Thursday morning is the time I have dedicated to my Herbal Academy and Anatomy & Physiology class because it is the only time all 4 of our kids are in school. So that means SILENCE! For only about 3 hours but I will take what I can get. So after studying the structure of our cells (so fascinating) and about what herbs to use to strengthen the respiratory system, I was ready to take a break, conquer my domestic duties and switch roles with my husband. There were (well, still is) dishes to do, food to cook, laundry to fold, you get the idea.
However, my husband knew that I was excited to use my new still that I received for my birthday about a week ago. So, he decided to push everything aside and fire up the still. I was a bit annoyed, (this is when my perfectionist side comes out) because I was not ready. I wanted to clean up my workspace, study my instructions and decide on the right herb to use. He was having none of that. After a little bit of complaining, I embraced that moment and went with it. I am so glad I did! When I let my perfectionism get in the way of achieving my goals, I don't get very far. For those of you who have kids, you know what I mean. In my perfect world, I would have more silence, a tidy workplace, and unlimited time. However, with four kids, this never happens! If I always waited for the "perfect" moment. I would not get anything done.
My husband harvested cedar foliage from the tree right outside our front door, and we were ready to go.
What is a hydrosol?
Hydrosols are also called flower waters or distillates. They are produced by distilling plant material. They have similar properties as essential oils but are less concentrated and very safe to use for many applications. They capture the aroma of the plant material as well as water soluble healing compounds. They can be used alone or added to lotions, hair care, soaps and more. I like hydrosols because they are so safe you can use them undiluted.
The Process and equipment
I purchased a 1.5 Liter Alembic still from here, and I think it is the perfect size for home distilling. It holds about 48oz of water and about 4oz of dried herb.
The process is so simple and so rewarding! The water and plant material in the pot heats up to a boil and creates steam, the steam (carrying the water soluble properties and essential oils with it) travels through the neck of the still and goes through copper tubing that is surrounded by ice water. The cold temperature condenses it back into water, and this drips out of your still and is the hydrosol.
First, I rinsed out my still to remove any impurities that may remain from the manufacturing process.
Second, I filled the pot half way with distilled water. I avoid using hard water because over time it will leave mineral deposits on the still, not good.
Third, I chopped up my cedar foliage to maximize surface area and added about a cup to the water.
Fourth, I added cold water and snow to the condenser. Another option is ice, but hey, it's winter in Minnesota!
Fifth, I set up a sterilized canning jar to catch the hydrosol.
Sixth, I turned the stove top on high and waited for the water to start to boil. When it is boiling, drips start to come out of the condenser. You don't want a stream, just drips. That's why you turn it down to medium heat. You know you are at the correct temperature when there is a steady flow of drips.
I had waited about an hour before I turned off the stove. The process is over when you have collected about half the amount of water you started with.
The end product
Wow! The aroma of the hydrosol is amazing! It is has a sharp pine scent, a bit floral, fresh, sweet, and it reminds me of a hike in the mountains on a hot and sunny day. If you look closely, you can see the essential oils floating on top. There isn't very much, but it is so fun to see that I captured essential oils! Next batch, I plan on separating the essential oils.
I bottled the hydrosol and now use it for everything. It is great as a room freshener, body spray, cleaner and more!
It is known for its antifungal and antibacterial properties.
Cedar is used topically for its benefits with rheumatism, arthritis, achy muscles, psoriasis, eczema, and fungal infections. It is also used to promote circulation.
PLEASE NOTE: Cedar can be a skin irritant in some people as it tends to constrict the pores of the skin.
Also may contain thujone, a known neurotoxin. This can cause a problem if you ingest a significant amount.
Well, I decided to take a break from blogging for a bit. I am new to this blogging life and needed to step back from it and find my "voice". I didn't really know where I wanted to go with it, what I wanted to share, what topics to focus on. It also started to take up to much of my time, physically and mentally. (And to be honest, since my baby started crawling and cruising up stairs at 7months, this momma has been pooped out!) So often I would think to myself, "Hey, this would be perfect to blog about, stop everything and grab the camera!" this thought was interrupting me way to often. Since my approach to life these days is staying mindful in everything I do, I didn't like this interruption. However, I do love to share and document fun and interesting stories, because with a 4 kids 6 and under, a lot of them happen around here. I also want to let all my customers know what goes on around here when we are not making or selling our Naked Beauty Products. A reminder to all my customers that you are a supporting a small, local and home based business. Not some huge company.
