All Natural Pine Tar Soap Recipe for Not So Imaginary Creatures

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

This all natural pine tar soap recipe tackles tough skin conditions caused by bacteria, fungus and yes – parasites! Keep reading to learn how to prevent bites from parasitic chiggers as well as how to craft your own all natural pine tar soap recipe with neem oil to soothe insect bites, calm itching and promote healing.

All natural pine tar soap recipe. A must have home remedy for summer, this all natural pine tar soap recipe with neem oil and a blend of natural essential oils tackles tough skin conditions caused by bacteria, fungus and parasites! Learn how to prevent bites from parasitic chiggers as well as how to craft your own all natural pine tar soap recipe with neem oil to soothe insect bites, calm itching and promote healing.

Imaginary creatures.

When I was eight I went on my very first (and only) snipe hunt with my Brownie troop. It was just one part of an adventure filled summer in which I also learned how shoot a bow and arrow. Our group leader had, of course, planned out the snipe hunting trip in advance.

Having grown up with family who went on yearly hunting trips for venison (in addition to the occasional squirrel or rabbit) a snipe hunt seemed like a completely plausible scenario to teach us a new life skill. As our snipe hunt took place prior to the existence of the internet, we had no way of knowing one way or the other what a snipe hunt was other than what we were told. Naturally everyone in my Brownie troop was excited about the idea of catching our very first rabbit-sized snipe.

The day of the snipe hunt we were given a rather vague description of what snipes looked like. One girl was given a large fishing net. Another Brownie was given a bag. The rest of us found sticks that we could use to scare a timid snipe out of the brush. So off we went, huddled in a group half skipping with excitement, down a forest trail with sticks in hand.

Our group leader would occasionally travel ahead only to rush back claiming from time to time that she’d just seen a snipe – what was a wonderful yet entirely imaginary creature. This fueled our excitement and kept us going despite never actually seeing said snipe for ourselves.

I don’t really recall how long we spent hunting this poor (completely fabricated) creature through the woods. However, I do remember the disappointment in learning that we’d been duped.

A tradition that dates as far back as the 1840’s in America, snipe hunting is a practical joke in which an unsuspecting newbie is duped into trying to catch a non-existent animal called a snipe. Many of us who grew up prior to social media (Hello all you lovely baby boomers and Gen-exers!) have at one time been a victim of this prank. So it was no wonder that when my Northern bred boss first moved to Virginia, he thought he was also a victim in a somewhat similar scenario.

All natural pine tar soap recipe. A must have home remedy for summer, this all natural pine tar soap recipe with neem oil and a blend of natural essential oils tackles tough skin conditions caused by bacteria, fungus and parasites! Learn how to prevent bites from parasitic chiggers as well as how to craft your own all natural pine tar soap recipe with neem oil to soothe insect bites, calm itching and promote healing.

Not so imaginary creatures.

Before I dove into self-employment full time I worked for a small family owned business. The owner and his family were originally from New Jersey. As new transplants to Southwestern Virginia, there are quite a few “cultural” differences between the North and South. My boss at the time, Bill, quickly discovered many of these differences through working with clients. However, one instance in particular was somewhat similar to my own snipe hunting excursion many years back. But this time, in reverse.

While out scouting a potential job site, Bill found himself knee high in a field of tall grasses and wildflowers. Bill’s client immediately warned him of the possibility of chiggers in the weeds. Assuming that chiggers were an imaginary creature – something like that long ago snipe we’d both been tricked into hunting – Bill dismissed the warning. He was absolutely convinced that his client, who was born and raised in the South, was pulling his leg. Unfortunately, he was not.

What are chiggers?

Chiggers are quite real. It’s also quite possible that they are spawned from Satan. Not visible to the naked eye, these tiny white mites are parasites in their larval stage and live on or UNDER the skin of warm blooded animals. Commonly found in forests and grasslands, chiggers, or trombiculidae mites as they are referred to by scientists, are a relative of ticks.

In addition to red, pimple like bumps and hives chiggers leave behind, they also cause the most horrendous itching EVER. It is not a pleasant experience. So in fact, in Bill’s case, a Northerner had not been duped by a Southerner. Rather Bill’s client had given him fair warning and Bill paid the price for his disbelief.

Chigger bites are most common in late spring, summer and early fall when the temperatures are between 77°F and 86°F. As the parasitic larvae don’t fly, they tend to stick together in large clumps on low lying grass and leaves. As a person or animal walks by, chiggers then attach themselves to their next warm blooded meal. Chiggers then use their claws to make tiny holes in skin. Then they inject their saliva into the hole they create in order to liquify and feed off of skin cells.

The resulting itching and dermatitis from chiggers lasts for several days. And it’s extreme enough that it can keep you from sleeping. Healing then occurs within one to two weeks.

Prevent bites from parasitic chiggers with this natural home remedy with essential oils. Plus craft your own all natural pine tar soap recipe with neem oil to soothe insect bites, calm itching and promote healing.

How to prevent chiggers.

There has been some success in repelling chiggers using essential oils. Just as citronella repels mosquitoes and lemon eucalyptus essential oil repels deer ticks, studies suggest essential oils can also be used to repel chiggers.

The top essential oils for a chigger repellent spray include citronella, tea tree, geranium and lemongrass essential oils blended in jojoba oil. I recommend using three drops of each of these essentials oils per ounce of jojoba oil if you’d like to craft your own chigger repellent. Simply combine each of these ingredients together combined in a large roller ball bottle. Alternately, you may also want to try to my natural insect repellent body butter recipe which also contains anti-parasitic neem oil.

All natural pine tar soap for chigger “bites.”

Should you one day, like Bill, find yourself knee deep in not so imaginary creatures there is a simple and natural solution. My favorite natural remedy for chiggers is pine tar soap with neem oil.

