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Monday Morning Mix-Up 6/1/09 – June already?!

  • I can’t believe it’s June! It sounds like a whopper of a cliché, but youza, when do we ever get used to the way time passes so quickly? (Our oldest is a Senior next year…it hurts I tell ya!) Only one more week of school. I’m a little more free and easy in my Monday posts about not strictly sticking to health and nutrition topics only, so I’d love to know this…we all want to enjoy our kids without losing our minds, tell me what is your best “keep your sanity” tip for summertime? (Have you seen this post about healthy popsicle alternatives?)
  • Recently I read somewhere about a homemade bug repellent, but can’t remember where. I think I even emailed to ask the person for it, but haven’t heard back – there go my memory issues again. Does anyone know of a good recipe that is chemical-free? I’ve often used Avon’s Skin So Soft as a mosquito repellent with good success, but the bugs seem especially bad so far this year and I’d like to have something stronger ready. Someone else suggested diluted Basic-H (Shaklee) – has anyone tried that? UPDATE: the comments have some great suggestions, also check out this site for 5 Homemade Chemical-free bug repellents from Garden Mandy.
  • Have you seen this post from February of 2008 on plastics safety? It used to be my most-visited post until this one took over: 10 Healthy Breakfast Ideas.
  • I love posts like this one from Carrie last week: 10 Things You Can Do to Make Your Meals More Nutrient-Dense.
  • Don’t forget to get your posts ready for Real Food Wednesday! Hosted this week by Cheeseslave. A few of us stumble all the posts in the RFW blog carnival, so not only will you get traffic to your blog from the links when you join in, you’ll also get more traffic from stumbles.
  • Well, we knew it wouldn’t be long before big pharma would capitalize on the Swine Flu ordeal: Swine Flu Shot Could Be Ready By October.
  • Do you have any rants in you today? Come on, it’s Monday morning, surely something is on your mind! :)


  1. I just read that plastics article for the first time. What a lot of info to digest!

    As far as homemade bug repellents there is always lemon oil and garlic. You might not make very many friends that way. Though eating the garlic is supposed to help with mosquitoes as well. I make it a point to stay away from wooded areas during the summer because the mosquitoes here in Texas are AWFUL.

    And don’t forget the link be tween mosquitoes and sugar. Apparently, (and I think I read this in NT) a certain village in central America didn’t have mosquitoes until it became a major sugar plantation and everyone was eating it. Supposedly they can smell it in the blood. It is a scientific fact that they can smell bananas too.

    So to avoid the mosquitoes, I’d ban the bananas and eat minimal carbs.


  2. Hi, Kelly. I’m weighing in on the bug repellent question. I love skin care products from flutterbye aromatics. Her pet care products may be okay for humans, too. You can ask her. Here is the link to flea and tick products. Simone uses hydrosols and essential oils in her products, so they are gentle and safe. She has great customer service and accepts paypal. Try her for your skincare and baby care, too!

    Cathy Payne

  3. That was me *hangs head in shame* that you asked about the bug repellent. I’ll get that posted today. Right now, as a matter of fact, while I’m sitting here and my MIL is still sleeping!

    Local Nourishment

  4. I found “plant based formula” whose ingredients are Citronella Oil 5.00%, Geranoil 2.00%, 2-Phenethyl Propionate 2%, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate 1.74%, Potassium Sorbate .20%,, Inert Ingredients 89.06% called “Natrapel. It’s made by a company called Tender Corporation in Littleton NH. Website It doesn’t contain any deet. Protects up to 4 hours. Smells strongly of citronella, but seems to work well. Here in Maryland the gnats have been horrible for several summers now, and this has kept them at bay.

    Walmart use to sell it, but when I went to look this year they weren’t carrying it. So, I was planning on surfing the website to find some because we are running low. There doesn’t appear to be any expiration date, and it still seems just as potent as last year.

    Hope this helps.

  5. Local Nourshiment are you planning on posting here or can you link us to you?
    I just read about using 1 tsp. nonscented lotion and 5 drops of good tea tree oil. Of course you will need to make a larger batch for a larger area.

