Homemade Bronzer

 

Making your own makeup may be a foreign concept for some of you, while others may be a professional DIYer on the verge of starting your own line of natural beauty products. Whether you are seasoned on just delving into the world of naturalness/frugality, this homemade bronzer recipe is simple, cheap, and works wonderfully. I can promise that you will be tickled with the results, and perhaps, feel a bit relieved that you don’t need to pay an arm and a leg for your makeup products anymore.

The cosmetic industry is very loosely regulated by the FDA. This means that any of your cosmetics or personal care products can contain an array of harmful ingredients that you would never know was in there, due to the lack of testing, manufacturing requirements, package labeling, etc. Scary, huh?

While my love for things like makeup and other girly personal care products runs deep, I’m not going to risk my own health to wear or use them. This ultimately got me to search for more natural options, and trying my hand at some things I could make at home. Does this sound like you a bit?

Of course this isn’t your only option, you can definitely pay the high prices for “organic makeup” with “natural ingredients” if you choose. However, I will warn you that even those may still contain some harmful chemicals and their “all natural” labels are just as deceiving as the ones on our food.

Some of the harmful ingredients you should avoid in makeup (blush/bronzer in particular) include:

Of course this list could go on and on, but who has time for that? If you have questions about your makeup or want to do some more research, the Skin Deep Cosmetic’s Database on the Environmental Working Force’s website is a great place to look up ingredients in your cosmetics, and you can even look up specific cosmetic brands/products to see what they are rated and if they contain harmful ingredients.

Enough with the bad, and on to the good. There is a very simple and cheap way to make your own homemade bronzer that doesn’t consist of all of the unwanted chemicals, gets the job done, and you probably already have the ingredients in your very own kitchen.

Ingredients:

Directions:

Start with 1/2 tsp – 1 tsp of arrowroot powder and add the cinnamon and cocoa powder. Since everyone has a different skin tone, I cannot give you exact measurements of how much cinnamon and cocoa powder to use, simply mix them until you find a color that suits you.

 

See, that was easy wasn’t it? I like to store mine in a 4 oz mason jar (like this) at room temperature. Since the ingredients are a dried powder, this stores for quite some time. I would take note of the expiration date on the food packages and use that as an expiration date for the homemade bronzer for the sake of formality. Chances are, you will love it so much and use it up before then anyway.

Happy bronzing!

The Ultimate Green Mom

DIY Hair Mask

 

I’ve been a bit hard on my hair lately and taking a curling iron to it a bit more than I should. The damage (split ends) were getting out of control, so I did what any natural living person would do and I put food in my hair!

The first time I used this hair mask I was blown away by the results. Not only did it help with my split ends, it added a ton of body to my fine, straight hair. In retrospect, I wish I would have gotten some good before and after pictures to show you the difference, but my little was helping me along the way and we got more caught up in the fun-ness of it all instead.

DIY Hair Mask

DIY Avocado Hair Mask Recipe

 

Ingredients

  • ½ avocado
  • 1 egg yolk

Directions

  1. Place egg yolk and avocado in blender and mix well
  2. Apply mixture to hair from the tips to scalp
  3. Let it sit in your hair for 15-20 minutes
  4. Rinse, shampoo, and enjoy your hydrated, healthy hair!

How Does it Work?

Avocado is great for moisturizing and nourishing hair. It contains proteins, amino acids, Vitamins A, D, E, and B6, which can replenish your hair and help stimulate hair growth.

The egg yolks are packed full of nutrients such as proteins, fatty acids, and Vitamins A, D, and E, which causes it to strength and condition your hair. Egg yolks also prevent hair loss and leave your hair shiney and soft.

NOTE: To further enhance the benefits of this DIY Avocado Hair Mask try adding jojoba oil, honey, olive oil, or bananas to the mixture.

Lilla Rose Review & Giveaway – Closed

 

I am so excited to share with you all this amazing hair clip that I recently tried!

I have been hearing a lot about  of Lilla Rose lately, but wasn’t exactly sure what it was. When Melody, a Lilla Rose consultant approached me about trying a flexi clip, I was ecstatic to try it out and learn more about the company.

Normally, my typical hair style is rocking the ponytail momdo. Because it’s the quickest and easiest thing to do with straight, fine hair, or so I thought…

Lilla Rose Giveaway

 

As soon as I put the flexi clip in, I immediately fell in love. It held my hair up so well, and I have discovered so many different ways to style my hair with it. Using the flexi clip has opened me up to a whole new world of fashionable hair styles.

