I've been asked to begin a blog that shows a "how-to" for the things that bring pleasure to my life. So, the intent of this blog is to share recipes, gardening, composting, sewing, crafts, art, everyday projects and even psychology tips to aid in healing wounds and living the life you're meant to live, a life with purpose!
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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Gifts of Furniture Cleaner / Polish, Citrus All Purpose Cleaner, Face Creams, Lotions, Salt Scrub & more...

Sent out gifts on Monday. Here are what two care packages of homemade Essential and Garden Produce goodies look like. A sampling of home cleaning supplies, lotions, scrubs, sprays, and sample oils. I send detailed information for those who I know will love playing with oils, a sheet on any oil I send, and instructions on how to apply the herbal treatments. On each bottle is the general recipe (I don't put measurements, because it would just get to crowded). 
 Box one is to someone who will love playing with the oils. They have herbal knowledge, but are new to Essential Oils. The box below is for a loved one who will enjoy the products I made, but isn't really interested in herbs; so the box contains mainly instructions on how to use.
 Items before I boxed them up:
This shipment held items made from the fresh, clean power of citrus.
I decided to use real citrus peels, instead of just my essential oils this time. I used the citrus peels in both cleaning products, as well as sea salt scrubs. Recipes are coming up... 

Note: if you wish to make both the Citrus All Purpose Cleaner and the Furniture Polish, a short cut is to: First I put the lemon, lime, grapefruit, and orange peels into the juicer. Then pour white vinegar into the machine to get the loose bits through and to help the peels to give up their oils. I took this citrus goodness and put it into my furniture polish and into my all purpose cleaner mix. I left the furniture polish as is, but strained any peel bits out of the citrus for the all purpose spray cleaner. And of course, you can use drops of Essential oils "instead of" / or "in addition to" real citrus peel 

Basic All Purpose Cleaner:
1 Tbl. OnGuard Cleaner
20 Drops Purity
20 drops Wild Orange
1 C. White Vinegar
1 C. Distilled Water
1/2 C Rubbing Alcohol
Mix, shake well. Pour into spray bottle. Use on most surfaces: counter tops, windows, mirrors, and cabinets.


Citrus All Purpose Cleaner:
1 1/2 C. Citrus Peels 
1/2 C, White Vinegar
Soak peels overnight in flat container.
Juice Mixture in morning. Discard dry peel, keep juice and vinegar mixture. Strain to remove solid pieces. To the strained citrus mixture, 
add half of the basic All Purpose Cleaner Mixture (recipe above).

Now you have two cleaners, one is citrus for the extra tough cleans, (like kitchen cabinets with grease finger-prints) and a regular basic cleaner too!

Citrus Furniture Cleaner & Polish
3 Lemon's peel, one whole lemon
4 Lime's peel
2 Orange's peel
1 Grapefruit peel
1/4 White Vinegar
1/2 C. Almond Oil
1/2 C. Walnut Oil
Juice just the peels in a juicer with one whole lemon; 
Add to the juicer:
1/4 White Vinegar to clean out the bits. 
Discard the dry peel into the recycling bin. Use the pulp mixture in your polish. 
Add the 
1/2 C. Almond Oil
1/2 C. Walnut Oil
Mix with a hand mixer to make creamy.

Store in a glass container; pour out onto a clothe and use on your wood furniture for a rich wood glow!
Note: I later changed my container because my sprayer clogged (Mixture too thick to spray) and this was plastic. At the time I made it, I didn't have a good glass container. Now I do. ;-) This wood table has been through a families abuse and the color now pops! The two smaller containers I sent out were plastic squirt travel bottles, meant for shampoo (glass would have been better, but it is what I had on hand).

Also included in gift boxes:
 Carpet Cleaner: 
(See grey lidded glass jars on the back left?)
8 oz. Baking Soda
15 drops of Clove
20 drops of Wild Orange
20 drops of Lavender
Fill four 4oz. glass jars with lid or perpetrated top (like with powder). Shake on carpet; let set one hour; vacuum rug.

