Friday, September 27, 2013

Herbal Medicine Made Simple this Sunday!

Only three spots left for my Herbal Medicine Made Simple class this Sunday at 1:00 pm on the farm!

Go home with my  "how to" book, a salve, a syrup and a tincture!  Taste and snack on several herbal goodies (and maybe just a few chocolate truffles!).  

Learn to make every form of herbal medicine including capsules and colloidal silver!

Come...join us for the fun and learn how to take care of your family naturally!

Playing with color!

One of my favorite parts of soap making is playing with color and design.  Not too long ago, one of my suppliers sent me some samples marked indigo and woad.  Both natural colorants from plants.

I decided to use the indigo - a very dark navy blue - in the batch of Patchouli that I made this week. It turned out a smokey blue which should lighten just a bit during the cure time. 

Here are the results.

I'd love to hear your comments!


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Spiced Oat Bar!

Spiced Oat Bar is up on the website now!  You can find it here.

This is the last of my fall soaps this year and will be available until sometime after the first of the year...or when it sells out.

I love this soap at my kitchen sink!  It cuts the odors and grease on my hands from cooking...and it seems like I am ALWAYS cooking!  However, no matter how often I wash my hands they still feel soft and moisturized.  I attribute that to the huge amount of Avocado Oil in this soap.

I swirled in some chopped oats for gentle exfoliation and scented it with some of my favorite fall spices; cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice...yummy!

Elijah has decided that this may be his new favorite soap!

I hope y'all will enjoy it as much as we are!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Preparing for Class!

It's a gloomy, rainy day here.  But instead of napping, I'm busy preparing for our class this Sunday..

Plenty of dried herbs?   Check

Purchased vodka?   Check

Purchased tins for salves students make and take home?  Check

Bottles for syrup that students make and take home?  Check

Fresh herbs for snack time?  Check

Purchased the chocolate treats?  On the list!

Located a patch of wild plantain?  Check

Purchased Honey?  Check

Cheesecloth for compresses and poultices?  Check 

Purchased jars for tinctures that students make and take home?  Check

Printed books?  Working on that now...

This is one of my favorite classes to teach!  Helping others learn how to care for themselves naturally....I know it has saved me a lot of money over the 31 years I've been a mama.

If you are interested in learning how to use herbs medicinally for your family...won't you come and learn with us on Sunday?  We still have  a few openings left!

You can read all about it and register here!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Shocking...this grieved my heart deeply....

Some things are too important not to share...this is one of them...please, Father, forgive us...

Jamaican Me Shave!

Jamaican Me Shave!  is now up on the website!  Still working on Spiced Oat Bar - the last of the fall soaps.  I'm waiting on Elijah's creative camera work!  Hopefully the rest of the new soaps will be up tomorrow!


Lavender Lullaby is Ready!

For those who have inquired...Lavender Lullaby is available on the website now!   And just wait till you see what I've done to Patchouli!!

Spice Oat Bar post coming up soon!


And the winner is...

Karen with the name Jamaican Me Shave! I ran this past my boys and every single one of them liked this name.

Karen, get back to me and let me know which soap and lip balm you would like and how to get it to you!  Thanks so much for participating and contributing your creativity!  We love it!

I'll create a label today and have it up on the website sometime this week.

We're a bit late with this post and I was a crazy day yesterday here on the farm.  When you wake up to a strange horse nuzzling your horse over the fence, you know it is going to be a bit different.

She was a beautiful horse and obviously so very happy that she was "free"!  Much snorting, tossing the head and galloping around the farm!   Our chickens didn't quite know what to think of this large creature invading their space!  She made me think of a little one who has "run away".  However, by the time her owners arrived here, you could tell she was relieved it was about over and glad to be going home.

I was happy that she hadn't gotten into the garden (the gate was open) or knocked down the bee hives!

She trotted right up to her owner and nuzzled his face as he slipped the halter over her head.  I'm sure they enjoyed the walk home together!


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Welcome Fall!

