DIY Deodorant without Baking Soda

Check out my DIY Deodorant post for all recipes

Deodorant using essential oils without baking powderI previously posted about making your own deodorant, and those recipes have worked out great! But, I promised a DIY Deodorant recipe without baking soda.   My daughter is reaching an age where she needs deodorant and I am so happy she can use this all-natural, homemade deodorant.

DIY deodorant ingredients using essential oils without baking sodaThe recipe is simple and yields one small container of deodorant.

What you need:

Melt the Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, and Beeswax on the stove.  I just melt it into a measuring cup for easier pouring, over low heat, stirring often.  Once melted, add in almond oil and vitamin E and arrowroot.  Stir, and remove from heat.  Add in the essential oils to your liking, and pour into a deodorant casing (be careful that it does not holes on the sides or it will fall through, OR into a jar, or container.

Since this was for my daughter, I put the mixture in a small container she can dip a popsicle stick into and apply to her underarms.  It’s easy to apply and melts when in contact with the skin, so work quickly when applying.  If you want to pour into deodorant casing, you can always wait until it thickens, pour in and immediately place on a tray in the freezer for quicker drying and less mess.  You can buy empty deodorant cases like the one shown here:

*Disclaimer:  These statements are not FDA approved.  The statements made here are my own and not attributed to young living.  The experiences are real, and my own.  I received no compensation for this or other posts on essential oils.  I am a distributor of these products because I believe in them.

**If you want pure essential oils for this and other great things, don’t forget to read all my posts on Essential Oils, and get started on the starter kit.  It is a life-changing journey.


N’awlins gal in Colorado – Parade of Mardi Gras King Cakes

New Orleans Tasty Donuts' McKenzie cake
New Orleans Tasty Donuts’ McKenzie cake

I grew up outside of New Orleans.  I moved to Colorado in 2002, and since then, have always searched for comparable king cakes for Mardi Gras. Nothing compares to New Orleans king cakes, so far, especially my favorite from New Orleans: McKenzie’s or Tastee Donuts, but here are some options you can try if you miss the Big Easy in the Mile High City.


Note: If you come across other options, please share them in the comments.  We want to hear from you!  

1)  Rheinlander I posted about Rheinlander king cakes and they even improved their recipe.  Below are my two previous posts on Rheinlander King Cakes.  Rheinlander is an amazing bakery located in Old Town Arvada, Colorado.  They have amazing pastries, coffee, and made to order cakes.  Their king cakes are good, and freshly made, and they have improved their recipe a lot.

Rheinlander King Cakes for Katrina Mardi Gras

The bread has just enough cinnamon, and the icing and sugar are not overwhelming. King cakes vary in price based on size, and come in several different filling and flavor options.  I still tend to go with cinnamon but there is apple and pecan.  I do not like all the extra filling and things.  i like the idea of sweet cake with light icing and sugar.  I like how Rheinlander provides a baby and some beads and a history on the King Cake and the cheapest is generally about $19.99.

Mardi Gras King Cakes for Katrina- Rheinlander Bakery in Arvada, Colorado

Happy Mardi Gras- follow up review King Cakes for Katrina & Rheinlander Bakery in Arvada

2) Whole Whole Foods carries king cakesFoods is the latest (just since 2014 for us) to start selling Mardi Gras king cakes and they sell these for about $14.99 – they go up each year.  You can choose from filled, generally raspberry, apple or plain cinnamon.
The sugar is a bit coarser and definitely different than the sugar on a traditional New Orleans king cake but these are not very sweet, and I like that.  The bread is fine, and the toppings are not overwhelming.  You can pick them up and they tend to be fresh, but as with all things baked in Colorado, you have about 3 days to enjoy, freeze or toss.  Things just get dry here quicker, especially bread and pastries.