Refreshing Mist Spray: 
(See blue and brown glass spray bottles in middle?)
4oz. Distilled Water
20 drops of Eucalyptus
16 drops of Lavender
10 drops of Lemongrass
Fill 4 oz. glass jar with spray top. (I made three 4 oz. jars by doing this three times).  

This image is of the Lotions, Eve Cream, Day Cream, and Shea Body Butter gifts:

Shea Butter Ingredients:
1 1/2 C. Shea Butter, 
15 drops Myrrh,
3 1/2 Tbl. Aloe Vera,
2 Tbl. Vitamin E and C.
15 drops Lavender,
15 drops Frankincense
7 drops Lemon Balm (besides, therapeutic benefits, also works as a bug repellent).
Fill three 4oz. glass jars.  

Sea Salt Scrub ingredients:

1 C. citrus peel pulp

1 C. Geranium Essence, (or substitute 20 drops of Geranium oil),
1 C. Sea Salt,
1/2 C. Epson Salt, 
2 Tbl. Vitamin E, 
10 drops Lavender,
10 drops Myrrh,
10 drops Frankincense, 
7 drops Lemon, 
7 drops Wild Orange
7 drops Rosemary (Optional)
This makes 3 1/2 C's. ~I filled four glass containers (Three recycled 1 C.'s & one 4oz. canning jar). 

Sore Muscle Cream ingredients and product:

20 drops Deep Blue, (or for a dbl recipe: 40 drops)
20 drops Eucalyptus, (or for a dbl recipe: 40 drops)
10 drops Peppermint, (or for a dbl recipe: 20 drops)
1/4 C. Solid Coconut Oil, (or for a double recipe: 1/2 C.)
3/4 C. Cocoa Butter (or for a double recipe: 1  1/2 C.) 
If you're using refined cocoa butter, it is already creamy for use. If you're using raw-hard-purest-form cocoa butter (which is awesome!), you will need to melt it. Black cocoa butter is the hardest I've used. 
Your options are: 1. In a dbl broiler (two pans, larger one has water in it) to slowly melt it. Or 2. Add boiling liquid to cocoa butter and it will melt. Coconut and Almond have a high smoke rate, meaning they can get to boiling without ruining them. But, don't take them past the point of a boil, or you can ruin their properties. ~Perhaps even making them contain free-radicals.
In general you need a ratio of 75% cocoa to 25% liquid in the form of water or oil (like Sweet Almond or Coconut Oil). 
After melting the cocoa butter, and mixing your coconut and cocoa butter together, you may need to refrigerate to make solid again before you can whip it up with a mixer to make an amazing creamy body butter. I pop mine into the freezer for 15-20 min.'s. ;0)
Add your essential oil drops to creamy mixture and stir in. Fill three glass containers with screw top lid (I recycle & use canning jars).(Or if you doubled the recipe, then six glass jars). ---I edited this because I had a question about how to use the cocoa butter from one person, and another question about how I got six jars out of the recipe. Giving away three, I kept three for myself ;0).--- 

For Night and Day Face Cream Recipes: 


For Eyelash Serum, Bug Off, Diffuser, Baby Wipes & more Recipes: http://lisakramerartlifestyle.blogspot.com/2016/03/essential-oil-recipes-ive-been-enjoying.html 

For Hair recipes:


For more Cleaning recipes: 

The mixture of goodies before I sent the packages out: 

*Note: If you enlarge this picture and spy a gift that isn't included on this blog post, simply ask via comment or in person and I'll add the recipe to this post. I didn't put every recipe that is in the picture(sent as gifts), because I didn't want the post to be too long.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Saving on a Tight Budget

~I decided to write a few words on budgeting this morning because I'm currently trying to aid my mother with a budget (Since my father passed away, she's had major changes), as well as my adult kids are living life. Life happens to all of us and there is help available , you will find it under the words: budget and self responsibility. 
Saving on a Shoe String Budget
$ Money, Money, Money. The mighty dollar and how to save. $ 
Cash, Money, Money.

