DIY Magnesium Lotion Stick (with essential oils)

DIY essential oil magnesium lotion stick
Ok, so why magnesium in a lotion stick.  I started using a magnesium spray supplement to help regulate my sleep better.  I had read that it helps to promote a more restful sleep.  I ordered this spray from Amazon initially, but then realized I could make my own spray and save money with magnesium flakes.
I was looking for a “gentler” way to give LittleBird magnesium.  Magnesium spray can sometimes sting when you are first getting started with it.  I had seen recipes for magnesium lotion, but sometimes I don’t like to get my hands messy, and I have been really loving my lotion sticks, so I decided to come up with a magnesium lotion stick!
Oh, and one more benefit of magnesium!  There is a growing body of research that suggests that morning sickness is a result of magnesium deficiency.  As someone who was throwing up for 30+ weeks, I will try ANYthing, ANYTHING to prevent this from happening in any future pregnancies.
WellnessMama has a ton of information on Magnesium as does Dr Axe.  Check them out if you want more information about magnesium.  I tend to take all information from their sites with a grain of salt and balance it with my own research and knowledge.  
Magnesium Lotion Stick Recipe
ingredients:
1/8 cup magnesium flakes (i use these)
2 1/2 teaspoons boiling filtered water
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup beeswax
2 tablespoons mango butter
5 drops of vitamin E oil
20-30 drops of essential oils (I used YL gentle baby blend, but any relaxing blend will work)
2- 2 oz tubes (like these from amazon)
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Measure out the magnesium flakes in a small container.  Add the boiling water and stir until magnesium flakes start to dissolve.  Additional heat may be needed to fully dissolve the magnesium (i put mine in the microwave for 15 seconds).  Add the beeswax to a glass jar submerged in a pot of water.  Or place in a double boiler.  Add the magnesium mixture and heat until the beeswax is melted.  Measure out and add the coconut oil to the magnesium mixture.  Then add your vitamin E and essential oils.  Pour into your tubes and cool to set.
Below are some pictures of my process!
Dissolving the magnesiums
Dissolving the magnesium
melting in my "double boiler"
melting in my “double boiler”
The finished product-cooling
The finished product-cooling

 

DIY Essential Oil Lotion Stick

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INGREDIENTS
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup beeswax
  • 2 tablespoons mango butter
  • 2 tablespoons almond oil
  • 30-40 drops of essential oils
  • 2 ounce plastic tubes (i purchased mine from plant therapy)
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Melt coconut oil and beeswax. I melt in a glass container in the microwave or you can use a double boiler method.  If using the microwave heat for 30 seconds, stir, and repeat.  Be cautious, though, I have heard that beeswax can be explosive in the microwave.   Add mango butter and almond oil.  Remelt if needed.  Next add you essential oils.  Pour into your tubes and cool to set.
This is my favorite way to make essential oil lotion for my tiny!  Young Living oils are by far my favorite.  Their scents and therapeutic benefits are unmatched.  However, there is a lot of discussion about the safety of oils and kids.  Plant Therapy has taken a great stance on this and created a “Kids Safe” line.  Honestly, because of this, I only use their oils for little bird, with the exception of YoungLiving’s Gentle Baby Blend.  [*young living recently released a 3 set of “kids safe” essential oils.]
I make this recipe with Plant Therapy’s  “Sniffle Stopper” blend to help with cold and allergies symptoms.  The whole family uses this one.  It’s like Vicks in a stick and all natural!  It has even helped Mr. Bird to stop snoring.
One of my other favorite blends is to use a lavender or gentle baby blend for a sleepy time lotion.  Or you could add a floral scent to have it act as a perfume.  This recipe is adaptable and can be modified to suit any needs!
Want more essential oil recipes?  Head over here.

Essential Oil Bath Soak Recipe

DIY essential oil detox bath soak (young living, plant therapy)

Baths are a much-needed necessity in my weekly schedule.  I am always amazed how much a bath can relax me.  I am always looking for things to add to my bath to make it more relaxing and even more healthful. I almost always add Epsom salts to my baths.  They are one of the best and easiest ways to help boost your magnesium levels, as well as they are a great detoxifier.  And their most well-known property of helping to relieve sore muscles.

