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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Potted shamrock and a new wooden caddy

Happy {almost} Friday to you, dear friends! I hope you are well! 

I was shopping this week and saw this sweet potted plant:

I have decided that I love shamrocks.

 And I am loving the way it looks with this little wooden caddy I found at a nearly shop. :)

 I must confess to giving St. Patrick's Day only a nod of acknowledgement in the past, mostly due to my not placing much weight on the whole idea of luck.

Do you believe in luck?

On my way out of the market with my potted shamrock, a woman passing me said, "And the luck o' the Irish be with you!"

It was quaint and kind, and I said, "To you, too!", to which she chuckled.

But it left me feeling like something wasn't quite right.

And I realized that it reminded me somewhat of what is said in church each Sunday:

"May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be upon you", to which the people respond:
"And also with you."

To me, although I am sentimental and adore shamrocks and the festivity and fun of holidays, I prefer blessing to luck any day.

And I'm Irish. Yes, somewhere in the rather odd conglomeration of English, German, Danish, Native American, and French, there is also a wee bit of Irish in my ancestry! 

For some reason, I'm very proud of that. Not that I did anything to achieve it! ;)

So, is that why I felt compelled to buy this sweet plant?

 Not really. I just thought it was beautiful  It had to go in my cart!

I love the delicate white flowers in the dark green leaves.

So entirely spring, I think.

There is something about raw dark wood mixed with white.

Simple pleasures like potted spring plants make me smile...and remind me of a generous Giver who has blessed us so richly!

And lest you think I am a little bit of a naysayer, I am even doing a St. Patrick's Day post! {I am Irish, after all!}

But I still prefer the blessing:
"May the Lord bless and keep you. May He shine His face upon you and give you peace" to give to you in closing! 

Blessings, ;)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Homemade Lemon Foam Soap

Hello sweet friends! How has your week been so far? I hope things are going well for you! :)

Well now...

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know I enjoy trying my hand at home made cleaning supplies. What began as a deep and abiding love for baking soda and its many uses has become an addiction to coming up with new cleaning concoctions! It has been a lot of trial and error {sometimes resulting in streaky windows or soap residue} but it is so much fun succeeding with that "perfect" cleaner!

One of my new attempts is Lemon Foam Soap. Another is Lavender Foam Soap, and it is a toss-up which smells more lovely!

Even my older children somehow find it easier and less bothersome to use this soap! 

Note: I think foam soap may be the cure for the natural repulsion children have toward hand washing in general. ;)

At a visit to my natural products store, I discovered something new {well, new to me!}: castille soap. In reality, it has been around for a long time!

I saw a recipe there in a little leaflet for foam soap made with castille soap, but it said to mix the soap solution with water with a one-to-one ratio.

I tested it for a while until I came up with what I think is just right: not so much soap you will be rinsing it off for hours, but definitely enough for a nice, soft lather.

To make both the lemon and the lavender soap, I measured one ounce of the castille soap into this little measuring cup.

Pour the castille soap into your foamer bottle, and then add six ounces of water to that.

After this, I added ten drops of lemon myrtle essential oil, and gently shook the bottle a bit to mix.

To make the Lavender Foam Hand Soap, I followed the same recipe, except I used twenty drops of lavender, rather than ten.

The potency of each essential oil varies, and the lemon verbena is about twice as strong as the more subtle lavender. 

It is truly amazing what essential oils add to a cleaning solution, and this is no exception. The castille soap that I use, though unscented, actually has a scent of its own that is very pleasant. The foam soap will smell nice even without the essential oils; but oh! If you like your soap scented as I do, it takes a nice hand soap to wonderful!

A quick review of what you'll need in case you'd like to make your own foam soap:

*a foamer bottle {different from a pump bottle}
*castille soap, such as Dr. Bonner's, which can be purchased at your local Target or online at Amazon. Super Supplements has the lowest price for theirs, bought online, for $9 for 64 oz.
*lemon or lavender essential oil, or your own favorite!
*measuring glass, with ounce markings

And that, my friends, is all it takes to make foam hand soap! Easy as pie. :)

*I am linking this to the Weekend Wrap Up party at Tatertots and Jello.

Thank you for visiting and I hope you have a beautiful Wednesday!