Make a commitment to yourself. If you're in a relationship, get your significant other, and family member's agreement to support the new budget plan. "We can do this!" and "Let us do this together!" Can go a long way in a household of folks wanting to make change happen in their home. A fun family idea that I used involved putting up a central jar for all family member's to contribute their change to (negative words cost $.25 each word. Once enough was saved, it was a fun pizza night!) 

Don't start the new year short on cash; saving money is possible. It's imperative that you save when your discretionary dollars are limited, because when your budget is tight, one random expense can derail your life, making a huge impact because it's harder to come up with the money! Finding a way to start saving money so that unexpected expenses aren't so devastating may not be easy. But shifting your thought patterns can yield long-term results. Being a "saver," may come natural to some; however, it is not natural to most people. 

Having a mindset of a "spender" is the current American way. It is too easy to put that "on sale" item on a credit card with a 20% interest rate because you're saving money, while the reality is after you pay off the bill, the item cost more than regular price. Any and everyone can become a Saver, it can be developed through practice. 

Eight Ways to save money when money is tight.

1. Shop smarter (Collect coupons, read the store's newspaper, compare prices, make detailed lists, and rid yourself of impulse buying!) [Grocery Coupon Apps: http://www.squawkfox.com/2014/01/15/grocery-apps/] Great grocery saving ideas: http://www.mymoneycoach.ca/blog/budget-grocery-shopping-tips-to-save-money.html
2. Keep the change (Make additional games to save money with this old fashioned idea: every time you think of having an expensive latte coffee, put that $3.95- $5.00 [http://hackthemenu.com/starbucks/menu-prices/coffee-espresso/] into your jar, or whenever you visit an ATM, find your bank using GPS on your phone and save that $2.00 fee into your jar!  Add your loose change to your emergency fund every month). 
3 Pay yourself first (Decide on a percentage and make it a priority over that new purse you have your eye on. By saving each month first, then paying fixed expenses and lastly, budgeting the rest for variable spending, you will not be as overwhelmed, because you "have a plan.") 
4. ***Stop using credit cards (If may be old fashioned to pay with a checkbook, but it's harder to part with cash, while you're keeping track in the checkbook ledger, than to slap a plastic card down with the pay later mentality). Another, more modern day version of this practice is to keep a running log in your phone/ I-Pad for every single cent spent, or in a notebook. Tally each dollar spent from the budgeted amount. You can't overspend if you are subtracting and you will be aware of where your money is actually going. Hum, $5.00 for a drink? Forget it! I'll sip my flavored water out of the thermos I brought with me; thank you! 
5. Make it automatic (Arrange an agreement with your bank to move $10 a month into your emergency fund, while moving $20 into your long-term future home fund). 
6. Save with purpose ( Label your saved fund with a name: emergency, new apartment deposit, car repair fund, or even a date night fund).  

7. Create a budget (I use a spreadsheet program on my computer. Create "cells," or squares that re-calculate as your expenses or income changes). Your main expenses will be fixed amounts (and choose wisely your fixed expenses, make your rent affordable at your income level), food, clothing, entertainment is not fixed. Come up with a number, like $100 for groceries and entertainment for the month. Take that cash out of the bank and stick to the plan, not taping into other funds because you want to "have a drink out." Each month try to lower that amount by $10; you will find money that you never knew you had. Once you've grown accustomed to living on your budget, you'll open up more money for saving toward various goals.  
8. Stay committed. 

