making frugal & simple beautiful

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a stroll in the garden ~ july 30 ’17

a stroll in the garden ~ july 30 ’17

(As you can see by the date, this was a couple weeks ago. I just have been slack in getting it posted.) It’s been awhile since I’ve shown what’s growing around here… Since spring I think. I can’t believe summer is slowly coming to a […]

good stuff ~ what I’m loving, summer 2017

good stuff ~ what I’m loving, summer 2017

  When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad… I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad. I couldn’t talk about favorite things without thinking of that song, as my almost 4 year old daughter has […]

homemade sunscreen

homemade sunscreen


There are two types of sunscreen creams/lotions available. Chemical sunscreen and physical or mineral sunscreen.

Chemical sunscreens use a process of absorption into skin, while mineral sunscreens sit on top of the skin and reflect the suns rays.

Chemical sunscreen uses active ingredients such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, among others.

Mineral sunscreen active ingredients contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Some contain a combination of zinc oxide and a chemical ingredient.

I won’t go into the nitty gritty here, but if you are interested, hop over to this EWG article and learn more.

After reading about chemical sunscreens and how they work, I decided that using physical sunscreen is an option that I am much happier with.



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The problem is, natural sunscreens are EXPENSIVE! Like big time! They come in these tiny little tubes that cost big bucks!

So what did I decide to do? Make my own of course!

This was my first time attempting it, and I must say, I am thrilled with the results. I have experienced great protective results with this, and I have very fair skin. Once applied, I don’t find it to be overly greasy and it stays put very well. Of course, with any non nano mineral sunscreen, you will experience slight skin whitening (especially when first applied). This is just par for the course.


Homemade Zinc Sunscreen


2 oz cocoa butter

2 oz coconut oil

2 oz olive oil

2 oz non nano zinc oxide

Optional- essential oils, I added a few drops of frankincense for it’s amazing skin supporting benefits.


Slowly melt first three ingredients in a pot over medium heat until well combined. Take off heat and carefully stir in zinc oxide powder. When still liquid, but not hot, add essential oils if desired.

Pour into container(s) of choice and allow to harden. I used two small, recycled glass pots. I carry one with me and keep one in the house.

*Don’t be alarmed when this seems very runny and oily at first. I found that it took a good 2-3 days for this to really set up like the final product. at first some olive oil came to the top, and it stayed runny. Putting it into the fridge helps speed up the process. But once this set up, I have not had trouble with it being too runny again. Of course, if left in a hot vehicle, it would melt.


For more info on what kind of essential oils I use for myself and family, click here.


super quick, creamy iced coffee

super quick, creamy iced coffee

Whether you are a devoted coffee drinker, or a light weight like me who enjoys it occasionally, always with tons of milk or cream, I think anyone would agree that there is nothing like a tall, icy glass of iced coffee. Sometimes iced coffee isn’t […]

bookworm report

bookworm report

    Sometimes we hit such gold at the library, I can’t help but share! First off, man do I love the library. I think that every time we go. Especially as Ace gets a little older, and I’m thinking more and more about her […]

diffusing like a boss

diffusing like a boss


So you keep hearing people talking about “diffusing”? Do you wonder what the heck is the big deal? Is diffusing confusing? Heehee. Well, here is the down low.

Diffusing essential oils is an incredibly simple way to reap their many wonderful benefits. All you need is an ultrasonic oil diffuser, essential oils, and water!



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Why should I diffuse? 

  • As good as a candle or spray may make your house smell, they are known to be very toxic. The NRDC claims that many air fresheners contain dangerous phalates, known for hormonal abnormalities, birth defects and reproductive problems. When these products are released into the air, they are absorbed through the skin and inhaled. Yum.
  • Essential oils can have so many amazing benefits. Essential oils have teeny tiny molecules. When they are diffused into the air and you inhale them, they can swiftly make their way into your limbic system, the area of your brain that is responsible for emotions and memories, which makes it easy to see why it can be so helpful for balancing emotions. They also travel through your nose, mouth,and lungs, affecting several body systems.



Choosing a diffuser – I have three diffusers in my home at the moment! One in my child’s room, one in our bedroom and one in the living room/kitchen area. I love diffusing.

  • Look for a cool mist, ultrasonic oil diffuser
  • Make sure that it is ultrasonic, not any type of heat that can damage the therapeutic properties
  • Diffusers are popular these days, so it’s pretty easy to find one. I have gotten them from Amazon, Walmart, and Young Living. I love the one that came with my Premium Starter Kit from Young Living!

Choosing an oil – You may know by now that I am going to say, use Young Living oils! They are an amazing company that has been around for over 20 years, passionately devoted to purity and integrity in their oils.

