Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tropical Popsicles

Want to make the BEST tropical popsicle? I came up with a recipe using homemade coconut milk + pineapple. Super easy.

You need 3/4 cup shredded coconut
1.5 cups boiling water

Put the coconut into your blender. Don't turn it on yet. Heat your water and once it reaches a boil measure it out and then put it in with the coconut into the blender. Blend on High in increments of twenty seconds for at least three minutes total. Burp the blender lid every once in a while to let built up steam escape.

Let the coconut milk cool for about five minutes in the blender.

Open an 8oz can of pineapple(with pineapple juice, not water) and dump it directly into the blender with the coconut milk. Blend on High until most of the chunks are pulverized.

Now most people strain coconut milk through a very fine mesh strainer to make 'milk' they can drink or cook with but in this case you want to keep the tiny bits of coconut in this mixture. It gives the popsicle a nice texture in our opinion.

Pour your coconut milk and pineapple mixture into your popsicle molds and let it freeze. Voila!

I think next time I make this I'll use a little bit of Rum. yum!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

All natural flea deterrent and killer for pets and home

I've been  determined to get our sporadic flea issue under control this year. With two cats who like to sit out on the screened porch at all hours of the day and night you better believe we've had our share of flea nightmares. This year has been better than most but really, I'm very tired of the chemicals. So are my cats. 

One cat is now over twenty years old and the other is so allergic to fleas that within a day of being bitten he's heaving his guts up all over the place. Not pretty. He's very sensitive to Advantage and all the other back-of-the-neck gels, too. I want to kill the fleas, not my cat!

So after doing a bit of research I've found what looks to be a very easy fix. Cheap, too. I like cheap. Who doesn't? 

Two things you'll need: diatomaceous earth and vinegar.  You can find the proper diatomaceous earth in the gardening or pet section of most general stores. Get the food grade variety, not the stuff out of the pool and filter section. That stuff is poisonous for what you're going to be using it for. If you get the diatomaceous earth(DE for short) out of the pesticide/gardening section make sure that you read the bag very carefully. You need 100% DE, not a product which has any other ingredients. I've seen a couple of those products and their website said that the 'other' ingredients are proprietary in nature and will not be disclosed. RED FLAG! Don't get that stuff. Only get 100% DE. Here's a good place to get it. 

First, decide if you want to deal with the pets first or your home. 


Fill your kitchen sink with warm water. Add one cup of either plain white distilled vinegar or apple cider vinegar. For kittens and puppies up to 6 months cut the vinegar amount in half. Swish and mix the water. Test it and make sure it's not too hot or cold. Taste the water. It should have a very slight puckering taste to it. You should be able to smell it but not really taste it, at least not to the extent that you feel like you're eating a pickle. 

Next, grab your pet and put them in the water. Thoroughly saturate them and using a cup, keep them in the water for at least five minutes while you pour the water all over their body. Take special care around the face. Don't let it get in the eyes or nose but you should definitely get some in their whiskers because that's where fleas love to run to when they feel they're in danger. The ears, too. Their coat should begin to feel very slick and silky by the end of five minutes. Vinegar has a conditioning effect on fur and skin.

Take them out of the water and smooth down their body with your hands, lightly pushing out as much of the vinegar as you can. Towel dry their face and ears and paws then let them go on their way. Let them dry in a warm environment if possible.

They will smell like vinegar quite strongly for a few hours but this will pass. They can lick themselves and will be fine. Also, more than one animal can be dipped in the same bath water. 


First, fhoroughly vacuum all carpets and rugs. 

Now here's a safety concern I have to point out because I think it's pretty important to everyone's lung health-- don't breath in the diatomaceous earth. Open every window in the room you're attacking and then leave the room for at least 30 mins while the dust settles. DE can be a lung irritant. I do my whole house one room at a time in a methodical way and it doesn't take long at all. Open the windows, squirt a bit of DE and see which way the wind blows, literally. Then you can plan how best to squirt the stuff on and exit the room in relation to the window and the work you've done. Don't 'paint' yourself into a dusty corner. Cover your mouth and nose if you have to. 

