Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Homemade Larabars/Paleo Fruit & Nut Bars

I am very much a novice where Paleo is concerned, so I'm just trusting someone else's word here on this recipe. I heard about a similar recipe from a cousin whose daughter and son in law are experts in the field, so I decided to see what I could find online so I would have a recipe to work from. What I found was this site with  three different recipes and I used her recipes as my base.

Everyday Paleo Fruit & Nut Bar

Here are my recipes, I made two batches with very little variations.


1 cup roasted almonds with sea salt

( I added no extra sea salt since the almonds were already salted, if yours are plain, add 1/4 tsp sea salt)

1/2 cup pecans

 12 unsweetened dates

 1 cup dried, unsweetened apricots

 5 drops Cinnamon Bark 100 % Pure Essential Oil

In food processor, pulse almonds and pecans until partially fine, there will still be some good sized chunks, which is good.


Transfer ground nuts to mixing bowl and then pulse the dates and apricots in processor until it's a sticky mess, add the essential oil and pulse again to mix.


Add this sticky mess to the ground nuts and mix and shape into a ball. I dampened my hands to mix, it is very sticky. 

Place ball of mixture in greased pan of some sort, size depends on how thick or thin you want the bars. I sprayed my glass baking dish with a mixture of olive oil and water(homemade non-stick spray).


Press with your damp hands into the dish, you can grease a small glass if you'd rather roll the mixture, I had better results just pressing with my hands.


Cut in pieces, remove with a spatula and place in container, seal and keep in refrigerator for best results.


1 cup roasted almonds with sea salt 

( I added no extra sea salt since the almonds were already salted, if yours are plain, add 1/4 tsp sea salt)

1/2 cup walnuts

 1/2 cup chopped pecans

 12 unsweetened dates

 1 cup dried, unsweetened apricots

 5 drops Cinnamon Bark 100 % Pure Essential Oil

 2 drops Clove 100% Pure Essential Oil


The process is the same with one variation. My pecans were already pieces so I just added them to the mixture, in order to have more chunks in the bars. If using pecan halves, chop them coarse.

These bars are sticky, at least mine are, but still very good and very healthy feeling. This was my first attempt with them and overall I am satisfied with the results.  Coconut is not a good thing for me, but I can see where some organic, unsweetened coconut would be a wonderful addition to these. If you're not trying to avoid sugars, you could add regular coconut.

I was just told that you can also just dump all the ingredients in the food processor together and grind and mix at the same time. I've not tried it, but I know the person who did and she said it worked fine. I'll try it that way next time.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Marvelous Mint and a Little Gone With The Wind

Have you ever wondered how the women of the old South survived the heat of summer dressed in all those petticoats and ruffles?

I figure it had something to do with all those mint juleps they consumed.

Being raised in a home where I never saw alcohol of any kind, I wouldn't know a mint julep if I met one face to face. However, just the mention of one conjures up visions of Scarlett O'Hara and a crowd of admirers.

.....and of course...

Now...unswoon yourselves and let's try to remember what I'm supposed to be blogging about here.

Oh, yeah....Rhett.....I mean.....MINT

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Many Uses and Benefits of Bentonite Clay

Chance are you've never heard of Bentonite Clay, I hadn't until a few months ago, but after reading about it, I promptly ordered a couple of jars. I just received my second order and plan to make it a staple in my household.


This Very Good Explanation of What Bentonite Clay is comes from  Quinn Smith

What is bentonite clay?

Bentonite is an impure clay that usually forms from the weathering of volcanic ash and in the presence of water. There are several types of bentonite, each named after the respective dominant element, like potassium, sodium, calcium, and aluminum.

Clays like bentonite have long been used to help rid the body of toxins and to provide it with nutrients. Sometimes animals turn to eating dirt and clay to help remove poisons from their systems or in times of illness or distress.

Bentonite can be used externally as a poultice, mud pack or in the bath and, in skin care recipes. Good quality bentonite should be a grey or cream color and anything that appears to be “pure white” is suspect. It is often times packaged and distributed in powder form and should have a very fine, velvet-like feel. It is odorless and non-staining.

Bentonite clay is made of aged volcanic ash and is quite unique due to its ability to produce an electrical charge when hydrated. Upon contact with fluid, its electrical components change, giving it the ability to absorb toxins. Bentonite is known for its ability to absorb and remove toxins, heavy metals, impurities and chemicals.

How to use it

When it becomes mixed with water, bentonite clay rapidly swells open like a highly porous sponge, allowing toxins to be drawn into the sponge through electrical attraction and once there, they are bound inside of it. The clay then releases its minerals for the body to use.