3) King Sooper’s or Kroger’s – King soopers just introduced, this year (if they had them in the past, I never found it at my local shops), the Mardi Gras King Cake.  It is about $6.99 with the card, and is a round, flat (not risen very well) Cinnamon roll with icing on it and sugar.  The sugar is like the one from Rheinlander, but this cake is super sweet.  You can’t have a lot, but it is flavorful and basically a giant cinnamon roll with icing on it.  Add in the purple, yellow and green and some beads, and voila! King Soopers Mardi Gras King cakes It is a Mardi Gras king cake.  It’s okay, but the price can’t be beat for sure if you are having a Mardi Gras party in the Mile High City.  Since the Broncos were in the superbowl this year, I got myself a Blue, Orange, and White one this year in hope they do not get crushed like last time.  Don’t forget y’all, Peyton Manning is a hometown New Orleanean, even though he is QB for the Denver Broncos.

I plan to review more if you can share where I can get more King Cakes, but ’til then, Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler and have a very Happy Mardi Gras!



DIY lip balm- simply divine!

2016-01-16-16.54.21.jpg.jpegI love this recipe posted by my friend Barb at and used it as a base for making my first batch of tubes of lip balm.  I love it, and it keeps my chapped lips hydrated and moist upwards of 12 hours – no joke.

Here’s what you will need to make 12-13 tubes of this lip balm, but if you are using small jars or containers, I think those are better.  The tubes I had were narrow and it got a little messy.   You can get your lip balm tubes here:
Or your lip balm containers (small convenient jars) here:
You can add more to the recipe to make more, or account for small jars for lip balm jars:

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (you can use pure or organic)
  • 2.5 tablespoons of beeswax (you can use yellow or white)  I got mine from Amazon:
  • 1 teaspoon vitamin E – best to use a capsule and crack it open
  • 2 teaspoons of shea butter (really brings moisture into the mix)
  • 18 drops of essential oil of choice, or if you choose two, make sure to put MORE drops of the less dominant oil and less of the other one.  For example, peppermint and spearmint are strong, so do 7-8 drops, and then if you are doing Lavender Mint, put in 10 drops of lavender and 6-7 of the mint.  The mint is just stronger.  My faves are:  Grapefruit-Lime, Lavender-Orange, or plain old Lavender (my fave) and what I made, added only 15 drops.  Get pure essential oils through my distributor link.
will initially look like this
the mixture will initially look like this

Melt the coconut oil first, and slowly add in the beeswax pellets.  They take the longest to melt, so I added it in slowly, and stirred.  I added in shea butter and the vitamin E last because it melts quickly.  Last, add the essential oils.

final melted liquid- Warning: It’s hot!

It worked out great melting it all over low heat, but got messy pouring into the skinny tubes, so if you can use a small beaker for pouring, or rubber band the tubes together in a glass container (easier to clean), and then pour it all in, that is definitely less messy.  Or, better yet, I recommend using small round containers for lip balm, and not a tube or stick.  This stuff gets hard quickly, so work quickly. Put the covers on the tubes, and you can place  a sticker on the side of the tubes, or ribbon, but I prefer to just keep them as is.

The girls each have their own now, and with this dry weather in Colorado, I love that they are using all-natural ingredients to keep their lips from getting chapped. Happy Winter!

*Disclaimer:  These statements are not FDA approved.  The statements made here are my own and not attributed to young living.  The experiences are real, and my own.  I received no compensation for this or other posts on essential oils.  I am a distributor of these products because I believe in them.

**If you want pure essential oils for this and other great things, don’t forget to read all my posts on Essential Oils, and get started on the starter kit.  It is a life-changing journey.


DIY hair detangler using essential oils

My kiimageds wake up with bird’s nests and scream and holler when we try to comb their hair the next morning.  I got ideas for this recipe and then modified it to work for us.  It is a great, all-natural recipe for no-tear de-tangling of the kids’ hair and mine.  :)   You can substitute any of these ingredients but make sure to add in rosemary and tea tree oil because those are known to repel lice too, so get two potions in one here.  Make sure to check out the lice spray recipe too, so you can decide if you want to combine them into one.

I should caveat that I make mine slightly oily so their hair will be oily, but you can substitute almond, coconut and vitamin E oil with conditioner or witch hazel or just plain water.   I add 1 teaspoon of Almond oil and Vitamin E, plus 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and melt these to add into water. I used a glass spray bottle as seen here from Amazon (affiliate link):

These spray out and have a protective stop (you can put back on to travel with them), so it is perfect for a detangler or the lice spray. I filled the remaining bottle with water, and added these essential oils:  3 drops of Ylang Ylang, 3 drops of Tea tree, 2 drops of Rosemary, 3 drops of Lavender for a nice scent, and 3 drops of Cedarwood (prevents hair loss too).    Learn how to get 24% off your essential oils and your very own starter kit with 10 oils!   Shake it up, and it is ready.  Shake before each use.