  • Essential oils are widely available these days in stores, online, everywhere you look practically. There really are not regulations on what can be called an essential oil. Therefore an oil bottle that says “pure”, or
    “all natural” etc. is not necessarily a pure oil. It could be cut with thinners, processed or extracted with chemicals, you just have no idea. If I am going to the trouble of diffusing an essential oil, why would I use something iffy? I might as well light up a Glade candle and forget about it, right?
  • Read and research a little for yourself about which oil might help you with a certain area.
  • If you’re wanting to get rid of a stink, diffuse Purification. It’s ah-mazing at cleaning odors from the air.
  • Lavender is an all around fantastic oil to diffuse for relaxation, to soothe and calm and to support your body.
  • Orange is incredibly uplifting and cheerful. If you feel a little blah, diffuse some of that liquid sunshine!
  • Lemon is also great for odors, is very uplifting, and fresh. Great to diffuse with peppermint in the morning for a kick start!
  • Want to enjoy a delicious, warm, spicy fragrance while supporting your immune system? Diffuse Thieves! This is an amazing oil blend to use particularly in the fall and winter.
  • Cedar wood and lavender are wonderful at bedtime.



How to diffuse –

  •  Now that you have your diffuser, and your wonderful oil, the rest is easy peasy. Fill your diffuser to specified line, add 2-5 drops of oil, cover with lid and fire her up! If it’s too strong or too weak an odor, you can adjust the amount of oil added. When you start out, just don’t add too much until you see what you need. Your nose will tell you.
  • Diffuse for 20 minutes or so and then take a little break, then diffuse again. If you’re happy with it, diffuse for longer periods.
  • Babies and children should be given special precautions. Check the oil you wish to use and make sure it is child friendly and then just perhaps diffuse a smaller amount for a lesser time. Use your own common sense and do your own research when it comes to babies and children. I, by no means, wish to scare you off diffusing if you have children, I love to diffuse for our daughter, it can be so wonderful for many things for them! Just please do your own research first!

Now go forth and diffuse!



{With my Premium Starter Kit, I was able to get started diffusing right away as the 11 oils included are specially chosen to support every system in the body!}

Want more info on joining my oil family? 



may in the mountians

may in the mountians

So I think spring is my favorite. (This fall I’ll say fall’s my favorite.) But right now, spring is just too glorious. It’s so good to have warm and sunny days, and all the green back. We’ve had a couple cold snaps lately as we […]

soft and wonderful essential oil play dough

soft and wonderful essential oil play dough

{We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.}   Growing up, my mom always had homemade play dough for me. I […]

affordable mother’s day gift guide, 2 ways

affordable mother’s day gift guide, 2 ways


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I have made a list of some of my favorite Mother’s Day gift ideas. Whether you wish to purchase a gift, or make something yourself, I hope you find some inspiration here. Clicking on the photos will take you to the website.

A Mother’s Day gift doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive to be special and meaningful. The main thing is to let your mom know you love her and appreciate her!




Store Bought Ideas :


  • Gardening Gloves

If your mom is a gardener, she can always use a nice pair of gloves. Every time she wears them she will think of you!


  • Tea Kettle 

This classic tea kettle would please any hot tea drinker. It comes in lots of pretty colors!


  • Mother’s Journal

A mother’s memory journal, or for mothers with a daughter, this one looks really neat.


  • Diffuser Jewelry

6.5 - 7.5" Silver & Amazonite Lotus Diffuser Bracelet

If your mom is into essential oils, I bet she would love a piece of diffuser jewelry! This website has pretty stuff.


  • Boat and Tote, Open-TopBoat and Tote, Open-TopMonogrammed Canvas Tote

Boat and Tote, Open-TopBoat and Tote, Open-TopImage result for llbean tote

I love LLBean’s canvas Boat and Tote bags. They are so incredibly sturdy, they literally last forever. You can choose colors, sizes and add a special monogram!





Homemade Ideas:

  • Teacup Herb Garden ~ I think it would be super fun to thrift some pretty teacups, then use these ideas as inspiration to create a tiny, windowsill garden.
  • Easy Fern and Daisy Wreath  ~ I want to make this wreath for myself, it’s so bright and cheerful!
  • Bee Hotel ~ If your mom is a gardener, or enjoys her yard, she might like one of these pretty, handmade bee hotels! I think they are so cool, and you can use all kinds of gathered or salvaged materials to build one.
  • Free Printable Floral Heart ArtAny free printable art, framed to hang, would make a lovely gift. This print is very appropriate for Mother’s Day I think.
  • Mason Jar Bird FeederCan’t get much cuter, or easier than this!
  • Kid’s Artwork Tea Towel ~ Oops, spoke too soon. It just got easier. When I first read this post title, I thought it would be one of those things where you send the artwork off and a company prints it on a towel for you. Let’s just say, you can do it at home for super cheap, and all you need is a towel and a sharpie. Bam!
  • Children’s Silhouette Art ~  Aren’t these precious? I don’t know a mother or grandmother that wouldn’t go ga-ga over these.



Enjoy your Mother’s Day celebration with the special women in your family!



5 of my favorite gardening books (and a couple i’m dying to read)

5 of my favorite gardening books (and a couple i’m dying to read)

{We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.}   The second best way to learn about gardening, aside from knowledgeable friends […]