Using a squirt bottle(I use a large hair dye squirt bottle I got from Sally's Beauty Supply) puff the diatomaceous earth over your carpets. You don't have to be heavy handed with it for it to work. Even a single molecule of this powder can kill a flea or roach.

Sprinkle more diatomaceous earth around your floorboards and in any nooks and crannies you have seen fleas. You can even sprinkle some in your pet's bedding or in boxes they like to lay in. Again, you don't have to be heavy handed with it. Even a small puff of powder is good in a space about 3'x3'.

Bear in mind that any kind of moisture will kill the effectiveness of DE. If it gets wet then it has to be replaced.

Next comes the vinegar. In a spray bottle fill it with 1:3 vinegar/water. Spray all your upholstery and any cloth in any areas which you think may be appealing to fleas, including comforters and blankets on your bed. Don't spray the carpet with the vinegar. The vinegar is only to be used on furniture.

Let the diatomaceous earth stay in your carpet for at LEAST a full week before vacuuming again. Two weeks is better. But, if you gotta vacuum then you gotta vacuum, right? After vacuuming, put down more diatomaceous earth. Fleas have an egg cycle which you must cover at least three times before you can be assured you're safely flea-free.

Just to be clear, the vinegar is a deterrent and the diatomaceous earth actually kills. Warm blooded creatures are not harmed, only creatures with exoskeletons are. Your goal with using vinegar on the pets and upholstery and bedding is to make the little biting bastards run from those areas and force them onto the carpet which has diatomaceous earth. From the frying pan into the fire, so to speak.

Diatomaceous earth is pretty much the only other way besides heat to kill bedbugs, too, by the way. I've read some amazing stories about people's infestations and how they managed to reclaim their home using this natural product. 

We have personally had great results with DE and now I recommend it to all my friends with pets. Have you tried it or even heard of it?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Getting away from commercial toothpastes

To get away from fluoride and other nasty chemicals in today's toothpastes, make your own.

1 tablespoon of bentonite clay
a small pinch of sea salt
a pinch of baking soda
+ 6 tablespoons of water.

Mix it up, cover it up, and in a few hours you'll have a natural tooth-mud that'll scrub your teeth up really well. I add three drops of clove essential oil to mine. Make sure you mix WELL!!!! You don't want pure clove oil in your mouth, it'll be too strong and burn. Don't like clove? Use spearmint or peppermint essential oil. Or how about orange or lemon oil? A drop of tea tree oil is a perfect additive to any of these oils to make sure you're fighting germs and keeping your mouth in tip top shape.

It takes 8-10 hours for the clay to soak up all the water properly. That recipe I gave will make enough toothpaste for one person for a week, brushing 2-3 times a day. I know one tablespoon seems like a ridiculously small amount of product but trust me- clay expands! And you're using SIX tablespoons of water so it'll fluff up quite a bit. This recipe is deceptively thick looking. Don't be fooled. And don't thin it out any more than six tablespoons of water or you will not get the scrubbing action your teeth need. It's very smooth feeling, but the clay has to be of a certain concentration for it to do you any good.

I keep mine in very small glass candy dish with glass lid. Tupperware makes some nifty little glass containers nowadays which have easy-off rubber lids. Most are less than $3.

You can use a small spoon or stick to scrape up the amount you want up onto your toothbrush. Me, I just use my index finger. It's my own toothpaste so I'm not concerned with germs. 

One word of caution on making a batch for more than one person. I highly recommend not making more than what can be used in a week at any given time, no matter how many people are dipping into that container. The essential oils tend to get dull and aren't as effective.

When the last bit is used up at the end of the night then just whip up some more. It's quick and very VERY easy!

If you think the clay near the bottom isn't as potent when you get to it you can always add a drop of essential oil.

Have fun with it. This recipe is the basic bare-bones recipe and you can tweak the essential oils to your heart's content.

Be healthy! Hugs to all!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Mosalu Shampoo Bars

Dreadlocked hair rejoice, Mosalu is here! This new Etsier has been recently added to my Favorite list of sellers. Brenda, the imaginative soapster in charge of all the great scents and lush bubbles, has capture my interest due to the unusual combination of essential oils in her recipes. The top and bottom notes in the scents are a heady combination. You feel like you've visited a perfumer's private laboratory/studio when you receive one of these bars.

