Tuesday, November 29, 2011

peppermint lip balm

**It’s raining. Lamps are on, candles are burning. There will be a fire later (the temperature is dropping).


**My second and fourth children are Doing My Hair. Lots of brushing, braids, and clips. There was even a scrunchy stuck round my nose.

**The dishes need to be washed. I have baking projects and some little Christmas gifts up my sleeve. Maybe after my salon appointment is over?

**The other night I woke up. I woke up because Sweetsie was standing at the foot of our bed. (It was either the second or third time that night, it’s all a blur now.)

My husband growled, “Go back to bed.” (He's completely uncivil in the middle of the night.)

Undeterred, she continued to stand there, sucking her thumb and breathing heavily.

“What do you need, sweetie?” I asked.

Her reply came as clear as an out-of-tune bell, “I’m waiting for my instructions.”

I punched my husband. “She’s sleeping, hon. Take her back to bed.”


Notice it's a blue rag now. She's becoming entirely too flexible.

**All this rough sleeping makes for a very tired girl at the end of the day.


It had been quiet for a long time before I finally went in to investigate.

And a very tired papa. Little brother, too. Heck, it’s bedtime—we should all be tired.

**I stayed up, foolish woman I am, and watched The Knit Witch on youtube. You guys are right: she’s awesome.

***

Now it is later. The kids are in rest time (except for a daughter that’s downstairs collecting tape and paper) (and except for a son who is downstairs looking for his leftover school work).

The childrens (that is not a typo) spent the morning making cards for a friend, and Christmas paper chains that look more like Easter paper chains.

As for me, I made peppermint lip balm and felt all sorts of mother earthy.


I made this recipe last year but I didn’t follow the instructions to stir until thick, so my balm separated into a waxy top layer and a honey bottom layer. (I’ve been using it all year anyway, despite the over-waxiness.) My failure didn't stop me from thinking ahead and ordering little lip balm tins for this year.  I’m so glad I did, as having them ready to go made it that much easier to jump into the project.

It’s really quite simple. Just melt the ingredients together, stir while cooling, and then fill the tins.

Bonus: it makes the house smell lip-balm-licious.


I’ll be giving these away as little gifts...maybe. So perhaps it’s foolish to go writing about it here on the blog where everyone can see it? Way to be all hush-hush secretive, Self. But that’s where a no-one-reads-this-blog-anyway mentality comes in handy—all I have to do is tell myself that no one actually reads anyway, so I can get away with saying whatever I want. Illogical, but true.

The REAL reason I’m writing about the balm is because I thought you might like to give this balm a whirl yourself. (The OTHER real reason is that I can’t resist showing off a little: Look at me! I’m going all down, down, down-to-earth, rah, rah, rah!)

What's that you say? You have no cute little tins on hand? No problem. Just dump all the balm into a mug, stick it in the bathroom cabinet, and apply liberally every time you make a trip to the loo. Do this and you’ll be sure-fire guaranteed to have shiny smooth lips till kingdom come.


Peppermint Lip Balm
Adapted from Amanda’s recipe on SouleMama

½ cup coconut oil
3 tablespoons beeswax (I used two ice cube-sized chunks)
1 ½ tablespoons honey
25-30 drops essential oil of peppermint

Put the coconut oil, beeswax, and honey in the top part of a double boiler (I used a little metal bowl on top, for easier clean up) filled with simmering water. Stir occasionally until everything is melted and runny (it takes about 15 minutes).

Remove the bowl from the top of the double boiler and stir in the peppermint oil. Set the bowl in a large pan of cold water and stir until thick and creamy (but not solid hard—you still need to fill the containers, remember). (Actually, the cold water might not be necessary. I tried it that way, and the balm on the edges of the bowl kept getting hard really fast. Just stirring it at room temperature might be good enough.)

Yield: one dozen ½ ounce containers.

This same time, years previous: Smashing for Pretty opens (and now we're closing - check out the 20 percent off sales!)

10 comments:

  1. Can't wait to try this, I am thinking stocking stuffers!
    L in Elkton

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  2. love the idea of making it but maybe i'd make coconut :) But actually, what i really like is the word loo! i'd comment more on this but i really do need to go to the loo!

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  3. well I just had no idea it was so easy to make lip balm! Is this the only purpose for coconut oil, or do you cook with it? My kids would LOVE this project - they are always going off with my sewing beeswax, just to smell it.

    I love that sweet hilarious photo of all the sleeping family :)

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  4. Where do you get coconut oil and beeswax, pray tell? I'm thinking this would be a good thing to have on hand for presents, in case my Lopi totes don't felt correctly. Also, where did you get the little tins?

    I'm so nosy.

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  5. Margo, I buy coconut oil by the gallon (it lasts a couple years) and use it for cooking Indian food and making popcorn (it has a mild crisping factor). It's delicious stuff.

    Suburban Correspondent, You can get the coconut oil in any upscale grocery, and definitely in any health food store.

    The beeswax can be found in health food stores as well. They usually have it sitting out in baskets, little ice cube shapes of it for 69 cents a cube, or something like that.

    As for the tins, I linked to the company in the body of the post: mountain rose herbs. But sometimes health food stores carry them, too (though I couldn't ever find tins in my local stores, just plastic ones).

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  6. Do you think it would work to smooth out the top of each little tin with a hairdryer? Or would that make it 'squirrelly'?

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  7. Shelah, It's certainly worth a shot! You might have to smooth it out with your finger afterwards. But then again, maybe not.

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  8. Made these this afternoon. The directions were excellent. I couldn't find the little tins or beeswax blocks locally. So I subbed not too ugly plastic pillboxes from Walgreens and used 1 1/2 beeswax votive candles. The boxes will be dolled up with pretty labels. Motto around here is "make do".

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  9. When I was younger, I found out the hard way that I am allergic to peppermint oil. I put some peppermint lip balm on my lips and they swelled up so bad that I could barely talk! I might try doing this with a different essential oil.

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