Friday, January 2, 2015

DIY Lip Balm for Your Winter Lips

For as long as I can remember, I have had an issue with artificial flavors, scents and colors. Lip care is no different. Certain brands make my throat to burn, while others seemed to cause my chapped lips to get worse! So, I say to myself, "how can I do this at home, for myself, and better?" As it turns out, all I needed was coconut oil, beeswax and a few lip tubes. In the past, I have tried making complex recipes using waxes, butters and oils with varying degrees of success. After several attempts, I have discovered the best formula is a 1oil:1oil:1wax/hard butter ratio. This gives a smooth texture and softness that my other formulas were lacking. It's not sticky or waxy but it doesn't soak in too fast either. I am addicted to this lip balm now and can't stop giving it out to my friends asks family members!!

Here are a few variations I've created, and they've all worked nicely :)
coconut oil: almond oil: beeswax,
coconut oil: coconut oil: beeswax,
coconut oil: almond oil: cocoa butter

Pop all the ingredients in a microwave safe dish to melt. Begin with 30 seconds and only blast at 10 second intervals until melted - this is to avoid overheating*. stir occasionally and carefully to avoid incorporating to many bubbles. Once ingredients are melted, stir in essential oils (approx 30 drops per 8 oz lip balm mixture) and pour into lip tubes or pots. Allow to cool at least 20 mins before moving or using. Enjoy!!

*Too much heat can cause the butters and waxes to fracture which creates tiny shards in the final product. Not pleasant! Not smooth! Not what I want! Patience isn't my strongest personality feature BUT worth it for this project. :)

Coconut oil becomes liquid around 72 degrees Fahrenheit so don't leave near a heat source or in your car!

I currently have peppermint in stock and am working on a citrus and a vanilla so check back soon!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Making Bath Time Fun

When I was a kid, one of my favorite places to take a time-out from the world was my bath tub! I would play for hours with my assorted plastic toys, all on a mission of some sort. I had adventures on the high seas, rescued princesses, I even tried to teach a parakeet how to swim... Don't ask. It survived. I was young. Anyway, I have passed this love onto my children and in doing so, have given myself the responsibility to offer new fun things to do in there! Well, my parents were snow-birds last winter, staying on the beach from October to April and while my mom was out shopping she ran across a lady who sold clear soaps with toys inside. My mom thought that was an awesome idea and knew I would be interested in making them (little did she know how much I would LOVE IT) so she bought a couple for us to try. My 3 year old spared no time at all working to dig out the group of tiny snakes, suspended in the clear "carbonite" as he calls it (he's already a Star Wars nerd). So, I started thinking, how can I do this at home and improve on it? Well, this is what I have come up with, and I'm more than pleased!

I use soap, candy and chocolate molds
Clear vegetable glycerine soap
Small toys - the best toys to use are small, solid statues, erasers, bouncy balls, marbles, and I've discovered that when using girl's plastic jewelry, the color runs and the plastic corrodes... Might try to protect them before submersion, next time round! My favorite toys to use are Toob toys! They're great quality, perfect size and the details and colors are spectacular!
Alcohol, in a spray bottle, to pop the bubbles that rise to the surface
Tape or sticky back labels

Melt the soap according to package directions, place molds on a flat surface. Using a stiff cutting board underneath the molds will allow you to move, if needed, without damaging the clarity of the soap. Place the toys (face down) into the molds that fit them best, and pour the soap over the toys. Bubbles will surface, spray them with the alcohol. Leave to cool at least 40 minutes - to overnight.

The kids don't always like being the testers for my products but this has been a hit! The 3 year old was more than happy to "free them from their carbonite."

Not sure you want to take the time to make these for yourself? I offer them in my shop! Use the Contact Form on my website to begin your order today!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Parabens, Breast Cancer and your Chapped Skin

The skin you wear is precious. Do not cheapen it by slathering on products heavy-laden with chemicals. Parabens have been linked to breast cancer and if you take a look at your common hand cream ingredient list, you will likely find at least one or two types of parabens listed.
For example, Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream, Fragrance Free
Water, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Dilauryl Thiodipropionate, Sodium Sulfate

Notice, the Methyl and Propyl parabens are both listed.
So, what are parabens? Why are they used in products and how common can this really be? I turned to for some of these answers.

