MYO Body Wash

In my ongoing quest to make our lives healthier, I have switched our family away from mainstream soaps and body washes. Sodium lauryl sulfate is the ingredient in soaps, detergents, and even toothpastes that causes them to foam.

Check out this info from Kitchen Stewardship (where Katie references an article from Natural News) :

Sodium lauryl sulfate did not start off as a detergent that was meant for use in consumer products. It was initially sold as an industrial strength detergent primarily used for heavy duty cleaners and degreasers. It is now found in products which are in close and frequent contact with human skin. The reason it is used in so many products today is that consumers have come to expect abundant lather in products that are supposed to cleanse in some way. It is one of the most largely manufactured chemicals in the United States since many companies use it as a cheap lathering agent.

The other reasons listed for sodium lauryl sulfate’s transgressions include:

  1. irritates and dries out skin
  2. allows toxins to penetrate
  3. is toxic
  4. erodes eyes, gums, and hair follicles (yep, gum disease from toothpaste and hair loss from shampoo…makes sense, right?)

So, because of these concerns, we have switched to natural body washes, and I make our own toothpaste. But I haven’t been really happy with the alternatives- the natural body washes were more expensive, even with buying them through our natural foods co-op. Plus they didn’t smell as fragrant, and of course, didn’t have the great lather we were used to. So I began thinking of alternatives.

I looked up how to make your own body wash, and it is pretty common sense: grate a bar of soap in some hot water, mix and pour into your bottle.

I have not dived into soap making yet, because to be honest, the lye part of the process scares me, so I used 2 soaps: a piece of Zum Bar soap I got from our local grocery store. (They sell in bulk in the natural section, or you can purchase regular bars). I love that they are a a local company, and their soaps are so fragrant, I actually associate the smell with health food stores)

Katie also had a bar of lavender goats milk soap she hadn’t used yet that a homeschooling friend made. She makes a wonderful variety of soaps, we even gave them as Christmas gifts last year. Her company is called Red Shed Soap company. I used this to make Katie’s body wash.

According to the recipe, for 3 ounces of soap, (grated) **you can add 1 cup of hot water. I think you can add more than that, as ours gelled up to a really thick consistency. I am happy to be saving some money, at least half off of what I was paying for body wash. And I know we are using less because of the better foaming.  Plus, I dilute it by 90 percent and use it in a foaming pump for a hand soap, so that saves even more! (Make sure you use hot water so the soap dissolves well, or it may clog your pump)

Over all I am really pleased with the ease of the process and the results. Really fragrant, body wash with great lathering at a much cheaper price. You will definitely notice a difference even in the way your skin feels. My husband said it first you might think it feels dry, but we all agree now that it just feels DIFFERENT, not dry.

Let me know if you give it a try!

** Remember the old Salad Shooter? I will never be without one in my kitchen. I use it to grate cheese (straight into freezer bags, and freeze), and I use it to grate the soap for this recipe too.

For Kids: Car Bingo


Love her or hate her, Martha Stewart does have some wonderful ideas to share. I subscribe to a couple of her “Tip of the Day” emails, and I just had to pass this one along.

If you follow this link to Car Bingo, you can download a very cute template for the kids to play Car Bingo on your next road trip. Enjoy!


MYO Roasting Sticks

check out this easy and fun craft from Family Fun

Cook Out in Style

When Dale and Karen Peckinpaugh of West Lafayette, Indiana, take their 5 children, ages 8 months to 5 years, on a camping trip, they always pack their official deluxe homemade marshmallow roasters. During campouts, the roasters generate great excitement, says Karen: “We all can’t wait to start the campfire!”

These instructions make one roaster; simply multiply as needed to make one for each family member

Finish reading this article at Family Fun

MYO Fingerpaint

At Family Bliss, Elaine Williams gives a great recipe for making your own kid safe fingerpaint.

family bliss Safe Fingerpaint to Make at Home

Children love to fingerpaint. We moms worry about them eating possibly toxic paint. What to do? Make your own! It’s easy, works great and you no longer have to keep those little ones from tasting their colorful paints.

Make only enough for the day’s painting as this recipe only keeps for that long without getting too hard to use. Here are your ingredients:

  • 2 cups of whatever flour you have
  • Cold water
  • Hot water
  • food dye in the colors desired

Into a bowl put the flour, mix in the cold water until smooth with no big lumps, next slowly add in just-off-the-boil hot water while stirring constantly to get the correct finger paint consistency. Finger paints are thinker than brush paints so leave it thicker and not so thin.

Divide up the mixture into containers, one per color. Into each mixture stir in a few drops of food dye to yield the best child safe paint you ever allowed them to squish between their little fingers (and taste).

(photo by plindberg)

Christmas Craft

When we started getting out the Christmas decorations, I fell in love all over again with these button trees I made last year. I got the idea from Ali Edwards, but she must have spent a small fortune on buttons and corsage pins, because she covered the entire cone with buttons. SUPER cute idea but SUPER expensive. So I covered mine with scrapbook paper, it made it a much more thrifty project, and I really love how they look.

Its just styrofoam tree forms, buttons and colored straight pins. You can see Ali’s post here:

2 new paintings to share

Well I guess I will go ahead and be brave and post these. I have not shown my paintings previously as I am so new to this, and I don’t really paint “pictures”.  But these are 2 I created today.  The first one, the green one, was my attempt of one that Donna Downey had on her blog (  I used C’s little saying that she has on her blog  🙂  Hope you don’t mind Carla!

The second one is for my sweetie, and it is more of a hybrid project, I printed the digital frame around our picture, and all the type.

Thanks for letting me share-