What does vegetable growing have to do with skin care?

The answer to the question is, not much directly, but eating fresh does do wonders for keeping skin young, wrinkle free and healthy.  The truth is, I just wanted to put up a post about getting ready for spring vegetable gardening.  It’s that time of the year in most parts of the US, unless you are in the northern states.  But, depending on the amount of motivation you have, and sunny windows, you could start an indoor garden with a small greenhouse.  I really like this one from amazon,
It is small enough that you can keep it inside when you need to, and large enough to grow seedlings to transplants, plus a few plants to keep indoors, like tomatos, lettuce and cucumbers.  My plan is to start my spring garden seedlings this month, and some romaine, tomatoes, and cucumbers to keep indoors until it’s time to grow them outside.  I will start some seedlings again later for the summer garden as it gets closer to time.

I have found that the key to getting things going is having the right tools.  This year, I used Amazon with the free shipping, and huge selection I was able to get all I needed, from soil to seeds.  In the past I have used loose soil, and while that’s definitely more cost effective, I was less likely to get it done because I had to be outside to maintain less mess.  This year, I ordered the compressed soil and trays.  All I had to do is hydrate the soil, add it to my trays, add some seeds and put it on the greenhouse shelf.  It was so easy, and I had no mess.

I found that with the trays I chose, the best way to fit them was to soak the soil, then shape it (smaller at the bottom), then insert it into the tray/slot.  This was so easy, and because it’s surrounded with a sort of netting, it didn’t break apart when I was setting them into the tray.


  Once the trays were filled, I made a little well in the center of each one, and put 2-3 of my seeds.  For the spring, I am planting: Celery, Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, onions (for bulbs, and scallions), Collards (I am from the south, originally :)), Broccoli, and Kale.  I am also going to be planting carrots, potatoes, beets and Romaine, but they will go directly into the ground (except the Romaine, but it’s too early to start the Romaine for the outdoor garden).

I couldn’t find my little label/plastic inserts, so I used half clothes pins to label my seeds.  It’s important to keep track as you go, because you will not know what is growing if you don’t!

Next, I placed them on the greenhouse shelf, next to a sunny window, and I am ready to watch them grow.  I will post pictures of the seedlings, it usually takes about 10 days to see the first sprouts.  

Natural Stress Relievers

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In this world of constantly go, go, go we sometimes forget the important things in life. The only true important things in life are family, friends and the health of your friends, family and your self. So, why is it that we are constantly buying more stuff to make our life better. Is it possible that the stuff we are buying is causing more stress in our life. The answer is yes!

Some natural ways to relieve stress are also the simplest. Stop going to the stores. If you stop purchasing unnecessary items then you stop bringing clutter into your home. Sometimes it’s important for us to even do a pantry clean out. Use what you have! I love the old saying, use it up, wear it out, then do without. Doing without is something our culture could definitely do more of. I have family that repurchases items because they can’t find the one they have. If that’s the case then it’s time for you to clean the clutter out of your house. You may think that the stuff is bringing you peace. But the reality is the clutter is stressing you out. Start the one in and one out rule. If you buy a new shirt then get rid of an old one.

Simplify is another way to reduce stress in our lives. If you have reduced your clutter and you still are stressed maybe it’s time that you cut back on the after school activities. I am one of those people who gets stressed out if I have to many activities going on. So we only have one activity during the week and maybe one on the weekend. I do better with less. If you have too many irons in the fire are you really doing a good job at any one thing? Try simplifying at least take away one activity during the week and stay home. Eat dinner with your family and enjoy your night.

Try meditation or aromatherapy to help yourself relax at the end of the day. Either one will be a helpful addition to your nightly routine and it will be good for you too.  Add in a nice soothing cd and you are almost ready for bed. Our witch hazel essentials pm has added scents that are known to relax you so you can slow down enough to go to bed.  Natural aromatherapy that calms you down usually has chamomile and lavender in it. That is precisely what is in our evening witch hazel toner. Try a cup of chamomile tea, a good book and our witch hazel and watch your stress of the day melt away.

Why should I look for an alcohol free toner?