It is official...fall is here!  This is my favorite time of the year.  I love the warm afternoons and crisp evenings.  I love the smell of woodsmoke in the air.  Campfires with friends and family and beautiful weather to enjoy outdoors.   I'm so happy to turn off the air conditioning and open our windows...lace curtains blowing gently in the breeze!  Josiah is bringing up our fall decorations today and this week I will begin to decorate.  Not to much this year since our farm is up for sale.

In honor of fall...I have three fall soaps to introduce!  These soaps will be available until sometime shortly after the new year...or until they sell out. Two of these soaps have been around for years but I have a new one this year that is just yummy!

First, we have Pumpkin Spice!

This soap is packed with real pumpkin and shea butter! It is scented very lightly with clove and cinnamon essential oils.  A sprinkling of organic pumpkin pie spice was added and the wonderful result is a soap that smells like pumpkin pie!  Pumpkin is highly emollient - it softens and soothes dry skin. Pumpkin is also packed with anti-oxidants.What a delicious way to fight the dry skin that so many of us experience ~ especially during cold weather!

Pumpkin Spice is my most popular soap during this season!

Next is Cinnamon Citrus Swirl!

The scent of this soap takes me back many years to breakfast in Grandma's kitchen which was always bathed in early morning sunshine!  This beautiful soap is scented with orange and cinnamon essential oils and swirled with ground cinnamon!  It smells just like Grandma's special orange breakfast rolls used to smell!  This soap will satisfy the "foodie" in you! (Elijah will be replacing this picture soon - he does a much better job than his mama!)

And tomorrow....I'll tell you about my newest fall creation - Spiced Oat Bar!  Simply yummy!


Saturday, September 21, 2013


Just some quick reminders....soap naming contest ends tonight at midnight! Leave your suggestions in the comments here or on Facebook (Tnfarmgirl Naturals).

If you plan on attending the Herbal Medicine Made Simple class on my farm next Sunday from 1:00 to 6:00, please reserve your spot by paying your class fee if you haven't already.  I've set up a way to do this on my website here.  There are only 5 spaces left in this class!  I'm looking forward to that afternoon - it is so much fun to teach!

From now on, you will be able to pay your class fees on my website.  I am trying to get my classes up for the rest of the year and should be done by next week sometime.

You will also start to see "Pin" buttons for Pinterest on my website.  Yes...I'm slowly dragging myself into the techie world.  How do y'all have time to do these things?  I think I could get lost on Pinterest and never get found!

Once I conquer Pinterest, I'm following the advice of one of my son's friends (Hi David!) and will tackle Twitter.  I'm not sure I understand the whole concept of Twitter or why anyone would want to know what I'm doing throughout the day but from a business aspect it is, apparently, important...I'll get there!

I'm looking forward to cooking for family and friends this weekend!


Friday, September 20, 2013

The Epic Battle of the Mice!

When I say epic I'm not fooling around!  We have had a month long battle with the critters.  AND THEY WERE IN MY KITCHEN!

Deep breath....

When I first started seeing their poop "deposits" I began laying out traps.  Every once in awhile we'd catch one.

However, when you are sitting on the living room floor working on a project, look up and see one sitting there WATCHING know you are in trouble!

I have a problem with probably stems from the time that one of them ran straight at me and UP MY LEG!  I believe my conniption fit at that time flung the little furry beastie into the far ends of the earth.  I can still see those beady eyes headed straight for my face. Since then...if one is about...I get on a chair. I may or may not scream.  Loudly.

Yes.  I am that person.

I tried everything.  I did find that a lays potato chip bag is the BEST mouse bait.  Open it (or in my case the little darlings did that for me) and slide a mousetrap in there.  I believe we caught 3 or 4 that way. Evidently, mice like potato chips so much they are willing to risk trying to get over the trap.

Then I read about shock and awe.  Essentially cover the area wall to wall with traps.