For added relaxation, I make this essential oil bath soak recipe.  It includes Epsom salts, sea salt, baking soda, clay and essential oils.  I’ve tweaked this recipe to perfection.  The results, a smooth, silky,  aromatic, detoxifying bath.  This will leave your skin smooth and moisturized.  Just try it!

Ingredients (the majority of my ingredients come from Mountain Rose Herbs)
  • 4 oz Epsom salt (1/2 cup)
  • 1 oz baking soda (1/8 cup)
  • 1 oz sea salt (1/8 cup)
  • 0.5 oz rhassoul clay (about 1+ish tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon oil (olive, almond, jojoba etc.)
  • 10-20 drops essential oils

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Measure all ingredients and mix together.  The result will be a grainy texture that will dissolve perfectly in your warm bath.  If you would like a more “sand like” texture you can put your dry ingredients in a food processor or grinder before adding the oils.

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 Essential Oil Options
  • Stress Relief:
    • 10 drops of rose essential oil
    • 10 drops of frankincense essential oil
  • Body Aches
    • 10 drops of lavender essential oil
    • 5 drops of peppermint essential oil
    • 5 drops of citrus essential oil
  • or your favorite blend.
    I love using Stressaway (young living), Bouquet (plant therapy) and Joy (young living).
 Here is some additional information on the benefits of some of these ingredients.
Epsom Salt:  beneficial properties that can soothe the body, mind, and soul. Some of the health benefits include relaxing the nervous system, curing skin problems, soothing back pain and aching limbs, easing muscle strain, healing cuts, treating colds and congestion, and drawing toxins from the body.
 
Sea salt: These pure salt crystals are loaded with health-enhancing minerals.  They help exfoliate dead skin, remove toxins from the skin, clean pores, strengthen skin tissue and stimulate circulation to keep skin looking younger.
 
White or pink Kaolin Clay: one of the mildest of all clays. It can be used on even the most sensitive skin. It does not draw oils from the skin, it can be used on dry skin and is often used in fine face powders. The very fine, naturally absorbent texture gently cleans, exfoliates, and eliminates clogged pores, while improving circulation. These clays are soothing, cleansing, hydrating, detoxifying.   Many clays can help to calm inflammation and help improve circulation.
 Sources:
Chagrin Valley Soap and Salve Company.  Natural Additives. Retrieved January 31, 2017, from http://www.chagrinvalleysoapandsalve.com/idascorner/ingredients/natural-additives/
Saltworks.  Epsom Salt Uses and Benefits. (n.d.). Retrieved January 31, 2017, from https://www.seasalt.com/salt-101/epsom-salt-uses-benefits/
see some of my other essential oil recipes here

DIY Facial Grains | a natural face cleanser

tips-and-trickson-how-to-master-it
 I had been looking for a new more natural facial cleanser.  A friend recommended that I try facial grains.  I found that a few cosmetic brands were selling them.  A high-end cosmetic line sells facial grains for $40+ for 1 oz.  Whoah!  I took a look at the ingredients and was even more shocked!  Here they are Polyethylene, P. Angularis Seed Powder, Jojoba Oil, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Soybean Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Chlorphenesin, Polyethylene.  OK, so not what I want to be putting on my face.  I did some research and was able to formulate an all-natural version.
What are cleansing grains?
a blend of herbs, oats and/or nuts that can be used to cleanse and exfoliate your face.  They can be used daily or just a few times a week.
Benefits of cleansing grains?
All natural and chemical free.  They also do not contain those terrible microbeads.  They are excellent at exfoliating which is important for healthy skin.
I have been using facial grains for about 3 months now.  And my skin has never been healthier.  I shake about a teaspoon into my hand, add a few drops of water, create a paste and then rub on my face and wash off with water.  I then moisturize with a lightweight moisturizer.  
My Recipe (makes 9 oz, which lasts me about 6 months)
This blend is perfect for people with dry/slightly oily skin
4 oz clay (rhassoul or cosmetic clay)
2 oz oats (ground)
1/3 oz rose powder
1/3 oz  marshmallow root powder
1/3 oz rosehip powder
1/3 oz chamomile powder
**all my ingredients were purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs.  I was able to purchase all these for around $20, which would make close to 30 oz of facial grains!
Oats: gives skin a smooth silken appearance; heals wounds and cuts, soothes irritated skin, nutritive, anti-depressant and nervine
Rose: heals wounds and helps skin keep elasticity.
Clay: cleanses and draws out toxins, stimulates circulation and soothes inflammation
Marshmallow root: provides relief for irritations
Rosehip: Antioxidant and helps reduce inflammation
Chamomile: soothes irritated skin

Additional additives
Lavender: helps to promote tissue regeneration, also an antiseptic
Arrowroot powder
Kelp powder

 

 

 

 

 

The basic ratio is 25% oats, 50% clay and 25% herb powder.  You can tweak your ingredients based on your individual facial needs.

