Category Archives: Blog

How Soaping Saved Me by Stephanie Tallent

steph-pdfYears ago, my journey into more holistic, natural, local and sustainable ways of living spurred me to abandon the detergent-based soaps that are sold in most mainstream stores. Thankfully, there’s an abundance of wonderful artisan soap makers nearby, and I became a most faithful patron of their craft.

As years went by, though, I found myself struggling with reacting even to the artisanal soaps. I broadened my buying from just local soapers and tried other “natural” bars from health food stores. Occasionally, I could use one without skin tightening and itching, but soap became more and more of a challenge for me. It got to the point where I would sparingly wash only my stinky parts and refuse to use soap on the rest of my body!

Meanwhile, my dabbling as a product formulator for Beeyoutiful continued. I gladly tinkered with essential oil blends, tea blends, and occasionally a salve or herbal tincture, but the process of making soap both intimidated and fascinated me. I read books, spent hours watching tutorials on YouTube, and haunted groups of brilliant and experienced soapers sharing their jewels of wisdom with wanna-be’s like myself. Even so, every time I felt ready to take the plunge and try to make a few bars, I would chicken out and push the idea to the back burner so I’d have time to “do more research first.”soap-lather

 

I’ve always been a very pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps sort of person. If life gets hard, the answer is to just work harder, put your head down and get through until you come out on the other side. I’ve battled health issues, family stresses, business woes and challenges with this philosophy and it had yet to fail me. As I reached my 30s, it did seem a bit harder to put my mindset into practice, but I chalked it up to just the combination of age and bigger life challenges.

But suddenly, one day my ordinary life came to a screeching halt. A series of surreal and horribly stressful life events happened over a period of a few months, creating a cascading domino effect. My coping skills collapsed like a house of cards in a windstorm. I found myself saying simply that  “something broke inside.”shaving-soap

My productivity and emotional stability spiraled downward. My work performance suffered and I was forced to cut my hours. Social life became limited because there were simply no emotional reserves to put positive energy and effort into relationships. Leaving the house took so much out of me it required days to recover. Panic attacks became a normal part of life.

A low point sticks in my memory: a panic attack struck one Sunday at church. I stumbled out of the building and collapsed on my knees on the sidewalk of our town square, unable to stand upright or stop the gut wrenching sobs.

After months of trending downward, determination and desperation to find my way back to emotional health gradually began to take hold. As a wife and mom, it was simply not an option to remain nonfunctional for the rest of my life. I had great support from practitioners making sure my health was as supported as possible, and I learned personal strategies to calm the internal storms.

It soon became apparent that a crucial part of my recovery would involve doing what sparked joy, what triggered that sense of calm in a storm. I set about rewiring my brain by generating pockets of happiness, love, and contentment.

Creating and formulating had always soothed me, and I decided it was time to try soaping. With trepidation, I put on all the safety gear, (a necessity when dealing with lye!) and carefully began making my first batch of soap.

soapInstantly, all was right with the world. The knot of anxiety of my stomach untied itself and the weight on my chest lifted. A sense of calm crept over me as I carefully measured each ingredient. Because everything in soaping depends on chemical reactions, each ingredient must be precisely measured to ensure a quality and safe end product. At the same time, the options for creative expression within the formulas are endless.

Soaping became my therapy. My safe haven. The one little corner of life that could be controlled and managed in the midst of the mayhem inside and out. As the months went by, my hobby began taking up every available bit of shelving space we had. Dozens upon dozens of batches of soaps and experiments were housed here and there throughout the house.

Not only was soaping restoring my ability to cope with life one batch at a time, but as I experimented, I discovered solutions to my earlier reactions to soaps. Crafting gentle, yet effective and long lasting bars with a rich thick lather became my obsession. This therapy-turned-hobby was anything but cheap and I began to wonder how I could afford my twice-weekly habit.

Family and friends were gifted dozens of bars and I begged them for feedback along the way. The soaps were welcomed with enthusiasm! People didn’t always truly understand or know what to make of this strange new obsession of mine, but I didn’t care. A few raised eyebrows and skeptical questions was a small price to pay.

Soaping became the handrail I clung to as I struggled my way up the steps to recovery. My husband Steve noted that if I continued on at this pace, we’d have approximately 150 years worth of soap on hand for our little family to use, and that perhaps I should start sharing these handcrafted bars with more than just friends. And thus, a business of my own was born!

I’m thankful that life is much happier for me now. My emotional strength and resilience is improving by the month. I’ve learned how to make healthier choices for myself, and am allowing myself to process the hard parts of life as they happen.

Because of our sweet customers, we’re able to do more of what we love at Beeyoutiful… and, in my case, more of what I need to do. Doing what we love and what scratches that internal itch for personal satisfaction is an incredibly valuable part of maintaining mental and emotional health. For me, that is continuing the pursuit of creating the best batches of skin-supporting soap that I possibly canimg_3520

It’s with great joy that I’m able to share some of my soaps with our Beeyoutiful friends. Each one has been formulated and crafted with a great deal of love and care. It’s my hope and prayer that you’re able to benefit from the artisan craft that has been such a tool of healing for me.

