Hand Salve

So in my quest to be more organic and to know what’s in the stuff I use and eat and such (plus I’m still on this super creative kick where I just want to make stuff!), I decided to make my own hand salve today.  I had made a big order from Mountain Rose Herbs and the stuff all got here this week. It’s pricey to do at once, but much less per container of finished product.  Also on the list is home-made deodorant (I’ll post on that after I’ve used it for a while and see how it actually works!), and lip balm, which I made tonight too, but I’ll post it tomorrow.

I got this recipe from A Sonoma Garden, but tweaked it a little bit cause I didn’t have a scale to weigh the ingredients, so I went with parts and measured it with measuring spoons and added lavender to it cause I like the smell…

  • 4 Tbsp Shea Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 1/4 tsp Vitamin E Oil
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp Essential Lavender Oil (adjust to fragrance preference)

Step 1: Place Shea butter and avocado oil in a measuring cup and heat on medium low heat in a small sauce pan full of water until butter and oil melt (easy double boiler). Stir occasionally.

See, not melted.

Starting to melt…


See? It looks like melted butter… oh wait… shea butter anyone?? 😛

Step 2: Stir in Vitamin E Oil and Lavender Oil.

Step 3: Pour into small bowl and place in sink that has several inches of ice water in it.

Step 4: As it cools, whip it to a meringue-like consistency.

Step 5: Smooth into containers of your choice.  I got the containers from Mountain Rose Herbs as well.

Ta Da! It’s awesome.  And I “licked” the bowl by scraping the last little bits off the sides with the spatula and rubbed them straight on my big ol’ preggo belly 😀 (with the spatula) Husband was amused.


Little bits of green are poking back up through the fallen leaves, the tops of my daffodils planted last fall are starting to show themselves, and yesterday I cleaned out three of my garden beds to make way for new life.

This gardening cycle never ceases to thrill me, a fact, I guess, which is an indicator that I’ve found something I should be doing. :-)

I’ve ordered my seeds for next year, mostly from Baker Creek this time, with a repeat as close as possible to some awesome plum tomatoes that I got from Johnny’s Seeds last year.  Last year these plum tomatoes, Juliet, did an amazing job producing despite the fact that it was a horrible year for growing most things, and especially tomatoes. I never saw hide nor hair (not that tomatoes have hides and hairs, but you catch my drift…) of one kind I planted, and my heirloom Brandywines produced about 6-8 total all summer, only one of which I actually got to eat (not typical for them, and they are one of my absolute favorite tomatoes ever).

Sadly, Johnny’s was sold out of the Juliet’s when I place my order, so I replaced them with a similar, but this time, organic seed for a plum, the Granadero.  I hope they do as well and taste as good! Most of the Juliet’s never got cooked with, as they were so good for snacking on right out of the garden, or sprinkled with a little sea salt.

I’m doing more perennial flowers this year as I want a lower maintenance garden, and next year, when Eli’s bigger, we’ll expand the garden and re-up our quotient of veggies, but since I was wanting to add some beds for cut flowers anyway, it seemed like good timing.

Change is in the air as my belly expands and Eli gets ready to emerge into the world, swelling me and pushing at his boundaries already, even though he still has almost two months left to develop.

It’s considerably warmer this week, though a temporary warmth as I’m sure it will frost again several times before our frost free date the second half of April, and yet the year has turned and it’s time to prepare anew for the growing season.  Did I mention I love this cycle? It feeds my soul somehow. I highly recommend growing something this year, even if you just want to start with some herbs in pots on a window sill.  I dare you to try it and see if it doesn’t feed your soul somehow to grow just even a small part of your food.

Preparation Deux

I’ve always been sort of creative, but didn’t used to be that much of a “do it myself” kind of girl till more recent years… I guess home ownership will do that for you, but I’ve also grown to love the results of doing something with my own two hands.

Of course the majority of the work in painting this room has been done with husband’s own two hands, but I like those results too 😉

There’s something deeply satisfying about doing a project, seeing the results and knowing you did it yourself.

This room is a testament to baby steps.  Cleaning it out was quite a several month endeavor to not exhaust myself and Jody was having a busy time of it at work with the holidays approaching. Things are (a little, teensy bit) quieter now, and we’ve been steadily chipping away at this project.  It probably won’t be done till the weekend (which is Sunday/Monday for us), but it’s making good progress.  And it’s a lovely testimony to baby steps. :-)

So, new things! I painstakingly marked out a diamond within the square that we did two days ago, and Jody painted the inset wall with its first coat of green.

Then yesterday we applied the birds and branch decal that we ordered from Simple Shapes on Etsy, and I painted the diamond orange (burnt orange, color called “fragrant cloves,” which goes well with the green color “pickling spice”).

Next up! Another coat of green, some more orange in a cool location (stay tuned!) and some stenciling…