DIY Essential Oil Freshener Spray

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I cannot stand stale smelling air, I love for things to smell fresh.  But I hate spraying toxic chemicals in the air just to make my nose happy.  I have been experimenting for MONTHS to try to find the perfect essential oil spray recipe.  This scent is citrusy and fresh.  And the best part is, it really works to eliminate odors.  I use it to help freshen bed linens, clothes in between wearing and a general air freshener.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups distilled water
1/2 cups witch hazel or vodka (i’ve used both)
14 drops purification essential oil
6 drops grapefruit essential oil
4 drops orange essential oil
10 drops stress away essential oil
**if you only have the YL starter set, you can easily replace the grapefruit and orange with lemon

Mix all ingredients into a 16 oz spray bottle.   I found my glass spray bottle on amazon.

 

I have tried other varieties of essential oils for other scents, but I find that this one truly does the best of freshening and eliminating odors.  Do you have any favorite scents you love in your house?

 

DIY Stokke Crib Sheet Update

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My DIY tutorial for a stokke crib sheet is one of my most popular posts!  I figured I would write a quick update and include some new photos.  See the original post here.

After 2 years of use, these crib sheets are holding up great!   The fabric does seems to have some wear. The ones in the picture were made from “quilters” cotton fabric. My “test” crib sheet was made from an old sheet, and that fabric seems to be holding up a little better.  But both options worked great.

I love that I was able to make these sheets for a fraction of the cost of Stokke sheets.  I also love that I was able to customize the fabrics.

About 6 months ago, we decided we wanted to add an allergy cover for the crib mattress.  I couldn’t find an option for the stokke sized mattress.  I ended up buying a traditional crib mattress cover.  I just fold the corners of the cover down and when I put the crib sheet on it seems to hold everything in place just fine.  I don’t know that this would be a great option for an infant due to the risk of SIDS, but for our toddler it works great.

I am curious if there is a way to alter or modify an existing crib sheet for it to fit a stokke mattress.  If you’ve tried something let me know!

Soap Nuts for Laundry

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I had been searching for years, for a  natural and affordable laundry detergent option.  A few years back a friend recommended soap nuts to me.  I had ordered a 1 lb bag from Amazon for $15.  I followed some simple directions that I found online to toss 3-5 soap nuts in a small muslin bag and throw it in with your laundry in lieu of detergent.  After 3-5 washes, you should throw away those few soap nuts and add new ones and repeat.  Simple Enough-right?

Well, I did this method for about 6 months-and ALL of our laundry started to feel a little grimy.  Totally gross.  So I gave up on soap nuts for a LONG time (years!).  I hung on to the soap nuts (I had about half a bag left)  Flash forward until a few months ago.  I was reading a blog that was raving about soap nuts.  They went into the why/how they work and explained that HOT water was needed to release the saponin to make them work like soap/detergent.  So if you didn’t wash your clothes in hot water (which I don’t), then the soapnuts wouldn’t work.  But an alternative is to boil the soap nuts with water and make a liquid.  I tried it, and we have happily been using soap nuts in replacement of our laundry detergent for several months now!

But an alternative to using soap nuts wihtout washing in hot water, is to boil the soap nuts with water and make a liquid.  I tried it, and we have happily been using soap nuts in replacement of our laundry detergent for several months now!

Here is my Recipe/instructions for liquid soap nut detergent
4-6 soap nuts (I order mine from Mountain Rose Herb, but Amazon sells them as well)
16 cups water (total)

  • simmer soap nuts with 8 cups of water, after 15 minutes, add the second 8 cups of water and simmer for another 15-30 minutes.  Strain the soap nut liquid.  Throw away the soap nuts.  Store in a glass container in the fridge. Use about 1/4 cup per load of laundry.