Because I have Caucasian neglect dreadlocks, I don't need all the heavy butters and oils like others might. To keep my tangles tight and my locks soft(but not too soft!) it's necessary to use the best soaps-- no cheapie detergents will do. You have to treat your scalp right.

For those of you who may not have ever used a bar soap on their head here's a pointer or two: get soap you like. Use liberally. Rinse. Enjoy your healthy hair. It's really that simple. 

Here are more explicit directions for those still wary of bar shampoo: Part your hair with your fingers after you wet it, grip the bar with your hand and then gently rub the opposite edge of the soap in your scalp. Repeat all over. Re-wet your head a bit, swipe the bar all over your hair two or three times, add a bit more water, scrub with your fingertips and then rinse. Healthy scalp and hair!!

One bar of soap will last quite a long while. My hair is down just past my shoulders and I think one bar of Mosalu will last me two or three months and that's shampooing three times a week.

One other note on the 'notes' in Mosalu's soaps-- she doesn't use synthetic scents in her special dreadlock soaps, only essential oils! So if you're looking for truly natural soap for your truly natural hair, look no further.

Here are her current shampoo bars for dreadlocked hair:  


Ingredients: Saponified Oils of Olive, Coconut, Palm. Grapefruit Seed Extract, Vitamin E, rosemary extract, mica, activated charcoal powder, sweet orange essential oil, black pepper essential oil and coriander essential oil.

'Citrus Scent' (I think this one looks kind of like peacock feathers, what do you think?)

Ingredients: Saponified Oils of Olive, Coconut, Palm. Beer, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Vitamin E, rosemary extract, kaolin clay, activated charcoal powder, mica, and healthy essential oils of orange, lemon, grapefruit and geranium.


Ingredients: Saponified Oils of Olive, Coconut, Palm. Beer, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Vitamin E, rosemary extract, kaolin clay, activated charcoal powder, healthy essential oils of tea tree, peppermint, ylang ylang, rosemary, lemon, lavender and anise.

This one sort of reminds me of that old style swirly taffy candy you can find around Halloween.

Brenda says she's working hard on more recipes so I most definitely look forward to seeing them. My scalp and hair have never felt so happy. Essential oils are good for dreads and she is very liberal with her use of them.

Check out her shop! 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Practical beauties from Etsy

ExaltHimx7 is an Etsier offering some lovely upcycled and vintage items for those looking to spice up their wardrobe(deck out those dreadlocks, baby!) or add a little sparkle to their jewelry selection. Here are three of my personal faves from her shop
Dread beads in gorgeous swirls of color and various sizes.

 Steampunk gorgeousness!! I love the tiny gears and bits and pieces in this pendant. 

Are your dreads in need of some woolie love and beautification? How about a sweet headband to accent your lovely locks? (Also a great ear warmer....)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Salsa and Margarita!

Muy sexy, no? This treasury is making me awful thirsty....

 One of these items is in the TerraScents shop. Can you find it?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Getting Ready For Fall

Yup, it's heading toward that time of year again: Hunting Season!

I have been elbow deep in terra cotta clay the past two weeks, desperately trying to fill a few boxes of Hunter's Helpers before I get slammed with orders. I don't want to be caught off guard when the kids are back in school because it was really not fun last year. So I'm taking the initiative and getting a great deal of work done during the summer. So far so good. I've got one box full!

Now ask me how I've managed to keep my cat away from the skein of sisal twine while getting the orders together. hehehe...  Bribery! Yes, it's true. Straight out bribery. He gets one long length to run around the house like an idiot with and I get to work in relative peace for a little while. 

Here's the little brat himself. Totally incorrigible. An unrepentant comedian.

This Treasury was a real treat to trip across a while back. It contained one of my terra cotta diffusers(in the red box). It was called Freshly Southwestern. Cute, eh? What a wide variety of objects! You've got everything from jewelry to cookware and photography, all the way down to stone carving, soap, and photography.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Featured in Treasury!