  6. Zeke, very interesting about the sugar and bananas…we’ve had some bananas around here and sure enough our kids have some nasty bug bites!

    LN, thanks! Please post the link here when it’s done. It may go into spam with the link, but when I see it I’ll send it over. :)

  7. Jen, I’ll have to look for that.
    Rebecca, that’s a good idea…I could just take my Avon lotion and add the tea tree oil………..wheels are turning…………

  8. I was talking to a friend this weekend who said the only time she got really eaten alive by mosquitoes was when she tried some diluted Basic-H. I buy Badger brand for me and my toddler, but we’re so bad about applying it that I don’t really know how well it works.


  9. Hi Kelly,

    In the past I have used a carrier oil (such as almond or sunflower) mixed with a few drops of citronella essential oil. You can also use tea tree, penny royal, or peppermint. Keep the mixture in a small glass container, or plastic squeeze bottle. You have to rub it on, but it works fairly well, and at least it’s non-toxic!

  10. William Dufty in Sugar Blues talks about how eating sugar makes you a mosquito magnet. Don’t know how effective this is, I haven’t had sugar since Christmas and the mosquitos still think it’s party time when I go on my porch at night!

    I’ve read but haven’t tried that basil repels mosquitos and that it helps to have basil plants around.

  11. I have used lavender oil, witch hazel, peppermint, and geranium oils on our skin for repelling mosquitoes. You can mix this in with a little coconut oil for a balm all over your body as well. Almond oil as a base also works with the essential oils mixed in.

    I have an article about plastics on my Health Tip of the Day web site from last summer…

    My hot topic this week is the toxic load we place on our bodies. I’ll be posting an article about this on my web site on Wednesday (hot issues are the subject I feature on those days). It will be reviewing a fantastic book about the subject, highlighting some food and nutrition information as well. Stay tuned!

    Raine Saunders

  12. Other essential oils I use: geranium, lemongrass, patchouli (along with the above stated tea tree, peppermint and citronella). Also I’ve heard that catnip oil is GREAT. As is lemon eucalyptus if you can find some.

    I mix the oils in witch hazel in a glass spray bottle. Shake well before spraying. I like to go heavy on the oils, and may put up to 30 drops in a 4 oz spray bottle.

  13. Hi Kelly – sorry this isn’t a comment, but I searched the site…I have a question that I”d LOVE the answer to. Is it OK to freeze raw milk? (cow and/or goat). Thanks!!

  14. SCB – I’ve frozen raw cow’s milk before. It was good later, but kinda separated and was a bit odd. I would freeze it in cubes to add to coffee.

  15. Thanks Rachel, that’s a good idea, maybe just a few cubes to see how it does. I have goat right now which doesn’t separate.
    Here’s something that relates to Kelly’s post. I’m new to the raw milk scene (I live in the area where the Amish farmer was arrested – and it was REALLY hard to find a supplier). As I happily think about finally having it I realize…it’s in a plastic jug! ACK!! Wow, you really can’t win can you. Haha.

  16. A friend just told me today that if you shake up a container of raw milk every half hour as it freezes, it doesn’t do the separating thing.

    We use Shaklee Basic H full strength as insect repellent, and I’ve gone from getting eaten alive in the garden, putting it on and going right back out and being left alone. I’m a believer! :)

    Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship

  17. SCB, Cheeseslave regularly freezes her raw milk and never has a problem, she just shakes it good as it thaws. I think I’ll try to copy these comments over to the raw milk posts…….

  18. Last night we had a driveway party out front (“You might be a redneck if…”) and I got a couple bites, so I grabbed my Avon lotion (skin so soft) and added a few drops of tea tree oil…NO MORE BITES! Yay!

    I wonder if there’s anything rotten in the Avon lotion, though?

  19. Last year when we went camping on Tybee Island the bugs were WICKED. My son had hundreds of bites! I did buy him some heavy-duty bug spray, but I used Olive Oil mixed with citronella oil and didn’t fair too badly. I might like to try it again with some of the other oils suggested that might smell a little better. And I’m not sure I used enough Citronella in it, anyway.

    The olive oil did double duty as sunscreen, too. SPF 4.

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