Thursday, November 14, 2013

Freedom Feet Campaign

I am excited to see how large of an impact the kids at our local elementary school will make with a campaign to send our Soldiers serving overseas a Freedom Feet Care Kit--
Every classroom has a collection jar and the kids have been encouraged to bring in pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters, as it all adds up to change the lives of our soldiers.

It must be so difficult to be away from home and family members during the holiday season. Our soldiers put in 18 hour work days and Lemongrass Spa Products has been sending the Freedom Feet Foot Care Kits to our soldiers who serve overseas for six years.

If you feel moved to contribute, please visit my website at and order Item T3920, which will send a Foot Care Kit overseas this holiday season. We offer these year round, but I must say that the impact during the holidays is great. For only $24.00, a full kit will be shipped and you can even type in a personal note from your family that will be hand-written.

Thank you for caring-

The JOY on these soldier's faces is priceless!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Wake-Up Story (2013 Update)

Natural Laundry Detergent that gets the Dirt Out

Natural Laundry Recipes are abundant on Pinterest and the web in general. I am a believer in cutting down the  number of harsh detergents that we use in our homes, and it makes sense to use a natural laundry detergent since clothes sit on our skin all day long. The first laundry soap I made just did not cut it with two boys that collect dirt on their clothes throughout the day, every day.

I have adapted a recipe that I found on the web and changed it so it will include more natural ingredients. The clothes that we wear all day long still hold some of our laundry soap in them so we want to make sure to avoid harsh and irritating detergents that can aggravate eczema, psoriasis or dry skin conditions.

Here we go!  I will list the recipe first and then include some photos that may help you make your own:

Lemongrass Jill's Favorite Dry Laundry Detergent Recipe:

Full box of Borax:  4 lb 12 oz  (purchase at grocery store in detergent aisle)

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda 4 lb  (grocery store)

Arm & Hammer Washing Soda 3 lb 7 oz  (grocery store in detergent aisle)

Two Bars of Lemongrass Spa Signature Bar Soap (shredded in food processor)
One Bar of Tea Tree Face Soap by Lemongrass Spa (shredded in food processor)

The Lemongrass & Tea Tree Soaps may be purchased here:
Bonus: when you purchase 3 or more handcrafted soaps, they are discounted!

How to Use:

Use 2 Tablespoons for normal wear and tear (when clothes are not excessively dirty)
Use 4 Tablespoons for kid's clothes or an extra dirty load of laundry

Tip: use a big mixing bowl and alternate the ingredients, having a chance to stir/mix well....
Note: the lemongrass essential oil in the bar soap is a natural odor killer!  (ditto with the tea tree)
This is my favorite DIY soap recipe and I like that it is a powder.

It took about 45 minutes to mix, which surprised me, but that included the time to grate the soap bars in the food processor and mix it twice to ensure that it was thoroughly mixed.

Tip: You can also run everything through the food processor with the mixing blade if you do not want the bars of soap to be in that grated form. The value of doing so is that you won't have to allow that extra minute or so for it to melt in the washing machine. I think this is a time saver in the long run, as the detergent is broken down and no matter who is doing laundry in my home, that step to allow the soap to dissolve can be skipped.

How long does it last?
This recipe lasted my family of five four months and we use the 4 Tablespoon quantity so it will last much longer if you are able to use the two tablespoon quantity more often than our family. This is a much more economical version than purchasing natural laundry detergent in the stores.

Here are all the ingredients ready to roll on my kitchen table.

This is a close up of the Lemongrass Signature Bar Soap from
and the natural whitener (stain remover) that I like to use from
Note: this ecostore whitener is no longer available, but this detergent works beautifully without it.

Here is my happy helper!

Handcrafted Soaps:  Lemongrass Hand & Body Soap and Tea Tree Face Soap
In this photo, the bars of soap are ready to be shredded just like cheese in my food processor. The Lemongrass Spa soap that I sell is locally made in Pine Colorado and these hand-crafted bars of soap are the key for this recipe because they add a natural fresh scent to the detergent via essential oils (and not yucky heavy perfumes!)  The essential oils work double duty, as they also are natural cleansers. 

