The shampoo has been WONDERFUL!!! I started out by using this basic recipe to which I added vegetable glycerine, vitamin e oil and orange essential oil. I don't have to use conditioner and it really does clean well. It just doesn't strip your hair. You have to shake it up before you use it each time and I have found that it is better to get your hair all scrubbed and rinse pretty quickly. If you leave it in while you soap down or what not, it leaves it more oily.
Washing my face with oil has been interesting. I use this formula only I don't have neroli or grapeseed oil yet, so I put jojoba in it. It has worked very well for me. I do use on of those little circular face scrubbies when I rinse it off which helps get the excess off while also exfoliating. My skin hasn't really had any issues. I still have the occasional break out due to hormones, but I always thought I had to use something like proactive or acne free to handle that stuff. Apparently not. Yay! Oh, I haven't had to use any moisturizer and my skin has no dry flakes. Two big time pluses for me!
Chapstick. Its a necessity in this house. Even my kiddos are users. :) Sam likes the Burt's Bees. I like that its all natural and all, but I don't like that its nearly 3 bucks a tube and that its a little too stiff for my liking. I also have an issue where my lips crack at the corners a couple of times a year and its very painful. I was using the neosporin lip balm. Again, its pretty expensive, too and not made from good ingredients. SO, I got a block of organic beeswax off of amazon.com. I found some vitamin e oil in non-capsulated form at HEB. I already had jojoba and orange essential oil and I had gotten coconut oil from the grocery store to make deodorant. I went by this recipe here. I don't have shea butter yet, so I just made up for it with vitamin e and jojoba oil. I also increased the coconut oil. I also added honey. I came across several recipes that included honey and so I just "tossed" it in there. :) The first try came out rather stiff and Sam said it was like rubbing a candle across his lips. Haha! So, I took it all out of the containers, melted it down again and added more coconut oil and vitamin e oil. The result was lovely! Very smooth and silky and lasts a long time. I've ordered shea butter, tea tree oil, peppermint oil, clove bud oil, chapstick tubes, pipettes, spatulas and tins from Mabel White DIY. I found that after much checking, this company has the lowest shipping and really great prices on quality stuff. I'll be making a clove and peppermint version of the chapstick for Sam when I get all that in.
As for the deodorant, I have been pleasantly surprised! I thought I would really hate not having the antiperspirant part, but it hasn't been at all bad. I have had a few sweaty episodes, but it kept me from stinking while letting my body do its job. I also like the way it goes on and feels. Its not sticky and it doesn't get on my clothes and it lasts a long time for me. Sam wasn't able to use it because he would have to reapply during the day and he's not really able to do that. I would like to attempt to add beeswax for stability because it will get super soft if the temp gets into the mid-70s or higher. I want to be able to put it in a deodorant dispenser, so I'll have to work on that. :) Here is the basic recipe. I added vitamin e oil to it. Then, I went looking for some more recipes and found this one and this one. I think I will be trying the first one the next time I make more deodorant, which by the looks of it will be quite a while.
I will try and get pics of each item as I make them next time. :)
In the food recipes department, I have now successfully made my own maple syrup. I ordered maple extract that is actually extracted from maple sap and used a recipe I found in my google escapades. There is a recipe on the label of the extract as well that includes vanilla extract, too, so I did and I think next time I won't. It makes it a little too sweet smelling and tasting.
I've also made my own cream soda. I found a recipe for it, but didn't save it..oops! Basically, you make a simple syrup by boiling 2 parts granulated sugar to 1 part water. Let it cool for a bit and then add a good dollop of vanilla extract and mix it all in well. I think I put in a good tablespoon. Then you stick that in a jar and store it in the fridge. You'll need to get club soda. I had some, but it was in our pantry for a very long time and so there was no fizz left. I went and got some more at the grocery store and voila! You put about 2 oz of simple vanilla syrup in a 12 oz cup and fill the rest up with the club soda. You can also put a scoop of heavy cream or ice cream in there, which is how the soda shops used to do it. Yummmy!