Saturday, January 25, 2014

Peppermint Essential Oil

A few weeks ago, I starting using Plant Therapy Peppermint essential oil.
I purchased a bottle of Peppermint (mentha arvensis) in December. First, I added a (one) drop to my hair cleaning solution and a couple drops to my conditioner solution.

Then I added some to coconut oil to create a salve. I melted the coconut oil by placing the little tin on my stove while cooking, so the heat would melt the oil. Then I stirred in about 5 drops of the peppermint oil. So far I have used it on my neck and in my hair (for fly away hair). That was because this is a scent I like and tolerate well.
That is as far as I have gotten with peppermint.
I also just received a bottle of Peppermint (
mentha piperita). I am working on learning the differences. 
I have a thing about storage containers now. Well, honestly I have always liked containers. This tin actually came from an Advent calendar. I am not considering them food safe, but I think I will find many uses for them.

 Do you have any uses to share for peppermint oil? What about the differences between Peppermint (mentha arvensis) and Peppermint (mentha piperita)?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Did you know that hair smells like hair?

Update 0417: I have been reevaluating what I store, now I am no longer storing shampoo or conditioner. I still have about two years worth of shampoo and conditioner stored. Now I store the things to make shampoo and conditioner (listed below).
Did you know that hair smells like hair?
I think we have been conditioned to expect hair to smell like something else. What I realized, I was living in a "fake" coconut scented cloud. I didn't mind, but I also didn't realize that I was in that cloud all the time. I have mentioned that I am extremely sensitive to smells. Now my hair smells like hair. 
I started the no-poo journey in August 2013. Started simple and thankfully I adjusted well to the process.
Here is what my hair looked like this morning. It was dry and fly away, so I added just a bit of coconut oil with peppermint essential oil (the peppermint is new) to the ends. Personally, I only had a few days of adjustment when I started the no-poo process. My hair is not color treated & is fairly dry.

I have adjusted things according to how my hair turns out. I also only wash the scalp portion of my head & I do wash it everyday. I think that is just out of habit. For the conditioner, I only apply and then wash it directly off. 
If my hair is still dry and fly away I add just a bit of little coconut oil. Now I use the tin that has peppermint essential oil.. When I mean just a bit, this is the amounts I work with. Adding little bits, until I feel my hair is good.

When I started, I found the recipe here: "Love Yourself Naturally".
Items Needed:
Squirt Bottle with Pointed Tip (use a mustard bottle or 12-oz. Squeeze Bottle)
Spray Bottle
Baking Soda
Vinegar (Use Apple CiderVinegar for Dry to Normal Hair, White Vinegar for Normal to Oily Hair)

No-Poo Shampoo
    1. create a solution of baking soda and water in your squeeze bottle – 1 tbsp of baking soda to 1 cup (250ml) of water. Try to use distilled water if you live in a hard water area. Make sure the baking soda has completely dissolved. The liquid should feel slippery in your hands (if it doesn’t add another tbsp of baking soda).
    2. create a solution of vinegar and water in your spray bottle – 2 tbsp of vinegar to 1 cup of water. Shake to combine.
    3. WASH: wet hair and, using the pointed tip of the bottle, apply the baking soda solution to the roots of your hair and massage into your scalp with your fingertips using small circular motions. DO NOT apply this mixture to the entire length of your hair. Leave on till it starts to feel “slippery” then rinse well, I mean REALLY WELL.
    4. CONDITION: spray the vinegar/water solution on the length of your hair, focusing on the ends. DO NOT apply to the roots and scalp. Leave this on for a minute or two before rinsing.

NOTE: the vinegar may smell quite strong while you’re using it but don’t worry, your hair will have no odor once it dries.
NOTE: The squirt bottles don't last too long, so I am looking around to find a heavy duty squirt bottle for the cleansing solution.

Recently I started adding a drop of Plant Therapy Peppermint EO to the hair cleansing solution & a couple drops to the conditioning solution. It was one I wanted to start testing out. It is a little tingly, which I like.

Well, there you have it. I must say I started this without believing it would work. I know there are people that have had troubles adjusting. But for me, it has worked out really well. In the process, I found out that I was slightly allergic to the hair products I was using. I used to get itchy spots on my back and haven't had them at all since I changed. I will not be going back to commercial shampoo & conditioner. Now what am I going to do with those half bottles of shampoo & conditioner I have left in the shower?

