Monthly Archives: October 2013

Witch Hazel Herbal Toner

It’s been quite awhile since I have posted a tutorial, so here’s a quick and easy recipe for you to try out today!!

This herbal toner is so simple but very effective in combating oily and acne prone skin!!

I make this recipe in a small 2oz spray bottle that I purchased in the travel section at Walmart. 

I then fill the bottle about 2/3 of the way with witch hazel, a natural astringent derived from the witch hazel bush. It gently cleanses and soothes while cleaning acne and toning the skin.

Fill the bottle the rest of the way with distilled water.

Then add about 10 drops of tea tree oil to the bottle. I just love tea tree oil for cleansing and clearing blemished skin!! Whenever I am having a break out, tea tree oil comes to my rescue!! 

You can also add a few drops of lavender essential oil if you would like. Another oil I have really been digging lately for skin care is cedarwood essential oil. The earthy scent took me a little while to get used to, but I love how it makes my face feel!!

Normally, though, I only add tea tree oil to my toner. I start with one of my homemade soaps containing tea tree essential oil and peppermint essential oil to cleanse my face. Then I take my spray bottle of toner, shake gently to disperse the essential oils, and spritz on a cotton pad. I wipe my face well with the cotton pad and allow the toner to dry on my skin. I follow up with a homemade aloe vera based lotion (which I will post a tutorial for in the near future!). I add a drop of cedarwood essential oil to the lotion base and massage into my skin. It feels so soft and smooth!

You may wonder why I choose to store the toner in a spray bottle when I apply with a cotton pad. The reason for this is that my back and chest tend to be easily irritated and I find that the toner helps to soothe these areas of skin, but it can be hard to reach my back with a cotton pad. For these large and hard to reach areas of skin I simply spritz until the skin is damp and allow the mixture to dry! Easy easy easy.

Another idea you could try is making pre-made toner wipes like we did with the quick and easy make up remover wipes. Just place cotton rounds in a 4 oz mason jar (I purchase 12 packs of these at Walmart for under $10) and pour the toner over the pads until they are all saturated. Even easier!!

I hope you give this easy & effective toner a try. Leave me a comment and let me know how it turned out! 

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The hard decisions

Over the past few weeks I’ve been wrestling with the idea of selling one of my horses. Not just any of them, either. I’ve decided to sell Belle.

I don’t think I’ve really introduced my horses on this blog, so here’s a little background on Belle. Actually, it’s not so little. It’s going to be long and full of pictures, so consider yourself warned.

Here we go…

I didn’t find Belle, Belle sort of found me. When she was 10 months old my dad decided to surprise me with my first “baby” to train in the form of bringing her home and turning her out in the pasture while I was away. 12 year old me was absolutely giddy with the idea of a foal all of my own to train up as my super horse. 12 year old me also had no idea what I was doing. But I was happy.

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I immediately set to work on training her. Within 6 weeks I had trained her to bite, rear, and kick. I had trained her to snatch treats and trample anyone who tried to lead her. That was when she started training me.

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Slowly but surely I learned a new way of communicating with Belle. I put away the treat bag and together we learned a language of love and respect. I learned that while baby horses may be cute, they are also dangerous. I learned that in order for Belle to respect me as the boss horse I had to learn to think like a horse.

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Many of our training sessions ended with frustration, some ended in tears, but gradually more and more of our sessions ended with happy cuddles.

 

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Belle never transformed into an easy horse to handle. She still isn’t. But she learned to listen to me and I developed a level of confidence I didn’t have before. 

 

No successful training session was taken for granted. Knowing how difficult she could be, I was truly grateful for each obedient response she offered.

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There were silly times, too. I wasn’t the only one who wanted to have fun in this relationship. Belle was curious and always wanting to play so I had to learn to work with that tendency rather than fight against her playful spirit.

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Belle grew and grew, and finally she grew strong enough for me to ride her. She handled it like a champ.

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While she was fearless about having a human on her back, she proved to be just as stubborn under saddle as she was on the ground…

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All that fighting made her first canter a very rewarding experience.

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Each ride got a little better and Belle learned to respect me not only on the ground but also on her back. As I grew up and began highschool, her training also advanced. 

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And of course she was included in my senior pictures…

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But it’s funny how reality hits after graduation. How the real world suddenly becomes so real.

Gone are the days of hours in the barn. Working full time becomes a priority. Minimizing costs, saving money, becoming independent. That’s what life looks like now. Thankfully teaching horseback riding lessons keeps me involved with my horses. I tried to justify holding onto Belle with the excuse of using her as a lesson horse. It doesn’t work. Belle doesn’t like a different person riding her every day and she proves to be too much of a challenge for most of my riders. 

I try to keep up with her on my own time…

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….but this baby is now 5 and needs my attention to finish his training and his mama is 22 and needs some extra care. 

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That leaves Belle on the back burner most of the time. Not her favorite place to be.

I finally came to terms with the idea of letting Belle start a new adventure. It’s time for her to find a new little girl and teach her all the things she taught me. I’m thankful for the years I had her and the horsemanship skills I learned from her. Now I am ready to watch her live the dream all over again with someone else.

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