A New Baby Bee on the way and NEW products for Expecting Mamas!

5 month belly pic

I have been waiting to announce to you all about our NEW Arrival coming September 15th! So here it is officially, we are expecting our 2nd child in September. Here is a picture of me earlier in the month, 5 months along!

Most of you know about my journey through my business and the reason why I started my business in the first place…….to be a Work-At-Home-Mom! It was my plan BEFORE I had my daughter to not be away from home. It was SOO important to me that I prepared years in advance so I was ready. More on that story soon!

Now it is a different road I will be taking. My business is more established than before and I have a 5 year old who I am also homeschooling, running my business, running a household…… Somehow I believe it will all come together and work out! It just has to, there is no other option!!

I am doing my best to get prepared for my time off with the baby when HE arrives! Yes, we are having a BOY!! So excited 🙂

So there will be some time where I will be putting my shop on vacation and orders will be on hold for a while. I predict a few weeks as I am bringing in some helpers to make the transition as smooth as possible. One thing that has been on my mind is that I need to share with you all the products I have been using since I have been pregnant!

There are only a few essential oils that are safe for expectant Mamas. I of course use my own products I make and some are not fit for use during pregnancy. So I have re-formulated some of my daily favorites to accommodate my new needs!

♦Organic Hair Rinse> I have replaced the Rosemary & Rosewood with Ylang-Ylang & Lavender Essential Oil. Still good for Brunettes!

lavender pic

♦Organic Hair Gel>I have replaced the Rosemary with Ylang-Ylang, and have kept the Lavender Essential Oil.

ylang_ylang

♦For muscle aches>I have been using Organic Ginger Lemon Lotion. It is safe during the 2nd & 3rd Trimester, but should be avoided during the 1st Trimester due to the strong circulation action of the Ginger Essential Oil.

Great for muscle aches and safe for expectant Mamas during the 2nd & 3rd Trimester!

Great for muscle aches and safe for expectant Mamas during the 2nd & 3rd Trimester!

I chose Lavender for its healing properties and gentle scent! Safe for expectant Mamas and children, it is one of the safest essential oils available!

I also chose Ylang-Ylang as it is safe for expectant Mamas plus these other benefits! It helps to lift moods, plus using ylang ylang essential oil as a hair treatment will promote the growth of hair and reduce hair loss.

I am packaging these 3 favorites plus a small bar of my Organic Jasmine Soap for shampooing into a special “Expectant Mama Beauty Set”!

expectantmamahaircareset

You can find it in my Etsy shop, or on my website! Ordering from my website will save you on your favorites EVERY TIME!

 

Do you know someone who is expecting that would benefit from my new products? Do you have a favorite product that YOU would like to see reformulated for Expectant Mamas?

Leave your comments below! I love to hear from my readers!

 

 

No Lye = No Soap

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Jasmine Soap

Over the years that I have been making soap, there have always been questions customers have for me about my products. Today I am addressing the most frequent question I receive about my SOAP!

“Do you use LYE to make your soap?” My Answer is YES!

Yes, I use LYE to make my soap BUT the soap no longer contains Lye once it has combined with the oils and cured!

Without LYE, also known as Sodium Hydroxide, you cannot have soap!! Even glycerin bars, melt & pour bars, liquid soap…….ALL SOAP requires either Sodium Hydroxide(LYE for bar soap) or Potassium Hydroxide(LYE for Liquid soap) to make it soap. You see, Sodium Hydroxide is a chemical that is harmful ALONE! When you combine it with the right ratio of oils & water, it binds to the molecular structure of each producing a COMPLETELY different element, SOAP!

The end result is no longer, Lye, Oils OR water, but a combination of all to produce the soap!

The Babylonians were the ones who invented soap at 2800 B.C. when the mixing of animal fats & ashes produced a cleansing product used for utensils & skin conditions. Even today, Lye CAN be made from ashes, rock and hay in a large wooden barrel. Now, Lye is produced commercially so it can be calibrated for modern recipes using exact measurements, thus refined for exactness. It is still a caustic substance that can harm you if touched!