I had Josiah go over the pantry and kitchen and make sure all holes were sealed.  We found a few - one with an active nest, and sealed everything with that wonderful "foam in a can".  Then we had to do battle with the ones who had already invaded my home. I put down enough mousetraps that it was dangerous to be in my home.  We had to tip toe carefully through the laundry room!

We caught 12 in one day!  TWELVE! Ugh!  It was reminiscent of the firecrackers on Fourth of July!. However, we saw one running for the hills...or in this case the pantry in the laundry room.  It took about a week but we got that one too.

I haven't seen any evidence since then. is about that time to mow the fields for the winter.  Last hay cuttings are beginning and that always drives the mice into homes.  Then I got this fabulous email from my friend Marci.  She has invented the CUTEST mouse repellent.  You can bet I am placing an order for these guys and will place them around our home.

She stuffs them with wool from her sheep and dried peppermint leaves and then adds a "dollop of peppermint essential oil".  What a great idea!  If I had known that peppermint essential oil repelled mice I'd have washed the floors with it!  This is a much better idea and probably easier on the eyes!

I'm not an affiliate and don't make a dime off of this but when I see an amazing idea I like to share it with y'all!

I'm hoping that when my army of friendly mice arrive they'll take care of the bad guys. house is going to smell amazing!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

New contest!

Surprise!  Back by popular demand is my very first shaving soap!

I made this soap many years ago and poured it into large coffee mugs for my boys.  At that time, I called it Jamaican Nights.  I still like that name.  We've put a label on it naming it "Old Fashioned Bay Rum Shaving Soap".  That name is okay but it doesn't thrill me!

So, the question I go back to Jamaican Nights Shaving Soap or do y'all have a better name?

This shaving soap smells amazing!  Made with dark Jamaican Rum, West Indies bay essential oil and just a hint of sweet orange essential oil, it smells very tropical!  It is packed with fine moisturizing oils!  It also contains Bentonite Clay which ensures a smooth, silky shave by helping the razor glide over your skin to reduce nicks and cuts.   

Although this soap was placed on the website last night and is available for sale here, I think a contest is in order! Just so you know, it will be the next to the last contest this year unless I go crazy in the soap making department!

The Rules

1. Contest begins now and ends at midnight on Saturday, September 21st.

2. Name will be chosen by my family.  Although there *is* a winner, we are not obligated to use your name...after all..we might choose one of our own!

3. You can't be related to me and win.

4. You may enter as many times as you like.

5. Suggestions must be left in the comment section of this post or on Facebook 
(TNfarmgirl naturals). No emails! 

6. Winner will be announced September 23rd!

And now we have...

The Prizes!

Winner gets a free bar of the soap they name or any other soap in stock AND a lip balm of their choice!
I even pay the shipping!

Always wanted to try my products but never had the chance? Now is the time...perhaps you can try them absolutely free! 

 Let the name game begin!  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Herbal Medicine Made Simple!

For my local friends ( or even those who aren't!), I'll be teaching a class on how to use herbs  for medicine.  I speak and teach all over east TN and southern VA on herbs.  I have taught this class for Walter State Community College for both their TAG program and their Kids College program.  I've  spoken on using herbal remedies to rotary clubs, herbal clubs, scout leaders, gardening clubs, hospital groups and much more.  I've had students travel from all over Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia to take this class.

With the changes in health care and the fact that our President has quietly signed an executive order that takes steps to place America under the Codex program of Europe - herbal medicines and vitamins may become impossible to get except through your doctor.  Come join me and learn how to grow and use your own herbs for medicine.  I've been using herbal medicine for over 30 years and making almost all of my own for over 12 years. 

We will cover 10 easy to grow medicinal herbs, including some that commonly grow wild. The herbs included in this course are Calendula, Chamomile, Comfrey, Feverfew, Horehound, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Mullein, Plantain, and Red Clover. You will learn how to grow these herbs, how to harvest them, when to harvest them and how to use them in herbal remedies. You will learn their plant families, their medicinal properties and see a color picture of each one.

