Saturday, March 30, 2013


My daughters are heading into the Track and Field season once again. My oldest daughter is concerned about people noticing some (and by some, I mean about 3) small acne-like skin bumps on the back of her leg when she's wearing shorts. (Did I mention they are both in middle school? Hence the assumption there will be a spotlight directly aimed at the back of her leg.) 

Go Wolverines!

Normally, in our family, if there are any types of skin irritations (bumps, bruises, scrapes, rash, bites, stings, eczema, "skin bumps") we apply a little calendula salve.  The reason for this is because calendula (also known as pot marigold) is very rich in anti-inflammatory properties and is also known to reduce pain.  It is also safe for internal use, so it can even be used on broken skin. We use this instead of a triple-antiobiotic ointment such as Neosporin. (Don't EVEN get me started on the overuse of antibiotics. That's a blog post for another day.) It's great for owies that take longer to heal as well.  However, we are running low on salve and it's time to make more.  We can't have our little runner distracted by a few skin bumps now can we?

The great thing about this salve is that it's super easy to make.
What you'll need:
300 degree preheated oven
 1oz Dried Calendula
 (Or any combination of calendula, plantain-the weed not the fruit-, and chickweed that equals 1oz.  Today I am using calendula and plantain.)
1 1/2 cups of Olive Oil
2-4 teaspoons of beeswax pastilles
(Depending on how "squishy" or firm you want your salve to be. Today I am using 2 teaspoons.)
1/2-1 teaspoon of Essential Oil of Lavender (optional)

Once you've measured out your herbs, you'll want to put them in an oven proof dish and cover them with the oil.  Give it a good stir and pop it in the oven for 2 hours, or you may also turn the oven off and let the mixture sit over night.

It's always important to weigh your herbs to ensure you are getting the correct potency.

Once your herbs are done infusing, remove them from the oven and let them cool.  When the herbs are cool, strain them.  Be sure to "squash" the herbs with a wooden spoon to get every last bit of oil out of those herbs.  The oil that is in those herbs is the most potent and you definitely want that in your salve.

I use a sieve, but cheese cloth is another great way to strain herbs.
Discard the used herbs and add your beeswax to the infused oil.  Place the oil back in the oven until the beeswax is melted.  Remove from the oven.  If you are using essential oil, let the mixture cool for a few minutes so the volatile oil doesn't evaporate out of the salve.  Once that's done, pour your mixture into a container (I use 2oz tins.  The size really depends on your preference and where you will keep it. Cabinet, diaper bag, purse, etc)

Freshly poured!

Once your salve is completely cooled, you can put the lid(s) on and label with the content and ingredients. (For the love of Pete, label!  Never leave things unlabeled!) This recipe yielded four 2oz tins, and one 1/2oz tin, but you can pour your salve into one large (heat proof) tub if you wish.  I like the "divide and conquer portability" of using tins.  One in each bathroom, one in the first aid kit, little guy in my purse, send one with the kids to camp... You get the idea.

You can find any or all of these ingredients, including the tins, at Mountain Rose Herbs, but you can also find most of this in your own kitchen as well!


And my daughter can hold her head high while sprinting, jumping and throwing!

Saturday, March 23, 2013


Man, oh, man! Spring is progressing here in the Northwest, but not without adversity from an overcast, and at times, *still* rainy sky.
But colors are definitely popping up out of the ground and trees, and the musical birds are back. And, honestly, while rain is no stranger, there is just such a lovely smell to Spring rain!
AND, one of the luxuries I benefit from working for the school district is, I get Spring Break. That's right. A whole week where I can work from the right side of my brain as much as I want to! Yay me!

The week hasn't even started yet, but here are just some of the "Spring Things" I'm working on...

Beautiful vintage inspired fabrics= Scented buckwheat pillows and hand-stitched herbal sachets.

Now available, toss-in-your-purse sized body butters.  Great for cuticles or a quick moisture fix for winter skin issues.

A new Spring look for lotion bars! Now in a handy 2oz travel tin!

I still have the whole week ahead of me, so I'm really looking forward to whatever else might come to pass this week. =) 

Happy Spring y'all!

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Reaching 600+ likes on Facebook = Fan appreciation Giveaway! 

I'm so grateful for all the love from Phyto-fans and now I want to return the favor! I am happy to give 1 lucky winner the Face It! Facial Spa Kit (valued at $20).  It includes Facial Toner, Facial Steam, Clay Mask, Chocolate Mint Lip Tint and recipes and tips for cleanser, exfoliation and moisturizer!  Get ready for Spring Cleaning your skin, naturally and organically!  To enter, follow the steps in the box below (Beginning at 3pm PST today).  There are several ways to gain entries, some of which you can do daily.  The contest will end at midnight,  March 17, 2013 and I will let you know who the lucky winner is!  Good Luck!

*For a more detailed description of the Face It! Facial Spa Kit, go here.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Coming soon! Natural Living Workshops!

I'm sitting here in my favorite local coffee shop brainstorming and drawing up the plans for some up and coming workshops and private event opportunities and having so much fun dreaming it all up! I can't wait to share it all with you!
While things are still under construction, you are welcome to visit the "workshop" tab on this blog to see the types of workshops that I'm developing.
I know they are going to be lots of fun, educational, and easy for the average Joe. Can't wait!