Our toner is and will always be alcohol free. Alcohol free toner is so important to your skin. If your skin is prone to wrinkles, acne, oily skin or dry skin you should stop using alcohol in your skin care and make up products.  Alcohol is placed in most of the skin care and make up product lines to extend their shelf life. That can’t be good for us. Alcohol is an agent that dries our skin out.  Alcohol is irritating and can cause inflammation.  Why should we put it on our body? We shouldn’t.  It is thought to rob our skin of their natural oils and thus causing your face to then overproduce more oil.  I thought I was getting rid of oil by using my alcohol based toner. Turns out, not so much.

What should my skin care regime look like? You should cleanse your face twice a day. Once you’ve cleansed it then apply your toner. After your toner make sure to use a moisturizer to seal the moisture into your skin. You may now apply light make up and carry on with your day. In this case more washing and cleaning is not better. Make sure you only clean your face in the morning and right before bed. If you do it more than that you could irritate your skin and make whatever skin condition you might have worse.

Our alcohol free witch hazel makes a great toner or astringent. It’s going to give you that fresh face feeling without any of the drying, irritating or inflaming of the skin. So check us out and see if you don’t agree. Our toner will help your skin and give you a nice clean feeling.

How are your products better than what I get at the store?

What is the difference? The difference is that there are no chemicals in our luxury line of skin and baby care products. Our products are good for you and good for the environment. The main two product ingredients we use are the emu oil and the kukui oil. Both of these products have been researched well and that’s why we trust using them in our products.

They can be found in a lot of our products. They are found in our eczema oil. Such a healing and gentle oil, I love to use it on my dry elbows as well as my eczema patches.  By the way, I love the roll on top. That just makes it easier to apply to my face multiple times per day. Both oils are also found in our belly oil. The belly oil is an all natural oil that heals and can prevent stretch marks. These two oils have many different uses and many healing properties. My next two articles will describe exactly what each one can do for you. Meet me back here in a few days so we can discuss the benefits of the special oils in our products.

Kukui Nut Oil

We are finally catching on to what the Hawaiians have known for years. Kukui nut oil is known for it’s moisturizing tendencies and healing nature. It is found native to Hawaii. Let’s explore the ways it’s used.

Mature skin needs more help then skin that is more youthful. The kukui oil will seep down into the layers of the skin. Very deep healing occurs from the inside out. When this oil penetrates your skin it allows your pores to breathe. This oil contains naturally occurring vitamins A, E and it is also high in oleic acid, and linoleic acids. These are the antioxidents that help keep your skin more youthful.

Like the emu oil, the kukui oil also leaves no oily residue behind. Once it deeply penetrates the layers of skin it then gives your body a protective coating and deeply moisturizes without blocking your pores. It minimizes the fine lines and wrinkles that pop up on your face.  Because of the moisturizing effect that makes it a great oil to use if you get a sunburn. This oil is beginning to appear in skin care products and sunblock.

Kukui oil is predominently used for preventing and treating stretch marks or moisturizing your skin. However, it also does a nice job of conditioning the ends of your hair. We like products that can be used in multiple ways! What items do we sell that the kukui oil is in? We use it most in the eczema oil and in the belly oil. Both products are one of our best sellers…now you can see why!

Emu Oil

Emu oil has been used for centuries to help heal dry skin. The Aborigines, who used it so long ago, knew about the healing properties contained in this oil. One thing the Aborigines used emu oil for was arthritis. Yes, you guessed it. Emu oil has anti inflammatory benefits for the body. Not only does it heal, but it also shrinks and reduces inflammation in the body. It does this as well as ibuprofen but yet without any of the negative side effects.

As the emu oil is used on the skin, it is rapidly absorbed and used by the body. The fact that it has a similar ph to our body makes it a great moisturizer for our skin. It also does it’s job without leaving an oily residue behind and (bonus!) it’s noncomedogenic (non pore clogging). It helps with many other issues as well. It’s been shown to reduce acne scars, acne, burns, cracked skin, gout and psoriasis. It has also been shown to help aid in sunburn, insect bites, scars, rosacea, foot fungus, cuts, athlete’s foot and even dandruff.

Products that use emu oil make wonderful moisturizers for your dry skin. They also improve wrinkles and help put a nice barrier of protection on your skin. Athletes have found that emu oil is good for sore joints. They use it on sore muscles, sports injuries and tendonitis.  The healing and repairing property of this oil is why we use it in our products for you. Make sure you get some belly oil for any scarring  or wrinkles you might have and some eczema oil for any skin sensitivities or disorders. These two will be a great addition to your skin care regimen.