You will also learn how to make the most common herbal remedies! You will make a water infusion, a decoction, a hot oil infusion, a syrup, a compress, a poultice, a salve and a tincture! If we have time, and we usually do, you will also learn how to make your own capsules for pennies and how to make your own colloidal silver for pennies!  If we run late, I will teach those for anyone who wishes to stay.

You will go home with a medicinal salve, a syrup and a tincture that you have made yourself!  You will also get my book on herbal medicines which sells for $20 by itself.

My class is 5 hours long and yummy herbal snacks will be served at the midway point. The cost of the class is $50. You will also be given special contact information so that I can continue to mentor you and answer questions as you work on making remedies in your own home.

My next class is scheduled for September 29th at 1:00 p.m..  I keep my classes small (5 to 10 students) and spaces have already begun to fill up! Please contact me to make a reservation.

My goal is to see you able to treat yourself and your family effectively and easily with the herbal remedies you have learned to create in your own home.

Come! Join me on the journey....

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Power of Plantain!

When Elijah came in the house after tangling with this guy...

I knew something was wrong.  When I asked him..he mumbled.  Sometimes he does that.  I asked again and told him I couldn't understand him.  He mumbled...louder.  I didn't realize he had a mouth full of Plantain until he began spitting it out onto the back of his hand. The boy knows his herbs!

Plantain is our first line of defense against bug stings, bites etc.  Plantain grows everywhere.  If you don't spray your yard with chemicals, I'd bet a nickel that you have it in your yard. It's edible and high in vitamin B1 and riboflavin.  It has been used as a medicinal herb forever.  One of the names the American Indians called it was "life medicine". It contains glycoside Aucubin, a powerful anti-toxin.  It is full of many other effective constituents as well. It has antibacterial properties, helps stop the flow of blood quickly (important for boys on a farm to know!) and is wonderful for many sinus/lung complaints such as bronchitis, sinusitis, asthma, coughs and hay fever! It is used in anti-smoking products because it causes a natural aversion to any tobacco product!  (Make a tincture at home and save yourself a lot of money!)

Here is Plantain growing in our yard.  Our farm is organic so it is safe to pick and use anything growing here.  Don't use it if you spray chemicals on your yard!!


We use it frequently in poultices for bee and wasp stings, spider bites and caterpillar stings because it draws and neutralizes whatever poison has been injected.  It takes out the swelling, and redness as it draws out the poisons. It can also draw splinters, thorns and other things little ones get under their skin. 

Here is a bowl full of plantain to be used in my Herbal Medicine Made Simple class (another one coming soon)!


I've read that the American Indian carried the root of Plantain to treat snakebites. They also called this White Man's Foot because it grew everywhere the white man settled.  I've read that it was not native to America but the seeds were brought over when the first settlers arrived.  

They say it is good for wrinkles...I'm working on a cream for that!

Once Elijah realized he had been stung, he grabbed some Plantain and started chewing it as he headed into the house.  He slapped it all over his hand and left it for awhile.  It did the work...drew out the poison and healed his hand in an amazingly short period of time.  

Remember his hand looked like, swollen with raised white bumps....

Just two hours later his hand looked like this!

Redness, swelling and raised white bumps gone!  No need to use a petroleum based cream, steroid cream or antibiotic cream.  He had no itching, no tenderness...nothing....he was back to normal.

One of my daughters used this recently for a bad spider bite...and it drew out the toxins, healed the area and made it possible for her to stop taking the antibiotics that were tearing her tummy up!

One of my sons came to me days after getting into a "spider convention" in an old out building.  He had multiple bites, a raised hot red spot the size of a cue ball with long red streaks coming off of it.  We spent the evening applying multiple hot poultices of plantain and the next day...the red streaks were gone, the heat was gone and he was left with a flat, slightly pink splotch that quickly faded.