I discovered today that a Celtic inspired design of mine made its way into a Treasury! 

In Red highlighting, there is my Celtic brown and tan terra cotta diffuser. Surrounded by plaid and terriers.... that diffuser seems right at home, don't you think? 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

New Nature Photography

Top to bottom, here are some new items available in TerraScents: October Sunset, Broken Spine, and Floral Mandala. The third photograph is offered in either color or black-and-white.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

New Additions To The Shop

It's been quite a number of months since my last update here. I've been holding off and crossing my fingers, praying desperately for certain things to change in the economy. Alas, it's only gotten worse. This is one of those Good News/Bad News sort of updates.

Some craziness going on in Africa and I'm guessing Italy as well has led to a complete lack of olive butter here in the USA. (Let me clarify that-- REPUTABLE olive butter. Not the cheap watered down stuff that I refuse to use.) What does that mean for TerraScents fans? I can't make Boo-Boo Cream OR my Anti-Frizz Hair Balm!! Nada. Zero. Zilch. No more can be produced. 

The last jar of Boo-Boo Cream is in my own refrigerator and is already half empty. I shipped out the last jar of Anti-Frizz Hair Balm to a loyal customer a while back and all these months of crossing my fingers and holding my breath have resulted in failure. I've searched high and low for another reputable butter dealer and none have surfaced yet.

It's not just a matter of my dealer not being able to get it anymore--they also went out of business! I'm so frustrated I could scream. I can't find anyone with comparable quality that has reasonable prices.

The only natural oil based product I can make right now is my Coconut Cookie Scrub. The oils and other ingredients contained in it are able to be obtained locally without compromising the quality in any way.

My Neemzuki and Amla Clay face & body products are also pulled from the cyber-shelves due to such drastic inflation on the price of natural grains and clays. Or the grains I use in my formulations just simply aren't able to be obtained easily anymore! There's some real supply issues going on lately in the USA with natural bath and body ingredients. This has led to the more economical "pre-made" formulations you see out there now in which a person simply has to add a scent to and then sell. But if you're looking for something withOUT all those cheap fillers and you want the real deal..... that's going to be more expensive now. And I just plain don't have the cash to do it. And I don't think I could keep a good customer base with the products, unfortunately. There are too many cheap imitations out now and so quality goes by the wayside. If I'm going to put my name on something then I want to be able to say that 100% of the finished product was inspired by and created by my own hands.

OK, so now that I'm done with the Bad News let's get to the Good stuff already and see the New Additions the title of this post implies are in the shop. 

There are three ballet themed photos currently in TerraScents: Balance, Crossed Pointes, and One Pointe, all shown below.

These photos were all shot in the summer of 2007 before I had to quit dancing due to illness. I'm quite fond of black and white photography and also the 'near black and white' style of selectively adding and subtracting color for a certain feel. 

In the same category of black and white but backing away from athletic sports, there is a certain feline who is making his debut this weekend: my tuxedo cat who is appropriately named Killer Kitty. He loves to hunt three things: naps, my raggedy smelly pointe shoes, and deer. Thankfully, he is now domesticated and the local deer are no longer in danger. The first two on that list, however, are always in danger. He tries to cram his face into my pointes as far as he can and then fall asleep. He's a royal terror when it comes to satin ribbon, too. 

With Killer's photo I wanted to offer something a bit different to my customers: customization!

Here's the original look of his eyes in the pure black and white version of the photo. And then here he is again with Gold, Blue, or Green eyes! 

I am currently hard at work on getting test samples printed on dozens of other artistic photos taken over the past few years. When I am satisfied with them then they'll be listed. Just check directly in the shop at www.terrascents.etsy.com or you can glance back here and look to your right----> to see a random selection of the goodies available. 

TerraScents terra cotta diffusers and Hunters Helpers are still in stock and ready to ship! Hunting Season is creeping up again and I think I'd better get my hands dirty with some clay sometime real soon to increase my stock of the Hunter's Helpers.... I remember being quite overwhelmed with orders last year right before Christmas and staying up a few nights until well after midnight.

I hope everyone is having a lovely summer so far. Stay hydrated and stay safe!