If you own horses you’re likely already familiar with pine tar. A natural, antiseptic germicidal product for horse hooves, pine tar is an effective treatment for quarter cracks, split hooves, corns and hard frogs. It’s also used on animals to treat scrapes, burns, abrasions, sores, cuts and thrush.

When used in soapmaking, pine tar works to treat a variety of problematic skin conditions. Pine tar soap is shown to be effective at fighting psoriasis, eczema and dandruff as well as skin inflammation. Additionally, all natural pine tar soap can also be used to soothe and treat the symptoms of poison ivy, oak, and sumac. It also relieves the itching caused by bug bites – and chiggers.

Discover more natural neem oil skin care recipes here.

As I wanted to formulate an all natural pine tar soap specifically for skin issues that dealt with parasites, I also used neem oil in my recipe. Neem oil, which research shows has natural anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain killing) properties, has also been used as an anti-parasitic treatment for thousands of years in India. As a natural skin care remedy, it is used topically to reduce the symptoms of common skin conditions such as eczema, ringworm, athlete’s foot, cold sores, psoriasis, warts, scabies, candida, infected burn wounds, slow-healing skin ulcers and even acne.

Combined, pine tar and neem oil create a powerful natural remedy that’s a must for any home apothecary. Not only does my all natural pine tar soap recipe soothe itching and promote healing caused by general skin care concerns, it’s also effective at fighting those not so imaginary creatures that we can’t see, but still exist.

This handmade artisan soap is a must for anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors in the summer!

All natural pine tar soap recipe. A must have home remedy for summer, this all natural pine tar soap recipe with neem oil and a blend of natural essential oils tackles tough skin conditions caused by bacteria, fungus and parasites! Learn how to prevent bites from parasitic chiggers as well as how to craft your own all natural pine tar soap recipe with neem oil to soothe insect bites, calm itching and promote healing.

All Natural Pine Tar Soap Recipe

© Rebecca D. Dillon

Ingredients:

1.6 oz. sweet almond oil (10%)
.8 oz. castor oil (5%)
4.8 oz. refined coconut oil (30%)
1.6 oz. mango butter (10%)
2.4 oz. 100% neem oil (15%)
3.2 oz. pomace olive oil (20%)
1.6 oz. sal butter (10%)

2.25 oz. lye/sodium hydroxide (6% superfat)
4 fl. oz. distilled (or filtered) water

1.6 oz. (creosote free) pine tar (10%)
.15 oz. lemon eucalyptus (or tea tree) essential oil
.25 oz. peppermint essential oil
.1 oz. lemongrass essential oil

Soap Notes:

The water percentage for my all natural pine tar soap recipe was calculated at 35% of the oil weight for 5.6 oz. I then reduced that amount by the amount of pine tar called for in my all natural pine tar soap recipe. For a harder bar of soap, you can add one Tablespoon of (60% solution) sodium lactate to your lye/water once it has cooled.

Instructions:

My all natural pine tar soap recipe is a cold process soap recipe – meaning it is made from scratch using lye. To duplicate my pine tar soap, you’ll need to follow my basic cold process soapmaking instructions. You should also take proper safety precautions when working with lye. Gloves and eye protection are recommended.

You will start by mixing the lye/water. To do this, measure out the distilled water called for in the recipe into a non-aluminum, heat proof container.

Then, using a digital scale, weigh out the lye. Slowly pour the lye into the water in a well ventilated area. Now stir the lye and water together until the lye dissolves completely.

Once the lye has dissolved, set the lye/water mixture aside to cool.

Next, weigh out the sweet almond, castor, coconut, olive and neem oils. Combine in a non-aluminum pot. Follow with the mango butter, sal butter and pine tar, first weighing out each ingredient, then combining in the pot with the liquid carrier oils.

Heat the soapmaking fats (your carrier oils, butters and pine tar) over low to medium-low heat on the stove until all of the ingredients have completely melted. Then set aside to cool.

While the lye/water and soapmaking oils cool, weigh out the essential oils into a separate glass container.

To avoid having your all natural pine tar soap seize from the additional heat generated during the saponification process from the pine tar, allow both the lye/water and the soapmaking oils to cool to around 80°F.

Once the temperatures of the lye/water and soapmaking oils have come down and are within 10°F of one another, you are ready to make my all natural pine tar soap.

Add the essentials oils to the pot of soapmaking oils. Then mix with a stick blender to combine.

Now pour the lye/water into the soapmaking oils. Mix either on low with a stick blender or by hand (recommended) as the soap will quickly reach trace. (If your soap seizes, don’t worry. Mix it by hand until the soap gels, then mix again and spoon into your mold.)

Once the all natural pine tar soap traces, pour the pine tar soap batter into your mold. (I used this round silicone mold and was able to make six bars.)

All natural pine tar soap recipe. A must have home remedy for summer, this all natural pine tar soap recipe with neem oil and a blend of natural essential oils tackles tough skin conditions caused by bacteria, fungus and parasites! Learn how to prevent bites from parasitic chiggers as well as how to craft your own all natural pine tar soap recipe with neem oil to soothe insect bites, calm itching and promote healing.

Set the soap aside. After 24-48 hours, unmold your all natural pine tar soap. Then allow your soap bars to cure in a cool, dry location for four to six weeks.

More natural remedies.

If you aren’t read to make my all natural pine tar soap recipe, you can buy handmade artisan pine tar soap online. I’m partial to this pine tar cleansing bar soap from AJ’s Elixirs.

Natural bug repellent spray from Arrow Essentials. Crafted using a combination of lemongrass, French lavender, peppermint & eucalyptus essential oils, this all-natural bug repellent repels ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, lice, beetles, flies, chiggers, ants and spiders. Completely chemical and DEET free, this product has a crisp, refreshing aroma that you won't mind putting on!

