Wednesday, July 20, 2016

How to Make Beard Oil

I happen to be in love with a man who has a really great beard. Yes, I know... I AM very lucky! :) Sometime in the last year or so, I started making him some homemade beard oil... he loves it because it keeps his beard and face soft, smooth and neatly groomed. I love it because it smells wonderful, and makes him look even more handsome than usual. ;)

There are lots of beard oils on the market that you can buy, but y'all know how I roll... why buy it if you can make it?! It's really easy to do... the basic ingredients of beard oil are a carrier oil, vitamin E oil, and a blend of essential oils. That's it. You can use pretty much any essential oils you want... this is entirely personal preference. I try to pick ones that not only smell good, but are also beneficial to the skin. The Man tends to prefer spicy, woodsy, citrus scents, so I generally stick with those, and steer clear of anything flowery. I experimented a lot in the first few batches I made, until I settled on a blend I really liked. One important thing, though... make sure you use a good brand of high quality oils... I use Young Living brand for this, but any good therapeutic-grade oils are fine.

Here's my recipe:

Homemade Beard Oil 

3 oz carrier oil (I usually use a mix of jojoba and sweet almond oil)
25 drops cedarwood oil
18 drops tea tree oil
6 drops orange oil
1 drop cinnamon oil
little drizzle of pure vitamin e oil

Combine all the oils into a dark dropper bottle and shake up to mix. To use, place a few drops in your hand and rub through beard and into the skin under your beard, then comb or brush beard into place.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

First Honey Harvest!

So the world has been going crazy lately, and I've started about 20 different blog posts the last 6 weeks, which I just haven't been able to find the words to finish. Rape culture, homophobia, mass shootings, racism, police brutality, murder of police officers... gah. Seriously, life is really hard for much of America right now, and like most people, I feel helpless and frightened, and I really don't know what to say. I'm trying, instead, to keep listening, to speak up when needed, and to try to keep my kids feeling safe and happy in an unsafe world. That's pretty much the best I can do at the moment.

So I'm not going to write about the troubles in the world. Instead, I'm going to focus on my own little cocoon, my wee little Suburban Farm, and I'm going to tell you all about getting our first Honey Harvest from our hive! Minding my bees has been a wonderful escape for me, and getting to harvest a whole mess of delicious, sticky-sweet honey has been such a treat.

I put the honey super on the end of May, and when I took a peek mid-June, I was impressed to see that they'd made amazing progress!

By the beginning of July, the whole super was filled with capped honey! I couldn't believe how quickly my ladies worked! And I couldn't believe that after a little over a year as a beekeeper (and after a few setbacks!) I was finally getting to harvest my first batch of honey. 
Capped honey, ready to harvest!

Scraping off the comb and honey


We put all the comb and honey into a cheesecloth-lined colander
over a big pot. The honey drips down, and the wax stays behind. 

Ladling the fresh, raw honey into jars

I'm so grateful for this little bit of joy and normalcy in my life... more grateful now than ever. I hope that you're also able to find a small amount of peace as we make our way in this crazy world.