Homemade Lip Balm!

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My homemade adventure of the season was to steer away from making food and try to make my own lip balm.  I never really thought about what goes in lip balm before, except for the fact that beeswax is probably involved (thank you Burt’s Bees).  My plan started taking shape on a trip to the Easton Farmer’s Market when I found a honey stand that sold beeswax by the bar for curious people like me with extra time on their hands.

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Pinterest also saved the day.  Ironically enough, I just went to Pinterest to find the blog I used for the recipe and apparently didn’t pin it, but I finally found the blog after a few distractions and lots of hunting on Google. http://hiphome.blogspot.com/2012/01/all-natural-lip-balm.html.

The blog recipe is for “Sweet Orange Lip Balm,” but I wanted to try a scent that was new and original.  After literally sniffing ALL of the essential oils in a local health food store, I went with Clove scented lip balm, A very Christmasy scent.

Coconut oil was easy enough to find in the health food section of a local grocery store (Sidenote: although coconut oil is in the health food section is is REALLY high in saturated fat.  If you are one of those people that licks the lip balm off their lips, we are talking about some high calorie stuff here…..who knew?)
I bought these adorable tin containers with sliding lids from http://www.etsy.com/.  I had to shop around for a good deal, especially since the metal containers are more expensive than plastic ones, but it was worth it for aesthetic appeal 🙂
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I had honey at home, so that was easy enough, and on a lazy day with not much going on, I set out to make my lip balm.

Here is my recipe:

Clove and Honey Creations Lip Balm

8 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
3 Tablespoons Beeswax
1.5 Tablespoons Honey
30 drops Clove essential oil

Place oil, beeswax and honey in a double boiler (or heatproof bowl resting on top of a small saucepan of simmering water). Heat gently until everything has melted.
Remove mixture from heat, and add clove oil. Stir until blended.

Place the pan or bowl in a larger bowl full of cold water. Stir quickly until the mixture begins to change in consistency (it will become thicker).

Pour mixture into containers, place covers on, and let sit to cool and set up.
(fills approximately one dozen 1/2 oz tins)
I didn’t have a double boiler, so I used a small Pyrex bowl in a pan of boiling water. It worked great, but as you can imagine, cleanup wasn’t the best since we use the Pyrex bowls for baking.  If I start making lip balm more, I’m going to buy a separate double boiler at a thrift store, so I don’t have to spend as much time scrubbing beeswax off of pots and pans.
The beeswax and coconut oil takes a little while to melt, but have patience, it eventually will look like this and you can add the essential oil.
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Now comes the part about pouring the cooling lip balm into these cute little containers.  It’s not as easy as it looks….hence the newspaper covering the large cutting board I used as my cooling station.  That newspaper was covered in beeswax by the end.  Maybe you will be a better pourer than I was, but it was no easy task for me.  I ended up filling my 12 containers and still having a lot of lip balm left, so I found an old candy container, dumped out the candy I didn’t want, and used that (as you can see in the bottom left of the picture).
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I decided to name my lip balm “brand” Clove and Honey Creations; it seemed cute and fitting.  I bough sticky white label tape at WalMart and tried to color my label with colored pencils, but it just didn’t do it for me.
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Microsoft Publisher came through and I designed a simple label, printed it, and glued it on the white label tape.
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I made the mistake of thinking that the lip balm didn’t have enough clove scent, and fixed it by putting a drop on top of the cooled lip balm and spreading it on the surface. DO NOT DO THIS.  The essential oil made my lips numb for the next 10 min.  If you want to put a few extra drops of oil in the melted lip balm while it’s hot, that’s fine.
There you have it friends! Homemade lip balm for all to enjoy……and I probably have enough of my own to last all year.

A Day in the Life…..

Well friends, it’s true.  My days of hibernation (known to many as unemployment) are coming to a close.  That’s right.  This girl has secured herself a spot in the enticing place called the “Working World.”  I have heard that this brave new world isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  Maybe Christopher Columbus thought the same thing when He found out He hadn’t landed on the place with the awesome spices.  Hey, America turned out sort of OK, so maybe my Working World will too?