Alternately, you may also like this natural bug repellent spray from Arrow Essentials. Crafted using a combination of lemongrass, French lavender, peppermint & eucalyptus essential oils, this all-natural bug repellent repels ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, lice, beetles, flies, chiggers, ants and spiders. Completely chemical and DEET free, this product has a crisp, refreshing aroma that you won’t mind putting on!

Natural anti-itch ointment from Tunetti Natural Soap. Formulated with bentonite clay, baking soda, non-nano zinc oxide and Dead sea salt, this effectively stops itching caused by chigger and mosquito bites as well as poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. Simply mix the dry ingredients with water or witch hazel for a simple, natural home remedy.

Or to soothe and calm itching from insect bites you already have, try this natural anti-itch ointment from Tunetti Natural Soap. Formulated with bentonite clay, baking soda, non-nano zinc oxide and Dead sea salt, this effectively stops itching caused by chigger and mosquito bites as well as poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. Simply mix the dry ingredients with water or witch hazel for a simple, natural home remedy.

For more natural home remedies that you can buy, check out my collection of natural home remedies on Etsy. You can also discover more natural home remedies that you can make yourself via my Natural Home Remedies & Herbal Health Care Pinterest board.

Be sure to follow Soap Deli News blog to discover more natural beauty and skin care recipes. You can find me on G+PinterestFacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’, and Instagram. Or simply subscribe to Soap Deli News via email for future updates, DIY projects and recipes.

How to Get Rid of Your Farmer’s Tan (Using Sunless Tanner)

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

I promise this isn’t some spammy magazine article. It just sort of looks like one. But seriously. This really is what happened when I used sunless tanner on my boyfriend to cover up his farmer’s tan.

Do you have a farmer's tan? Then you must read this article on how to hide your farmer's tan. Learn how I tackled my boyfriend's farmer's tan using a sunless tanner - and what the results were like a week later. Plus tips for using sunless tanners and natural ways to give your skin that summer kiss of bronze without using a sunless tanning product with DHA.

Sunless tanners sort of terrify me. The last time I used a sunless tanner was toward the end of the 80’s. I distinctly remember being very very orange by the end. And of course the tops of my toes and my knees and elbows were uncomfortably darker than the rest of my body. For these reasons I have avoided sunless tanners like the plague ever since.

Last month I received a deluxe sample of St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse in my allure beauty box. Basically a sunless tanner in a pump bottle. Much thinner than a hair mousse, this sunless tanner goes on clear. The formula is supposed to allow you to be able to dress immediately after application. However I found that this product was still slightly tacky to the touch for about a half hour after applying.

Reviews for the St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse agree that this sunless tanner gives you a natural looking tan. Nothing too dark. Just more of a subtle glow. While subsequent applications build color for darker looking skin.

Still, as a Gen-exer who’s survived big hair, orange skin and what is probably the worst fashion decade ever – I was still hesitant to give this sunless tanner a try. So I turned my boyfriend (who is incredibly WONDERFUL btw) into a guinea pig.

My boyfriend often works outside for this job. As a result, he’s developed quite the wicked farmer’s tan. If you’ve ever had a serious farmer’s tan, then you know there’s not coming back from it. At least not until the middle of winter with three feet of snow on the ground.

So, as Greg (the BF) has zero plans for going shirtless this summer, I decided to try out this sunless tanner on this chest. That way, if this sunless tanner turned his skin orange AF, he and I were going to be the only two people to see it.

This Is What Happened When I Used Sunless Tanner - On My Boyfriend! I promise this isn't some spammy magazine article. It just sort of looks like one. But seriously. This really is what happened when I used sunless tanner on my boyfriend.

Here is the before photo. Greg was adamant that I hid his face. Not because he’s self conscious, but because he’s a ghost on social media. He’s the kind of guy who enjoys private moments, well – privately. (I know. He’s already wondering WTF he’s gotten himself into.) Therefore, in this photo he has a frowny face. After all, his chest is white AF compared to his face, neck and arms.

My Review of St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse

After the first application Greg no longer glowed in the dark. However, there also wasn’t really a drastic change. Nothing was orange though, which was awesome. So the next day we decided to try it again.

This Is What Happened When I Used Sunless Tanner - On My Boyfriend! I promise this isn't some spammy magazine article. It just sort of looks like one. But seriously. This really is what happened when I used sunless tanner on my boyfriend. Plus tips for using sunless tanners and natural ways to give your skin that summer kiss of bronze without using a sunless tanning product with DHA.

By the third application, Greg’s fake tan darkened considerably. And it definitely looked more natural than I had imagined it would. (Thus the super happy face!)

This Is What Happened When I Used Sunless Tanner - On My Boyfriend! I promise this isn't some spammy magazine article. It just sort of looks like one. But seriously. This really is what happened when I used sunless tanner on my boyfriend.

And a side by side comparison. The lighting is unfortunately different. Not because I lacked the foresight to take photos at the same time each day, but because it’s been like Seattle in Southwestern Virginia lately. The rain just never stops. (Also I lacked the foresight to take photos at the same time each day.)

The results of this sunless tanner were pretty impressive at tackling Greg’s farmer’s tan. Especially when you compare them to what I had to work with over twenty years ago. You do, however, have to be really careful about applying it. Because you can’t see this tanner once you put it on, you won’t know if you botched your application until after the fact.

This Is What Happened When I Used Sunless Tanner - On My Boyfriend! I promise this isn't some spammy magazine article. It just sort of looks like one. But seriously. This really is what happened when I used sunless tanner on my boyfriend.

Here’s a photo where I had grabbed Greg’s arm, after the product had dried, but before I’d had a chance to wash my hands. (Oh no!)

