lotion.

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Well, Pinterest did it again. It led to me to this little website – Primally Inspired – to make some homemade lotion. I’ve stated before that I’d like to work towards using as many natural, homemade beauty products as possible. I’ve come up with my own makeup remover and deodorant. Now I can add lotion to the list!

This recipe called for beeswax, so I had to do a little research. As expected, beeswax has some wonderful properties (anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-allergenic, and germicidal antioxidant) that make it wonderful for wound healing. On a daily basis it locks in moisture, blocks out the elements, and keeps skin healthy and smooth. Also, a little bit goes a long way, so you don’t need to use too much.

There were plenty of places to find beeswax on Amazon or other websites, but to play it safe I picked some up from our local health food store. It came in a large block. I know other places sell it in pellets or smaller pieces – probably easier to melt, but the blocks worked just fine for me!

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To create my own “double boiler” I put a heat-proof bowl inside a colander inside a pot with water boiling. Easy enough.

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It took about 15-20 minutes to fully melt the beeswax (the coconut oil melted very quickly). But when it is done, it’ll be the color of the beeswax.

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Let it cool completely. You can poke a hole (like me!) to make sure it is cool. Mine was still soft, but the temperature had cooled.

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Homemade Lotion
Ingredients:
2/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup beeswax
10-20 drops of lavender oil (or any other essential oil of choice)

1. Melt the coconut oil and beeswax together in a double boiler.
2. When completely melted, add in the lavender oil.
3. Allow to cool completely. Don’t let it harden completely, but make sure that it is “softly solidified.”
4. Whisk (or beat) the mixture a bit. It will add some air and make a smoother consistency.
5. Store in an airtight container. The shelf life will be as long as the shelf life of the coconut oil you used.

A few notes:
A little bit of this goes a long way. Don’t feel any need to lather up.
-Since the main ingredient is coconut oil, it will likely harden up. If you need to soften it, run your container under hot water.
-Cleaning the bowl or whisk or any materials you use might be tough. You are using oils and wax 🙂 I found using a lemon cut in half to break the oil was very helpful. Or, if you have any lemon essential oil, that should cut through the grease. If you don’t want to deal with that, I’ve seen people melt the oil and beeswax right in the mason jar (in the double boiler) – that would work just fine!

Enjoy!

croutons.

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One of my brothers is a baker in Madison, Wisconsin. His bakery, Madison Sourdough Company, is not only my favorite because my brother it belongs to my brother. If it was located in Grand Rapids (or if I was located in Madison), I would gain about 10 lbs. far too quickly. Their fresh baked bread is a little slice of home. The french toast is simply food-gasmic. And their pastries are beyond brag-worthy.

Whenever I have the chance, I bring home a fresh loaf of MSCo. bread. However, I usually can’t get through it before it turns. It is good to freeze, but this time I decided to make some croutons!

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After slicing the bread into some nice little cubes, all I did was coat them in some butter, garlic, salt, and pepper, and toast them for 30 minutes! Easy as pie!

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Homemade Croutons
Ingredients:
1/2 loaf of bread (starting to get a little old)
4 T butter, melted
garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 300 degrees
1. Slice bread into cubes
2. Toss in butter and spices
3. Spread bread cubes on a cookie sheet
4. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until crispy or lightly browned. Stir every 10-15 minutes. Store in an airtight container.
5. Enjoy on top of a caesar salad!

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Enjoy!

molasses cookies.

After a very bleak week of Michigan gray and summer refusing to come, we were in need of cookies around here.

Molasses cookies are those cookies that I don’t think to make or even eat, but when I have them, I LOVE them. With the right of amount of spice, they’re reminiscent of fall but perfect at any time of year. I must give a shout out to my brother’s bakery – Madison Sourdough Company – for having the best molasses cookies. However, in between my trips to Wisconsin to visit, these will do juuuuust fine.

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This recipe was found in my magazine from Penzey’s Spices. My mom is starting to get Bryan and I hooked on these delicious and legit spices. Their vietnamese cinnamon spice is heavenly.

 

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Molasses Cookies

Ingredients:
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground cloves
1 t powdered ginger
2 cups flour
1/4 cup extra sugar, for rolling

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
1. Cream the butter and sugar together.
2. Add in the molasses and egg until fully mixed.
3. Mix in the baking soda, salt, and spices.
4. Mix in the flour, 1 cup at a time, until fully mixed. The dough will be sticky, so remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
5. Roll the dough into 1″ balls. Roll the dough balls in the sugar and place about 2″ apart on lightly greased cookie sheets (they will spread out).
6. Bake for 8-10 minutes. I bake them for 8-9, until the sides just start to firm up, so they remain nice and chewy.

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Enjoy!