I use two bars of the Lemongrass Signature Soap and one bar of the Tea Tree Face Soap. Bonus: we give a quantity discount when 3 or more bars are purchased and they are only $7.00 each. The link for your convenience is:

Step One:  I slice the soap with a butter knife into sizes that will fit in my food processor.

Step Two: I use the cheese grater blade to slice the soaps in a food processor (the soaps are somewhat soft) and don't you think that this looks just like cheese?

Mixing the dry ingredients:  Borax, Washing Soda and Baking Soda (scroll to the top for the recipe and the quantities)

This is a photo of the shredded soaps sitting on top of the dry ingredients so it takes a little bit of mixing to pull it all together. Total time to create this laundry soap:  45 minutes

I used a huge pretzel container for my soap and I store it right on top of my dryer.

The finished product saves my family a ton of money! We use 1/4 cup per load and some families can easily use half that amount if they don't have kids with extra dirty clothes.

 I'm pretty thrilled that this lasts our family of five four months!

Here is a visual of how I use two bowls to mix all the ingredients to ensure that everything has been mixed well. Another tip is to pour the ingredients in stages so that you are mixing as you are pouring.

I prefer a dry laundry detergent, but have found that it works more effectively if I add the detergent to my washer, turn on the warm water to cover the detergent, wait three minutes for it to dissolve and then add the clothes. This trick makes a BIG difference. It isn't as tough as it sounds--I usually add the detergent, start the water, turn it off and then go grab a load of laundry. By the time I have returned to my washing machine, the soap has dissolved and is ready to do its magic!

This is 1/4 cup of detergent at the bottom of my washer. I add it, turn on warm water just to cover , turn off the water and let the detergent dissolve for approximately three minutes. This step allows the detergent to work the MOST effectively! If you have a high efficiency washer, you can dissolve it in a measuring cup.

Here is the soap sitting right on top of my dryer for the whole family to use. The label has been well loved and is ready to be replaced!

For a natural fabric softener and brightener, add one squirt of Vinegar in the Fabric Softener compartment. I found this handy squirt attachment at a cloth diaper store. 

Here is the soap in my washing machine after it has dissolved. The clothes are ready to be added and life moves on...  Happy Cleaning and Whistle while you Work! 

Do you already use a natural laundry recipe?  OR 
Are you ready to make your own?  
Let me know your experiences and share below! 

Copyright 2013; Lemongrass Jill; All Rights Reserved

"No one can do everything; everyone can do something"

Yesterday, I had the joy of sharing my mission of using healthy products from cleaning supplies to head to toe skin care products to food with my MOPS group. My intention was to share one item to avoid and one item to replace instead. We focused on ten areas-- That was plenty!

It is a big responsibility to talk to moms and by that, I mean, I want my message to be one of hope and not one of fear. Fear brings about overwhelm and apathy and inaction. Instead, I wanted to share action steps that would leave everyone feeling empowered to make just one change at a time.

A powerful quote that I use in this instance is:
"No one can do everything; everyone can do something"  from the non-profit organization,

I encouraged moms to make changes at a pace that works well for their families, whether that is making one change a month or one change every ten days....It is up to them and it is in their hands.
Imagine making just one positive change every ten days.....Where would you be in a year?

One quote that I find is tremendously empowering is from a Pediatrician, Dr. Alan Greene:

"For an individual parent, we only have a very small area to defend. Chemicals get into kids in basically three ways:

  • what goes into their mouth
  • what they breathe
  • what goes onto their skin
If we take charge there, that is the BEST way we can protect our own kids."  

Every mom (and dad) I know wants to to the best things for their kids. It is part of who they are and what makes them such a great parent for their kiddos. 

If you have not seen this short and powerful video from Healthy Child Healthy World, I highly recommend you take a couple minutes to do so:

Copyright 2013; all rights reserved.
Thank you for "liking" my business page:
Enjoy peeking at my online catalog of healthy head to toe necessities here:

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Bully Project

To share that I was moved by the documentary "Bully" would be a huge understatement. I believe I cried a good hour of the 90 minute documentary because I have kids. That is what tore me up. This incredible documentary shared the stories of five children and their families and showed intimately the impact of severe bullying. I'm not talking about someone who occasionally hears a snide remark, but instead, these five kids endured death threats and self esteem blows that would make your knees cave in. The courage these kids had to get up and go back to school each day was ridiculously amazing.