“Parabens are a group of compounds widely used as antimicrobial preservatives in food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics products, including underarm deodorants. Parabens are absorbed through intact skin and from the gastrointestinal tract.
Measurable concentrations of six different parabens have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors.
Parabens have also been found in almost all urine samples examined from a demographically diverse sample of U.S. adults through the NHANES study.
Adolescents and adult females had higher levels of methylparaben and propylparaben in their urine than did males of similar ages.
Higher levels of n-propylparaben were found in the axilla quadrant of the breast (the area nearest the underarm). This is the region in which the highest proportion of breast tumors are found, although paraben concentration in the tissue samples was not related to location of breast tumors in individual women.
Parabens are estrogen mimickers (agonists), [and] can bind to the cellular estrogen receptor. They also increase the expression of many genes that are usually regulated by the natural estrogen estradiol and cause human breast tumor cells to grow and proliferate in vitro....”

I urge you to stop using parabens as a great first step to cleaning out your beauty regimen!

To start, let’s make our own solid lotion bar to keep in our purses, cars and powder rooms! Using just a few ingredients and about 15 minutes, we can make a  few silky smooth bars.

½  c coconut oil
½  c beeswax (mine is locally sourced through  my great friends at Le Bleu Bee)
⅛ c cocoa butter (or another hard butter like Kokum)
⅛ tsp grapefruit seed oil (preservative)
30 drops essential oils (I used a combination of citrus and vanilla)

Melt the first three ingredients in a double boiler, or if you’re in a hurry, microwave 15 seconds at a time, stirring between, until smooth. Remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients listed. Stir well and pour into heat-safe molds. I like to use candy molds and silicon baking molds. Allow to cool 30 minutes before removing.
The heat of your hands will cause the bar to melt just enough to spread over your skin. Keep in a plastic baggy and in cool place (don’t leave this in a hot car or near a heat vent!!).

I make this bar in a variety of scent combinations ranging from citrus-sweet to anti-sniffles! If you would rather I make this for you, please contact me here.

Sarah Fabisiak,
Wood Creek Naturals

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Cough syrup

I decided I wanted to make my own cough syrup this year and I was pleased to see I had all of the ingredients already in my pantry!

Grab an 8 oz glad jar with a lid - I used a Ball jar. 

2 Tablespoons each dried:

Ginger root

Echinacea root

Dandelion root

Marshmallow root

Fennel seed

4Tablespoons dried Elderberries

Pour enough bourbon to cover herbs (check a few hours later and top off as they may soak up the liquid and swell above the liquid - this is bad because they can mold). Place jar in a paper sack or in a dark cabinet. 

Shake daily or every few days for 3-4 weeks. 

Use a fine mesh strainer to remove the herbs and roots. Using a coffee filter or cheesecloth as a second step will remove any tiny fibers the mesh strainer left behind. 

I keep this infusion in a dark cabinet until we are in need. When we begin to feel the sniffles I will add honey and lemon to taste and refrigerate for up to a month. 

I've tasted this concoction (before adding honey and lemon) and it definitely needs flavor but it smells just like the cough syrup my mom used to buy at the pharmacy. 

Please keep in mind - I am no doctor and this should never replace a visit to your naturopath or family physician if you're feeling ill. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

An ode to summer... soup!

We're waiting for a major freeze here in Ohio and the Bengals are in the playoffs. This is a great day for hot soup! I am so thankful that I froze the leftovers from our summer garden because today's soup is an ode to summer in deed. I suppose this meal started a few days ago when I roasted an organic chicken, placed the leftovers (bones, neck, meat, onion, etc) in a crockpot and simmered it for 24 hours. Today, I strained the bones and bits through a mesh strainer and poured the broth into a stock pot. I like to stretch my broth by adding water (a lot will steam off anyway). A couple tablespoons of Celtic sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to start the soup while I chop veggies. I sift through my freezer and realize I have enough summer veggies to make a beautiful soup. Chard stems (used as I would celery), kale, corn, peas, cabbage, cauliflower, onion, garlic; seasoned with thyme, rosemary, tarragon, salt and fresh ground black pepper. After an hour (or so) of simmering I add a package of egg noodles and set off making some butter swim biscuits. 
I hope this gives you inspiration to save your summer veggies for an ode to summer soup, leaving the snow and cold outside your window!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Chicken Meatballs