Our Father gave us many herbs to heal our bodies....He told us so!  Unfortunately, we've lost much of that knowledge. I'm so grateful for the years I've studied herbal medicine - over 30 now! Herbs have healed my children of many things, saved us a ton of money and trips to the hospital/doctor and done so without putting chemicals in or on their bodies.  I'm so grateful for the good gifts our Father gave us to help our bodies heal!

I hope this helps you tuck a little nugget away so the next time one of your loved ones tangles with the great outdoors, you will remember a quick, easy and efficient way to help them by using Plantain, one of our Father's gifts to us!


Thursday, September 12, 2013

He found another one...

So...Elijah was mowing the lawn and as he went under the apple tree he brushed a branch and this little guy fell on him. He is a Saddleback Caterpillar.  I've not seen one of these here before.

He's not as friendly as the ginormous caterpillar that is living under my carport in a cocoon right now.

Elijah began to feel something burning and looked down.  Did he fling him wildly off of his arm like I would have? No, he captured him and brought him in.

However this little guy left a trail on Elijah's arm....

Here's a close up....

Notice the red discoloration and the white bumps.  This guy is covered in stingers - he moves sort of like a slug, and his bottom side is also covered with stingers around the edge.

But Elijah knows his herbs...and he knew exactly what to do...

Join me next time as we talk about the power of plantain!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Soap Making Disaster? Not so much...

Soap making Disaster Part 2 - A lesson in NEVER GIVING UP!!

I wish I had thought about asking one of my students to take a picture of the mess as we were trying to push, chop and smush it into the mold...however I was up past my wrists in soap, working feverishly to save this very expensive batch and it didn't cross my mind.  This post would have been much more effective to y'all if you could have seen the disaster and compared it to the results.   However, this should mean a lot, lesson wise, to my students who saw the ugly mess and can now see the results.

So...students...this one is for you!

Let me start by telling you what I did after everyone was gone.  Remember that I doubled the insulation over this mold. I wanted it to get to a very hot gel phase.  After doing some initial clean up from the class, I checked under the towels to see how hot the soap was getting.  It was super hot. I took off the towels and peeled back the paper.  The top looked pretty much like it did when we put it in the mold - lumpy, lots of holes and really ugly.  Very dry and scaly looking the entire length of the mold.

However when I put a spatula in it and turned it a bit, the bottom was hot gel!  So, I carefully scooped up from the bottom, turning everything over as I went.  Sort of like folding something into a baking mix.  I went slowly, and gently down the length of the mold.  I wanted the lumpy hard top to go to the bottom and the hot gel to come to the top.  I wasn't horribly worried about mixing color at this point, although I didn't do any stirring.  Just scoop and turn, scoop and turn.  When the top was the gel part and it looked as though all of the hard lumps had been turned to the bottom, I pressed it down as best I could.  I covered it back up with the paper and both towels.  Double the insulation - I believe that was very important.  I also prayed. (the most important part...our Father truly cares about the small things in life that are important to us!)

I cut it 24 hours later.  I had no idea what I would find but was pretty sure I would be re-batching this soap.  As I said in the last post, it was the worst seize I have ever had in my entire soap making experience.

Here it is fresh out of the mold...surprisingly it didn't look to bad..

 .until you looked at the ends!

Here is one up close - looks a lot like the top did before I folded the gel to the top and the lumps to the bottom.

Pretty awful - the ugliest thing to ever come out of my soap kitchen.


When I began cutting the bars?

 Absolutely gorgeous!

This is quite possibly the prettiest soap I've ever made.  It is much more of a "marbled" effect than when I just swirl the color.  Not that I would ever want to go through that again to get this look!

Here is a picture of the regular swirled soap (cured) next to the new marbled soap (very fresh from the mold)

The regular swirled soap is on the right and the soap from the problem batch is on the left.  I like the disaster soap better!

I''d like to hear from you students who were here (you are the only ones that saw how awful this truly was!)...did you ever think it could be this pretty?  Which of the above soaps do you like better?  Marbled disaster on the left or properly swirled on the right?  Comments? Thoughts? Think it is marketable? (A question many of you asked :)

So...lesson learned...pray, don't stop and never give up, never give up, never give up!