Do not approach Lye lightly. ALL precautions MUST be taken when handling it and making soap. The Saponification of the Lye & Oils, (chemical reaction that creates soap) happens over time.

Here I am mixing the Lye into the water wearing ALL of my protective gear!

Here I am mixing the Lye into the water wearing ALL of my protective gear!

Here you see me mixing the Lye with the water. I am wearing protective eye wear, long gloves and an apron. I am also mixing on a newspaper lined table in my work station AWAY from children, pets and distractions! This is the MOST important!

Getting the right temperature before combining the Lye into the oil!

Getting the right temperature before combining the Lye into the oil!

After the Lye has come to the 100-98 degree temperature, I then mix it with the oils of the same temperature. It immediately starts swirling in the pan, showing me that the two are combining.

The oils & Lye start combining!

The oils & Lye start combining!

I then stir and “mix” with my immersion blender. This helps speed things along. You CAN use just a spatula or spoon to stir, but it does take much longer, as I have tried this method, before learning about the immersion blender 🙂

"Pudding" like consistency tells me it is ready to pour!

“Pudding” like consistency tells me it is ready to pour!

Then after it has produced a “pudding-like” texture, I pour it into wooden molds lined with freezer paper for easy removal once it is set.

Clay Tea Tree Soap Just poured into the mold!

Clay Tea Tree Soap Just poured into the mold!

It sits, covered, for 24-48 hours before being cut. It still MAY contain some traces of Lye in the water molecules left in the soap, so I handle WITH my gloves on!

Clay Tea Tree Soap Curing

Clay Tea Tree Soap Curing

They then are exposed to air for 4 weeks minimum, being rotated every day for even drying. They are then ready to use, OR the best option would be to let them dry/cure longer!

**Why CURE soap?**

There is a reason for “curing” the soap. This is to allow the traces of lye that may remain in the left over water found in the soap to evaporate. The longer the soap sits, the better! It will harden up nicely and last much, much longer!

Did you know that the longer it sits, the better it gets?

Soap is not going to “go bad”, it will actually get BETTER! For example, there is one bar from last year that I found in my toiletry bag used for travelling. When I used it recently on an overnight outing, it lathered up MORE than before and was VERY hard! Even though I used it frequently for a few days, it looked as though I had not used it at all!! This just goes to show that the longer it sits, the longer it lasts 🙂

Organic Cinnamon Roll Soap

Organic Cinnamon Roll Soap

*So the take away from this post is:

~Without Lye you do not have soap of ANY type!

~4 weeks minimum is needed before soap is ready to use.

~The longer it sits the better it gets!

~Keep soap well drained & dry in-between uses so it lasts longer! *************************************************************************

I will be covering different questions that are frequently sent to me about my products!

♦Do you have any questions about my products that you want answered?

♦Do you understand the basics of soap making and how LYE is on every soap?

Please leave your comments below!

Lavandula Angusti.folia, A.k.a. Lavender~ Part 2: Uses of Lavender Essential Oil

Last week we reviewed how Lavender can be used in edible applications, ex. tea, spice blends, popscicles. Now I am going to review the uses of its essential oil! Essential oils are the true ESSENCE of the said herb. It can be obtained by steam distillation, solvent extraction and infusion. Here is a diagram of how steam distillation works.

When I choose Essential oils, I choose ones that are Organic,{to avoid pesticide contamination} and ones that are steam distilled. Solvent extraction is done with chemical solvents which in turn leave a residue behind that cannot be removed. This is definitely not in line with my goal of providing chemical-free, healing oils for my family & my business, so steam distilled it is!
You may order some Organic Essential Oils where I get mine, at Mountain Rose Herbs! They have SO many Organic herbs to choose from too, so you can get some bulk Organic Lavender for your own spice blend in my first Lavender Post!