2016-01-09-16.07.28.jpg.jpegIt’s simple, smells good, and y2016-01-09-16.06.41.jpg.jpegou can see the before/after results here.  Also, a friend recommended a satin pillowcase to help prevent tangled hair too.  But I will still use this spray because it helps me style the kids’ hair and it is all natural and chemical-free.  Their hair washes more smoothly and just looks nicer.   Plus, for us, I grew up being told oils are good for the hair.  So, we like it with a little oil. Happy de-tangling!


*Disclaimer:  These statements are not FDA approved.  The statements made here are my own and not attributed to young living.  The experiences are real, and my own.  I received no compensation for this or other posts on essential oils.  I am a distributor of these products because I believe in them.

**If you want pure essential oils for this and other great things, don’t forget to read all my posts on Essential Oils, and get started on the starter kit.  It is a life-changing journey.


My Reality*

*Note:  This post is published today at Mile High Mamas for their feature story on motherhood and the choices we make.  Thanks to Mile High Mamas for allowing me to share this and reproduce here, and thanks to my friend Eileen who helped me edit this.  Who knew getting it down from 2000 words to 600 something could be so hard?

“Women’s libbers say we can have it all. I do not believe that we can have it all at the same time. Life is give and take. For me, I cannot immerse myself in my career without falling short in other areas. This is not a pessimistic approach or a judgment against those who chose their careers over staying at home. This is my reality and I would not change it for the world.”  Amber Johnson, Mile High Mamas

She’s not wrong, but my reality is a bit different and I wouldn’t change it for the world, either. Being a parent is a tough balancing act that takes a lot of work, and this women’s libber believes you can have it all, if that’s what you want.

I am an “older” mommy.  I had a professional career when I chose to get married, and even later still, when I chose to have children.  Actually, I have two careers; I am an attorney and a JAG for the Reserves. Working now for 17 years in both careers, I have seniority, have moved up the ranks and earned promotions, and I am successful as both a professional and a mother. I am doing what I love and have amazing kids to boot!  I have great employers that are flexible, and understand that my family comes first.  I can achieve balance.  That’s why I didn’t take a break.  I did not want to lose the employers I had, and frankly, it’s not easy to jump back into a career like mine.

Another great thing I have is the perfect husband – well, perfect for us, that is.  There is no division of labor.  We both do it all! Our mutual respect makes our reality work.  Our house may not be clean when you surprise us, but we are raising two great kids.  They are smart, funny, and support their parents’ choices to work (my husband also had a20150320_112821 career when we married and then had children).  They see the independence in me, the can-do attitude, and they emulate that.  Which is why I often wonder why I am asked to justify why I chose a career after I chose to have kids. My husband is never asked that.  For me, I don’t choose either/or.  I choose to have it all as long as I am able.

I acknowledge that I can do this because of him. He does way more than his fair share of household chores and shuttling the children around.  I am lucky to have an employer who allows flexibility for all its employees in the year 2015- what a concept! We are also lucky that we picked a school that has an excellent schedule for our dual working household.  My children have never gone without.  I had a longer maternity leave and was able to nurse both kids upwards of a year, and they get to go on some pretty amazing trips at an early age because of my work.  I haven’t missed a single field trip, play or gymnastics meet.  With 17 years seniority, I have plenty of leave and I take time off when I need.  When my parents needed me in 2012, I was able to fly out each time and help them as well!

I hold no judgment against your choice to have a single income family, and we ask for the same in return.  I want my kids to succeed in all they do, but I also want that next promotion, and I am not ashamed to admit it.  So that’s why I choose it all, not because I want to escape my family (because I don’t), but because I am driven and I love serving my country too! I hope my girls one day say what a great role model they had in me.  But mostly, I hope my girls will grow up in an America where no one will ask them, “why do you choose to work,” or “why do you stay at home.” That would be a great reality, indeed.