As I am enjoying my last supper in the land flowing with idleness and Netflix, I want to take this time to record what it fully means to have all the time in the world, for posterity of course (or for those hypothetical times down the road when I feel like an overworked, underpaid servant to Corporate America).

Here are my tips on how to do nothing to the best of your ability:

1.  Don’t wake up before 10 am.  Seriously, no sunrise is that beautiful for you to leave the comfort of your foam mattress or husband pillow.  Sleep. is. wonderful.

2.  Drink at least one cup of coffee.  The “get you going on the right foot” elixir.  Caffeine aside, I’ve read that the stuff can be good for you, and there is no way I’m not buying into that.  Antioxidants people.   I actually just took a break from writing this to get some afternoon coffee, no joke.

3.  Go to the beach.  It ain’t called the Jersey Shore for nothin’.  Every chance you get, put on that bikini, grab a book, and hit the sand (not literally, although somehow I usually end up with sand in every orifice of my body.)

4.  Pay attention to nature.  Leaves change color and it’s the best thing to watch.  The Very Hungry Caterpillar was in my driveway the other day and it was grossly enticing and did I mention HUGE.  Taking a moment to feel the air breathe you breathe on a run (make sure that’s before you enter the large cloud of gnats that haunt your running path).  The world is a beautiful place.


5.  Get off your butt and do some of the things you’ve been meaning to do.  Like make your own lip balm and your own Nutella.  Or less excitingly, clean under your bed.  You may find your friend’s plane ticket from his college study abroad trip or some Lewis structure models from Organic Chemistry class that your younger brother gets a little too excited about as he is currently suffering through the torture.

6.  Learn to use the remotes.  This may be an easy task for most Americans, but I am in this strange minority where Toddlers in Tiaras and NCIS just didn’t do it for me.  I also always escaped the task of putting the DVD in to play.  It took a few tries and glaring looks from my younger sister, but I finally can navigate the buttons on the remotes for the TV and all attached devices with relative ease.

7.  Read books.  The library is a great place.  I mean come on, you can get free stuff every time you go, guaranteed.  For some reason, I always thought you had to pick something off of the bestseller list in order to get a good read.  Wrong.  Just get something random that looks interesting; you might be surprised.  All bestsellers had to be discovered by someone who did just that.

8.  Find something you love to do.  For a foodie such as myself, that means a trip to a farmer’s market to gawk at the blue potatoes an white eggplant.  It also means trying to make cookies with garbanzo beans and putting chia seeds in your smoothie.  But if that doesn’t float your boat, you could knit yourself a scarf or something.  I’m sure there are other options for leisurely hobbies.

9.  Don’t say no to a challenge.   Maybe a night out with friends and a dart board?  Game on, baby.

10.  Work out.  That means exercise.  No pouty face.  No excuses.  Just go.  You’ll thank me later when you buy the little black dress you find for $10 at H&M.  Look out bachelorette parties! 😉

11.  Stay in your PJs til 3 pm.  It’s OK; Most interesting things happen after that time anyway.  However, if your neighbor asks for help jumping his  car at 1 pm, you might want to change out of the blue and lime green booty shorts and tame the unbrushed beast that is your hair.

12.  Rock the slipper sock.

SocksEnough said.

13.  Go to a place that relaxes and focuses you when you need to get some actual work done.  For me, that means the little coffee shop in Clinton along the river.   The sound of water and movement around you paired with a cool but sunny day is enough to make you want to study tube feeding techniques for fun.  Well, almost.

14.  Don’t stress too much about your bank account.  Disclaimer: CHECK your bank account to avoid overdraft protection fees, but don’t let the number scare you too much.  Instead of thinking of it in limbo game of “how low will you go,”  just try to keep the number the same for as long as possible.  Once the number gets to be about equal to your body weight, you may need to ask for a loan to tide your over.

15.  Splurge.  Enjoy the french toast and the homemade peach cobbler.  It’s worth it.  You have the rest of your working life to eat bag lunches, breakfast in the car, and leftovers for dinner.

Well, there you have it.  A recipe for unemployed success.  Or maybe from now on, it will be my recipe for a truly awesome weekend.  Unemployment, it’s been fun.  I really did learn a lot from you unexpectedly.  But for now,

Bon Voyage.