Now back to the highlight today, Organic Lavender Essential oil! It has a sweet, floral, herbaceous scent that has a woody undertone. The Ancient Greeks and Romans prized it as a perfume and for its cleansing properties. Medieval Europeans considered lavender an herb of love, as it was claimed to have aphrodisiac qualities!! In the time of dirt floors, the buds were strewn about so that when stepped upon, the flowers released their fragrance. This particular tradition continues today in Portugal and Spain. Its fragrance is known to ease headaches, calm the nerves and promote an easy feeling.

The application of Organic Lavender essential oil should be diluted, as with any essential oil. Our bodes cannot handle the strength of the flower essences, so a little is better than a lot! For example, my Organic Lavender Lotion has a calculated amount of drops in each jar so it will effectively help the user, but not be toxic to the system. It is also one of the FEW safe essential oils for infants and children! Quite a few of my customers have reported positive results from massaging their babies with my Organic Lavender Lotion after bath time to soothe & relax them for bed.

Lavender essential oil is known to ease the pain & discomfort of muscular aches, spasms, and injuries along with helping to heal bruises, cuts and insect bites! This would come in handy when the season starts up again!! Another tip I have listed with my lotion is to apply it to the temples when a headache is present, as it helps relieve it.

When your skin is very dry and cracked, it needs a healing herb like lavender to soothe the inflammation and provide an antiseptic cooling action. This is one of the reasons why I came up with my Organic Lavender Herb lotion bar! Some people are not too excited about applying my cream while away from home, so a lotion bar is the solution! It travels very well, especially in its lidded stainless steel container. Formulated with Organic Unrefined Shea Butter & Organic EV Coconut Oil, it is the best option for intense moisturizing! ​Just rub in-between your hands and watch as the heat from your body starts to melt the lotion bar! You can also rub the lotion bar directly onto the dry skin areas.
Lavender Essential oil also helps repair damaged or overprocessed hair. I know that my hair has changed over the years, and the one thing we ALL have is split ends. Of course if you have just come from the beauty shop and received a trim, you are set, but in-between your trips, it is good to maintain your trim so your hair is the healthiest it can be!
You already are familiar with my Organic Hair Rinse in this post, but do you know of my Organic Hair Gel?

I came up with my formulation for my Organic Hair Gel when I was making my way down the list of products to replace in my beauty regimen. I despise the feeling of “crunchiness” in my hair, so the Organic Hair products at the store were not cutting it. The ONLY one I liked was made in a base of Organic Aloe Vera Gel. BINGO!! I went to work formulating my OWN recipe for Organic Hair Gel. First the herbs Organic Lavender & Organic Rosemary are steeped in the aloe gel to impart their oils into it for a minimum of 4 months.

Then with each bottle ordered, I mix in fresh drops of Organic Lavender Essential oil and Organic Rosemary Essential Oil. The herb infusion, PLUS the essential oils helps to layer the scent & properties so it is more effective. This hair gel is VERY light and is ideal for those who let their hair air dry. Air drying your hair is so much healthier for it anyway, plus it produces a soft, frizz-free head of hair anyone will be jealous of!

Please keep in mind that all of my hair products are formulated to work together! Start off with one of my Organic Soaps to loosen dirt & oils, then my Organic Hair Rinse to balance the pH levels, and end with an application of my Organic Hair Gel to finish. I have been using this routine on my hair for over 2 years now. I will NEVER look back to conventional products again!! My hair not only has less frizz, but it is the healthiest that it has EVER been! I have naturally oily hair and used to have to shampoo EVERY DAY! Not anymore, I am happy to report. My hair has normalized, and my scalp has healed. Tangles have been reduced and split ends are few & far between. You may contact me for a customized hair regimen of your own! I understand not all essential oils are for everyone, so I am happy to customize the hair rinse & hair gel to your preferences. I will also provide recommendations for specific oils that are good for hair & ones that are not. Send me an email if you would like to take advantage of this specialized service! honeybeeholistics (At) yahoO {dOt} cOm

LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A 4OZ BOTTLE OF YOUR OWN HAIR GEL!!
Please let me know how this gel can help you in your quest for chemical-free beauty products for your hair!
***GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***

The Winner is MARSHA JARAMILLO!!
Congrats Marsha! PLEASE contact me to claim your prize!!