***More on Credit Cards, because they are the worst vandals
If you don't have the cash, you don't need it! 

If you don't have any money to save at the end of the month, you shouldn't be putting more onto credit cards. The top priority goal needs to be to pay them down and get rid of them so that you can start to work from a cash basis as opposed to a debt basis. Rather than using credit cards to fund living expenses that are beyond your means, or are outside of your income, cut out nonessentials and focus on eliminating your use of credit cards. If your extra cash each month is spent on making credit card payments, you'll never be able to save and get closer to your financial goals.
 (Funny and great article from a former shopaholic: 

And, then the biggy: Where it all starts, You must have a full-time job. That is just starters! If there is debt, it is wise to continue paying yourself first; taking on more hours or even a second job to pay down the debt.

Additional Great articles: 
Ideas and organizations to help if you are attempting to save on a shoe-string:
I found this article funny and if you read further into peoples comments, you will find great ideas (thinking outside of the box for great savings!):
Ideas of things to do, instead of spending money: 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

DIY Geranium Essence for lotions: Day, Night skin and face cream, and sore muscle lotion.

I had just too much fun playing... and saving $
DIY Geranium Essence Master Mix recipe , Day and Eve creams, and Sore muscle lotion recipes below. 

I was making various lotions; trying different mixtures and I wanted to add Geranium as the main ingredient. I made eleven new jars of products; all at a reduction of the cost! I was spending $25-$35 a jar, so I'm counting the savings, not to mention the absence of chemicals!

                    ..................................................................................................................................The far right stack's top two are sore muscle creams, the bottom one is a simpler version of a calming Shea Butter mixture. The Middle pile is my new Evening cream; every night, before bed I lather it on my face, neck and decollete area. The stack on the far left is face cream. Each day, as I head out, I make sure to rub this wonderful stuff onto my face, neck and decollete area. My skin thanks me the rest of the day! Since I have activities that may get me dirty (painting, gardening, and sweating in general) I also add it throughout the day too. For makeup, I simply add a bit of color to it, making it into a tinted moisturizer! Currently, I now have three Day Creams, three Night Creams, and two sore muscle creams in my refrigerator, while I keep four out for my daily use: One Daytime, One nitetime, One sore muscle lotion, and one Shea Soothe.Besides Geranium's wonderful effect on mood, as well as being a natural repellent to insects, it is great for skin and hair care! Not only is it good for oily and combination skin, but it tones and tightens mature skin tissue as well! It can help treat injured skin, healing facial wounds, as it will help regenerate healthy cells, not to mention the damage of the sun (I'm on the lake a lot). Geranium offers soothing, calming effect to skin as well as mood! Lol, a win, win. 

I have tried using my "master mix," a recycled spaghetti sauce jar full of Geranium Essence on my hair. I simply made a hair mask by applying it straight out of the finished jar onto my hair, finger-combing it through. I additionally made a mudd mask for my entire body's skin by simply rubbing it all over me. --Sorry, I didn't take a picture. Lol, I didn't think you all would want to see that!-- After waiting for 15 minutes in the bathroom, I simply stepped into the shower to shower it all off. My hair was fuller and younger looking (how I'd describe it). A hair commercial would say it was, "vibrant with a healthy glow." ;-) 

Something like this, my hair isn't this long, nor am I that gorgeous! Tee hee...

Geranium Essence Master Mix Recipe: 
I didn’t have any geranium oil and I wanted to do something different, that included more of nature's natural bountiful gifts, so I made some. I grow primarily red and white geraniums, which needed pruning, so I took the cut flowers, 

all the scraps (stems and leaves) and made a geranium mixture loaded with geranium’s goodness for    ~my various DIY recipes! 

Once they were slow simmered in solid coconut oil, over low heat for an entire day. (*Note: Cook with a lid to aid in the steaming; additionally, the leaves and flowers were washed by putting into a strainer within a bowl of water to soak and rinse well. Then I did not dry the material, so the water also helped in the steaming process.)  I put the mixture into my powerful juicer, which separated the steamed oil, coconut oil and juices from the dry scrap material (that went out to the compost). 

