De-Commercializing the Holidays 


      Maid Holistic is Ready

Power Lip Balm

Chill Out Cocoa

     Essential Holidays

My Favorite Things

Our "Get Real Diet"

Pumpkin Smoothies


Vanilla Resin Oil


Tamper Proof Made Easy


Letter from the Editor:        

I have to thank Leane for her article, Holiday Sanity.  Holidays have become so commercial, I have been experiencing "writers block" for the first time I  can recall.   

As far as the beautiful autumn goes, here is an oldie, but a goodie:

Pumpkin Smoothie Recipe

I love pumpkin anything.  I was looking for a pumpkin cheesecake recipe I once had, but now I cannot find it.  Still, it is that time of year again!  There are endless things we can do with pumpkins, and one of them is our decadent Pumpkin Smoothie.  So, what do you do when you are in the mood for Pumpkin Pie but squashed for time?


1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
Ground cloves for topping
Whipped cream for topping
Combine pumpkin, yogurt, milk and maple syrup in a blender until smooth. Pour into glasses, top with a dollop of whipped cream and a dusting of ground cloves.

Yields: 4 short glasses


Wishing You the Best!

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Chill Out Cocoa By Leane Ketcherside

Based on an ancient Ayurvedic recipe, this stuff works! My family calls it Magic Cocoa and it's one of my first lines of defense during stressful times, and is a definite help for insomnia.

6 to 8 ounces of milk or soy milk

1/4 Teaspoon each of Cinnamon and Ground Cardamom

Your favorite Cocoa mix, to taste 

Add milk, Cinnamon and Cardamom to a saucepan and heat till steaming, stirring constantly to dissolve spices and avoid scorching the milk. Add Cocoa mix to taste and stir well until dissolved. Sip and enjoy the calm.

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My Favorite Things by D.R. Dolen

Amidst all the neat things we sell, are a few great ones that not enough people radar in on.  These are those items I constantly pursue and use.  Let's start with the Natural Wax Jelly made with 90% oil and 10% Candelilla wax.  This is so far beyond better than petroleum jelly, there is no comparison.  Our new and convenient stand up pouch bags also make it much easier to store and access in the bathroom, for example.  It can be used straight up or for formulations that can be made into lip balm, salves, what have you.  My favorite essential oils I may put a few drops in include Clary Sage, Rose Geranium, Tea Tree and as always the Bulgarian Lavender.  I also use these essential oils in my bath water, depending on my needs.  Rosemary is just great for head aches, for example.  I use the largest stand up one pound foil bags to store my Epsom Salts in.  This deletes the typically boring box they come in and is easy to navigate around with in the bathroom.  

Deb9.jpg (11851 bytes)I feel our new Making Toiletries DVD video is critical to knowing all of the ins and out's of making your own home made preparations.  I am often asked many questions that are in the video.  I discuss much about what you can just buy locally and what is hard to find that would require a search on the net.  Many items can be purchased locally.  So, the new DVD Video is truly one of my favorite things and best accomplishments.  Click here for more on the Video.

As far as which balm to use?  Well, If the lips are already chapped, I recommend the jelly as it helps make lips supple.  In the winter, if the lips are not cracked, I like the stronger All Purpose Base that is supported with soy wax and beeswax.  Flavors?  Everyone has very different taste, to be sure, but I love Blueberry, Cool Berry, Tangerine, Lemon Drops, Vanilla, Buttered Rum and Pumpkin Pie the most.  At times I just mix a few together. Deb11.jpg (10911 bytes) 

The biggest thing perhaps I have not gotten across is that you can flavor coffee beans with these oils, by shaking them up in a zip lock bag and keeping in the bag a few days, to give as gifts.  After the beans are taken out of the bag, they can be rolled into vanilla powder, cinnamon, what have you and presented in a mason jar.  Click here for that article.  

In the Fragrance Oil Department, good for making soy candles as well as skin safe, my all time favorite is Cool Waters for Men Type, Fresh Cut Grass, McIntosh Apple, Pear, Leather and Pumpkin Pie.  These seem to be the fragrances I am always making use of.  

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Maid Holistic is Ready!

Maid Holistic is the title of our newest, copyrighted work that has been high in demand and now in print.  It was inspired by a growing demand for more natural cleaning methods by consumers to their cleaning ladies.  Having been a maid at the Hyatt Hotel in my early 20's, (a great experience I wish all kids could have at least one week of!) I think I am qualified.  I can make a bed!  In addition, I recently facilitated a cleaning lady when I came home from the hospital.   I got to know her pretty well in five days.  She was explaining how she gets $15 an hour and that a few of her upscale clients were starting to ask her to use all natural products.  She did not quite know what they meant.  I told her fine, but up your prices to $25 an hour and give them all natural.  She asked me to write a book about how that would work, and I agreed.  Beyond dynamic and simple cleaning recipes, Maid Holistic also offers a glossary of natural ingredients in the back section, as well as a cleaning supply and room to room check list.  We offer this in e-book version as well as spiral bound.  Click here for spiral bound.   Click the BUY NOW to buy the e-book version.  