So, I am happy to be blogging again and I am happy that I can do it now without it taking up to much of my time and energy. I already have 4 kids that do that...... It is all about finding a balance.
This week I will be featuring our body oils. We offer both nut-free body oils and regular. In the nut-free blend we have lavender, orange, and unscented. In the regular body oil we have lavender, peppermint blend, and jasmine/patchouli blend. The jasmine/patchouli blend is my personal favorite and our best seller.
Ways to use our body oils:
lotion. They are great to use right after showering/bathing.
add to homemade baby wipes
I love to use our body oil in replace of lotion during the dry winter months.
Some of the ingredients we use in our body oils:
Sweet Almond Oil: A light oil that absorbs quickly into your skin, it is an emollient because it softens your skin rather than hydrates it. Also a humectant, these help prevent the loss of moisture.
Vitamin E: Protects our skin from damaging ultraviolet lights. Great for relieving discomfort from sunburn and psoriasis. Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Purchase body oil online and receive a $1 off! Include $1 off in comments box or email me.
This week we will be featuring our yummy sugar scrubs! They look and smell good enough to eat, but please don't! These should really get more attention than they do especially during the dry winter months. I think a lot of people don't know how to use them or think they can only use them in the bath and not shower. Our scrubs come in 3 delicious blends: Peppermint, Grapefruit/Orange, Sweet Vanilla
Ways to use Naked Beauty Sugar Scrubs:
In the shower
In the bath
During foot soak and scrub or pedicure,especially the peppermint blend (great way to get your significant other to pamper you!)
During hand soak and scrub or pedicure
Face scrub (not recommended if you have very sensitive or thin skin)
Use in replace of soap during each hand washing (a customer recommended this and since then it is all I use!)
Some of the ingredients we use in our Sugar Scrubs are:
Fair Trade Shea Butter (Unrefined): A natural fat obtained from the fruit of the karate tree, protects skin from dehydration, great for eczema, dry skin, contains a high amount of vitamins A & E.
Organic Fair Trade Demerara Sugar: Great exfoliate (obviously!), after using as an exfoliate your skin feels so soft and rejuvenated!
Castile Liquid Soap: Same base we use in our liquid hand soap, contains olive oil, coconut oil, and glycerin. Provides a light lather while using the sugar scrub, very moisturizing.
So what are you waiting for? Go get you scrub on today!
Purchase online and receive $1 off your sugar scrub purchase. Please mention this special during checkout or email me.
I will be featuring a Naked Beauty Product every week. If you have a favorite, message me: email, Facebook, or comment on this post and I will feature your faves.
This week, I will talk a bit about our Rosewater Face Lotion. I must admit, this is one of my favorite products that we make. I use it everyday, at least twice a day. Maybe even more during the winter months. All you need is a couple of pumps and you have plenty for your entire face. It does not leave a oily feeling afterwards, it soaks in nicely. I also made sure I kept the scent to a minimum. I personally do not like strong smelling bath and body products, even if it is scented with an essential oil. Our Rosewater Face Lotion is lightly scented with Geranium Rose and Litsea Cubeba essential oils. The light floral, lemony scent is also from the Organic Rosewater and Helichrysum water.
Some ingredients used in our Rosewater Face Lotion:
Litsea Cubeba is known for its mild astringent properties which can help with oily skin and acne.
Geranium Rose is is known for its toning and cleansing properties and is also great for balancing the oil in your skin.
Organic Rosewater is very soothing, moisturizing, and cleansing.
Organic Helichrysum water is very toning, and great for mature skin and/or very dry skin.
Our Rosewater Face Lotion is great if used alone or with our Rosewater Facial Toner and/or Rosewater Facial Cleanser
So try it out today! Since you read this post you will receive $1 off your Rosewater Face Lotion online purchase. Please include $1 off in the comments box or send me an email.