Speaking of styles, I love the diversity that the flexi clip offers. There are so many different styles, sizes, and ways that you can use it to style your hair. They even introduce a new style each month to add to their collection.

The flexi clip will fit in all different hair types and it comes in 7 sizes: mini, extra small, small, medium, large, extra large and mega

I ended up ordering a Medium based on their sizing video, which makes it super easy to find the right clip for you.

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I could go on and on for days about the flexi clip and the wonderful things I have discovered, but it I will keep it short and sweet for you. :)

A few things that I love about the flexi clip:

  • One piece, no worries about loosing it.
  • Super durable
  • No damaged hair from tight ponytails/clips
  • So many different styles and colors
  • Holds my fine hair up well
  • Videos and tutorials available on how to use it and style your hair
  • Melody, my consultant is so kind and helpful
  • 90 sizing guarantee, they will exchange any size that doesn’t fit
  • AMAZING specials and promotions offered through Melody

Since we are on the subject of promotions, Melody is offering a buy 3 get 1 FREE for any new customers!

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She is also currently booking Facebook parties for a fun hour of “girl time” with hairstyle tips, a flexi giveaway & Lilla Rose product demonstrations. Free and half price items begin at $100 – so it is easy to receive Lilla Rose products with Melody. If you love your clip as much as I do, I know you will be overly excited about the extra free products!

Please feel free to shop around on Melody’s website and contact her if you have any questions.

Don’t forget to comment and let us know which flexi clip is your favorite!

Do you have a flexi clip story to share? We would love to hear how much you love your flexi clip! Pictures welcome. :)

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Homemade Granola

I will admit that giving up cereal for breakfast was one of the most difficult things to do for myself and my little ones when we made the switch to eating real food. I immediately knew that I had to find something to replace it, so I started with oatmeal, but it didn’t quite cut it. We began adding in yogurt and fresh fruit every day instead with all of the delicious various yogurt toppings and that is when I had my “ah ha” moment. Granola!

Now gluten free granola is pretty costly at the store so I started looking at the ingredients when I had another “ah ha” moment. I can make it myself! And so I did…

This gluten free, homemade granola recipe is the perfect addition to jazz up your yogurt or eat by itself!

My family LOVES this stuff, and I know yours will too!

Homemade Granola
Author: 
 
Simple, gluten free granola
Ingredients
  • 6 c. Bob's Redmill Gluten Free Oats
  • 6 tbsp. organic coconut palm sugar
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ c. extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ c. (or less) honey
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • (optional) dried fruits or nuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F
  2. Combine oats, palm sugar, and sea salt in large mixing bowl
  3. Combine EVOO, honey, and vanilla extract in separate mixing bowl
  4. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well
  5. Let oats soak in mixture for 10 minutes
  6. Place 1st batch of oats in a thin layer on a baking sheet in oven for 15 minutes
  7. Stir the oats so that they do not burn or stick and allow them to cook for 10 more minutes
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes
  9. Repeat steps 6-8 for second batch
  10. Store in an air tight container and enjoy!

 

DIY Hand Sanitizer

 

Sometimes when you are on the go washing your hands is not always an option. The good news is that there is waterless hand sanitizer that you can buy at the store. The bad news is that these store bought hand sanitizers consist of harmful chemicals such as Triclosan, Triclocarban and synthetic fragrance. They also destroy the good bacteria along with the bad, making you more susceptible to anything you might come in contact with after using it.

You may be surprised at the harmful chemicals that are lurking in the ingredient lists of antibacterial soaps and sanitizers, especially the ones that smell really great from Bath and Body Works. Sulfates, dyes, and a few other major no-no’s in addition to the main ingredients listed above, make this beautifully smelling hand sanitizer toxic and harmful to your health. (Check out Environmental Working Group for more info.)

So why not make a more economical DIY Hand Sanitizer that is safe to use and works with your body to fight off the germs?

DIY Hand Sanitizer

What you’ll need:

Bottles (I prefer these)
Aloe vera gel (Like this)
On Guard
Funnel

Directions:

1) Fill the bottle up with aloe vera using a funnel or by pouring it in directly into the bottle

2) Add 5 drops of essential oil of On Guard to aloe gel

3) Close bottle and shake well before use

Why On Guard?

On Guard is doTERRA’s protective essential oil blend which includes Wild Orange, Clove bud, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus radiatia, and Rosemary. These oils have been studied for their powerful abilities to kill harmful bacteria and viruses. Oh, did I mention it smells great too?