Tragically, two of the kids featured took their own lives. That was a big message of this film, as some of the school officials who were on camera have that old attitude of "kids will be kids" and "boys will be boys", which is utter nonsense. What a defeat to the families, and especially to the kids to know that the school condones the behavior by lack of action. When kids are being threatened on a daily basis with physical and verbal assaults that would cause an adult to immediately dial 911 and yet, kids are told to "suck it up", where can they put all of that? The stress that these five kids endured day in and day out made my heart hurt and made the tears flow non stop. It was so clear to see it on film that the kids being bullied were being told to solve it themselves and that is so ludicrous when their basic safety was being threatened hourly. It was just too much for an eleven year old or fourteen year old to solve on their own. An adult would struggle if asked to solve these situations on their own....

I highly recommend this documentary because several of the families came together and heroically are speaking out to "Stand for the Silent" and to share with kids that standing up for a fellow human being who is being bullied can make it stop. The dad who had lost his son told these kids, (paraphrased): If you dare to stand up, then one more kid will stand with you and two become four and four can become an army against bullying.

Amen to that!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Grocery Store Detective

Since there are so many ingredients to avoid in our food supply, I decided to borrow a trick I learned from reading Robyn O'Brien's book, The Unhealthy Truth.  Robyn recommends to get your kids involved with looking at labels and to teach them what to look for. This way, they can treat the job of label reading as a detective and become interested in helping. It pays off-

So far, my son has found tartrazine in the egg rolls that I bought as a "fun treat" and a couple days ago he found BHT in a hot cereal that I bought accidentally. I did something unusual on Monday and went shopping at 7:15 in the morning, right after dropping my daughter off at school. In one sense, it was pretty nice to have the grocery shopping completed at 8:00 in the morning, but I wasn't fully alert to check all the ingredients.

I have shared with my kids (in the cereal aisle), that one of the ingredients we want to avoid is BHT, as it is a chemical preservative that we don't want to eat. My kids were bummed when some of their favorites had BHT, but they found others that they really enjoy with no BHT so we moved forward.

In my half-sleepy grocery shopping state, I did buy a hot oatmeal with BHT and my son caught that mistake right away. I like having him on my side and it is good that he knows things to look for on a package. The tricky part is staying on top of all the "new" trends and chemicals that are infiltrating our food supply. Of course, real food is best and this is another great reason that I adore the info that I find on:

If you want to read more about BHT, I recommend:

  • Tip: there is a White Pages report you may pull up on Healthy Child and it is titled "Toxic Food: U.S. Children at Risk from Chemicals in their Daily Diet


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sticks anyone?

During dinner tonight, I told my family that I would need to go to the grocery store for a quick trip. My husband asked if it could wait and I said no, as it was one of those once per month type of needs and I had run completely out of my supplies.

My son asked, "Why do you need to go?"  Well, I am one to be pretty up front and name things as they are instead of having strange secrets that are confusing to my kids. So, I replied, "I need to get tampons and pads." I watched my son think that over and waited to see if he had another question. He didn't.

After dinner, however, he ran to my bathroom and yelled, "Mom, I found four sticks. You don't have to go to the store now."  Well, that sort of amused me, as I didn't realize that my son knew where I kept those, but why not, kids are curious and they look in every corner. I smiled and shared that I still needed to go.  What he didn't know was that those four sticks were sitting in my cupboard unused because they are not organic. I refuse to use the non-organic tampons due to all the nasty side effects, but that is a post for another day.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Starting something new

Here we go! I have been wanting to set up a blog for a long time and have had plenty of encouragement, but alas, things have gotten in the way such as diapers that needed changing, laundry that needed folding, orders that needed to be entered, phone calls that needed to be returned.... Questions that stopped me: Will I know enough "technical" info to start a blog? Will I have enough to say? Will anyone read it? Sometimes that list of self doubt just gets longer instead of shorter. Do you agree?

Today was the day that I decided all of those "reasons" were less important than my desire to start my own blog. So, here we go! I hope you will join me on this journey and that you will be encouraged, inspired, that you will learn something new or even just have a shift in thinking. I love to learn new things and my hope is that you do as well.

Here we go with post number one and I will leave you with some inspiration from Marianne Williamson:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”Marianne Williamson, Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"