We also found that the color started to lighten within a few days. By the end of the week, Greg’s chest looked nothing like the after photo. And the sunless tanner became uneven as it faded. The parts of Greg’s chest that had hair stayed darker than the other parts of his chest. So it almost looked like he had rolled around in dirt.

All in all, though, I think that the St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse is a decent product. While it’s not something I would probably ever use, it is perfect for hiding a farmer’s tan. I think this product would be great summer events or weddings that require something like a strapless dress.

Organic sugar scrub. This moisturizing body polish contains a luxurious combination of sunflower oil, shea butter and authentic monoi de tahiti oil blended together into a nourishing emulsion that resurfaces dry skin. Formulated using organic sugar, this natural body scrub gently removes dead skin and impurities. It also helps skin to attract & retain moisture, while revealing a smooth, dewy glow.

Tips for Using A Sunless Tanner

1. Exfoliate.

If you’re planning to use a sunless tanner this summer, then you’ll want to be sure to exfoliate first. This helps to ensure an even looking tan. Otherwise self tanning products tend to look blotchy and will fade unevenly. You can easily make your own custom body scrubs. Or you may like this organic sugar scrub (pictured above) from BK Apothecary.

This moisturizing body polish contains a luxurious combination of sunflower oil, shea butter and authentic monoi de tahiti oil blended together into a nourishing emulsion that resurfaces dry skin. Formulated using organic sugar, this natural body scrub gently removes dead skin and impurities. It also helps skin to attract and retain moisture, while revealing a smooth, dewy glow. (Buy it here.)

2. Moisturize.

After exfoliating your skin in the shower, be sure to apply a moisturizer. You’ll want to apply an oil free, fragrance free moisturizer on your hands as well as on the backs of your heels and on knees and elbows. The skin on these parts of your body tend to be drier than the rest of your skin.

Because dry areas of skin tend to absorb more pigment, applying a moisturizer beforehand will help your sunless tanner look natural and even. When applying a sunless tanning product, you’ll also want to skip these areas every other application for a more natural look.

Natural Self Tanning Lotion. If you find that sunless tanners dry out your skin, opt for a natural self tanning product. Essenu's Steal A Tan™ Dark Indoor Sunless Tanning Lotion not only contains natural tanning boosters, it also contains naturally moisturizing shea and cocoa butters as well as aloe vera and green tea. It's also formulated with marine elastin and caffeine extract to help to tighten and tone your skin for a smooth, beautiful tan.

If you find that sunless tanners dry out your skin, opt for a natural self tanning product. Essenu’s Steal A Tan™ Dark Indoor Sunless Tanning Lotion not only contains natural tanning boosters, it also contains naturally moisturizing shea and cocoa butters as well as aloe vera and green tea. It’s also formulated with marine elastin and caffeine extract to help to tighten and tone your skin for a smooth, beautiful tan. (Buy it here.)

3. Apply in a cool, dry location.

Additionally, always apply your sunless tanner in a cool, dry area. You definitely don’t want to be a perspiring mess when using a self tanning product. Dead skin cells along with sweat, dirt and oil can cause streaking. This is because dirt and sweat form a barrier between your skin and your sunless tanner preventing an even application. So steer clear of that steamy bathroom and opt for an A/C vent instead.

4. Dust on powder where you tend to sweat.

You may also want to dust the insides of your elbows, armpits, the backs of your knees and, um, under your boobs (Hello?! AMIRITE?) with arrowroot powder once your sunless tanner dries. A talc free alternative to baby powder, arrowroot powder helps to prevent creasing or sweating while the product develops. And, of course, once you’ve done the deed, be sure to wait at least four hours before getting wet to avoid streaking or partially washing off the product.

Are DHA Sunless Tanners Safe?

Though FDA has approved DHA, a “natural” sunless tanning agent as safe for cosmetic use, there is some controversy surrounding this ingredient.

DHA, or dihydroxyacetone, is a chemical derived from beet or cane sugar. Restricted to topical use only, “DHA works by reacting to the amino acids present in the top layer of the skin, the dead cells of the stratum corneum, to create a browning effect.” (Source.) It’s generally believed that DHA is safe to use as a tanning agent as long as you avoid inhaling the product. You should also avoid applying your self tanning product to mucous membranes.

If inhaled, or applied to unapproved areas of the body, DHA has the potential to cause asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or cancer. For this reason, spray tans containing DHA are not recommended. Additionally, even with the topical application of a DHA tanning product, there is a risk of an allergic reaction that can lead to itching or even hives.

Natural Coffee Sunless Tanner. Holly + Nectar sells a Summer Daze Sunless Tanner that's DHA free. This natural coffee sunless tanner is all natural, vegan, and super moisturizing. Free of harsh chemicals, this natural streak free sunless tanner instead uses a blend of nutrient rich oils and coffee that revitalize skin, add moisture, and give your skin a healthy looking tan.

DHA Free “Tanning” Alternatives

There are other options if you’d like a sunless tanning product that offers a golden glow without DHA. Holly + Nectar sells a Summer Daze Sunless Tanner (pictured above) that’s DHA free. This natural coffee sunless tanner is all natural, vegan, and super moisturizing. Free of harsh chemicals, this natural streak free sunless tanner instead uses a blend of nutrient rich oils and coffee that revitalize skin, add moisture, and give your skin a healthy looking tan.

As if that wasn’t enough, the bonus is the scent! There’s none of the chemical smell that comes with self tanning products that contain DHA. Instead, this natural hazelnut sunless tanner smells like hazelnut and espresso. And, it won’t clog pores! (Buy it here.)