Therapeutic Properties:

Antibacterial
Antiviral
Antifungal
Antiseptic
Disinfectant
Anti-infectious
Antimicrobial
Astringent
Immune stimulant

I am sure that you can see where this essential oil blend would come in handy when you are trying to kick germs to the curb. This is one of my favorite essential oil blends, especially with having two little ones in the house. My kids are germ magnets and this protective blend helps keep us healthy.

 

Best Organic Seed Companies

 

It is time to start planning out that spring garden!

One of my favorite things about gardening, is shopping the seed catalogs. I love seeing all of the pictures filled with sunshine and beautiful foods. I like to imagine those beautiful things growing in my own backyard (that is currently covered with dead grass and snow). It warms my heart a bit, quite literally.

Is winter over yet?

When I first began growing my food, I wasn’t sure where to start so I ordered free catalogs from almost every organic seed company that I could find. I want to help you narrow it down and share a few of my favorites with you. These companies will send you free catalogs at your request, so that you can browse through and start getting those garden plans together. Some of them are even kind enough to have a virtual catalog for you to skim over on their website, if you want to save a few trees. 😉

Best Organic Seed Companies

Seed Savers – I love this history and integrity of this company. They truly value the heirloom seed and have made it their mission to preserve our seed supply and encourage others to do the same.

Bountiful Gardens – They have such a wide selection of seeds to offer any organic gardener, including grains.

Seeds of Change – This is a great company, that are becoming more and more popular in retail stores, which I love.

High Mowing – I love that this company is a part of the non-GMO project, which means they help support and fund the labeling of GMO’s, woo-hoo! I’ll plant to that!

All of these companies are organic, non-GMO, and (mostly) heirloom seeds. Their company guarantees and selections are unbeatable, in my opinion, and I am proud to give my money to and recommend these companies to everyone.

Do you have a favorite organic seed company that you recommend? We would love for you to share!

Green Resolutions Giveaway Hop – Closed

 

Welcome to the Green Resolution Giveaway Hop, hosted by Happy MotheringEasy Green Mom and Brittleby’s Corner through the Green Moms Network! We want to help encourage you to make resolutions to live healthier and more eco-friendly lives this New Year!  After entering my giveaway, be sure to hop around and enter all of the other giveaways listed on the linky at the bottom of this post for your chance to win more giveaways that will help you go green and live a more healthful and eco-friendly lifestyle in 2015.

 

The Ultimate Green Mom Giveaway Prize

doTERRA Intro Kit Giveaway

For the Green Resolutions Giveaway I am offering a doTERRA essential oil Introductory Kit with 5 mL bottles of Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint. This essential oil trio is the perfect way to take control of your health naturally in 2015. I wish you all the best of luck in winning these healthful tools!

Are you new to essential oils, or wanting to learn a bit more about their uses? Here is a bit of information on essential oils and how they can benefit you.

These three essential oils are by far the most common and versatile essential oils used, and just so happen to be three of my favorite! In fact, between these three oils, there are over 101 uses! doTERRA has been kind enough to put together a list of uses for each oil that you can view here.

Don’t forget to leave a comment below and tell me what you will use the Intro Kit for!

Essential Oil Uses

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The Green Resolutions Giveaway Grand Prize

Be sure to enter the grand prize giveaway! One winner will receive a prize package from Arcadia Power and Lyfe Tea –  a $255.95 value! Enter here.

greenresolutionsgrandprize

 

Check out the other Green Resolutions Giveaway Prizes

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Disclosure: This contest will run through January 31, 2015 at 8:59 pm PST (11:59 pm EST). The winner will be chosen the following day and announced on The Ultimate Green Mom. No purchase necessary. US entries only. Must be 18 years or older to win. Must not be a current doTERRA Wellness Advocate or wholesale member. The sponsors provided me with free samples of these products to review, and I was under no obligation to review them if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to this blog and not to Facebook. Please note that Happy Mothering, Easy Green Mom, Brittleby’s Corner, the Green Moms Network and the Naturally Healthy event bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. We have represented each sponsor with the expectation they will fulfill their prize and in a timely manner. We will contact the sponsor regarding your prize(s). The sponsors, in most cases, are shipping their items to you directly. I will make every effort to assist you obtaining your prize. If there is an issue with a sponsor, please notify the blog you won a prize from within 4-6 weeks for assistance, after that we may be unable to assist you.