Thank you class for your encouragement, for helping me chop it up and push it into the mold, for understanding and grace.  Y'all were a ton of fun!  Thanks for joining me in my soap kitchen!


Monday, September 9, 2013

Keeping Me Humble!

So....had a soap making class yesterday.  It was a full class with a fun bunch of ladies and I had a great time.  We made our first batch of soap - easy peasy and everything went smoothly!  When teaching a class I always use simple recipes that NEVER have problems....ahem.  

We played with essential oils, colors, butters and began our second batch of soap.  This is the fun batch where we play with color.  Brought the soap to light trace in the pot - pulled some out to color and then went to pour it back in the pot....

It was like pouring liquid on cement!  The soap in the pan had seized...that means it had begun to get hard in the pot.   This was no ordinary seize.  This was the worst seize I've ever seen in almost 15 years of soap making!!!  I'm saying I was digging the soap out of the pot with a metal spoon and then finally with my hands.

It was coming out in chunks....chunks that were 8 inches long!  Hard as a rock!  I've never seen anything like it.  I just made this soap a month ago and, of course, had no problems at all. Go figure!

We worked hard - several of my students helped me push it into the mold, chopping up the larger pieces.  I was using my bare hands pushing it down and trying to use the smaller pieces to fill in the multitude of holes.

My students were great - helpful and very encouraging!  They said they were glad they got to see a problem and to see how to handle it.  Unfortunately they didn't get to see how to color soap.  I'll have to see if I can video that and put that up.  (I'm clueless here so don't look for that anytime soon!)

I don't know what this soap will be like until I cut it.  Soap gets hotter in the mold and goes into a gel phase and my prayer is that it will gel and work itself out.  We'll see.

It won't be a waste - it will be usable.  Worst case scenario, it can become laundry soap, soap for personal use (although rose is not my boys favorite!) or I can re-batch it and make something special.

I went back to check my soap notes and found that years ago I had trouble with this soap seizing but by adjusting the temperature I was able to avoid that problem.  Yesterday I was three (count them...three!) degrees off of my normal temperature for putting the soap together. Three little degrees. Evidently those three degrees were very important.  I have made a note in my soap making journal that three degrees are a big deal.

I also won't pick that soap to use in a class again.

I'll post the results when I cut it later today. I promised my students - they wanted to see how the disaster came out.

My Father keeps me humble!


Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Simple Truth About Essential Oils

I wrote recently about what got me started making my salt scrubs.  Now, as Paul Harvey used to say, here's the rest of that story!

When we went to the local theme park for their bluegrass festival, I saw these long tables lined with old fashioned washtubs and pitchers.  There were people standing behind the tables and small jars on the tables.  I asked one of the ladies what it was all about and she plopped some stuff in my hands and told me to act as if I was washing them.  This stuff was grainy, lightly pink and smelled strongly of strawberries.

A gentleman walked up and informed me that this was a completely natural salt scrub...and then he continued his sales pitch.  They poured water over my hands and they felt wonderful!  However, I wanted to know why the salt scrub they offered me was pink....(ever the skeptic!). This gentleman informed me that they used beet root powder.  Fair enough.  However...the strawberry smell??

When I asked him about the scent he told me it was strawberry essential oil. What?? I've been buying essential oils for well over 30 years from reputable people.  I have never seen a strawberry essential oil and if you think about much oil is in a water-based strawberry?

I told him I was a soap maker and shared my experience with essential oils.  I believe I saw his eyes twitch. I called him a blatant liar politely expressed my doubt about the existence of a strawberry essential oil.  He grabbed my hand, shook it hard and told me he was glad to be the one who introduced it to me....and he quickly moved down the line of tables to other people. The man was positively trotting!

This, people, is called green washing and it makes me mad! As I did some further research for this article, I was surprised to find not only strawberry essential oils on some websites but every other fruit you could imagine.  Watermelon and Cantaloupe were everywhere!  Blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, black raspberry, pineapple, cucumber, pomegranate, coconut, apple, plum, peach, pear and the list went on.