Girl talk, laughter, snacks, drinks? This doesn't sound like work, but it is for me! We offer the opportunity for our customers to host a Naked Beauty Spa Party in the comfort of their own home. All they have to do is invite the guests, prepare snacks/drinks, and have a sink available to use for the treatments. We provide all the rest! A spa party with Naked Beauty usually consists of a hand scrub/soak, foot scrub/soak, and a facial. Since we only use Naked Beauty Products for the treatments, it is a great way to try the products before you buy them. The guests can buy the products and receive them the same night. The hostess also receives a gift certificate and a gift bag full of Naked Beauty Products.
The last party I went to was hosted by an old friend of mine. It was great to catch up with her and show her what I have been up to for the last couple of years. I got to meet her friends while they all got pampered.
Who doesn't enjoy a relaxing aromatherapy bath?! I know it is hard to think about in this heat, but my kiddos still enjoy them during the summer months. Especially if it softens their skin and leaves them smelling like Lavender! It is great right before bedtime because Lavender is very relaxing and soothing.
This doesn't produce large bubbles like the bubble bath you can buy in the stores that are filled with nasty ingredients. It does produce small, gentle bubbles and leaves your skin oh so soft!
Here is the recipe:
2 cups water
1/2 cup shredded Naked Beauty Soap, any scent (I used Peaceful Meadows)
1 TBSPN Naked Beauty Body Oil, any scent (I used Soothe)
Boil the water and add the soap shavings, mix until dissloved
Mix in the oil.
Let cool and store in a glass jar.
Shake or mix before each use.
Because of the kind of soap I used, my end product is a beautiful lavender color.
Makes a great and inexpensive gift!!
I collaborated with my friend Mia, owner of Metanoia Couture and together we created this beautiful product! We used it for a baby shower favor and the ladies loved them! I now sell them at the Mankato Farmers' Market or on my website.
They are great for gifts, wedding/shower favors, or for decorating. They look lovely and will also add a nice fragrance to any room!
We all know that laundry detergent is full of nasty ingredients and can cause allergic reactions, rashes, and contact dermatitis. A few of these ingredients are: Chlorine, Quaternium-15, Artificial fragrances, Nonylphenol ethoxylate, and Petroleum distillate. The "natural" detergents found in the stores are close to $15 and those of us with kids who have to do loads of laundry every week, can't afford to pay those prices. Also, are those "natural" detergents even natural?
Here is a very quick, easy, and CHEAP way to make your own laundry soap. It consists of 4 ingredients including Naked Beauty Bar Soap, Borax, Washing Soda, and Water. Some people have a hard time finding washing soda, I get mine at Hy-Vee Grocery stores.
Supplies: 1 quart Water (boiling), 2 cups or one bar Naked Beauty Bar soap (grated), 2 cups Borax, 2 cups Washing Soda
-Add finely grated bar soap to the boiling water and stir until soap is melted. You can keep on low heat until soap is melted.
-Pour the soap water into a large, clean pail and add the Borax and Washing Soda. Stir well until all is dissolved.
-Add 2 gallons of water, stir until well mixed.
-Cover pail and use 1/4 cup for each load of laundry. Stir the soap each time you use it (will gel).
Now go get dirty so you can some laundry!!
You can also add essential oils to scent and to add antibacterial properties.
You can use any Naked Beauty Bar Soap.
You can grate up a lot of bar soap of once and store some in the freezer until you are ready to make another batch.
After a week of hot weather in the 90's and over 100 it was a GREAT cool Saturday for a Farmers' Market.
I feel lucky to be self-employed and sell our products at such a wonderful place. Surrounded by other self-employed folks selling their beautiful products and showing off their talents. You can find anything from hand sewn aprons, bird baths, wooden furniture, meat and of course FRESH and LOCALLY GROWN PRODUCE! Mmmm!
Every Friday evening we pack up our car with all of our market products and gear. We wake up in the morning at 6am and leave by 6:45 to get to the market to set up by 8am. I am glad I am a morning person!
I love the atmosphere, fresh air (way better than a office setting!) and chatting with all my customers and being there for them when they have a question about a product or are looking for something to use for a skin condition. I also love when little kids have to stop and smell the soap. It is good to see that kids know what good and healthy soap is! The market is where my customers can find my full product line, new products, and request special orders. It feels great to be selling a product that is good for the people and environment. And even though I am "working" this is my vacation from watching 3, soon 4, little kiddos. I look forward to it every week. Hope to see you there!