Essential Oils for Weight Loss

 

It is the new year, and many of us have set our goals for the year and developed an idea of how we want to change ourselves for the better. Most of the time this usually includes loosing weight or getting fit. If loosing weight is one of your goals for this year, let’s explore some great essential oils for weight loss along with some other suggestions to help you achieve your goals.

Weight loss tips and tricks:

Now, many of you already know that diet and exercise play a HUGE role in weight loss. Let’s talk a little bit about those two subjects before we get into the essential oils.

The most important factor in weight loss is what you eat. This does not mean stocking up on things that say “low fight,” “zero calories,” etc. Those foods generally contain chemicals, that are far worse than calories or fat when it comes to your health. If you are serious about loosing weight, cutting processed foods and refined sugars out of your diet will be a giant leap in the right direction.

In addition to cutting out processed foods and sugars, try eliminating gluten from your diet as well. I promise you, this is not as hard as you may think. Reading Wheat Belly will help you gain a better understanding of the gluten free lifestyle. I recommend focusing on a plant-based diet to not only help with weight loss, but also to improve overall health. Check out my Pinterest board for some delicious plant-based diet recipes.

Undoubtedly, the second most important factor in weight loss is exercise. Now, going to the gym 7 days a week and pumping iron just isn’t practical for everyone. I am not going to be the one to tell you exactly how to exercise or how often, but just to emphasize that something is better than nothing. Once you dedicate yourself to exercising more, find a workout routine that fits your needs and put it in place to create a habit that will stick. Over time you will start seeing results from all of your hard work and give you the motivation to continue.

Essential Oils for Weight Loss

Essential oils for weight loss:

Now onto the best essential oils for weight loss. I am a chocolate lover. It should almost be illegal, how much love I have for chocolate and other sweets. However, I have had a huge success with these essential oils helping me fight my sweet tooth and kill those cravings.

doTERRA has a proprietary blend called Slim & Sassy, which was designed to help control hunger and limit excessive calorie intake. The essential oils in this blend are calming to the stomach and work to improve emotional well-being.

There are several ways to experience the benefits of Slim & Sassy. To use it you can:

  • apply it topically to the wrists, feet, or stomach
  • diffuse it into the air
  • add 8 drops to a 16 oz beverage (water, juice, or smoothie) and drink throughout the day in between meals
  • add to empty veggie capsules

 

The oils that make up this blend include:

  • Grapefruit – scientifically proven to suppress appetite, uplift mood, and minimize cellulite
  • Lemon – promotes health, detoxifies, and provides energy
  • Peppermint – helps aid in digestion, stimulates mind
  • Ginger – increase physical energy and promotes healthy digestion
  • Cinnamon – enhances the actions of other oils, may improve circulation, digestion, and energy levels

I hope this information helps you achieve your weight and fitness goals for this year and many years to come. Keep up the great work, and best wishes on your health adventure!

The Ultimate Green Mom

4 Reasons Not to Buy Girl Scout Cookies

 

I am sure that I will get some back lash from this post because nearly everyone loves Girl Scout cookies. It is a tradition that has been around since the 1930’s(ish). I get it. The girls are cute, the cookies are delicious, and it’s for a good cause, right?…Right?

Now I will admit that I used to be a thin mint fiend. I could go through a box in one sitting. Pitiful, I know. Their chocolaty goodness spoke to me, my self-control crumbled before the beautiful green box, and before I knew it they were gone. Just like that.

Just hear me out before you get upset.  I promise you, I am not out to get those precious little girls on a mission. I admire their hard work and ambition. Before we go into why not to buy Girl Scout cookies, I want to highlight some of the positive aspects of this traditionally delightful transaction. Through the process of selling Girl Scout cookies, the scouts learn 5 essential skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. These are all very great skills to acquire at such a young age that will undoubtedly benefit them in the future. I love that part of Girl Scout Cookies, but here are a few things that I don’t love, and I don’t think you will either.

