Homemade Baby Wipes

Simple Recipe for Homemade Baby Wipes

Before Sequoia was born, we tried to prepare our home like all parents do. This included buying all the supplies we thought we would need before actually meeting our precious little one. Baby wipes are on the top of every new parent’s list, and that’s just what we set out to get.

Looking at the selection, I could not fathom spending the loot for the top of the line, organic, fragrance-free, premium baby wipes. Come on! We have a baby on the way and we’ve been spending all this extra money already.

So I bought what I thought was the safest option for what I felt like we could afford at the time. I felt total guilt after taking a closer look at the ingredients at home, because I recognized some of them as being on our family’s list of no-go’s.

Many ingredients found in baby wipes should be avoided, even those that are advertised to be “Natural”, “Pure”, and “Fragrance-Free”. You will not only find these harmful ingredients in the “natural” versions that Huggies and Pampers have to offer, but they’re also in Seventh Generation, Kirkeland’s Non-Scented, Parents Choice fragrance-free, Member’s Mark Premium, Simple Truth, Alphanova Organic, etc.

These are the Toxic Ingredients to Avoid:

Bronopol (also known as 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1 and 3-Diol): This preservative releases formaldehyde as it breaks down and it’s an irritant that really should not be used in any baby products.

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THIS PLACE is anything BUT QUIET

We’ve now spent three weeks in our primitive dry cabin with no electricity… I thought this would be a quiet escape; no hum from lights, from the fridge, microwave, TV, traffic, and people. But I definitely would not use the word QUIET to describe this little clearing settled deep in Northern Minnesota’s lake country.

I wake up in the morning and ohhhhh I’ve got to pee, because I’ve been holding it until the sun decided to welcome the new day. You know I imagine all these critters lurking just outside the cabin, waiting for me to come outside so they can attack. (This is obviously not realistic and why I’m not a fan of scary movies; they only fuel the imagination). But with the first sign of morning light glowing orange through the dense vegetation, the threat of the unknown and unseen evaporates. All the imaginary haunts have left the yard for the day.

With every good dry cabin, there is an outhouse. I decide to leave the door wide open to take in my surroundings… and it is SO LOUD!!!

What is “peace and quiet” anyway? I ponder the noice and focus my senses to register what is going on around me.

I see a peliated woodpecker swoop from one perch to another 20 feet up in an old budding oak tree. Then hear it POUND away in its new spot looking for its prize.

I hear, “THUMP… THUMP… Thump… Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump. Starting off slow, each thump gains speed before fading off. I don’t see the culprit, but I know exactly what it is from growing up as a outdoorsy kid. It’s a grouse thumping its wings on a fallen log. This goes on all day, LOUD, and just out of sight.

There! The peliated woodpecker swoops again and sings its taunting call. Is he laughing?

And the songbirds. I’m not sure if I can decipher how many different tunes I hear; I think maybe 5. What could they really be gossiping about so early this morning?! The sun is just barely peeking over the horizon and lighting up the forest.

Oooooo what’s that?! A group of wood ducks fly by. They have a funny call, but it’s familiar to me from growing up on the Mississippi River; a flyway byway for migrating birds from around the world. I am no birder, but I am starting to appreciate my childhood and the small wonders I have picked up from half listening to my parents, the amateur naturalists who raised me.

Don’t forget the bees and other bugs, buzzing around finding the flowers that have already bloomed saying “Hello summer!”

 

I walk around the yard and look up to see three turkey vultures gliding steadily with the light wind that is picking up for the day. I know they are a bit ugly up close, but they look timeless soaring around above as they look for their next scavenged meal.

And my next thought before going back inside, “I MUST find a way to teach these things to my children someday.”

I challenge you to enjoy this spring and summer like it would be your last. School is already out for some, and the adventures begin. Go outside and breath in the moment. Listen and actually hear the differences between songbirds, frogs, crickets, or whatever your habitat provides.

There’s a lot more to come from our experiences this summer as we live “up north”.

With no electricity, you might have already figured out that we do not have internet service so I will do my best to sum up our experiences worth sharing and get them out to you.

You might already know we’ve had a prickly situation between Beast and a porcupine. It was a rough night yanking quills out of his snout at 1:30am by flashlight. But rest assured, Beast is doing great! Other than being a bit traumatized and hesitant for us to poke around his gums, he acts as if he’s 100 percent happy dog.

We had family surprise us last weekend by coming up to visit and enjoy the area in their traveling van. We are so gracious to be close to family in Minnesota and had a blast catching up with Mary, Jim, and Goodie.

 

And how about these 90 degree days?! How have you been finding fun in the heat? We’ve been forced to head straight to the lake after work to cool off. Again, without electricity we are beating the heat the old fashioned way. All three of us find refreshment in jumping in nearby lakes and then lounging waterside until the day cools off into dusk. This is “the life”!

Luckily mosquitos have not yet been an issue, but I will be testing some homemade bug repellent soon enough. Wood ticks on the other hand… oofta! Watch out for these blood sucking disease spreading buggers. I found one on myself that was as small as a poppy seed!!

