4 teaspoon Potassium Sorbate
24-36 drops essential oil

Combine olive oil and emulsifying wax in a microwaveable container and heat until just melted. About a minute in my case. Once it is melted, you may add your essential oils.
Then heat water to approximately the same temperature as the oil (again about a minute in the microwave). Then add 1/4 t. Potassium Sorbate. Stir well.
Pour water mixture into oil mixture and give it a good stir with a spoon.
Pour it into a decorative pump bottle, let it cool and you’ll have a beautiful, longer lasting lotion to enjoy!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Headache Balm

Headache Balm - this recipe comes from Everyday Roots with just a tiny change or two :-)

You will need…
-15-20 drops of peppermint oil
-10 drops of lavender oil
-2-3 drops of eucalyptus oil
-¼ cup Shea nut oil (I used shea butter)
-1 tablespoon almond oil 
-2 tablespoons beeswax pastilles/grated beeswax

Making your roots balm is easy, and takes around 20 minutes from start to finish. In a double boiler over medium heat melt ¼ cup of Shea nut oil, 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil, and 2 tablespoons of beeswax pastilles or grated beeswax together. Note from Mimi: I didn't have shea nut oil so used shea butter instead - you'll need a little more almond oil to keep your balm from being too solid.

Turn off the heat when thoroughly blended, and add 20 drops of peppermint oil, 10 drops of lavender oil, and 2-3 drops of eucalyptus oil. Pour into a small container with a tightly fitting lid, and let cool and solidify.

Massage a bit onto your temples, back of neck, the pressure point between the thumb and forefinger, or anywhere that needs some soothing when you feel tense or a headache coming on. Breathe deeply.

Note: Adding more wax yields a more solid balm, whereas adding more oil yields a softer one. You can also infuse your oil to give your balm an extra boost.

Why peppermint oil: Peppermint contains menthol, and menthol produces a cooling sensation on the skin which, couples with the refreshing scent, helps relieve tension and resulting tension headaches.

Why eucalyptus oil: Fresh and invigorating, eucalyptus soothes without making you sleepy. Studies have shown the scent increases brainwave activity, reducing fatigue. Rubbed on muscles, it helps relieve tension and soreness.

Why lavender oil: Lavender is also a wonderfully soothing scent, being used in a number of studies testing the benefits of aromatherapy. Changes in brain wave patterns for people exposed to the scent suggested increased relaxation and a resulting loss of tension in muscles.

Why beeswax/Shea nut oil or butter/almond oil: All of these ingredients are what give the balm its body, and dilute the essential oils. Good and nourishing for the skin.

Linen Spray

This recipe comes from TheDabblist.com
I spray this on my pillow right before bed - I think it helps me to sleep better...I am not a very good sleeper :-)

2 ounces Cheap Vodka
4 ounces Water
10-15 drops Essential Oils (I Used Lavender)


Shake up the bottle before use.

Cold and Flu Tonic

Here is my recipe for a tonic that I make to ward off colds and flu. Our son Robbie is never without a jar and he swears by it. I cannot remember where I got my recipe but I can tell you it works. It's hot and takes a little getting used to, but you will love it!

Mimi's Tonic
1 White Onion
1 head Garlic
4 Hot Peppers
4 inches Horseradish Root
4 inches Ginger Root
1 quart Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (like Braggs)


Process in processor and store in quart jar in fridge indefinitely. Take 1 tbs at first sign of cold, flu, etc.

Here is a very similar recipe with added turmeric from TrueEarthMama.com. And it is strained so it is probably a little easier to take. I think I will try it this way next time!! You'll also find some excellent information about the ingredients after the recipe.

Organic Super Cleansing Tonic
1 30 Oz. Bottle Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (I Recommend Braggs)
¼ cup Chopped Garlic
¼ cup Onions
¼ cup Habanero Peppers (Or Hottest Peppers You Can Find)
¼ cup Grated Ginger
¼ cup Grated Horseradish
2 Tbsp Turmeric

Blend ingredients together for a couple of minutes - Strain - Pour liquid back in bottle - Compost everything else!

You can store the tonic in a cupboard for long periods of time. No need to keep in the refrigerator. You can also use it mixed with olive oil for a salad dressing. Or a shot full on your stir fry.

**It is a good idea to wear gloves especially when handling the peppers as it is difficult to get the heat off of your hands!

*For sore throat, gargle a bit in the mouth and swallow.

*For an illness, such as a cold or flu, take about 2 droppers full or a Tablespoon every couple of hours. 