4 Reasons Not to Buy Girl Scout Cookies

  1. Only a very small percentage of profits go to the local Girl Scout troop. We are talking a measly 10%-15%. That is roughly $0.60 per box sold on the high end. In fact, the baker can make more money per box sold than that sweet little girl selling you her cookies. The Girl Scouts won’t just flat out say that only a small percentage of the proceeds go the local troop you are buying from. I noticed on their website they like to beat around the bush, but if you talk to a select few “insiders” they will fill you in on the scoop and exactly where the money goes. I won’t post any names or links, but you will find quite a few reliable sources with a simple Google search. I don’t know about you, but I would rather just donate directly to the local troop and skip out on buying the cookies for the following reasons:
  2. Let’s talk about ingredients. If you are a regular reader, you know of my fiery hatred for GMO’s, which are found in every single box of Girl Scout cookies. In addition to genetically modified organisms like corn and soy oils (which are detrimental to your health by the way), there are other harmful ingredients such as carrageenan, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, and more. I highly encourage you to research all of the above.
  3. They are not very allergy friendly. They do offer a couple of gluten-free cookies, but you had better hope that you don’t have allergies to nuts, dairy, or soy if you want to enjoy one. I am tickled at the fact that they are offering the gluten free options, but thanks to our lousy food supply, most people’s allergies stretch far beyond just gluten. If you are dealing with any sort of food allergies, your best bet is to skip the Girl Scout cookies altogether.
  4. Calories and carbs. Now these are two things that I generally pay absolutely no attention to because I feel that when you are eating unprocessed, whole foods, and a well-balanced diet, calories and carbs are not an issue. Our ancestors who ate only what they land provided didn’t even know what a carb or calorie was. And that is the way it should be, generally. However these are Girl Scout cookies are processed foods and filled with empty calories, which means that they are void of nutrients and serve absolutely no purpose for your physiological functions. By the way, the whole reason that we were designed to eat food was to fuel our body with nutrients so that it can function properly. Additionally, the abundance of carbs lurking in these cookies turn into sugar in the body, and will totally ruin any/all your New Year’s health goals. What I am trying to say, is that these cookies serve absolutely on purpose other than “comfort food” that leaves you feeling a bit less healthy than before you ate them.

Again, this is nothing personal against your cute curly haired neighbor girl, daughter, cousin, niece, granddaughter, friend, classmate, etc. I know that those pretty blue eyes can surely be hard to resist. In any case, do yourself favor and politely explain that you cannot purchase any cookies, but instead will donate X amount of dollars toward her local troop and wish her the best of luck with her sales adventure. It is a win-win, you’re healthier and she is still bringing in some proceeds, perhaps even more than she would have if you had bought the cookies.

If giving up the cookies is not something that you can part with, I taken the initiative to track down recipes so that you can make your own version of all of the Girl Scout cookies, only healthier. You may have to tweak the ingredients a bit, but can find them all on Baking Bites.

The Ultimate Green Mom

DIY Mascara

I have been on my natural living journey for awhile now, but makeup has been a rather difficult beast to tame. I have been buying various brands of “organic” makeup that are significantly less harmful than most, but they still have a few questionable ingredients. I finally had the time and energy to put in to making over my makeup bag and it has been an absolute blast, and very rewarding too! One of my favorites so far has been my DIY mascara. It is super simple (I am all about simple) and it works like a charm.

Why make the switch?

The federal and state laws in place for cosmetic regulation are minimal, and the FDA regulation is about the same. With these loosely written laws and regulations, it is very easy for cosmetic companies to slip dangerous ingredients into their products without anyone blinking an eye.

Propylparabens– Scoring a whopping 10/10 in their overall hazard rating, these parabens mimic estrogen and become endocrine disruptors in the body.

Aluminum Powder– Main concern: Neurotoxicity

Triethanolamine– Strong evidence supports this is a skin, immune, and respiratory toxicant.

Retinyl Palmitate– When combined with sunlight, may speed up the development of tumors and lesions. Also becoming a toxicity concern to fetuses.

…and these are just a few of the long list of harmful ingredients found in store bought mascaras. You can see where something as simple as giving your eyelashes a luscious boost, can become a bit alarming.

Just because store bought mascaras can be a potential danger, doesn’t meant that your short, thin eyelashes should have to expose themselves. It is a good thing you can take matters into your own hands and MAKE your own mascara, with safe and natural ingredients with the DIY Mascara recipe. This recipe will give your eyelashes are darker and shinier appearance, without jeopardizing your health!

What You’ll Need:DIY Mascara

Mascara Tube (buy here)

Activated charcoal (buy here)

Coconut oil (buy here)

Funnel

Directions:

1) Fill 3/4 of the tube with coconut oil in liquid form (heated)

2) Fill up the rest of the tube with activated charcoal, leaving enough room for the brush

3) Put in brush to close, mix well, and enjoy!

 

NOTE: To add length and volume to your eyelashes, apply arrowroot powder to your eyelashes with a Q-tip immediately after applying the DIY Mascara, wait a few seconds and reapply the DIY Mascara, and VIOLA!

 

If you are intrigued you can go to Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database to look up the health concerns that have been linked to your mascara, or virtually any other personal care product.