Beeyoutiful’s Tenth Anniversary Giveaway!

beeyoutiful 10th anniversary

It’s hard to believe that as of this month, Beeyoutiful has existed for a whole decade. Wow!  Thank you for supporting us for all that time; we truly couldn’t have made it without you.

We’re celebrating this milestone with free shipping, special sales, and a giveaway; check out all the anniversary discounts here.

Each giveaway winner will receive a Beeyoutiful baby bodysuit, an adult t-shirt, and a steel water bottle. We’ll randomly choose four winners total, so invite your friends to enter too!

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway:

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beeyoutiful 10th anniversary

Leap Year Weekend Essential Oil Giveaway!

weekend giveaway

Let’s mark this Leap Year Weekend with a giveaway! Extra day, extra freebies!

ginger oregano thyme eo giveaway

Winner #1 will receive one bottle each of Ginger, Oregano, and Thyme essential oils.

Winner #2 will receive one bottle each of Oregano and Thyme essential oils.

Winner #3 will receive one bottle of Thyme essential oil.

Tag a friend to let them know about the giveaway too!

Winners will be contacted by email on March 1, 2016. Winners must provide a US address within 48 hours of contact or a secondary winner will be chosen.

Enter below, head to the Giveaway tab on our Facebook page, or click here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/57e649184/?

 

 

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Foodie Friday: Savory Butternut Custard (Gluten Free and Paleo Friendly!)

header butternut

Butternut squash can easily stand in for pumpkin in a sweet pie, but did you know that it can also be the star of its own savory version? Try this delicious herb-flavored custard as a new way to incorporate the bright orange squash into your nutrient-dense holiday menu.

Savory Butternut Custard

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Slice 1 small onion and caramelize slowly in butter or ghee. It should be very soft and beginning to deepen in color.

Place cooked onions in a blender or food processor, along with:

Cooked pulp from one medium butternut squash (about 2.5 to 3 cups)

Pulp from 1 whole head of roasted garlic (or fresh equivalent, cooked with onion)

1-2 Tbs homemade bone broth concentrate, or equivalent concentrated seasoning such as demi-glace to equal the flavor of 1 cup broth (see note)

1 cup full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream

4 eggs

1 tsp dried/crushed sage leaves

1 tsp dried/crushed thyme leaves

1/2 tsp salt

Fresh ground pepper to taste

Whiz everything in blender or food processor for about 2 minutes or until onions are incorporated and mixture is completely smooth.

Pour into oiled medium pan placed inside larger pan holding several cups of water.

Sprinkle top of custard with freshly ground pepper. Bake in water bath at 325 about an hour or until knife comes out clean.

insta Savory Butternut Custard from Beeyoutiful.com

Notes:

Don’t be tempted to skip the extra onion/garlic prep steps and use raw ingredients! Pre-cooking them makes a huge difference in the smoothness of the final flavor.

If you don’t have any broth concentrate or appropriate dry substitute, reduce the coconut milk to 1/2 cup and add 1/2 cup very strong broth.

A Simple Way to Choose Health for 2016

header baby steps

Nearly everyone wants to start off a new year with a fresh perspective. We all want things to be even better than they were before.

So we all have the best of intentions, but most resolutions fall flat within the very first month.

You want to make small choices that will add up to big changes in your health.

You know the little things you do every day matter.

But even small adjustments can be challenging. We get it!

And that’s why we’re so excited to journey alongside you throughout Baby Steps to Better Health.

Resolutions are much more powerful when they’re begun as a group instead of as a solo effort.

Baby Steps to Better Health is a 13-week email series that will deliver simple, practical tips straight to your inbox. They’ll be in bite-sized chunks that you can implement each week.

We’ve walked this road ourselves, and we know from experience that things just go better when we’re not traveling alone.

Let’s start taking Baby Steps together, beginning in just a few weeks. Enjoy December to the fullest, and we’ll be here for you in January!

Know a friend who could benefit from this email series? Share it with them!

Mary’s Winter Immune Boosting Regimen, Part 3

Mary's Winter Immune-Boosting Regimen Pt 3 from Beeyoutiful.com

Today I’m sharing the last of the steps that I use to support my family’s health during the cooler months. I have led you on the same path that I take when encouraging and supporting my family’s health, and tried to share ideas on how I use each category of tools. Take a look back at Parts One and Two to see what we’ve covered together so far.

Sometimes, I’ll selectively use one or two to relieve a symptom, such as a particularly nasty sore throat or a fever that’s spiked higher than is comfortable.

I’ve learned over the years the remedies that I’m comfortable and confident in applying on my own, and what’s the most safe in our specific circumstances. Your own family’s health situation is unique, so of course, we always advise seeing your family healthcare provider to ensure you are caring for yourself and your family properly, especially in the case of worsening illness.

Here is how I use the strongest category of tools with my family to help decrease illness and boost health.