Check your cabinet before that new baby gets here!

It’s great when you are going the natural route for most of your skin care. If you are getting ready to welcome a new baby, then you have probably already thought about how to use natural skin care on baby. But have you thought about cleaning out your cabinets to make sure you use all natural ingredients everywhere?  Most everyone I know receives baby oil before they have their first baby. Baby oil? Yes, you know the kind in the big clear bottle that we all used to tan with when we were growing up (am I dating myself? lol). I don’t think I ever actually used it on my baby. Do you know what would happen if your baby were to find that baby oil and aspirate it? It would quickly coat baby’s lungs and there is no way to get it back out. This could lead to brain damage or even death. Do yourself a favor and throw it out! It’s not necessary for baby!

Household cleaners are another area that is great to tackle before baby gets here. I tend to use just baking soda and vinegar for most of my cleaning needs. They are both safer options than any chemically induced cleaner. I use the baking soda paste to clean tubs and sinks. If my drains get clogged these two are also my first products I go for. As long as they aren’t clogged to the point of lots of water sitting in your sinks or tubs these two items work great. You use a cup of baking soda and put it down the drain. Add a cup of vinegar to the drain and then pull the drain closed (the two interact causing  bubbling and fizzing, closing the drain forces it to go the direction of the clog). After a minute or so flush it out with 4-6 cups of hot boiling water and voila…it’s unclogged!  Doing this is so much kinder on our pipes, our water treatment and our Earth! It’s better for us to cut as much chemicals out of our lives as possible.

Vinegar is also a great window cleaner.  Use 1/3 cup of vinegar, 2 cups of water and a few drops of dish detergent to a spray bottle. Spray on, wipe off. You can wipe off with newspapers (although the way papers are going in this day and age you aren’t as likely to have them lying around. So you can do what I do and use a microfiber towel or a plain old kitchen towel to dry it off.  I also use vinegar to clean my floors. I add a fourth a cup of vinegar (oh, who am I kidding, I add a few splashes) to my mop bucket. If you are worried about the vinegar smell it fades very fast.

Do you have any household cleaner tips you can share with us?

Natural skin care, natural parenting, cloth diapering and baby wearing

It is a slippery slope. When you  begin your path down the natural skin care route it tends to take you in directions you never knew you might go down. When I began looking into skin care I had no idea I would end up cloth diapering, wearing my baby and going down the path to trying to be as kind to the Earth as I was being to my children. Now, granted this doesn’t happen to everyone, but I am glad it happened to me!

Taking care of your skin naturally is only one step in the direction you might want to take your family. When I first got rosacea, after having eczema, it caused me to begin to look at what items I was applying to my face. It brought me to the Homestead Company’s eczema oil and that actually began to give me some relief. Thank you sweet relief! This search, also, caused me to look at how I can clean my home without using tons of chemicals either. One thing I found is that shark steam floor cleaner. No chemicals and just a good old fashioned cleaning makes me feel good about cleaning for my family and my home.  Checking off another awesome step on the natural living pathway.

This path of continued learning lead me to choose cloth diapers for my baby. I loved not running to the store to pick up diapers when I ran out. My diaper supply was only as far away as my laundry room. Time to do the laundry! 🙂 Since I had found the Homestead Company’s skin care I also checked out their diaper rash treatments. Their baby wipe companion is a dream for baby’s hurting bottoms! As a loyal customer pointed out, ” and I can pronounce all their ingredients in their products which is something I can not do with items bought at the local drug store. ” Once I was cloth diapering I began to check out the baby wearing scene. I absolutely loved wearing my baby. It freed up my hands to make dinner and he stayed content because he was on me, smelling me, feeling my heart beat and looking at everything I was doing. Baby wearing as a mom most definitely makes your life so much easier.

I would never tell you how to live your life. As a mom, this is the path my life ended up taking. That, in no way, means a path someone else is taking is wrong. It just means that we all live the life we are supposed to live. Educating yourself is a constant ongoing process. For me, now I am educating myself on how to eat less meat and more fruits and vegetables. I love that as a mom we can constantly strive to do just a little bit better than the day before. What are you currently educating yourself on?