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Friday, January 3, 2014

Getting Started Step 1: Making a list & going beyond

I've always liked to have a “little put back”. Mostly because I hate to run out of something.
So, without even knowing about what “prepping” was, we made a plan. It was a very slow start, because we didn't have a clue.
Our first goal was to be prepared for 6 months here at home. I currently over a year worth of preps. I handle the “home” (food, medical, everyday items, etc.), DH handles the defense & the “go” plan.
I simply started by making a list of everything thing we used everyday. Literally, from the time I woke up I wrote down what we used...
Things like: water, meds. (prescription and OTC's), TP, eye glass cleaner, soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes, cotton swabs, moisturizer etc...
This is list “A”. We established that we would set aside 10% of each paycheck for prepping. Slowly, every payday, added to the “little put back”.
If I used one, I would buy two. This simple tip is so efficient. Since you are simply adding by what you use, each time you use it; it automatically increases your stores based on your usage. For these items I listed on “list A” I probably have three years worth of these items stored now.
I utilized Walmart & Amazon free online shipping. Order it and have it shipped to my home.
Now Part 2: Simply using this list, I worked at developing alternative back-ups that were more self sufficient. I am still working on that.
Water: Besides having about 6 months of actual water stored in the house, I also have rain barrels to replenish the water supply.
Meds. (prescription and OTC's): Medications are tough. I do what I can. I will note that often (not always) you are able to place your refill order about 10 days early. Utilizing this method will allow you to have some back stock on medications that you need.
TP: While I still keep adding to my toilet paper stores, I do have a back up plan ready. I consider t.p. a luxury that I would really like to have.
I have personal cleaning cloths already prepared. I took some old soft clothes and cut them up into squares. Light colored clothes is for cleaning after urination. Black colored clothes for use after a bowel movement. The black ones could be used by a woman during menstruation.
Each person would have their own set.
There would be two covered, lined pails. This would be a great place to use old plastics grocery bags, if you store them.
Treat the cloths as you would old fashioned diapers.
Eye Glass Cleaner: I kept my last empty bottle and added a tiny bit of vinegar. Now I clean my glasses with that.
Soap: I have about 4 years of soap in my stores. This year I will working on learning to make my own soap.
Shampoo: I no longer store actual shampoo. I now use only baking soda and water to wash my hair.
Conditioner: I no longer store conditioner. I now use apple cider vinegar and water to condition my hair.
For more details: No-Poo How To

I also have learned to make my own natural apple cider vinegar from scratch.

Toothpaste: I have about three years of toothpaste stored. Today I made mt first batch of toothpaste. I read several different recipes and decided to go with 3 T. Coconut Oil, 3 T. Baking soda, a little honey & Cinnamon  Bark Essential Oil to taste. I tried it out and it's not bad. I will give you more updates later.

Toothbrushes: Haven't figured out a back up for this one. I just keep adding toothbrushes to my stores.
Cotton swabs: Again, no back-up. So I keep adding to my supplies.
Moisturizer: I no longer use or store my fancy $17 moisturizer. I now use and store coconut oil. I use coconut oil for so many things. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Taking charge of our financial journey...

I have prayed long & hard about sharing this. Please note, I am not a financial adviser, I am just sharing our journey. Our first step was to eliminate all debt. It took us a little while (we were already on that journey) and by the time we purchase our new place and sell our current home we will be completely debt free. We are continuing to look for a new place over the next few weeks. Something that is in our price range (very firm on that). 
We started our preparedness journey when a friend shared a couple books with us. “Aftershock”& “Inflation Deception”. Thankfully DH & I have been on the same page from day one. We are not comfortable with the state of the economy, the banking system or the Federal Reserve. So we are opting out with our biggest decision yet.
So the biggest step in this journey is that we have cashed out our 401k's and my “bean” stocks. We agreed to take the tax hit and liquidate our assets. We are currently discussing just how we will be “storing” these assets. I probably won't be going into a lot of details about this for obvious reasons. I will say it will be building self sufficiency and hard commodities.
As for our monthly goals, I am changing how I look at that for the time being. While I strongly believe in setting goals, adding more to storage, etc.; we are seriously looking at a purchase of another place in the country within in the next couple months. That is if we find something that will work.
Because of that, I am focusing my monthly goals more on adequate storage for the new place. I realize that we will need to move everything that we have stored, which will be a journey in and of itself.
Of course I will continue to “use one, buy two”.
Many of you are able to attest, getting out of debt it one of the most important steps.
I know how hard it is to do, but I want to strongly encourage you to take the steps to eliminate your debt. I had started a post on personal fiscal responsibility and getting out of debt. I made this graphic. It made me laugh.
I realized that I was just saying the same thing over and over. Get out of debt and don't incur any further debt.
If you think back, it seems everyone and their mother was saying buy this or that for Christmas on their facebook page.
While I don't judge them, I simply couldn't do it. Instead I want to encourage you to save and then make purchases. Don't go into debt.

So, on that note...
We have discuss debt before. How do you feel about the state of our economy? 

UPDATE July 2014: As you may know we are currently have a contract to purchase our new home. This will be paid for entirely with CASH. Now that, IMHO, is a "hard commodity".
PROTECTION: A Real Life Cautionary Tale...

While I was editing this for reposting, I received this information from a loyal person in our community. please take time to read this. I will be sharing this again soon.