Orange-Vanilla Brown Sugar Scrub

I’ll admit I have an obsession with sugar scrubs. They smell delish, feel luxurious, and taste good too! You think I’m kiddin? Ewww who eats their body care products anyways? I may or may not be guilty of that. In reality, aside from the part that sugar is sweet, I actually prefer sugar scrubs over salt scrubs because I find that the sugar is more gentle and is less prone to burn your skin like salt does occasionally. In particular, I have found that brown sugar is better than white sugar; for some reason the particles are finer. Sugar scrubs are so easy to make you have everything in your kitchen already. You don’t have to go out and buy fancy ingredients to make this… Unless you want to. Sugar scrubs are perfect for dry wintry skin, which if you’re anything like me, you are very prone to it this time of year.

The scent of the scrub was inspired by a product a friend gave me recently which smells like the classic Dreamsicle popsicles we grew up with. Of course like everything, I always have to try to recreate it in my own way. Not to mention, as I mentioned before, which means that I actually already mentioned it, I really enjoy sugar scrubs a lot. When you are a mom of three kids, shower times can easily become spa times with the addition of sugar scrub… It’s that yummy.

So back to the part where I suggested you eat it. I don’t actually recommend that you get a spoon and eat it spoonful by spoonful, however, it makes a very lovely facial scrub and lip scrub. And in case you accidentally lick your lip you might actually crave more. I’ll leave that to your discretion. On a serious side note (cue putting on your smart hat)…the ingredients contained within are all food ingredients, hence why I’m suggesting you taste it. However! Homemade things don’t last as long as store bought body products. If by some miracle this lasts more than a month, of toss it and make a fresh batch. If it smells weird don’t rub it on your body. Mk? On another safety side note I have used essential oils from a company that I am very proud to be a part of and I trust their quality. If you are interested in finding out more and supporting a stay a home crunchy mama visit my oils page! For all my oil geeks out there and those who would like to know this information, the dilution ratio for the essential oils is 1% or less, depending on how many drops you choose to use. This scrub would be safe for the whole family to use (except delicate baby skin…don’t scrub that!) Finally, while orange oil is considered a phototoxic oil (meaning if applied to skin and then exposed to sunlight for extended period of time it can cause burns), since this application is a rinse off product this is a non issue. There is no need for concern about that effect in this use method.

Okay so on with the recipe so you can go get in the shower!

Orange-Vanilla Brown Sugar Scrub



In a clean bowl place the coconut oil, and using a hand blender, or mixer, blend until fluffy. Add your avocado or grapeseed oil and vanilla and continue to whip it until it is again fluffy. If your coconut oil is not solid (ie its over 76 degrees in your house) you may put the mixture in the fridge to allow it to cool down so that it will whip better. Or, don’t worry about it…might look a little different than picture, but it won’t effect the end product.

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Next, add your brown sugar and mix it in. Finally, add your EOs. Start by adding 5 drops of orange, smell, continue adding until you reach your preferred strength up to 15 drops of the orange and 4 drops of the Stress Away™.

Place in a glass jar and leave it in the shower or near the shower if you have little ones in the bathroom! Glass is important here due to the presence of citrus oils. Citrus can breakdown plastic, so we want to be careful that doesn’t happen here. No one wants to rub plastic chemicals all over themselves. Oh…one more thing…then I promise the over-protective mama will go drink a cup of coffee…be careful getting out of the shower as the floor might be slippery from the coconut oil.


Immune Boosting Elderberry Syrup

We’re creeping up once again on that dreaded time of year…the time when school starts back and the germies start spreading around. Sigh. I think sick kids is a parent’s worst fight. I’m going to be completely transparent here…I have some serious anxiety issues when it comes to my kids getting sick. I am constantly having to remind myself that I am not in control. I have to rest in the knowledge that God has not neglected us. I am also thankful that we have never encountered any serious illnesses. I wrestle with guilt when I feel anxiety over a runny nose when I know so many parents struggle with much worse issues. My heart goes out to you who are suffering from much worse. Nevertheless, it is a struggle that we can all relate to. As moms, our children carry part of our hearts around…ok, I won’t lie…my kids carry most of my heart. I would take their burdens any day. We know that is not how things are designed though. On this side of heaven we are going to have to keep fighting. I am looking forward to the day where these worries are no more.