Bentonite also helps oxygenate the cells, as it pulls excess hydrogen and allows the cells to replace it with oxygen instead. NEVER let bentonite come in to contact with anything metal, as this will reduce the effectiveness. You can mix it with water, apple cider vinegar, or extra virgin olive oil in a glass or plastic vessel and use plastic utensils to thoroughly mix.

There are many uses for bentonite:

  1. A paste of bentonite clay and water can be used on the skin for any irritation like blemishes, insect bites, cuts, skin itching or burns. Leave it on until it dries and then wash it off. This can be especially calming to skin suffering from eczema, psoriasis, chicken pox, etc.
  2. For more severe issues (like burns), you can create a poultice by putting a thick layer of clay on the skin and applying a wet gauze or cloth over it, then wrap the area and leave the poultice on, changing every 2 hours.
  3. For smooth and healthy skin, make a paste of bentonite and water and apply to your face as a mask. Leave it on for 20 minutes and wash off. This can be done once or twice a week.
  4. Adding a ¼ cup of bentonite to a bath can serve as a very relaxing and detoxifying bath that soothes and softens the skin.
  5. Bentonite can be used to clarify AND condition the hair (in one step!), by effectively removing product build-up without stripping the hair like shampoo, leaving your hair conditioned and moisturized throughout

Why do we need to detox?

NaturalNews has this to say:

Every cell in our body excretes waste material, which becomes toxic and poisonous to our bodies if it is allowed to build up faster than it can be eliminated or filtered out of the body. The most common symptoms of toxic buildup within the body are mental dullness, aching-stiff joints, gas and bloat, high acidity, digestive problems with the stomach and colon, acid reflux and fatigue. Therefore, it is imperative to naturally detox to rid yourself of the deleterious effects of impurities and toxins. There is a lot of popular sharing of results of clay users suggesting that Calcium Bentonite Clay therapy may be an ideal detoxification treatment because it is safe and effective. Clay has many healing abilities due to its alkaline pH and high negative ionic charge, and it works on the entire organism. Take control of your body by detoxing to help regain and achieve the pinnacle of your health!

Kathryn Alexander, one of the leading experts in detoxification and dietary healing, succinctly states on her Web site:

"The legacy of 50 years exposure to persistent man-made chemicals combined with the denigration of the food chain has increased our susceptibility to chronic degenerative disease and cancer. Reversal can only come about by resolving these primary causes of disease. By releasing the toxic burden of the body and restoring its nutritional status, we can change our internal environment and achieve good health" (Get a Life).

Resolving the primary causes of disease is facilitated by proper nutrition, exercise, and detoxing. Drinking plenty of water and simple sweating helps to flush your system of toxins, but clay therapy, which has been used for thousands of years by indigenous people around the world, has passed the test of time to be a superior natural detoxification method.

Clay is basically inert super charged minerals, and it gets its negative electromagnetic energy charge from the thermo dynamic heat and volcanic action that created it. When activated by water the clay awakens with a strength that radiates throughout the body, stimulating energy for the rebuilding and revitalization of latent cells, and starts a healing process. The body needs this energy to restore harmonic balance essential to healthy maintenance. In addition, this super power has the ability to absorb harmful, toxic substances from within the body, tightly bind them within the molecule, and carry them out of the body.

Learn more:

Stephanie at Keeper of the Home has a wonderful blog about Redmond Bentonity Clay. I urge you to take the time to read it, she has lots of information on how to use it in your home daily.
You can read it here:

Clay As A Natural Home Remedy(Yes, Really)

My favorite detox bath recipe comes from Jillee at 

One Good Thing By Jillee

(photo by Jillee)


  • 2 cups Epsom Salt (or Sea Salt) - draws out toxins from your body while relieving aches and pains
  • 1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar - soothes and soften dry, itchy skin while balancing the bodies and neutralizing the bodies pH.
  • 1/2 cup Bentonite Clay  - stimulates the lymphatic system to deeply cleanse the body’s largest breathing organ, the skin.
  • 5-10 drops of your favorite Essential Oil - lavender, geranium, sandalwood, ylang ylang and blue tansy are all known for their detoxifying properties.
Run your bath water as hot as you like. Add your “ingredients” and agitate to dissolve. Soak for 20-40 minutes. Drink a full glass of water when you’re finished.


You can find Redmond Bentonite Clay and other great natural clay products at  Redmondclay.com  I got my first clay from Redmond and they also sent me some free stuff, natural toothpaste and all natural sea salt.

However, the best price I've found is from Swanson Vitamins 


Thursday, June 13, 2013



In my original deodorant blog, I used Hawaiian Sandalwood in my recipe, but I've decided that it doesn't work for me.

