Monthly Archives: January 2013

New Year: DIY Hard Lotion Bars

As you probably remember most of my goals this year revolve around better health. While most people think about eating right and exercising as keys to good health (and they are definitely a priority for me) I am realizing what I put on my body by way of personal care products have a huge effect on health. There are some great companies out there run out of homes and producing excellent products for health, Blue Vervain is one of my favorites, but I am a Do It Yourself (DIY) kind of gal.

Luckily Erin at Blue Vervain totally gets that and offers great classes locally on how to make some wonderful products and keep your family healthy with herbs. She is also the one who introduced me to Brambleberry for supplies–another great company.

So this Christmas Proeun and I decided to get serious about our personal care products as well as other areas of our health. I have had a great time researching recipes and essential oils and best of all trying stuff out.

This weekend was our first foray into soap making, but that will have to wait for another post since the soap isn’t yet ready to come out of the molds. Anyway while I was prepping the oil and lye solution the girls were gazing whistfully at the kithen wanting oh so bad to be a part of the making. However soap is definitely not child’s play. So we started a different project that I hope was just as fun–Hard Lotion Bars. I found this simple recipe here. I made it of equal parts coconut oil, beeswax and shea butter. The measuring and using the kitchen scale were the fun part for the girls.

Then into my makeshift double boiler to melt together. Once melted we picked out the scent. The instructions didn’t recommend citrus scents for outdoor wear–something about amplifying the suns effects. So I let the girls pick from my non-citrus scents. They picked Rosemary, who would have thought, wish I could get them to eat it.

Anyway then they picked out the molds and we poured the melted mixture in to harden.

They are so proud of their work. Proeun complimented me on my soft hands last night, they are super fun to use and smell and feel great but it does take a little getting used to after using liquid lotions my whole life. It is great for hands but I need to get better at moisturizing legs and arms and such.

New Year: Back to Cloth

It all started when Proeun and I were just married. We were at the insurance office getting me added to Proeun’s policies. It just so happened that it was right next door to Peapods. I was killing time and went in to look around and saw an amazing selection of cloth diapers. I remembered my mom and grandma talking about using cloth diapers on their babies and how much cheaper it was. I had a new sister-in-law expecting and told Proeun we should buy some for her. That was my first cloth diaper purchase. When we had our first baby a year latter we got those cloth diapers back. I loved using cloth and while I occasionally used disposables (like when my son was born premature and those cloth diapers simply didn’t fit and for heavy wetters at night) I preferred cloth for the next 3 babies.

Then baby #4 came along. We were farming and oh so busy. I was on bedrest for the end of the pregnancy and then had a difficult birth and recovery period. Also our washer and dryer were not working. With the previous baby I had had to hang the diapers on the line, I was no longer willing to do that and so baby number 4 was almost always in disposables. I loved the convenience of it but not the expense or full trash cans.

I knew I wanted baby #5 back in cloth and so started inventorying and adding to my supply. Once he was born I realized the additions I needed to add to my stash. I looked at prices on the internet and planned. Then I came across some great patterns on etsy and Diaper Sewing Supplies and started my journey to making my own diapers. 

Effie is in the Trimsies trainer pattern and Pray is in the this diaper pattern.

Here are some of my handmades and favorites–prefolds from Peapods and Contour diapers from Kissaluvs, some more trainers and the Rocket Bottoms Cover Pattern.


Pray sleeping on my lap in his new diaper.

All these patterns were pretty easy to make and they turned out oh so cute with the personalized fabric from diaper sewing.

Here is more information about cloth diapers from one my favorite blogs.

New Year’s Resolution

I have never done a New Year’s Resolution. But I have been doing lots of things the past couple of years that I have never done before and I suppose in actuality this is not a New Year’s Resolution, but a life resolution, part of the journey I have been on with my family.

We now have our dream farm, but I want to enhance it with an increased focus on health, peace and tranquility. It is so easy to get caught up in life’s busyness and forget to take care of our health (both physically and mentally) and our relationships. In the interest of full disclosure our journey to the farm hit a low point when we were commuting back and forth to rented land. We were still living in the city, we were surrounded by a very fast pace of life and living one ourselves, even though almost every day we got to go to the country to farm. We were busy, busy, busy. Often on the way back from the farm as we were rushing home for Proeun to go to his “day” job we had to stop and grab fast food. Yes here we were farming wonderfully healthy food but not having the time to cook it, or even harvest any for personal use.

We were way out of balance. As you can imagine our health suffered, physically obviously but also mentally with all the busyness and feelings of not living the way we really wanted, we were on a journey but not there yet.

Now we are where we want to be and it is time to reclaim our health, vitality and love for life. This winter has been like a healing balm as we have been able to slow down, evaluate what is missing in our lives and make plans for achieving our goals. So this year we will take time to slow down and enjoy, eat better, exercise more, breathe more, love more and focus on sharing all these goals with the children. I want a healthy, vibrant life that is also full of peace and tranquility.

Already we are seeing some good results just by changing our focus. Throughout the year I will start posts about our specific goals with the title New Year. I hope you join us.