That is all for right now. As always, wishing you happy and healthy trails from the woods…

Going Off The Grid

Cheers to the start of another new adventure. We really thought we would settle and grow more roots in southwest Michigan. We’ve had a great time with our friends and family here and will always be back to visit. We are grateful for all the time spent and memories made. Having friends and family so close is not something we take for granted.

But in always keeping our sails open to the winds of opportunity, we find ourselves drifting westward once again.

This time we will be stopping in Northern Minnesota for about 5 months. Zach has accepted a position as a Park Ranger with the Army Corp of Engineers and I’ve decided to take a vacation…. just kidding. I am taking my time finding work that will be suitable for a fun summer in lake country.

With the gracious help of family and friends, and friends of the family, we will be shacking up in a dry cabin. Yes, this means no running water and using an outhouse. I couldn’t be more thrilled about it! Summer spent amongst “the woods” is exactly what I had in mind when we decided to move to Crow Wing County.

Will it be more work to live in a dry cabin? Will there be enormous swarms of mosquitos, ticks, and bugs? Will it be difficult without having running water? Absolutely, but amenities will be very close by. I mean, who has a dog? Are they a lot of extra work and a pain in the a** once and a while? Hell yes, but you love them and they are worth it for all the little joys they bring. And have you ever spent some prolonged time in “the woods” without any noise and distraction?  It’s simply peaceful! 🌲🌻🐸🌲🌻🐸🌲🌻🐸

I look forward to sharing our joys and trials of our next adventure and what is to follow!

For now, we are finishing a few days at work and furiously packing and cleaning another house. Another Thieves Household Cleaner success, as we were able to use the natural cleaner for the ENTIRE house (everything)!

We plan to leave by the weekend and spend some quality time cruising the Northern route through some really Great Lakes. Neither Zach or myself have been able to experience the “U.P.” (upper peninsula of Michigan) so the exploration and journey starts there.

Later, we will be putting natural homemade bug spray to the test in the true backwoods. So stay tuned for the results and recipe.

Remember, life is what YOU make it – every minute, every day, every hour.

And as always, wishing you happy and healthy trails.

Photo credits: Rose Wenck and Joe Wenck

Facial Toner Recipe: Simply Love Your Skin

Let’s start simply loving our skin with natural anti-aging ingredients.

This recipe is so incredibly quick and simple to make with only 2 ingredients, plus your essential oils of choice.

Why use a toner?
  • Toning your skin helps remove excess oils and dead skin cells that may have been left behind after washing.
  • Toning helps to balance your skin’s PH level.
  • Toning also helps to close the pores and allow your moisturizer to soak into the skin more efficiently.

I NEVER used to use toners, but as my skin ages, I found out that I love using a toner to rid of the dry and tired looking skin. My skin always looks more fresh and evenly toned for the day. Taking care of our skin by cutting out harsh chemical ingredients and using natural plant-based ingredients can also help slow the anti-aging process.

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Facial Cleansing Pads Recipe: Travel With Ease and Less Breakouts

My family is always on the go!

Whether it is moving across the country or going for a drive that turns into sleeping in the back of the jeep for a prolonged adventure or just to wake up on the beach, it happens! And I cannot get enough of it!

There are things that I do , however, so that my face and body do not suffer these spontaneous overnights. One of these protocols is bringing my homemade facial cleansing pads with me on any potential adventure breakaway. They are super simple to make and save me the post-adventure breakout.

They can also be used at home, when you’re just too tired to wash your face.

Ingredients (makes 4oz jar):

  • 1 Tbs Witch Hazel: This is a great facial cleanser, that helps tone the skin and has antibacterial properties.
  • Distilled Water
  • 5 Drops of Frankincense essential oil: MUST HAVE for fine lines and wrinkles.
  • 5 Drops of Tea Tree essential oil: It’s antibacterial and has disinfectant properties. This makes it a great cleansing essential oil and must have if you are prone to acne.
  • 5 Drops of Lavender essential oil: Calms and nourishes the skin.
  • Cotton Rounds/Pads
  • Container with a tight-fitting lid

Ditch and Switch:

There are so many healthy benefits from making the switch and using the natural ingredients used in this simple recipe. You are going to save loads of money this way. And you won’t be exposing yourself, family, or furry friends to the toxic chemicals that are in your pricey, conventional personal care products.

I’m so glad I’m able to share my wellness journey with you, one recipe or testimonial at a time. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions, and how I can continue to help!

How to get started?

If you want to know how I got started using essential oils to increase my overall wellness or how you can improve your own wellness journey, start here.

Sending love and wishing you Happy and Healthy Trails!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The products discussed are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Views expressed are from an Independent Distributor, not a medical professional, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Young Living Essential Oils. Views expressed only apply to Young Living Essential Oils (not other essential oil brands). Individual results may vary.

