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Country Grown Healthy Living

Updated on February 4, 2016

Soap!!!!!! Soap!!!!! and More Soap!!!!!!!

In doing a ton of research I have found the best Lye Calculator ever. It takes your ingredients and you can input the size of your soap mold and it does all the work for you! I'm great with numbers but my math skills drive me crazy.

www.summerveemeadow.com is where you can find the Calculator. They also have great instructions and ideas for soap. And believe me, I have looked and looked for a great calculator for making my soap.

I am making my first big batch of my base soap today and I'm soooo excited. My boyfriend made me the best soap mold in the world but its going to take a lot of soap to fill it up! And I am looking forward to it.

Country Grown Healthy Living base soap recipe

Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Beeswax, Avocado Oil, Shea Butter and Aloe Vera Gel. I use coconut milk for my water instead of water. It works great because I keep the milk in the refrigerator so its nice and cold when mixing it with the Lye. And its has such soft conditioning properties, I fell in love with it after making my first batch of soap.

I use this base recipe for a shampoo bar also. My hair has a way of being very oily if I don't wash it every day (and washing your hair every day isn't the best for it) and once I started using my soap, my hair stays oil free for about 2 to 3 days now!!!! Love it. However, I do use Apple Cider Vinegar as a conditioner every day. I have a spray bottle in the shower that I spray on my hair right before getting out.


Source

Summer Savings!!!!

Are you ready for the summer? Looking for some great ways to save money yet still get that summer outfit that you've been eyeing? Having 2 small children that seem to continue to outgrow their clothes every 6 months makes shopping a little tight. I have started shopping on Ebates and using RetailMeNot. Ebates gives you cash back for shopping and RetailMeNot gives extra discounts off at your favorite stores. I was able to get my daughter (who only likes skinny jeans) 3 pairs, 1 shirt, 1 sweatshirt and my boy a pair of swim shorts and jeans for just under $100. And the best part is that I received $14.00 cash back for using Ebates.

Home

I am a single mother of 3 (my oldest is 17 and well I don't see much of him :) and trying to survive in this world and provide a good living for my children. We moved out to the country (well they grew up living out in the country until we moved away after getting divorced) last November. We now have chickens, horses, dogs and a couple of different gardens!!!!! I have been making my own soap for a little over a year now and love it. It is all natural and saves money over the course of the year. I'm loving the fact that I can make all my own cleaning supplies and grow my own food!

My Mom is really into living green these days and I started thinking she had some pretty good ideas. So I really blame my mom for getting me into making my own soap and growing my own food! Which I LOVE her for!!!! We talk about just about everyday and toss ideas back and forth. Mom makes awesome bird feeders and yard art and I make soap. Wish she was closer so we could do all this together. She has yet to make any soap (which was her idea to begin with) yet she has an amazing garden. I only hope that my garden this year will be as amazing as hers this year!

I started making soap back in 2014. Some worked and some failed. Had a blast trying them all. Then life happened and I didn't make any more soap. I was really missing the great properties of homemade soap and decided that life had happened again (for the better!!!) and I started making soap again. I am able to be home with my 2 small children and watch our mare and her soon to be baby!

Started getting my garden ready last week and have a few veggies planted so far. Didn't want to get a big start on it since planting really should happen between April 15 and May 15 (I'm in zone 7) and didn't want any of my plants to freeze. I plan on finishing all my planting and water lines this weekend. I have picked a bunch of herbs to put into my garden for my soap making ideas!

It has been a blast doing research on what oils and butters do for you. I have come up with what I think is the best base soap recipe ever! It works great on my hair and body. I use to have wash my hair daily due to the oils but now I can get away with only washing it 2 to 3 times a week.

I will post my pictures and recipes soon!

Are You Ready for the Summer Bugs?

Are you ready for the summer? It's almost time for the kids to be out of school and time for the bugs to come out! Every year I look for a way to rid the bugs around the house without using chemicals.

This is what I have found that helps!!!!

Planting Lavender and Geranium (Citronella) plants in your flower beds or containers around the house helps out a lot. And to add a great benefit, they both smell great. Rosemary and lemongrass also make a good deterrent for those little pests during the summer. Adding these plants around your house makes a great curb appeal and lovely scents around your place.