Here's the bottom line...THERE ARE NO ESSENTIAL OILS FOR FRUITS!!!! Oh, people are selling them everywhere...but not reputable businesses and I'm proud to say that none of those fruits are listed with my suppliers!  You can get essential oils from the RINDS of citrus fruit but not from the part you consume. You've probably noticed this if you work with citrus rinds for cooking or cleaning.

These people are using fragrance oils - which are chemicals!  I don't have a problem with that as long as they present them truthfully so that their clients can make an informed choice. I have soap making friends who use fragrance oils but they label them as such.  When you see products with names like After the Rain, Clean Cotton, Berry Harvest etc. you can pretty much assume they were made with chemical fragrance the labels and ask questions.  If they won't share the information, find another place to shop!

Stop and think about these things...a quality essential oil is created by pressing (or sometimes steam distilling) plant material to extract the oil. How much oil runs out of your watermelon when you cut it...or if you press strawberries to make jelly?

 Zip. Zero. Nada.  

Fruits don't produce essential oils. Some of the above fruits, like coconut, can produce an oil but it isn't an essential oil and doesn't have much scent - not like an essential oil does and they are not considered essential oils.

If you come across someone selling you candles, cosmetics, soaps, scrubs, lotions and so on...and they have "natural" products with essential oils from these fruits, they are either completely misled themselves or they are lying through their teeth. Ask them for the Latin name or INCI code for that essential oil - ask them for the name of their supplier...or...better yet, simply walk away.  There are many definitions for the word "natural" and they usually depend on who you are talking to. Just take a walk through your grocery store, pick up an item that claims to be natural and see if you recognize all the ingredients!

I believe that most of my customers, are looking for a clean, pure, chemical free product.  The trouble with unethical people like the "gentleman" above is that they make my job harder both as a consumer and as a provider  It reflects badly on those of us (like me!) who truly want to present you with a natural product.  When people find out that they were lied to, then they begin to doubt everyone who claims to be creating pure products! The most common question I get about my salves  is "do they really work?".  This tells me that the person asking the question has probably purchased something that didn't work.

My answer? Yes they do!! Because I make them with quality ingredients, pure essential oils and never with chemicals! It costs more to make products that are effective, pure and natural.  If the dollar is your bottom line, and you want to make as much money as you can, then chances are that you'll be tempted to cut corners.  Lavender fragrance oil may smell like lavender essential oil but I can assure you that there won't be any health benefit to you from a product made with a fragrance oil.  I think this is why I have customers who have been purchasing from me for years and years.  They know me, they know my standards and the quality of my products and the fact that they are effective! 

Rest assured, I have chosen not to ever use fragrance oils, or any other chemical, in any of my products.  My creations are used by myself, my friends, my children and my grandbaby - they will be of the highest quality, made with pure and natural ingredients. I promise this.

I hope this will help you to be more aware of green washing...and help you to avoid it.

Coming soon - a wee discussion on the "pure and natural" way to color soaps and how many soap makers are being duped by what some claim to be natural colorants!


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

And the winner of the Kitchen Soap naming contest is...

Amanda Reed!  We actually combined two of Amanda's names Kitchen Citrus and Citrus Bliss to come up with...

Kitchen Citrus Bliss!

Amanda, let me know which soap and lip balm you'd like to have and I'll get it right to you!

This soap will be the perfect kitchen soap!  Packed with citrus oils to cut the grease on your hands and just a bit of dried organic lemon peel for a gentle exfolliant.  The scent is just amazing and I think this will quickly become one of my most popular soaps.

I'll get a label made and dress her up for a photo shoot this week.  I'll let you know when she makes it onto my website!

Thank you all for participating!  I have two more soaps that are curing on the shelves as I write.  I know I need a name for one of them.  I'll try to get a contest up later this week or early next week.