In the meantime however, we strive to maintain the best health that we can through our own choices! I ultimately cannot control if my kids get sick or not, but I can give wellness my best shot! We accomplish this through a variety of ways, mainly diet, healthy vitamins, natural remedies, & essential oils. One of our favorite immune boosting “vitamins” is Elderberry syrup!! So, I thought we would share this today!

First, let me tell you why we think this is such good stuff!
1. Elderberries have been around for centuries and people have been using them to treat a number of different problems. They are known for their immune boosting properties, helping coughs, colds, influenza, etc. Elderberries are high in vitamin A & C and also high in iron. The antioxidant levels in elderberries are high and thus makes them a good candidate for combating free radicals in the body. Elderberries have higher antioxidant levels than blueberries or cranberries! Want to learn more about antioxidants? I found this article helpful and easy to understand!!

2. Elderberries are high in the polyphenol anthocyanin.

“Anthocyanins have been shown to boost the production of immune cytokines. The cytokines are key messengers in the immune system to help regulate the immune response. This allows the body to defend against disease. These studies have shown the antioxidant balance of elderberry to be greater than equal doses of vitamin E and vitamin C.” Read more

Studies have also found that they anthocyanins have been effective in reducing inflammation of the mucous membranes, thus helping sinus issues.

3. And if you still need some convincing read this:

“Viruses multiply by invading our cells through their hemagglutinin spikes. These spikes allow them to penetrate the cell membrane and move in and take control the cell. Elderberry contains a potent antiviral agent called “antivirin” which helps neutralize the activity of the hemagglutinin spikes. When these spikes are deactivated, the viruses are no longer able to get inside of the cell and replicate.”
Read more

Muahahah. Elderberry Super Powers! This is good stuff. Let’s make it shall we?

Immune Boosting Elderberry Syrup

  • 1 cup dried elderberries
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 knob of ginger, chopped
  • 1/2-1 cup of honey, local and raw if possible!


  1. Place all of the ingredients in a stainless steel pot.
  2. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.
  3. Turn the stove off and let the pan sit until contents have cooled sufficiently.
  4. Strain the elderberries and other ingredients out of liquid. Use a spoon to mash the berries in the strainer.
  5. {Optional} Often times I will add the smashed berries back into the pan and add another cup of water and boil for 10 more mins. After that,  strain them again and add to the other juice.
  6. After juice has cooled, add desired amount of honey for sweetness. We usually use about a 1/2 cup, any more than that and it is too sweet for us to drink!  If you can source some local, raw honey that will add to the immune boosting properties as well as help with seasonal allergies!! If not, regular honey is good too.

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We take this daily during cold and flu season or anytime someone is feeling a little icky. I don’t really measure the dosage out, I just put a little bit in a shot glass and give it to the kids…probably about a tablespoon worth. Actually, we usually use elderberry syrup as our chaser for our fermented cod liver oil!


References (Just in case you decided you really wanted to read more…lol):



Disclaimer: I am not a doctor! You knew that right? So I am not attempting to diagnose, cure, or solve any of your health issues! Please ask your doctor if you have concerns about your health! I am here as a mom sharing my story! 

Disclosure: Some of the links provided in my posts may be affiliate links. You pay the same if you were to purchase the product through my site, however, I may earn a commission of your purchase. Helps keep our garden growing, ya know? Thanks for supporting the homestead!

Keeping Germs Away with Healthy Home Company & Giveaway!

So this past week our house was struck with an odd case of some sniffles, icky eye, and potentially an ear infection. Bleh. I thought the weather was getting better and we were over these germs! Of course, I was a bit panicked about this recent bought of germs mainly because we have the new baby in the house. Nothing worse than a sick baby. Well, maybe a sick toddler is worse… Either way, we have been doing anything and everything we can to try to keep the germs contained to said toddler. Poor darlin is at that age where she doesn’t understand why she can’t cough on the baby or touch her germy hands in the babies eyes. She has recently learned all of her body parts and likes to point them out to you. Especially your eyes…and she likes to poke them, not just point. So, keeping pink eye away from the other family members has proven challenging. So far, no one else has gotten it. I am thankful. So all that to say that I thought I would give you a little glimpse into what we are doing to keep the germies away. Please note that I am NOT a medical doctor, and I am not giving you medical advice. Just mommy advice. K?! Doctors certainly have their place and I am not discrediting the use of modern medicine.

