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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Things that will cost you more in '14, DIY Plans: Adobe Oven, Lip Balm, More

If the women don’t find you handsome, at least let them find you handy ~~Red Green

Some people say a man is made outta mud.
A poor man's made outta muscle and blood.
Muscle and blood, skin and bones;
A mind that's weak and a back that's strong.

You load sixteen tons an' what do you get?
Another day older deeper and debt.
St Peter don't you call me I cause can't go:
I owe my soul to the company store.

Did you know that January is named after Janus, the Roman god of endings and beginnings? Typically depicted with two faces - one contemplating the past and the other gazing into the future - Janus bids us to do the same.  And it’s my birthday…

How to build Sunset's classic adobe oven
Use these step-by-step instructions to build a rustic outdoor oven...

Adobe ovens are simple and inexpensive to build. They can often be made from materials that you can find in your own backyard. They have been used in the American Southwest for thousands of years to bake breads and other foods

Resources with step-by-step plans

Find other useful DIY plans and projects here too…

Make Your Own Healing Balm…
Making your own balm also lends itself to making your own solid perfume and healing balms, such as Tiger Balm. Once you understand the simple chemistry of balm making, you are then learning the bases for lotions and soaps. The making of melt and pour lotions and soaps will be discussed in a future article. This article is aimed at just getting you started on the easiest level there is in saving money making your own quality toiletries.

Basic Balm Recipe
The recipe for basic balm is simple. It's one part soy wax (food grade) to one part edible oil (such as canola or sweet almond), but I prefer Emu oil for its healing qualities. A little beeswax helps keep it all a tad hard. I consider "a little beeswax" about 5% of the entire amount of oil and soy. To make the balm, simply melt the bee and soy wax in the microwave only for a few seconds, until just melted. I used a disposable cup when I first started out, but now I keep a little four-ounce plastic Tupperware jar just for balm making. When using a disposable plastic cup, be careful not to get so hot it melts the cup. After I take the melted waxes out of the microwave, I mix in the oil and then any other ingredients.

 This is the fun part! At this point, you can add essential oils to make Tiger Balm, fragrance to make solid perfume, a few broken Vitamin E capsules, and/or a little flavor. For lip balm, I usually do not use a sweetener since it causes lip licking and then subsequently dry lips. But there is a sweetener available and a few drops will go a long way. For color, you can swirl in just a tad of old lipstick! Use a toothpick to do this. A little goes a long way.

When I am done mixing my magic, I then simply use little plastic pipettes (like the doctors use) to transfer the warm oil into containers or even lip balm twist chap stick looking tubes. If you are making chap stick, you simply want to increase the soy wax amount to three parts soy to one part oil and keep the beeswax at the 5% of the entire amount.

How Much Does All This Cost?
Let's say I want to make 16 pots, which are about 1/4 of an ounce each. I then need four ounces of base to make those 16 pots. That is actually a very small amount of base. According to our recipe, that would mean two ounces of edible oil and two ounces of soy wax, and then, of course, a little beeswax. You can also buy four ounces of this base already made for $4.95. That means you are paying thirty cents per pot for the pre-made base. Containers run about 30 cents each if you want to get fancy and buy them. You may have some small containers at home, like old cosmetic shells. After considering essential oils, flavors and all, I figure you can make the 16 pots for under $1 for each one. Buying retail and getting less of a quality product would cost over $80

Find more DIY recipes…

Homemade lotions and toiletries

Tired of paying $10 or more for 8 ounces of luxury lotion? You can make ten times 8 ounces for under $5 and have a much higher quality product if you make it yourself. Making your own Bath and Body Works type lotion is easy and also allows you flexibility to add the ingredients you want to have in them, not what some commercial manufacturer chooses.

Natural Remedies for Beating the Common Cold

Non-Greasy Hand & Body Cream – The Recipe

6 Things That Will Cost More in 2014
Expect prices to rise on a handful of key items, including chocolate, satellite TV and cars

Better Health - Eight percent of Americans use meditation to better their health, according to The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. It is becoming increasingly popular due to growing evidence for the health benefits. Recent studies have found that 20 minute of meditation daily can relieve back pain, depression, headaches, and anxiety. Scientists explain these effects as due to the lowering of blood pressure, the slowed heart and breathing rates, and biochemical changes caused by meditation. There is also evidence meditating promotes more restful sleep and boosts the body's immune system.

More useful resources at: 

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escapeartist said...

Thank you - I always find so many useful things here!

Penny said...

I've been wanting to make an adobe oven for several years now. This spring might just be time to pull the trigger. Now if I can just convince my husband to give up some of his lawn.

I make a lot of my own home spa products, and in addition to being pretty cheap; it's actually pretty fun. Burt's Bees is my favorite lip balm, and it is $3.30 a tube. When I make it myself sterilizing and reusing my lip balm tubes, I can make it for about $.15 a tube. Considering how many I go through every year it's a pretty significant savings.

Doctor of Credit said...

We also allow users to submit guest posts and be paid ($50 per accepted post). More information:

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