The next step was picking out skin nourishing ingredients that improve the appearance of skin. The ingredient list needed to include restorative and rejuvenating properties to the skin, anti-aging benefits that reduce the appearance of imperfections, like the reduction of wrinkles, stretch marks, and scars; an anti-inflammatory, skin soothing softness, a glowing, youthful complexion, while hydrating, creating a moisture holding barrier, while promoting circulation and aiding in a healthy cellular function. 

Note: Not all the ingredients listed are needed to make a great lotion! The list are the items, based on their results, I have used, loved and am ready to recommend. 

Day Face
Cream and Night Face Cream:
Pick one or two carrier oils, five Essential oils, two seed or vitamin oils, one tea, and one more addition of something new, which you haven't tried yet! Fresh ingredients like real geranium's and oatmeal will need refrigeration (although, I use one jar at a time, keeping it in my air-conditioned home bathroom and it seems to last around two weeks; I can't say past that because I use it up). Also note, using distilled water in any recipe will extend it's shelf life. 

Carrier oils: 
Recipe that I did:
1/2 Cup each of Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil, 
1 Cup of whipped Shea Butter, 
1/4 Cup Aloe Vera, 
1 Cup Geranium Essence, 
2 Tbl's Rosemary Extract, 
1/3 Cup Vitamin E and C oil, 
14 drops of each: lavender, frankincense, myrrh, Immortelle, 
6 drops of melaleuca, 
3 capsules of Green Tea (or loose green tea, strained) in the Day Face Cream
2 bags or loose Chamomile Tea or 3 drops of chamomile essential oil, in the Night Face Cream 
3 capsules of Evening Primrose oil in the Night Face Cream.  

Mix with a hand mixer the base creams: like Shea Butter and /or carrier oils like solid coconut oil to whip them into a creamy lotion first.  

Then add in your homemade Geranium Essence; see my master mix of Essence? I simply keep it in the refrigerator, until I need it:

 (No worries if you're not wanting to make the essence, you can use geranium essential oil too. I just wanted to try something that contained more of  "nature's gifts." 

To the Evening cream I added evening Primrose capsules, opening them to let their oil out and chamomile tea. Chamomile comes in an essential oil, but I didn't have any, so I improvised: I cooked a small amount of almond oil in a measuring cup to boil, added loose tea (two tea bag equivalence, just tear them open), then I strained the oily mixture; catching the loose tea in the strainer. Note in the next picture: the green chamomile mixture is in top picture, while the orange powder on the bottom of the picture is the green tea. 

To the Day cream I added 3 Green Tea capsules, opening them to release their powders from a capsule (I used Pharmanex, but you can make green tea like I did with the Chamomile). Link:  https://www.nuskin.com/content/nuskin/en_US/products/shop/px_categories/cell_protection/01003529.html

Whip with your hand mixer. I like to use a portable one: 

Upon request, I'm adding the Shea Soothe recipe
Using a hand mixer, whip 1/2 Cup Shea Butter. 
Add 1 Tbl of Vitamin E, 1 Tbl aloe vera, and 7 drops each of 
lavender, frankincense, and myrrh. Simply stir it in. 
I keep this on hand because it is calming for a quick-fix for most skin irritations

Sore Muscle Remedy, or Deep Blue Alternative

I was on a roll with my lotion making, so I also made two sore muscle jars by adding Deep Blue, Eucalyptus, and Aroma Touch to a base lotion of whipped Shea Butter. Now, every night before bed I message my feet, knees, wrists, hands, and anything else that is sore from the Long Day...


In a bowl, whip 1/2 Cup Shea Butter with a hand mixer. Add 7 drops each of Deep Blue and Eucalyptus, Add 4 drops of aroma Touch. Stir to mix well. 

Fill 2 recycled clean or new jars with Shea Butter mixture. Use as needed on sore, tired 
muscles. Ahh...