BK Apothecary's Goddess Glow Body Oil & Bronzer. This ultra hydrating, shimmering body lotion contains a blend of bronze and gold micas to give you a natural, sun-kissed glow. More of a gel than a true oil thanks to the addition of cera bellina wax, this captivating formula is easily absorbed and is satiny-smooth. This product is perfect for temporarily bronzing your skin.

Alternately, you may also like BK Apothecary’s Goddess Glow Body Oil. This ultra hydrating, shimmering body lotion contains a blend of bronze and gold micas to give you a natural, sun-kissed glow. More of a gel than a true oil thanks to the addition of cera bellina wax, this captivating formula is easily absorbed and is satiny-smooth. This product is perfect for temporarily bronzing your skin. (Buy it here.)

Bronze Goddess Shimmer Body Oil from Naturally Beautiful Skincare. Made with real gold flakes and bronze mica pigment, this light weight body oil smells like a sexy day at the beach! It beautifully tints skin with a slight glowing tan and works like a sheer body makeup blurring any imperfections. Simply put, it's the perfect way to get a summertime glow without spending time at the tanning bed or getting too much sun.

I also like this Bronze Goddess Shimmer Body Oil from Naturally Beautiful Skincare. Made with real gold flakes and bronze mica pigment, this light weight body oil smells like a sexy day at the beach! It beautifully tints skin with a slight glowing tan and works like a sheer body makeup blurring any imperfections. Simply put, it’s the perfect way to get a summertime glow without spending time at the tanning bed or getting too much sun. (Buy it here.)

Makeup stick bronzer for sunless tanning and a summer glow. The bronzing highlighting makeup from River Organics gives you a light bronze shimmer and is easy to use.

Or, if bronzing oils aren’t your preference you can also try a bronzing makeup stick, like these pictured from River Organics, as well as an all over bronzer mineral makeup foundation from Earthtones Minerals.

For more natural alternatives to sunless tanners, be sure to check out these makeup, beauty and natural skin care favorites. I’d also love to hear about your experiences (good or bad) with sunless tanning products in addition to your favorite beauty products for summer. So be sure to share your thoughts with me in the comments!

To discover more great products as well as natural beauty and skin care recipes from Soap Deli News blog, be sure to follow me across all of your favorite social media platforms. You can find me on G+PinterestFacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’, and Instagram. Or, alternately, you can also subscribe to Soap Deli News via email for future updates, DIY projects and recipes.

You Are Not A Failure (Tips to Change Your Perspective & Get Your Mojo Back)

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

Let’s face it. Life is hard. And none of us are without our own set of struggles. When life seems bent on an unending downward spiral it’s easy to become overwhelmed and feel like you’ve failed. You are NOT a failure. Keep reading for my story on struggling with life’s challenges. Plus ten ways to get your head back on track to where it needs to be.

You Are NOT A Failure. When life seems bent on an unending downward spiral it's easy to become overwhelmed and feel like a failure. You are NOT a failure. Read my story on struggling with life's challenges. Plus ten ways to get your head back on track to where it needs to be.

You are not a failure.

What you may see as failures or set backs in your life aren’t failures. They are a part of your journey. They are a learning experience. They are not failures. You are not a failure.

In light of the recent suicides by Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, I wanted to take a break from the usual DIY’s and share some of my life experiences with you. While it’s hard to admit, I’ve often felt like I’ve failed at my life. And I know that many of you have, at some point, also felt like you’ve failed. You are not a failure. And, you are not alone.

Struggling with my setbacks.

Recently I had a marriage fall apart after just six short months. I moved for the sixth time in three years. My blog, which I quit my day job for in February 2017 has failed to grow as quickly as I’d hoped as I struggle to find my footing. I haven’t found the time amidst struggling with the fibromyalgia to even start writing my book.

I feel like I’m drowning in debt. I’ve spent extra money getting started full time on my blog. I made large furniture purchases when I got married – furniture which is now in storage. And I spent more money still when I moved out and had to start over. Money I didn’t have.

On top of all that, I’ve also kind of always felt like a black sheep in my family. I’ve often felt that I wasn’t good enough. I’ve thought that no matter what accomplishments I did make, they were never enough. I’m sure some of you can relate.

Luckily I am now well seasoned emotionally when it comes to starting over. I know it can be done. And I’ve learned so so much along the way.

Learning to heal and 10 tips for getting your mojo back. When life seems bent on an unending downward spiral it's easy to become overwhelmed and feel like a failure. You are NOT a failure. Read my story on struggling with life's challenges. Plus ten ways to get your head back on track to where it needs to be.

Learning how to heal.

I’ve been seeing holistic therapist for about six months. (The same amount of time I’ve been legally separated from my husband.) It’s been extremely revealing and I’ve learned a lot.

I’ve learned that no one person can save the world. Sometimes  you have to let people in your life go so you can heal yourself first.

I’ve learned how to break those patterns that lead to unhealthy and emotionally destructive relationships.

I’ve learned that success has nothing to do with money or careers. Rather it has everything to do with friendships and happiness.

I’ve learned that opening myself up to the world and all it’s possibilities can help you heal.

I’ve learned – and though there are still days I struggle – that I am not a failure. And neither are you.

You have no idea how much it means to me when I receive random messages from you, my readers. How it keeps me going. How you inspire me to never give up on my dreams. How you push me to try to make that connection and keep giving back. You are the reason I work to share more of myself and my creativity in tandem through my blog – and my life.

When I was a child I always juggled between the hope of three careers – an artist, a teacher and a writer. Soap Deli News has given me the opportunity to be all three of those things. And with that I’ve found that success, for me, also comes in being able to inspire others.

Therefore I encourage you to look at your life. Really look at it. And transition back to those simple things that make your heart feel full. Then, you too, will see for yourself, that no matter what, you are NOT a failure.