I store mine in glass jars or pint size mason jars.  I refrigerate until a new jar is needed and then just keep one jar at room temperature.

Homemade Bath Salts.

This is a simple gift idea. It was easy for me to make. I love essential oils and had most of the supplies on hand!

Homemade bath salts

2 cups epsom salt (i used this brand)
1/2 cup sea salt
1/2 cup baking soda
15-20 drops of essential oils
5 4-oz jars (i used these)

mix together in a bowl and then divide into containers

price breakdown for each 
epsom salt – $0.64
sea salt – $0.11
baking soda – $0.05
Jar- $1.00
Total – $1.80 per jar!

**compare with 4oz LemonGrass Spa- $5.

I made a Lavender Mint (15 drops of lavender, 5 drops pepperment) and a Citrus Cedarwood (10 drops of orange, 5 drops lemon and 2-3 drops of Cedarwood)

I used this Avery template to print “labels” for them.  I printed them on thick paper and cut them out and it fit perfectly between the ring and lid of the mason jar.  There are lots of great templates/patterns you can choose from.  The label was a nice touch!  I added the name and ingredients on the label to give it a “professional” look.  I plan on giving them to little birds daycare teachers. I am also including a gift card to their favorite coffee place as well! Hope you enjoy this recipe.

A Journey with Eczema and a DIY cream


So our little bird has eczema, bad eczema.  We have tried oh so many lotions and creams.  We want to try to eliminate the use of steroid creams as much as we can. Because of his eczema is most likely related to allergic causes, based on our allergist’s recommendations we give him allergy meds once a day.  This has helped some, but he still has flare ups.  To help with flares up we use this homemade eczema cream (recipe below).  We also use a method called “wet wraps”.  Once or twice a week right after his bath, we take a wet/damp sleeper (onesie pajama) and put it on right after we lotion him up.  We then put a nice warm fleece pajama over the wet one.  We then snuggle, play, watch a movie–anything to distract him from being wet.  But

We also use a method called “wet wraps”.  Once or twice a week right after his bath, we take a wet/damp sleeper (onesie pajama) and put it on right after we lotion him up.  We then put a nice warm fleece pajama over the wet one.  Then we snuggle, play, watch a movie–anything to distract him from being wet.  But honestly, he isn’t bothered by it.  And then after 1-2 hours we change him out of the pajamas and into regular dry clothes.  This method has been such a game changer for battling his eczema flare ups.

Homemade Eczema Cream

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ cup raw shea butter (you can order from amazon or mountain rose herbs)
  • ½ cup coconut oil (could substitute almond oil)
  • 30 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 8 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • 5 drops of geranium essential oil
    **I use young living essential oils and highly recommend them**

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Melt the shea butter and coconut oil in a double boiler
  2. Blend the oils then add the lavender, tea tree and geranium oils.
  3. Slightly cool the ingredients so that it will begin to thicken, but keep it soft. You can put the solution in the refrigerator for a few minutes to speed up this process but not for long. You do not want it to harden too much.
  4. Using your mixer (either hand-held or a stand mixer), mix for several minutes until it has a frothy appearance, eventually developing the consistency of lotion. You can achieve this by continuing to mix about every 10 minutes.
  5. Transfer to the mason jar or other container.
  6. Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator. It will stay a bit softer at room temperature which may make it easier to apply.

Essential Oil/Zinc Sunscreen Stick

I was looking for a sunblock that would not irritate little birds eczema.  Here is a recipe that we had a great success with.  We wore it for a week on the beach, and NO sunburns.  I’d call that a win!
½ cup coconut oil
½ cup beeswax
3 TBSP shea butter
¼ cup almond oil
4 tablespoons of Zinc Oxide (non-nano, I ordered on amazon)
deodorant tubes (again, from Amazon!)
Optional:
25 drops of geranium essential oil (I use young living brand)
10 drops of frankincense essential oil (I use young living brand)
Put your coconut oil, beeswax, sheabutter and almond oil in a double boiler and melt.  Add your zinc and essential oils.  Mix!  Then pour into deodorant tubes.  You might need to mix in between pouring tubes so that the zinc is evenly distributed.  This hardens in about and hour depending on temperature.
This makes about 3 tubes.
See my post here about how to get young living oils