Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Lemon and Baking Soda Shower Scrub

Just ask my husband. Cleaning the shower is probably my least favorite chore. What has been really frustrating is that I couldn't actually get the shower floor clean unless I used a toxic chemical solution like Comet or Soft Scrub. Well, until recently, that is. You would just laugh if you saw how excited and relieved I was to find out that a couple of ingredients mixed together was just as effective at making my shower fresh and super clean. 

Baking soda and lemon essential oil will change the way you clean. Here's the thing. I've tried using this combo quite a few years ago in the shower, but with poor results. I think I figured out why: timing and quality. 

First, rinse the surface with water. For best results, you'll need to sprinkle, or maybe dump, baking soda mixed with Young Living Lemon essential oil all over the area to be cleaned. Then let the mixture set for a while. Using a wet sponge or cloth, rub the paste that formed all over the mess and then rinse. You will have a clean and toxic-free shower or bath to enjoy!

When I tried this in the past, I used lemon essential oil I bought at a wholesome grocery store and scrubbed with the baking soda right after I sprinkled it in the bath. The new combination of letting the mixture soak in along with applying pure and potent essential oils does the trick!

You can make up the mixture in a small jar so that you can just sprinkle it on, tend to something else for a while, and then come back and scrub the grime away naturally. I recommend 1/4 cup baking soda and 10 drops YL Lemon essential oil. 

I just can't bring myself to show you the before and after pictures. Well, it's really the Before pictures that would do you in. Just trust me that this mixture will tear your mold, soap scum, and gross stuff to pieces. 

I'd love to hear about your success with this natural cleaner. Let me know how it turns out!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

From Shifting Sand to Firm Ground

Beauty Begins with Biscotti: No more shifting sand

Most of my blog posts are written with a retrospective glance. I have had so much to say over the past four years about how much I have been transformed by the love of God. And it's just easier for me to write about certain things after the fact. 

For example, it is probably best that I didn't blog about the struggles I was having while my husband and I were going through marriage counseling. There would not have been many encouraging words coming from the screen. Have you ever tried talking about, let alone blog about, life while suffocating under the cloud of depression? Opening up to others during that blue season of life is like trying to do jumping jacks in a barrel. 

I thank God and praise the Lord for not just getting me through those and other times, but for growing me through trials. 

This post is different, though. It's about what is going on in my life right now. In this moment. And it's harder to write. 

It has been a comfort and a cushion to have a few years between an experience and the expression of it. I've had time to process an issue, reframe it to fit my agenda, and separate myself from the pain surrounding the event. Writing about the here and now leaves me more vulnerable and strips away my shawl of time. 

And then, I am reminded of grace, the knowledge that I am unconditionally loved by the Creator and that my foibles, rebellions and sin are embraced and made whole by Jesus. One of my favorite scripture verses speaking about security in Christ is from Proverbs. She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future.

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I am navigating unchartered waters. I'm learning how to be the parent of an adult. I'm going back to work full-time after taking four years off. My older son is entering college. My younger son is starting a charter school. Nothing new around here...

So, I'm simply standing on the firm ground I so fiercely fought for and putting one foot in front of the other. I'm trusting in the Lord as I send my kids off to new adventures. I'm reminding myself of the sweet promises that God offers his children. 

Are you embarking on a new phase of life or new opportunity? How are you letting God be part of this next step in your journey? 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Celebrate Friendship with Relaxing Oatmeal Bath Sachets

Beauty Begins with Biscotti: Relaxing Oatmeal Bath Sachets

Today's treat for natural beauty celebrates friendship and provides a relaxing bath soak for you and a friend. 

Beauty Begins with Biscotti: Detox Bath Sachets

Cultivating and nourishing friendships is good for the soul and extremely satisfying, but so hard to do! I just love my friends, but I'm afraid I take them for granted. Recently, I decided to be intentional about showing and telling them how much they are loved. Using what I had in the house and yard, I made up Oatmeal Bath Soak packets and delivered them for a special treat. You can, too! Here's what you'll need:

Beauty Begins with Biscotti: Moisturizing Bath Salts

Epsom Salts
Coffee filters
Twine or string

Beauty Begins with Biscotti: Lavender Bath Soak
Add one part oatmeal to one part salts. I didn't measure anything, but this looks like about 1/4 cup each. Add any herbs or essential oils that you or your friend might like. I added Lavender flowers to some of mine. 

Beauty Begins with Biscotti: Friendship Bath Soak

Add a heartfelt note with your pretty packaging, and thank God for your friends who love you just because you are you!

Beauty Begins with Biscotti: Celebrate Friendship Sachets

Make sure to tell your people how to use the bath salts and oatmeal combo. Unwrap and pour contents into a running bath. The Epsom salts will help with detoxing and cleansing, as well as assisting with easing muscle and joint aches and pains. The oatmeal is just so moisturizing! If you wanted to add an essential oil, I would start with Lavender. Make sure to save a packet for your enjoyment, too!

Beauty Begins with Biscotti: Celebrate Friendship with Oatmeal and Lavender

Let's encourage each other to thank God for our friends and to show them some love. It's the little things, like a simple sachet of oatmeal and salts, that remind our friends how much they mean to us. 

Beauty Begins with Biscotti: Relaxing Oatmeal Bath Sachets

Come back and comment below after you've delivered your treat for natural beauty. I'd also love to see a pix of your friendship gifts!