Lavandula Angustifolia, a.k.a Lavender! Part One: Learn how it’s flower buds can help you!

Lavender (lavandula angustifolia) is one of the most widely known plants in the herbal world! You are most likely familiar with its smell, but what about its culinary uses?

source

In the 1970’s, the herb blend Herbes de Provence became a big hit, thus bringing the culinary use of Lavender to the limelight! Note that this is the AMERICAN version, adding in Lavender, as the French do not add Lavender in their Herbes de Provence! You can make your OWN herbs de provence to use on your Roasted Meats, veggies, and just about anything! The key is to only use a TINY bit of Lavender in the mix, or it may be too overpowering!

This is the blend I have made for myself! I just put them all in my spice grinder reserved for HERBS ONLY, as one used for coffee would have a coffee flavor to it, and grind until it is a fine powder. If you only have ONE grinder, you can carefully wash your grinder with soap & water, rinse & dry VERY well, or the herbs will stick to it, then use as directed. Don’t forget to wash again or your coffee may have an herb flavor the next morning 🙂
It is important to grind it well to fully incorporate all of the herbs together so you end up with a powder of sorts to work with. It is then easier to sprinkle on your foods without chunks of herbs! Make sure you seek out Edible Lavender, or Organic Lavender meant for consumption so you do not get a hold of synthetic or chemically processed lavender buds!

Now for the recipe I created:
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HERBES DE PROVENCE / Honey Bee Holistics Version
♦ 2 tablespoons dried savory
♦ 1 tablespoon dried oregano
♦ 3 teaspoons dried rosemary
♦ 3 teaspoons dried marjoram
♦ 2 teaspoons dried lavender flowers
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We are not fond of thyme in my household, so I eliminated it and added a bit more marjoram to the mix. You may of course add in some thyme if you like it! I have used this spice blend to re-create this Roasted chicken with Herbes de Provence. It is very EASY and dinner is done in a flash once you get it in the oven!

You may also use Lavender Buds for a relaxing tea! Did you know that teas are also called infusions? Infusions are the gentlest way to incorporate herbs into your life for healing. I have created an herbal tea made with Organic Lavender, Organic Chamomile and Organic Lemon Balm here.

It is a great way to unwind in the evening, as the Organic Lavender and Organic Chamomile work together to form a relaxing effect on the mind & body. It is even safe for children as well! If you have a child who has a hard time settling down, this would make a great evening drink before bedtime. After steeping in boiling water for 10 minutes, covered, transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely so your child can drink it. You can also make it into popsicles to enjoy! This would be great for a child with a sore throat as well since Lavender has natural anti-inflammatory properties.

Considering the anti-inflammatory actions of Lavender, it would also prove beneficial to put some of my bulk tea into an old sock, tied off and let it steep in the bathtub for a full body experience of relaxation. This would help soothe achey joints, muscles and tendons. It is very important to put in a sock or gathered cloth as the herbs may clog the drain! Get some bulk Organic Lavender Chamomile Tea here.
Lavender buds contain a substance called Linalol that heals sores, burns and other wounds. It also has a camphorous aroma that helps relieve congestion and ease respiratory issues. This would come in handy as a natural way to relieve congestion you may suffer from due to allergies or sickness.

Thank you for joining me in this small journey into the culinary/edible uses for Lavender! Join me in the next post for PART TWO of Lavandula Angustifolia, a.k.a Lavender! where I will discuss the properties of the essential oil found in the flower buds. PLUS the the How & Why I use it in my products!

COMMENT BELOW on “What you have learned about lavender you didn’t know before?” for YOUR chance to WIN a 6pack of my Organic Lavender Chamomile Tea!
********CONTEST NOW CLOSED***********

Comment #4

Terressa Zook February 2, 2014 at 12:48 PM

I have yet to try cooking with lavender, but I’m definately trying this.

Please contact me TERRESSA ZOOK to claim your prize!