  1. Prayer! Lot’s of prayer! Gotta give God the credit for always protecting our family!
  2. Staying on top of regular “vitamins” (our vitamins are Fermented Cod Liver oil and Elderberry Syrup)
  3. Harnessing the power of breastmilk. Sorry guys. It’s true though, this stuff is like the #1 cure for most childhood ailments (heck for adults too probably). Thankfully, we’ve got plenty of that in supply around here 😉
  4. Using essential oils. This is a new adventure for us, but I have been using lavender oil around the eye, it reduces the swelling significantly. I used for a couple of days behind the ear along with lemon oil and Elyse is no longer complaining about her ear hurting. Score!
  5. Healthy Home Company Hand Sanitizer. Ok…so this stuff rocks…lemme tell you more!

Healthy Home Company (aka Mommy’s Club) is a brand new, fresh company making toxic-free home, body, & personal care products. I have tried quite a few of the products and they work incredibly. One of our favorites is the sanitizing foam and spray. Ok, so that’s technically two products. I’ll explain the difference. The spray is just that-a spray. You can spray it on everything and anything. To keep the germs away, I have been spraying surfaces, beds, pillows, etc. I have also been using it as a body spray…it doesn’t smell like anything and I use it after Elyse has been rubbing her face all over me. It’s fantastic to have something that is completely toxic free to use. What does toxic free mean to me exactly though? I means I can use it on a newborn, spray it in my eye, spray it in my mouth (yes, I’ve done all those). However, it is super good at killing the germs. Don’t believe me? Read this report. Perfect size for diaper bags and purses. They also sell a smaller bottle that is pocket size…good for daddies!


The foam sanitizer is pretty much the same however, it is slightly scented like lavender and is, well, foamy! The kids prefer the foam over the spray because it is more fun to play in! I also think that it spreads further and one squirt cleans the kids hands, face, and then they rub it on their legs. The foam is also great as a waterless bath! I often rub the baby down with the foam and it requires no water to wash off. Again, completely toxic free and safe for even tiny babies. I took this stuff to the hospital when I gave birth! And it smells so delish…Alex calls it “liquid baby”…its one of those characteristic yummy smells of newborns. However, I’ve had many people stop and ask me what “smells so good” when I use in the store. So its def not just for babies! We keep a bottle in the diaper bag for times when baby wipes just aren’t cutting it. It also works great as an alternative to wipes as you can just squirt some on a rag/towel/wash cloth and use a wipe.


There are many other products that we love, but for today I will leave you with these! So here’s the catch. If you want to get your hands on some of these products check out the site. You can order products at a retail rate, or join as a member for significant savings! If you decide you have a passion for selling these kind of products there is also a Professional Representative route you can take to earn income. As a member however, you can even earn 10% on orders made by others that you refer! It’s a win win! Contact me if you have more questions about how all that works. If you ever get lost trying to find this page, you can just click the link on the side of the blog to get access to the site!

In the meantime, I thought we would do something fun here and I would give away a 4oz bottle of the sanitizing spray for you to try!

Here’s what you need to do to enter! For each item you will earn an additional entry. You must comment and let me know you did each item. You comment will serve as an entry and one comment will be randomly selected. So, if you do all for, leave me 4 comments.Got it? (One day I’ll get one of those fancy pancy rafflecopter thingys…but not today.) Giveaway ends on Friday, June 20th at 12pm EST. Winner will be announced on blog, but also be sure to leave your email address.

1. *Mandatory entry* Comment on this post and let me know what you might use the product for.

2.*Additional entry* “Like” the Healthy Home Company on Facebook. Leave a comment and let me know you did that.

3. *Additional entry* Share this blog post with your friends on Facebook or Pinterest (Pin it button below). Leave a comment and let me know you did that.

4. *Additional entry* Subscribe to this blog (subscribe button at top of page) if you would like to hear more about these products and if the blog interests you! Leave a comment and let me know you did that!