Tips for getting your mojo back. When life seems bent on an unending downward spiral it's easy to become overwhelmed and feel like a failure. You are NOT a failure. Read my story on struggling with life's challenges. Plus ten ways to get your head back on track to where it needs to be.

Ten tips for getting your mojo back.

#1. If it’s not work related, toss out everyone else’s expectations of you. Your life is what you want it to be, not what others think it should be.

#2. Cut out toxic and unhealthy relationships in your life. Friends and significant others should be there to lift you up, not tear you down. (My therapist recommended the book, Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist: How to End the Drama and Get On with Life, which you may find helpful depending on your situation.)

#3. Repeat a positive mantra in your head. If you feel down, repeat to yourself “I am not a failure.” “I’m a beautiful person.” “I am worthy.” Whatever is the opposite of how you feel. Over time it will start to sink you – kind of like hypnosis – and you’ll believe it.

#4. It’s okay to be angry. Find a healthy way to let it out rather then keeping it bottled up.

One of the local artist I know gathers her friends and they all smash thrift store dishes against a brick wall to release pent up emotions. (Just remember you will need to clean up afterwards.)

#5. It’s ok to feel sad. Like anger, you don’t want to keep that sadness bottled up either. Let it out.

I personally struggle with bottling up my emotions. Therefore I complete what I call my “emotionally cleansing” when everything seems like it’s too much to handle. I sit in the shower and cry until there aren’t any tears left. Then, when it’s over, I feel better. Like I’ve washed all that negative energy, depression and frustration down the drain with the water.

#6. Take supplements. Magnesium and ashwagandha root are both great natural supplements that can help you better cope with stress.

As I’m over 40 and going through perimenopause, ashwagandha not only aids with healthy stress response, it also helps to stabilize my hormones, stop hot flashes and minimizes overly emotional responses due to my body’s hormonal changes.

Tips for getting your mojo back. When life seems bent on an unending downward spiral it's easy to become overwhelmed and feel like a failure. You are NOT a failure. Read my story on struggling with life's challenges. Plus ten ways to get your head back on track to where it needs to be.

#7. Go for a walk. If you can get out of the city and into nature to do so, all the better. Studies have shown that something as simple as a walk raises serotonin levels more than SSRI class drugs meant to treat anxiety and depression.

#8. “It could always be worse.” This is the phrase that pushed me through when I was in so much physical pain from the fibro, I ended up in the ER in tears.

Sometimes you have to change your perspective to realize that as tough as your life is, someone always has it worse. This is not to downplay your feelings or situation, of course. Rather realizing that it really could be worse can help you grasp that you really can survive whatever life throws at you.

It’s also a great reminder that no matter how alone you feel in your personal struggles, you really aren’t alone.

#9. Connect. Reach out to your friends or family when things get tough. Don’t worry that you’re going to be a burden. You’re not. Your inner circle is there because they love you. And that means they are there for you when you need help – even if it’s just to listen.

#10. Seek help. If you still aren’t able to pull yourself out of your funk, you may want to consider seeking professional counseling. If you are uninsured, have an outrageous deductible or simply can’t afford counseling there is an alternative.

My holistic therapist is part of the Open Path Psychology Collective. Formed to offer affordable counseling for those who otherwise cannot afford it, this collective allows you to see any participating counselor within the network for just $30-$50 a session. You simply pay a one time fee of $49. You are then able to see anyone your choose within the network for the lowered rate for as long as you need. (In my case I pay half, or $50 per session.)

Because your membership never expires, you can stop, start or switch counselors at any time as your needs change. You can learn more about the Open Path Collective here as well as search for a therapist in your area.

Remember, you are not a failure. (And one more time.) You are not a failure. You are amazing.

If you’d like to receive notification of new articles from Soap Deli News blog, be sure to follow me across all of your favorite social media platforms. You can find me on G+PinterestFacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’, and Instagram. Or, alternately, you can also subscribe to Soap Deli News via email for future updates, DIY projects and recipes.

Vintage & Handmade Father’s Day Gift Ideas

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

Give Dad a truly special gift this year by giving the gift of handmade. This thoughtful collection of vintage & handmade Father’s Day gift ideas are perfect for reminding your dad just how much he means to you.

Vintage & Handmade Father's Day Gift Ideas. Give Dad a truly special gift this year by giving the gift of handmade. This thoughtful collection of vintage & handmade Father's Day gift ideas are perfect for reminding your dad just how much he means to you.

There have been a lot of times throughout my life that I have, unfortunately, taken my parents for granted. But being who they are, when I’ve needed them, they’ve been there for me no matter what.

Yesterday my dad had heart surgery to remove a 100% blockage in an artery. As with all surgeries there’s a risk. So there I was hoping for the best, yet preparing myself for the worst. Luckily my Dad made it out of surgery without a hiccup. He comes home today.

Recently it’s really hit home that I don’t know what I’d do if I lost either of my parents. I can’t imagine them not being there for me. So I’ve been making the effort to try to visit more. I’ve also been working on trying to slow my roll and appreciate all of the small things that life has to offer.

If you’ve lost your father, my heart is with you. However, if you dad is still kicking, doing all those amazing things that dads do, then I hope he has a wonderful Father’s Day.

Following is my collection of vintage & handmade Father’s Day gifts to help you shop for the perfect Father’s Day gift this year. These gifts are a wonderful gesture to him for all the memorable things he’s done for you throughout your life.

Vintage & Handmade Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Vintage & Handmade Father's Day Gift Ideas. Give Dad a truly special gift this year by giving the gift of handmade. This thoughtful collection of vintage & handmade Father's Day gift ideas are perfect for reminding your dad just how much he means to you.

Vintage & Handmade Father's Day Gift Ideas. Give Dad a truly special gift this year by giving the gift of handmade. This thoughtful collection of vintage & handmade Father's Day gift ideas are perfect for reminding your dad just how much he means to you.