Lavender Plants

Geranium Plants

Homemade Bug Spray

Essential Oils

Lavender

Geranium (Citronella)

Lemon Eucalyptus – good replacement for Deet

Rosemary

Carrier Oil

Coconut Oil Fractionated (My Favorite)

Jojoba Oil

Grapeseed Oil

Almond Oil

Mix together 40-50 drops of essential oils. Mix the essential oils – sample - 30 Lemon eucaluptus, 10 Lavender, 10 Geranium

Put a dab on each wrist, behind the ear and on the neck.

You can also use Witch Hazel in a spray bottle with the essential oils as listed above. If using witch hazel, use about 1/8 tsp of vodka as a preservative. Spray on. Make sure to avoid the face and eyes since it does have witch hazel and/or vodka in the spray.

Source

Chamomile Lavender Soap

Hand crafted with all natural ingredients. I spend hours in the store looking for the best natural products for my family and there are not a lot of choices out there. So I decided to make soap that is good for my family and the environment. I use only natural ingredients in making my soap. I research all the oils that are put into my soap to come up with the best formula for an awesome soap!

Ingredients

  • 28 oz Olive Oil
  • 7 oz Beeswax, I use the white beeswax
  • 8.25 oz Coconut Oil 76 Degrees
  • 4.15 oz Grapeseed Oil
  • 1.85 oz Avocado Oil
  • 6 oz Lye
  • 16 oz Coconut Milk - Cold
  • Chamomile Flowers
  • Dried Lavender Flowers

Instructions

  1. Melt the oils and beeswax to 110 degrees.
  2. Mix the Lye with the Coconut Milk (I keep my milk in the refrigerator so when mixed with the Lye it doesn't get has hot) - always follow your directions on mixing your Lye per the Lye directions on the bottle. And ALWAYS use safety gear when mixing the Lye. I am not responsible for any mishaps that you may have. If you have not made soap before, please be sure to do lots of research and understand the risks of using Lye
  3. Once the oils and Lye are both at 95-110 degrees mix together.
  4. At trace mix in Chamomile and Lavender. Put in mold and let sit over night. Remove from mold and let dry - you may cut the soap into bars at this point.
  5. You can purchase this soap at https://www.etsy.com/shop/CountryGrownHealthy?ele=shop_open (as long as supplies last)

You can purchase any of my soap products at my Esty Shop. I will be adding more soap and pictures every day. If you have something you like and want more of, please let me know. I am here to provide the best soap product to you that I can!

After juicing my oranges I was left with the pulp (my son doesn't like the pulp) so I decided to make homemade Orange Bread and use the left over pulp instead of the orange juice the recipe called for.  Turned out great!
After juicing my oranges I was left with the pulp (my son doesn't like the pulp) so I decided to make homemade Orange Bread and use the left over pulp instead of the orange juice the recipe called for. Turned out great! | Source

Orange Bread Recipe

Orange Bread

1 1/3 Cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
2 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice (I juiced a few fresh oranges and used the orange mash instead of the orange juice)
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Vanilla

In separate bowl mix together the flour, salt baking powder

Mix vegetable oil, eggs, milk,. sugar, orange juice and vanilla add in flour

Mix the cream cheese filling
8 ox cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp flour

Fill each loaf pan 1/2 full, spoon 1/3 cream cheese filling on top and mix in with a butter knife.

Bake at 350 for approx 50 mins - makes 2 loaves

Frosting
1/4 butter
2 cups powder sugar
1 tsp orange juice (I used Vanilla)
1/2 cup heaving whipping cream

Rate this recipe!!!

Cast your vote for Orange Bread

© 2015 April Miller

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    • uniquebydonna profile imageAUTHOR

      April Miller 

      3 years ago from Texas

      I feel your pain with the water! I live in north TX and we get very little rain here. I use a rain catcher for what little rain we get and use that. It does help a little. I hope you enjoy the orange bread. Let me know how yours turns out.

    • mactavers profile image

      mactavers 

      3 years ago

      While I do some veggies, in AZ the amount of water it takes prompts me to buy from the grocery and farmers' markets. I'm going to try to make your orange bread. Thank you.

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