For you local people, I have one seat left in my soap making class this Sunday, if anyone is interested just shoot me an email or give me a call.  It's going to be such a lot of fun!



Tuesday, September 3, 2013


My new line of pure and natural Salt Scrubs!

It all began at Dollywood! My family and some friends were visiting during their Bluegrass Festival.
In one area, there was a long line of tables with old fashioned washtubs and pitchers on each table. Being curious...I asked what they were for and before I knew it, someone was putting a spoon of pink salt in my hand.  I was instructed to rub my hands just as if I was washing them.  When done, warm water was poured over my hands and they felt wonderful!  I was informed that these scrubs were completely natural and chemical free. ( for my post on essential oils this week!) I was hooked!  Where had they been all my life?  Perhaps life on the farm has been a bit too sheltered!

I began researching, reading labels and trying things on the market.  Some of them were to "grainy", almost painful! Often my hands felt "greasy" afterwards and I was left with the desire to wash my hands with soap to get rid of that greasy feeling. And some were obviously using chemical fragrances instead of good quality essential oils!

I wanted to make my own and make them better - without any chemicals at all. I wanted my hands to feel moisturized but not greasy.  I wanted my skin to absorb the oils quickly. I wanted to exfoliate, especially the difficult places like knees, elbows and heels, but without feeling like I was scrubbing with broken glass!

I began researching different sized grains of salt and their properties (table salt is cheap but not healthy) and different types of oils and their properties (olive oil is cheap but harder for skin to absorb). After many months of researching, I felt like I knew enough to begin to experiment. I began putting different combinations together. I wanted to create the most natural and healing salt scrub for my skin. I wanted it to be safe and healthy not only for myself but for my children and their children...and for you!

I began blending different oils together to see what combinations my skin could absorb quickly and which ones made my skin feel soft and supple the longest. I came up with two blends that I really liked...but that was just me.  It was time to start passing it around to my local guinea pigs, friends, family, church members and local customers who volunteer for these duties on a regular basis.  

The two recipes were quickly narrowed down to one. 

Then came the ultimate test.  I submitted them both for critique to a local artisan manicurist who had not only professional experience but many years of personal experience with salt scrubs.  I asked for the harshest criticism because I wanted to make the best salt scrubs available. I trusted this person to tell me the truth.  And then I waited.

Several weeks later, I received a written evaluation and I was excited!  "Don't change a thing"! There were suggestions for packaging and labeling and how the instructions should read but the recipe was given a complete "thumbs up" by someone who knows her salts! It was a very exciting moment for me!

Then began the research into what container to use.  I knew it needed to be plastic for safety reasons.  I wanted an inner liner to protect the product. I wanted it to be attractive and to hold a good amount of product. My daughters were of great help and quickly helped me pick something functional and professional looking. They are salt scrub savvy ladies!

Then it was on to labeling.  I visited many label manufacturers online but just wasn't happy with the limited selections I found.  I also didn't need to purchase 500 labels of each variety!  And just as I was beginning to despair, I stumbled across a label I could make myself! 

Now I can offer my salt scrubs to you in  four varieties: Lemon-Lime, Lavender, Rosemary & Mint and an Unscented version for those who love salt scrubs but don't want scent. I've also packed the jars with a hefty 6 ounces of salt scrub! That should last you for months!

The scents in my salt scrubs coincide with several of my soaps for those of you who like to layer scent. Lijah's Lemon-Lime soap goes well with my Lemon-Lime salt scrub!  My Lavender Salt Scrub will go well with any of my Lavender soaps, and Remy's Rosemary and Mint Soap is a great complement to my Rosemary & Mint Salt Scrub. And, of course, they are all made with only the finest ingredients and essential oils...these are truly chemical free!

I hope that you are as excited as I am!  You'll find them all listed on my website today!



Sunday, September 1, 2013

Quick reminder!

Just a reminder...soap contest ends tonight at midnight! or Tnfarmgirl Naturals on Facebook!    

Help me name my new kitchen soap and you could win a soap of your choice and a lip balm!


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