Vintage & Handmade Father's Day Gift Ideas. Give Dad a truly special gift this year by giving the gift of handmade. This thoughtful collection of vintage & handmade Father's Day gift ideas are perfect for reminding your dad just how much he means to you.

Stacked Magnetic Knife Rack from Gaston Made. A functional design in every sense of the word, we created this beauty In an effort to use up all those extra nubbins lying around the shop. Reducing waste while creating something awesome = 10,000 earth points.

Vintage & Handmade Father's Day Gift Ideas. Give Dad a truly special gift this year by giving the gift of handmade. This thoughtful collection of vintage & handmade Father's Day gift ideas are perfect for reminding your dad just how much he means to you.

Vintage & Handmade Father's Day Gift Ideas. Give Dad a truly special gift this year by giving the gift of handmade. This thoughtful collection of vintage & handmade Father's Day gift ideas are perfect for reminding your dad just how much he means to you.

Vintage & Handmade Father's Day Gift Ideas. Give Dad a truly special gift this year by giving the gift of handmade. This thoughtful collection of vintage & handmade Father's Day gift ideas are perfect for reminding your dad just how much he means to you.

Vintage & Handmade Father's Day Gift Ideas. Give Dad a truly special gift this year by giving the gift of handmade. This thoughtful collection of vintage & handmade Father's Day gift ideas are perfect for reminding your dad just how much he means to you.

For more vintage & handmade Father’s Day gift ideas, be sure to check out my full collection of gift ideas for guys on Etsy. Or explore more Father’s Day gift ideas that you can buy or DIY on my Father’s Day Gift Ideas Pinterest Board. Additionally, I also have a new Pinterest board filled with DIY gift ideas for the holidays and beyond.

For more inspiration and gift ideas, as well as original beauty and skin care recipes, you can follow me on G+PinterestFacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’, and Instagram. Or subscribe to Soap Deli News via email for future updates, DIY projects and recipes. (You can also sign up for my RSS feed and be notified via email every time I create a new blog post.)

Frugal Laundry Tips to Help You Save Money & Go Green!

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

You’re going to love this collection of frugal laundry tips to help you save money and go green! Because let’s face it. Laundry products can be expensive. This is especially true when you’re skin can’t handle the cheaper, synthetic and highly fragranced detergents and fabric softeners. So how can you save money and go green with naturally derived laundry products?

Frugal Laundry Tips to Help You Save Money & Go Green! Plus learn how to make your own 3-ingredient natural linen spray. Cheap synthetic and highly fragranced detergents & fabric softeners can irritate sensitive skin. But you can make the switch to naturally derived laundry products all while saving money and going green! Discover my favorite frugal laundry tips. Plus how to get my favorite green laundry solution absolutely free!

Keep reading to learn how to get my favorite green laundry solution for yourself absolutely free! Plus discover 12+ of my favorite frugal laundry tips including how to make your own 3-ingredient, all natural linen spray.

Why I decided to go green.

I had super sensitive skin growing up. As a result my mother would rinse our family’s laundry twice. She wanted to be sure we wouldn’t have a reaction to the combination of laundry detergent, bleach and fabric softener she used.

As a Gen-Xer, unscented laundry products were mostly unheard of when I was growing up. We used the staple laundry products – Tide laundry detergent, Clorox bleach and Downy fabric softener. Even with a second rinse, I still remember having very itchy skin.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m still in LOVE with the smell of original Downy fabric softener to this day. Unfortunately my skin hates it. As for dryer sheets? Well, they’d make my brother and I break out in hives. Looking back on how we used to wash and dry laundry, I’m a little bit terrified by the ingredients and synthetic fragrances that were used.

I’ve since switched to more naturally derived laundry products like Method’s Free + Clear Laundry Detergent Packs. These laundry packs are not only hypoallergenic, they also contain tough stain fighters to tackle life’s unexpected spills and splatters, all while keeping colors and whites bright. And I love that they’re both biodegradable and effective even in cold water.

However, as I’m currently on a budget, I’m trying to cut as many unnecessary products from my life as possible. That includes paper towels and, of course, fabric softener. Both of these products are easily replaced with reusable, eco-friendly options.

Discover my collection of frugal laundry tips and green cleaning solutions below.

Frugal Laundry Tips to Help You Save Money & Go Green! Plus learn how to make your own 3-ingredient natural linen spray. Cheap synthetic and highly fragranced detergents & fabric softeners can irritate sensitive skin. But you can make the switch to naturally derived laundry products all while saving money and going green! Discover my favorite frugal laundry tips. Plus how to get my favorite green laundry solution absolutely free!

Green Friendly, Frugal Laundry Tips

This leads to the revelation of my favorite frugal laundry product. What is it? Wool dryer balls.

I first learned of wool dryer balls many years ago, but was always hesitant to give them a try. When I finally decided to bite the bullet and give them a try, I was sold.

Wool dryer balls can seem expensive at first. Especially if you’re using the store brand box of $1.99 dryer sheets. However if you use fabric softener or dryer sheets on a regular basis, wool dryer balls quickly pay for themselves in just a few shopping trips.

So what are some of the other perks of tossing your fabric softener and dryer sheets for good? Wool dryer balls not only help your clothing dry faster, therefore using less energy, but they effectively tackle static. They can also easily be scented, if desired, with your favorite natural essential oils and won’t irritate sensitive skin. Good for about 1000 uses, wool dryer balls also cut down on waste.

Frugal Laundry Tips to Help You Save Money & Go Green! Plus learn how to make your own 3-ingredient natural linen spray. Cheap synthetic and highly fragranced detergents & fabric softeners can irritate sensitive skin. But you can make the switch to naturally derived laundry products all while saving money and going green! Discover my favorite frugal laundry tips. Plus how to get my favorite green laundry solution absolutely free!