In my original homemade deodorant, I had used White Fir because I didn't have Sandalwood. I didn't actually have Sandalwood for the second batch, so I used Hawaiian Sandalwood. Since posting the blog, I've decided I don't like the Hawaiian Sandalwood as much as the White Fir in my deodorant. Sandalwood is recommended for deodorant, but obviously, the two Sandalwoods don't have the same properties, because I ended up smelling like bleach..ewww. So, I've updated my deodorant back to my original recipe and added 30 drops of White Fir. If you have Sandalwood, you might give it a try and see if it works for you. 


Here's the original blog with all the information, just adjust the recipe if you're not satisfied.

Since I'm almost to the bottom of the bottle, I decided it was time to tell you about my favorite homemade deodorant. Once again, I have to thank Rebecca over at Camp Wander for her original recipe. She's the blogger queen! Seriously....if you look closely, you might see the tiara on her head!

I know that some don't care for the large 1 oz roller bottles, but I love mine. I've had a problem with some of the roller balls falling out of my smaller bottles, but I'm sure that could happen with any size.  What I do is give mine a gentle shake and keep the bottle as upright as possible, because it comes out a bit too generously at times. There are three sizes of roller bottles, if you're confused about these, here's a handy dandy reference picture from Aroma Tools.

Meanwhile, back to the recipe....

For my large 1 oz roller bottle I use:

30 drops Frankincense
30 drops Melaleuca
30 drops Lavender
30 drops Hawaiian Sandalwood/Sandalwood or White Fir
Top off the bottle with FCO or Witch Hazel or a combination of both, which is what I do, I use about three parts WH to one part FCO, but that's just the way I like it.

I have three different brands and scents of Witch Hazel here....

Thayers Rose Scented, Humphries Lilac Scented and The Homestead Company with Lavender and Roman Chamomile

I have to say that the Thayer brand rose scented is by far the best smelling of the bunch. It actually smells like roses. All three of mine are alcohol free and I'm using the rose scented this time. If you have the kind WITH alcohol, it won't hurt to use it(unless you've just shaved, then it actually does hurt for a few seconds.) Truthfully, if you have a problem with body odor, you might think about using the alcohol based. The reason for this is that the alcohol kills the bacteria that cause body odor so you get a little extra punch there. I know this because several years ago in my pre-EO life, I searched and searched for a remedy for my husband's "BO in the work shirts" problem. I ran across a very simple yet very effective alternative to deodorant, simply cotton balls soaked in alcohol. It worked wonders.

My finished product....

Read Jill Samter's article How I Say NO to B.O. Naturally. It's a great testimonial to the effectiveness of Essential Oils. I added the Sandalwood after reading her article.

I almost forgot the most important part about this deodorant. We all know that breast cancer is raging in our society. Most commercial deodorants contain cancer causing ingredients which are very, very bad. We as women don't need to be smearing these thing all over our glands under there! Frankincense is an anti-cancer agent, which is what we need to be smearing all over those glands under there!

Not to mention that it smells divine!

I strongly urge you to invest in these oils if you don't have them and do this for yourself. There are substitutes you can use, you can use Lemon instead of Melaleuca, put another scent in there you like, etc. but DON'T leave out the Frankincense. To me, it's the most important one in the mix.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

See You On The Other Side, My Friend!

The first words I posted on my previous post, Thursday, May 31 were these, "Happy Thursday from Texas."  I had barely finished that blog post when the phone rang.  It was our friend and neighbor saying, "Randy's been in a bad wreck in front of my house."

That Thursday turned out to be anything but happy for us. It was a tragic day. We lost our sweet, lovable, crazy Randy that morning. He was attempting to turn into the drive of his best friend and neighbor. He was struck from behind by a driver who was "distracted." We don't know at this point why he was distracted for .7 mile of wide open highway with his cruise set on 75(speed limit is 70.) He never slowed down before crashing his vehicle into the rear of Randy's. What we do know is that we lost a dear, sweet boy who can never be replaced. He had a special place in all our lives. We are a very close knit community and church family and he belonged to us all.

Randy was "style" personified. The clerks in the department stores knew him by name. He could find a bargain and shop till he dropped. He could make a dog laugh as we say in these parts, he never spoke evil of anyone and he was the most giving, unselfish person I have ever known. He was a good friend to many, an extra brother to my sons and many others, and a son to all us "other parents."

Randy had very bad problems with his back, couldn't straighten up and was in constant pain. Well, no more pain, Randy!

A Facebook memorial page has been created for Randy, if you know him and would like to view it.

In Loving Memory of Randy Yates

Someone had a dream about Randy in which he told them he wasn't dead, he just got tired, closed his eyes and when he opened them, there was a soft, gentle rain falling on him. I think I'll think on this today as we lay our sweet boy to rest. Randy standing in a soft gentle rain, no pain ever again. 

I'm going to miss him, but I'm so glad he's healthy and having no pain this morning, and if it be possible in Heaven, I'm sure there's a new flower bed somewhere already.