Dina, mom of 3 children, 2 dogs and wife to one husband for the last 17 years. I am a writer for The Homestead Company and love learning about and experiencing new things!

Your body benefits when you eat organic non processed foods!

I’m constantly striving to do what’s right by my body. It’s a constant struggle. But there are definitely good benefits to eating a highly organic, no processed diet. If you are existing on all the foods in the middle aisles of the store you are not getting the nutrients that your body needs to sustain itself. You often hear that you need to eat on the outside walls of the grocery store and that is exactly right. That is where your calcium, folic acid, vitamins, minerals and protein are. If you are able to buy organic that is so good for you and for the environment. I know not everyone can afford organic. If you can’t afford organic try to get it on the one thing your family eats a lot of. For example, my family loves strawberries and salads. I can’t afford everything organic but these two items I make it a point to buy organic.

Cutting animal products back in your diet is also good for your body. Animal products contribute to most diseases found in the U.S. today. When you cut back on animal products and the processed foods, you are eating the way we ate back in the turn of the 20th century. One thing I heard the other day stood out to me. A man was discussing how his family uses meat to flavor their meals. They are not the main ingredient in his meals. Now that is a great way to think of your meat.  The average American fills half of their plate with meat.  Try this instead, if you have a family of 4 use 1/2 lb ground turkey, in say, making sloppy joes and use lentils for the other 1/2 lb. In this way you are getting the meat texture but you are also getting the lentils which are a superfood!

Processed food has stripped away everything that was once good about that food. You end up getting about 1/10th of the nutrients that you would get from eating a whole food (like an apple instead of  apple flavored cereal or cookies). I believe that the outside of your body reflects what is going on inside. By making sure you are eating well you can head off other diseases that happen because of eating the wrong foods.  Eczema can be thought of as a disorder that shows you when something is going on.  We have seen in our own personal experience that when you improve the way you eat eczema flare ups occur less and less frequently. Make sure you eat right for you and your body. After all, this is the only body we get. Treat it right and feed yourself properly with good healing foods.

Do you have a product that has multiple uses?

Yes, we do. As a mom, I understand the importance of getting more bang for your buck. I have three multiple use products that are easily adapted to mom and/or baby. The first item is the belly oil. This item is an absolute must have for pregnant mommies. The multiple uses  of this product ranges from easing the itchiness of stretchmarks to relieving the effects of hemorrhoids.  Just dab onto a cotton ball and rub on the affected area. The cooling effect will take place quickly.  The belly oil will nourish and tone skin throughout pregnancy and beyond. It is such a nice product to use on your belly as it is expanding with your new baby. No harmful chemicals or additives to worry a mom either.

My second is our most popular item, eczema oil. The eczema oil can be used on your baby’s cradle cap or on  mom’s dry skin/eczema. For cradle crap, you will notice a dry, flaky patch usually right at their hairline. You can simply roll on our eczema oil and feel comfortable knowing you have used a quality product with no chemicals on your precious baby’s skin.  On mom’s eczema, simply remember to roll on yourself the same time you are applying to baby. Doing both at the same time makes it much easier for a new mom to remember to take care of herself as well as baby.  The fact that this product is a roll on will make it so much simpler and less messy for mom.

Finally, the witch hazel is our third multiple use product. It is a great skin toner and cleanser. It tightens the pores and makes your skin feel ready to face the day. The witch hazel is also good for poison ivy. It will quickly wipe away the oil from the plant that causes so many problems and then dry out the affected area. If you know you’ve gotten into poison ivy make sure you shower with soap right away. If you aren’t able to shower than use the witch hazel and wipe the oils off as soon as possible. Knowing you have been in poison ivy is half the battle. The fact that it works on poison ivy is such a plus for me. I’m a mom who seems to get poison ivy just by being in the same area the poison ivy is growing! Witch hazel is also good for disinfecting small cuts and scrapes. What a great product to have in your cabinet so that you can clean children’s booboo!  So, it’s a great make up remover, poison ivy reliever, and a booboo disinfectant! That’s what I call a multiple use product.

At the Homestead Company we know how the economy and this recession is affecting everyone. It only makes sense to try to find a product that has multiple uses. This will save you money and yet still give you a quality product without chemicals or additives. Make the Homestead Company a site you bookmark and come back to!

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