You know how it is when you read about someone trying something new, but never hear how it worked out? It can leave you wondering if it was a success or a flop. So I thought I would let you know about a few projects we've written about recently.
First up are the reusable food wraps. I love them. They work great on bowls of stuff. I have yet to try wrapping food in them without using a bowl, but my main goal was a way to cover bowls of things in the frig without using plastic wrap or a plastic lid. I've used them to cover fish, ground meat, coleslaw, onions, herb cheese, and I don't remember what else. The first time I put it over
a bowl of salmon I really wondered if the wrap would
stink. Nope. It still smelled like beeswax. The next stinky test was the
onion. I was glad to find out that the wrap will not absorb the odor of the food item it is covering. Clean up is an easy rinse with lukewarm water, dry
thoroughly, fold up and store for next time. I'm glad I made the smaller
wraps while I had the beeswax out making lip balm. I use these smaller
wraps the most.
They do get creases where they are bent or folded, and I haven't done anything to cover them up yet. But, from what I have read, you can use hot water and your hands to smooth out the wax on either side of the crease and cover it back up. I am very happy to be using something besides plastic lids or plastic wrap. These appear to be very durable, are quick and easy to make, and are made with more natural products than plastic.
Next, are the reusable panty liners. I am still very pleased with the design I came up with. They are effective for my use, comfortable, easy to make and care for. I haven't made any more yet, we have been doing a major clean up and organizing task. But I will make about a dozen more before long, probably on one of the next cold, yucky winter days. If you have a sewing machine and a need, I would highly recommend making your own. If not, there are many vendors that make a good, quality products. It's an easy way to eliminate the many detrimental chemicals that are so easily absorbed by women's bodies.
The lip balm we made is great. We really like knowing exactly what we are using, and again, eliminating more chemicals from our daily routine. I have used Carmex, and Frank Chapstick, for many years. One thing I found out when I switched to our lip balm is that I seemed to have a kind of withdrawal. I know, withdrawal from Carmex? I never considered it before we switched to our lip balm. My lips got pretty chapped for about 10 days. During that time we had some really cold weather with strong north winds that may have contributed some, but I really think most of it had to do with a Carmex 'withdrawal' period. It didn't occur to me at first, but as time went by, I began to notice an improvement. So, at first, I used our lip balm many times a day to deal with the chapped lips. Now, I only use it a few times, similar to how I used the Carmex. We are both very pleased. I have infused some olive oil with lemon balm and peppermint that I picked from the herb bed for our next batch. We'll let you know how that goes.
One thing I have not written about, nor did I take any pictures of the process, was the simple lotion I made. It is only beeswax, olive oil and herbal tea made from some of the lemon balm and peppermint I picked. Very simple. The recipe called for mixing with a blender, which I do not have, so I used a slotted spoon. Obviously, the spoon did not do the mixing job a blender would do, and sometimes there is a couple of droplets of water on top of the lotion. But it doesn't bother us at all. We really like this lotion. I will take pictures and write about the next batch. I'm going to try using the KitchenAid with the whipping hook on it to see if it will mix it up better.
When I first started using the lotion, I only used it on my hands. My skin is very sensitive to a lot of things. For many, many years the only hand lotion I could use is the original, plain Vaseline Intensive Care. It's a good lotion and worked fine. I cannot use any soap or cleansers on my face at all. They break me out in fine little red bumps. So, I wash my face with water and use Eucerin lotion and nothing else. But, after I used our lotion on my hands and it didn't break them out, I tried it on my arms for a few days. That went okay, so after about a week I got brave and tried it on my face. No little red bumps. I was very happy. But the same kind of dried out reaction happened to my hands, arms and face that happened to my lips. I wondered if it was the quality of moisturizing components of our lotion compared to the chemicalized store bought version. You know, those chemicals we can't pronounce? Things like isopropyl myristate, PEG-40 sorbitan perolrate, glyceryl lanolate, sorbitol, propylene glycol, cetyl palmitate, stearic acid, magnesium sulfate, aluminum stearate, lanolin alcohol, BHT, methychloroisothiazolinone, and methylisothiazolinone. I have no idea what these ingredients are, or what they do to my body. But, you know what? I really think our bodies are so accustomed to, and almost addicted to, all of the chemicals we put on them every single day, that we have withdrawals. When I first thought of that, I thought it sounded kind of weird, but the longer I used our non-chemicalized products, the more I think it is true. I have long considered these two lotions to be good quality products, but until now, I have never read the ingredients. Or tried to, anyway.
Now, I know that the olive oil I have is processed. And the beeswax is processed. And the lard we bought to use in the lip balm has preservatives in it and the pigs it came from were fed highly chemicalized feed. But at least we were able to eliminate many of the man made chemicals that are the basic components of lip balm and lotion. That's one more small step we were able to make. We really hope in the near future we will be able to render our own lard and harvest our own beeswax. That will be wonderful.
One of the things we are excited about is making lye soap. We have researched and gathered the necessary ingredients for a basic lye soap. When time allows, and a few other projects are completed, we will give it a try and share the results. We haven't experimented with many projects that could be dangerous to our health, but making lye soap is one of them. Remember, safety first.
We will continue to learn and experiment with eliminating more chemicals from our lives. We really feel that the more naturally we can live now, before we have no choice, the better off we will be. If we can learn how to make our own natural care products with minimal, hopefully renewable ingredients for the most part, then when the stores are empty, we won't miss them as much. Don't slow down and let a life of learning pass you by. There is so much to learn and do, the journey is a never ending process. It will keep you young and ticking.
Until next time - Fern