9. Herbal Tinctures – Whether they’re extracts I have purchased or made at home, tinctures are a great way to stop illnesses in their tracks! We use a variety of tinctures in our home to help support the liver and digestive and respiratory systems, and to aid the body when suffering specific symptoms or discomforts.

Try some of our family’s favorites.

  • Elderberry Tincture – Sometimes it can be hard to get larger amounts of elderberry syrup in your little ones, and concentrated tinctures are a great way to get the benefits without the larger volume.
  • Milk Thistle Tincture –  This helps to support the liver and aid the body when suffering from illness.
  • Wormwood – Not the best tasting, but a great way to help decrease candida infections.
  • Red Raspberry Tincture – Soothing and a great boost to the immune system with a large amount of vitamins and minerals.
  • Mullein – Soothing and calming, and supports glandular health.
  • Lobelia – Very good for the respiratory system, and can also be used externally to help decrease coughs.
  • Barberry – We have found this is not only incredible for liver support, but will also stop a cold in its tracks!

How to make a simple tincture

Vodka or Brandy (you may also use vinegar or vegetable glycerin)
Dried or Fresh Herbs
A clean jar

Select the herb and liquid combination. If using fresh herbs, your ratio of herb to liquid should be 1:2; with dried herbs, the ratio is 1:4. Add your herb to the jar, and then cover with the appropriate amount of liquid. Put the lid on and give a thorough mixing by shaking gently.

Let the jar sit on a windowsill or countertop for 2-4 weeks, occasionally giving it a gentle shake. When it has steeped sufficiently, strain out the herbs and pour the infused liquid into a dark glass container. I use bottles with dropper tops to easily dispense my tinctures.

Based on these steeping ratios, the dosage for an adult is usually considered two droppers full, and for a child 1/2 to 1 dropper. I always start with a smaller dose and work up as needed.

10. Colloidal Silver and Grapefruit Seed Extract – Sometimes despite our best efforts, it seems like we need a little extra oomph in our game plan. This is when I begin doses of Colloidal Silver or Grapefruit Seed Extract.

I use them with the knowledge that they are extremely potent and have the potential to damage gut flora. I make sure to replenish with good fermented foods and probiotics to build up a healthy diversity of gut bacteria once again.

Mary's Winter Immune-Boosting Regimen Pt 3 from Beeyoutiful.com11. Finally, I increase my use of Essential Oils. We do regularly run our diffuser and apply diluted essential oils to the bottom of our feet and spines, and while I use essential oils moderately throughout times of illness, I usually reserve aggressive use (such as hourly massages, soaks in the bath, or steam treatments) for the very end of my arsenal.

We use the Bath Salt Refill Kit to make our own bath salt soaks specific to our needs. We’ll add a drop of Lemongrass and Tea Tree to the salt and then soak during a fever, or use a drop of Ginger and Orange oils when our tummy wants to rumble.

We also like to give and receive massages to help stimulate the lymph system, as well as support the body systems affected. This is great for help when the illness is causing symptoms that are otherwise bothersome and unpleasant.

For this list of our favorite essential oils for massage, I have decided to focus on the oils that are considered kid friendly, but there are a lot of other oils that could be used. (Always check with a qualified aromatherapist or a reliable reference book to see if a specific oil should be used in your situation!)

Respiratory: Frankincense, Lavender, Tea Tree, most of the Citrus Oils (be careful to avoid sunlight for twelve hours following application due to increased photosensitivity), Chamomile and Pine.

Digestive: Ginger, Spearmint, Chamomile, and Orange

Soothing and Calming: Black Pepper, Marjoram, Lavender, and Chamomile

You can find dilution ratios in the product descriptions on each Beeyoutiful essential oil product description, or reference The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for precise instructions on how to dilute and apply essential oils when massaging.

For a list of additional oil recipes for children, head over to our Kid-Friendly Essential Oil Zone.

No matter how much we hope to avoid illness, with kids in the house the likelihood that we totally escape the sniffles or rumbly tummy is slim. So being ready and armed to fight off the monster bugs while making our families feel their best is a priority.

Assembling your arsenal and having a game plan in advance will help you better engage the enemy and come out the winner!

shop now christmas (1)

Top Five Dazzling Holiday Eye Makeup Looks

header Top Five Dazzling Holiday Eye Makeup Looks from BeeyoutifulSkin.com

This time of year calls for celebrations and parties to brighten up the long nights and gray days. Even your choice of makeup can add to the sparkle of the holiday season!

We’ve chosen five of BeeyoutifulSkin‘s most party-worthy eye looks to help you add just the right finishing touch to your natural beauty. Click the links to see each post in detail. Let us know which is your favorite!

Silver Eyes Full Tutorial

Gold Eyes Full Tutorial

Signature Smokey Eyes Full Tutorial

Winged Eyeliner Full Tutorial

Color Pop Full Tutorial

pin Top Five Dazzling Holiday Eye Makeup Looks from BeeyoutifulSkin.com

 

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