So, today I made my cleaning supplies for the whole house & didn't feel like making a huge dinner. I had been thawing ground chicken without a plan and wondered about chicken meatballs. I found this recipe and modified it to fit our needs. So, here's to a quick (yet hearty and yummy) dinner!

1 lb ground chicken
1/2 c bread crumbs
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 t basil
1 t oregano
A couple pinches of salt
Ground pepper 
1 large organic egg 

400 degree oven. 
Mash ingredients all up together in a bowl, using your hands or a wooden spoon, until thoroughly combined. 
I like to form a rectangle about a heavy-inch-thick and slice into 12-15 squares. I sometimes use a pizza wheel or a large knife. (This is supposed to be easier than spooning individual meat balls... if it doesn't make your life easier try it another way!) 
Roll each meat square into a meat ball (haha) then place on a baking stone, in a cast iron skillet or on a parchment lined cookie sheet. 
Bake for 20-25 mins. 
Make sure your chicken is no longer pink and reached at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit (check this with a meat thermometer in the center of the largest meatball). Consuming undercooked meat/eggs can cause serious illness. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Immune Boosting Master Tonic

About a year ago I learned about a spicy concoction named Master Tonic. We had a serious cold that turned into an upper respiratory infection at the beginning of the flu season but I was determined to avoid antibiotics if at all possible. This made for some rough nights and grumpy days.... However, I do believe that drinking my Master Tonic (along with rest, fluids, homemade vapor rubs and teas) was the key to avoiding antibiotics!
This stuff is not only great for an acute issue like the flu or a cold, but also for daily use as a pro biotic-of-sorts, and to give your body that extra protection against the germs you encounter. My sister-in-law drinks this each morning mixed into her orange juice, my husband takes a shot or two each evening and more often when feeling the sniffles and I like to take a half-shot ever day or so to ward off the germs and to keep my digestive tract running smoothly (pun intended). It is simple to make and fun to wait for (it should steep for two weeks) but if you're in  need of it immediately I recommend blending the ingredients until the veggies are like a pulp and leaving to steep overnight (24 hours would be best). Ok - so here's how I create my Master Tonic:

Gallon Glass Jar
2 large white onion
2 heads of garlic
1 ginger root
1 horseradish root (I found mine at Whole Foods)
5-10 spicy peppers - I use a mixture of jalepeno, habanero, chili and pablano peppers
Fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme)
Turmeric Powder
Cayenne Pepper Powder
Apple Cider Vinegar (enough to cover all ingredients) usually I buy 2 32oz 365 brand organic and it's plenty!

Chop all your veggies (or use a heavy blender like a vitamix or a ninja)
Add fresh herbs and a Tablespoon or two of your powdered herbs
Cover with ACV
Place lid on jar
You want to keep this away from sunlight, so put in a cabinet or cover with a paper bag or towel
Shake it up daily for two weeks - this can be tough as the jars get heavy. If you have trouble lifting heavy items it could also work with less of all ingredients in a smaller jar.

The first time I made Master Tonic I used these glass jars. Here are the ingredients already peeled and ready to chop!
Here are the chopped ingredients.
The Master Tonic is steeping!!!

Here's how it looks after it is strained (left) and some of the pulp I kept from one round I made from all-peeled veggies. It is great as an additive to soups, sauces and/or used as a relish. Make sure to peel all your veggies and wash the ones who won't be peeled!
The lovely ladies over at (not an affiliate but a fan for sure!) recommend reading this site if you're interested in the properties of the ingredients (ie: garlic has antibacterial properties) and the science behind why they're so effective. Thanks to Heal Thyself for the original recipe and for sharing this treat!

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