*For daily immune support drink 2 droppers full/ 1Tablespoon every day. Build up tolerance to a shot glass full.

*Eat an orange, lemon, or lime slice after to ease the heat.


The super cleansing tonic is an antibiotic, destroying both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. It is also a potent anti-viral and anti-fungal/yeast formula, and will increase blood and lymph circulation to every part of the body. It is so effective that it is said to be the cure for colds and the flu, and is the herbal preparation of choice against Candida. This basic formula dates back to medieval Europe and the plagues. 

Benefit of each Ingredient: (All Organic Of Course!!)

Garlic is a broad spectrum antibiotic. Unlike chemical antibiotics that kill off millions of friendly bacteria that your body needs, Garlic only targets the invading bacteria and even promotes and increases your healthy bacteria. Garlic is also a powerful anti-fungal and literally destroys any antigen, pathogen and any harmful or disease causing micro-organism. 

Onion is Garlic's next of kin and has similar but milder action. Together they are a tremendous fighting duo. 

Horseradish is a potent herb for the sinus and lungs. It opens up the sinus passages and increases the circulation there, where most doctors agree, the common cold and influenza often starts. 

Ginger contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties and is a tremendous circulatory stimulant.

Hot Peppers are the most powerful circulatory propellant known. It simply sends the antibiotic and disease fighting properties of the other herbs where they're needed most.

Turmeric clears infection and reduces inflammation inside of the body. It blocks cancer from developing. Especially helpful for those with joint pain.

Apple Cider Vinegar (I use Braggs Organic ACV) There surely must be something really healthy in using apple cider vinegar, since The Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, used this vinegar around 400 B.C. for its health giving qualities. It is said that he had only two remedies: honey and apple cider vinegar. 

All About Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is made from fresh ripe apples that are fermented and undergo a stringent process to create the final product. The vinegar contains a host of vitamins, beta-carotene, pectin and vital minerals such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, chlorine, sulphur, iron, and fluorine. 

Pectin in the vinegar is a fiber which helps reduce bad cholesterol and helps in regulating blood pressure. The need for calcium supplements once you start growing older is very well known. This vinegar helps extract calcium from the fruits, vegetables and meat it is mixed with, helping in the process of maintaining strong bones. Potassium deficiency causes a variety of ailments including hair loss, weak finger nails, brittle teeth, sinusitis, and a permanently running nose. Apple cider vinegar is loaded with potassium. Studies have shown that potassium deficiency results in stunted growth. All these ailments can be avoided with the intake of apple cider vinegar. The potassium in this vinegar also helps in eliminating toxic waste from the body. The beta-carotene helps in countering damage caused by free radicals, helping one maintain firmer skin and a youthful appearance. Apple cider vinegar is good for those wanting to lose weight. It helps in breaking down fat which helps in natural weight reduction. 

Apple cider vinegar contains malic acid which is very helpful in fighting fungal and bacterial infections. This acid dissolves uric acid deposits that form around joints, helping relieve joint pains. This dissolved uric acid is gradually eliminated from the body. 

It is claimed that apple cider vinegar is helpful in ailments such as constipation, headaches, arthritis, weak bones, indigestion, high cholesterol, diarrhea, eczema, sore eyes, chronic fatigue, mild food poisoning, hair loss, high blood pressure, obesity, along with a host of many other ailments. No wonder then many know apple cider vinegar as the "Wonder Drug". 

Just thought you would like to know how powerful this tonic is!

DIY Deodorizing Disks

This recipe comes from OneGoodThingByJillee.com

2 cups Baking Soda
1 – 2 Cups Distilled Water (Or You Can Boil Your Water For 10 Minutes.)
Lavender Essential Oil (Or Whatever Oil You Choose. Citrus Would Be Good Too!)
Silicone Mold Or Muffin Pan

Add a 3 to 4 drops of essential oil to approximately ½ cup water. Pour the water/oil mixture into the baking soda and mix well. Continue to add water until you have a THICK paste.

Divide the mixture into your molds or muffin tin cups.

Let dry 24 to 48 hours until completely hardened. 

I love the way they turned out. Cute design for a practical purpose! And they smell SO good!

According to Jennifer at Diapers, Dirt, etc…each disk should last about a month in a diaper pail. I’m guessing a month is also long enough to leave them in a smelly trashcan or compactor. Then when you are ready to replace it, take the OLD disk and crumble it into a load of laundry to help deodorize there as well.

Now go forth and make the world a better smelling place to dwell!