Natural Makeup Remover Recipe: Plus Top 3 Ways to Promote Healthy Skin 🌹

Lets talk about our skin and how beauty comes from within. A lot of times we are looking for bandaids to fix a quick issue, but we need to look at what is going on inside so we can heal from the inside out.

In my opinion, these are the…

Top 3 Ways to Promote Healthy Skin

#1 Manage stress

This is difficult and I can’t say I’m very good at it, but its something I work on all the time. Stress can affect our skin’s appearance and show us when we are imbalanced. It’s good to shift our awareness and work on managing our stress whether its through breathing techniques like yoga and meditation, exercise, focusing on the positive, or whatever works best for each of us.

#2 Gut Health

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Spring Cleaning Arsenal: Natural Recipes for Your ENTIRE Home

I’ve compiled all of your spring cleaning recipes all in one place…

This is it!

  • Lemon essential oil*
  • Thieves Household Cleaner
  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Water

*Other great essential oils you can substitute in any of these recipes include Purification, Orange essential oil, Lemongrass essential oil, Citrus Fresh essential oil, Thieves essential oil, Christmas Spirit essential oil, …

Thieves Household Cleaner:

“Formulated with the power of Young Living’s Thieves oil blend, you can get a deep clean without dangerous or synthetic ingredients. Chores will feel like less of a chore with the sweet-and-spicy scent and effective cleaning power of Thieves Household Cleaner.”*****

“This all-purpose cleaner can be used on any surface in your home for dusting, spot cleaning, scrubbing, or any other cleaning need. Wherever you use it, you’ll feel good knowing it’s safe to use around everyone in your family, including pets. Spot test in an inconspicuous area before applying this product to woods, plastics, fabrics, and granite.”******

*****https://www.youngliving.com/en_US/products/thieves-household-cleaner

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Double Chocolate Peppermint Flourless Brownie Recipe

Ready to get your chocolate sweet treat in this Valentine’s Day with zero guilt?!
I am ALL about treating yourself after growing up with a “candy drawer” (literally a drawer in the kitchen that was full of nothing but candy) and “bedtime snacks” consisting of cereal bowls full of ice-cream with all the toppings right before bed. A lot more health conscious these days, I’ve found a few recipes like this one where you can still have the sweet treats without the gut ache and guilt.
This recipe is full of everything you desire; dense, fudgy, double chocolate, peppermint brownies.
And for a bonus, they are Vegetarian, Gluten Free, have zero added sugar, and they’re flourless.
You can also try your favorite egg substitute to make these Vegan (although I have not yet tested these variations myself).

Why would you add Peppermint Vitality essential oil to your brownies?

  • For centuries, peppermint has been used to soothe digestive difficulties
  • Peppermint vitality essential oil can help curb appetite 
  • Peppermint tastes incredibly refreshing alongside the double chocolate

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DIY Warming Massage Oil and Lubricant Recipe

In the spirit of LOVE MONTH, here are some dirty little secrets hidden inside our conventional massage oils and lubricants. Plus a recipe to make your own toxic-free massage oil and lubricant, and which oils you will want to have on hand this Valentines Day.

COMMON INGREDIENTS TO AVOID:

  • Glycerin: can actually cause dryness, is toxic to sperm, and it’s a sugar which can lead to yeast growth (not good).
  • Chlorhexidine digluconate: is an antiseptic found in mouthwash which can kill the good bacteria your body naturally creates for its immunity.
  • Methylparaben: is a preservative and a known endocrine disruptor. Simply put, parabens can mimic estrogen and disrupt the body’s hormone system.

So lets have some DIY fun and make our own simple and personalized massage oils that are better for our health while saving us money and awkward interactions at our local markets.

Stimulating and Warming Massage Oil Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon –  1 Tablespoon of carrier oil with thinner viscosity for a thinner consistency and hotter more immediate topical effect*
  • 6 drops of Cypress essential oil
  • 8 drops of Orange essential oil
  • 8 drops of Ylang Ylang essential oil
  • 2-4 drops of Black Pepper essential oil
  • 4 drops of Idaho Blue Spruce

Directions:

  1. Get creative; add a little more of this and a little less of that. You’ll find what works best for you.**
  2. Mix your love potion.
  3. Use as needed to help stimulate blood flow, warm skin, brighten your mood, and help increase libido in both men and women.

*Carrier oils that are solid at room temperature like Coconut Oil will help oily effects last longer, but can be less instant and less hot. Adding carrier oils with thinner viscosity (fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, olive oil, etc) can make the topical effects of the essential oils feel stronger and more immediate.

**Caution: They say that any type of oil can weaken strength of latex.

All About the Oils:

Why Idaho Blue Spruce?

This oil has a warming effect, and can be used to make intimacy last longer. Idaho Blue Spruce has been said to help “spruce” him up in a very good way by supporting male testosterone. This oil can be used aromatically, topically, and internally as it is designated as GRAS (generally regarded as safe for consumption by the FDA). It can also be worn as cologne as the evergreen aroma can help relax the mind and body.

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