Lately I’ve been using the new Grove Wool Dryer Balls. They run around $16 for a set of three. However, you can grab a free set of wool dryer balls from Grove for a limited time, while supplies last. Not only will you receive a free set of Grove wood dryer balls, you’ll also get a free package of (my favorite!) Method free + clear laundry packs along with free shipping and 60 day VIP trial with your first order of $20 from Grove Collaborative.

(If you’re already a Grove customer, you’ll receive free Grove walnut scrubber sponges with your next order. They’re perfect for wiping down your laundry room sink, and the soft side is great at erasing grass stains from sneakers before you toss them in the wash!)

Frugal Laundry Tips to Help You Save Money & Go Green! Plus learn how to make your own 3-ingredient natural linen spray. Cheap synthetic and highly fragranced detergents & fabric softeners can irritate sensitive skin. But you can make the switch to naturally derived laundry products all while saving money and going green! Discover my favorite frugal laundry tips. Plus how to get my favorite green laundry solution absolutely free!

More eco-friendly, frugal laundry tips that are perfect for summer.

Following are a few more great frugal laundry tips to help you go green and save money this summer. There’s even a quick and easy 3-ingredient recipe for making your own natural linen spray!

  • The lazy days of summer are here, so I appreciate anything that makes my life easier. Laundry packs are truly effortless — no drips, no spills, no measuring. Toss a few in your suitcase for doing laundry on summer road trips instead of lugging around a bottle of detergent.
  • Soaking clothes overnight can help loosen grass stains and popsicle drips. Simply fill your washing machine with water, add your detergent and clothes, and let everything soak overnight while you sleep. In the morning, hit “start” and say goodbye to stains. (I also love Seventh Generation’s Natural Stain Remover Spray. It not only works miracles on my laundry, it’s also a great choice when deciding what to buy for your first Grove order.)
  • White-on-white looks great with a tan — not so good with deodorant and sunblock stains. Chlorine-free bleach is a great way to keep whites fresh without the “bleachy” smell.
  • Take advantage of breezy days and line dry your laundry. Instead of rushing, savor the small moments: the feel of sunshine on your face, the sight of laundry flapping in the breeze, and the smell of sun-dried clothing.
  • For those items that still need to go in the dryer, using wool dryer balls can cut down on waste (no more dryer sheets!), make your laundry softer, and speed up drying time. Your clothes and your energy bill will thank you!
  • Customize a laundry scent that will make you smile every time you get a whiff of your clothing. Just pick your favorite essential oil and apply a few dabs to your wool dryer balls for a fresh load of laundry.

Frugal Laundry Tips to Help You Save Money & Go Green! Plus learn how to make your own 3-ingredient natural linen spray. Cheap synthetic and highly fragranced detergents & fabric softeners can irritate sensitive skin. But you can make the switch to naturally derived laundry products all while saving money and going green! Discover my favorite frugal laundry tips. Plus how to get my favorite green laundry solution absolutely free!

  • Mix up your own natural linen spray by combining 1 oz. witch hazel with 10 drops of your favorite Grove essential oil and 3 oz. of water in a spray bottle. Spritz onto freshly laundered sheets, towels, and clothing.
  • If you don’t have an HE washing machine, skip the small laundry loads. Instead wait until you have a large load before doing laundry. This will not only save money and water, but it also means less wear and tear on your washing machine.
  • Washing your clothing in cold water saves energy and cuts down on your electric bill. You can get most of your family’s laundry clean without using any hot water. And because Method’s laundry packs work in cold water, you never have to worry about your laundry detergent getting the job done.
  • Be sure to clean out your lint trap after drying every load of clothes. A clogged lint trap or vent lowers the efficiency of your dryer and can also create a fire hazard.
  • Clean out your washer in regular intervals. All washers, not just newer HE washer, can develop odor over time that can transfer to your clothes. Rather than using chlorine bleach to clean your washer, try vinegar instead. Or give Real Simple Clean’s green friendly washing machine cleaner & deodorizer a try!
  • Do less laundry. Jeans are designed to be worn multiple times before being washed. So you can hold off on washing jeans until after they’ve been worn a few times. However, if your jeans start to smell sooner than you’d like, simply freeze them before wearing them the next time to tackle odors caused by bacteria from skin. (Seriously.)
  • Make your own homemade laundry detergent for a frugal, eco-friendly approach to cleaning. Discover a simple laundry detergent recipe here. Or make your own natural laundry & stain remover soap with this soapmaking tutorial.
  • Never run out of detergent again! Grove Collaborative delivers all your favorite natural household and personal care products to your doorstep, on your schedule. Once you’ve submitted your first order, you’ll be signed up for the free 60 day VIP trial. For 60 days, you’ll get free shipping, free gifts, price matching, exclusive sales and personal service. Sign up here now.

For more eco-friendly cleaning solutions, be sure to check out my Eco-Friendly Homemaking Ideas on Pinterest as well as my Lifestyle + Living board.

Frugal Laundry Tips to Help You Save Money & Go Green! Plus learn how to make your own 3-ingredient natural linen spray. Cheap synthetic and highly fragranced detergents & fabric softeners can irritate sensitive skin. But you can make the switch to naturally derived laundry products all while saving money and going green! Discover my favorite frugal laundry tips. Plus how to get my favorite green laundry solution absolutely free!

Do you have any green-friendly, frugal laundry tips that have helped you save money? I’d love to hear your own tried and true ideas. Simply share your eco-friendly laundry tips and tricks in the comments!

Also don’t forget to follow me across all of your favorite social media platforms. You can follow me on G+PinterestFacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’, and Instagram. Or subscribe to Soap Deli News via email for future updates, DIY projects and recipes.