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"Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality."
-Jules de Gautier

A Note from Leane 

We must apologize to the many of you who have tried to purchase the new items announced in our last newsletter. (The Ecztreme products, new healing butters and carrier oils, Hydrosol & Rhassoul Clay facial Packs and Shingles SOS products).  No, you aren't crazy, the items aren't there. Due to Murphy's Law, the inability to get some of the special and unique ingredients on time and manufacturing glitches, we're running behind. We have been inundated with requests for the Ecztreme products, and we know you're all anxious for relief. We will contact each of you personally, via e mail, when these products are available. We hope to have everything soon and will announce availability in a newsletter to assure that everyone is notified. Again, we sincerely apologize.

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Vanilla Oil Resin  by Deborah R. Dolen

Vanilla is just so universal I cannot think of one person who does not love it.  When a reader asked me about Vanilla Oleoresin, I was not aware it even existed.  After looking into it, I found it to be very expensive and its purpose not as beneficial as an antioxidant, as is Rosemary Oleoresin Extract (ROE).  Still, in love with the idea of a Vanilla Oleoresin, we came up with a mixture of our own that includes ROE, and Vanilla Flavor oil.  I use it at 5% find it gives great depth to my soaps, lotions, and balms, even if I am using a different scent such as Lavender or Spice.  It still operates as an anti-oxidant, but not as powerful as Rosemary Oleoresin Extract. Use it as an excellent scent and to anchor other fragrances. Click here to buy Vanilla Oil Resin.  

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"Until you value yourself, you won't value your time. 

Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it."

-M Scott Peck

Essential Holidays by Leane Ketcherside

Here are some great ways to use Essential Oils to freshen, heal, prevent and enjoy during the holiday season. Since these blends are NOT intended for use on the skin, precise recipes aren't necessary. Just blend with a few drops of each Essential Oil until you like the scent and just let them work their magic!

  • Put a few drops of Cedarwood on your fireplace logs before you burn them. They won't smell when burned, but will definitely freshen the room as they sit by the fireplace!

  • Make the traditional holiday Clove-studded Orange to both scent and purify the air. Simply mix the Essential Oils of Clove Bud and Orange, Tangerine or Mandarin to suit your nose, and put drops all over the house. I like to put it on used dryer sheets placed inside heating vents. If you have radiators, put a few drops in a pan of warm water and place on top. You can also add a few drops to a humidifier.

  • Keep colds and other nasties at bay by blending Eucalyptus, Bulgarian Lavender, Tea Tree and Peppermint Essential Oils. Use as above, and definitely in a humidifier.

  • A drop or two of Cinnamon Leaf and any Citrus Essential Oil makes a great winter pick-me-up blend to chase away the doldrums.

  • One drop of Cassia Essential Oil on a used dryer sheet placed in a heating vent will make the whole house smell like Red Hots candy. (Don't use more than a drop in each room. Cassia is STRONG and too much will make your eyes water!)

  • If you have an indoor tabletop fountain, adding a few drops of your favorite Essential Oil blend is a must!

  • Place a few drops of your favorite Essential Oil or blend on a cotton ball. Put the cotton ball and your table linens, stationery, Christmas cards or wrapping paper in a plastic bag or other container and seal. Allow to sit for a few days to absorb the scent.


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Making Lip Balm and Power Lip Balm  by Deborah R. Dolen  Basics Updated February 4th, 2010

Yes, I actually still find time to make products for my own family.  This last year I found I was more busy talking about how to live a cooler life and making neat things, but not doing much for myself.  I decided to finally use the beeswax sent to me from the Official Beekeeper of the Queen of England I was sent after my trip to London. 

This article has been updated for 2010 and moved here. Please click here for link!

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Our "Get Real Dietby Deborah R. Dolen

I am not a diet fanatic, but after looking at my eating habits, I had to get real.  I also feel the need to drop ten pounds before filming any more "how to" videos.  A certain natural health food store had a vegetable salad that I knew I could stand to eat all day long and any time I was hungry.  Like many people, I am not normally magnetized to raw vegetables.  Ya know, the ones we eat at parties to act like we are health conscious? Yet this salad had such a great dressing.  Greg Engelhardt, our Chef, customized this recipe just for me.  We have to name it something cool, like South Beach, Hollywood, so I guess we will name it "The Get Diet."  To download this one page PDF to share, please click here.  

So, I learned how to make this salad, it is good for four days at a time, and the longer it marinades, the better it gets anyway.  I love it, and this is about all I do eat.  Occasionally I will throw crab meat, or steak in for variety.  It is along the low carb diet lines, yet high in fiber.  Ten pounds of this salad is not too much to make for a four day period.    

To Make:

For 10 Pounds of Salad make or buy chopped and diced produce such as Broccoli, Cauliflower, Sweet Onions,DolensSalad2LK.jpg (70702 bytes) Tomatoes, Carrots, Zucchini, Yellow Summer Squash and anything else you feel will adapt. If I am pressed for time and do not have time to slice and dice, I  just buy already diced vegetables in bags, as well as vegetables from the deli, mixing it all up, maybe dicing a bit finer and throwing the dressing below on it to marinade.  Use salt and pepper to taste.  

Salad Dressing In a Blender:

2 Cups of Soy Creamer, 1/2 Cup of Olive Oil, 1/2 Cup of Peppercorn Ranch, 1/4 Ounce Feta Cheese, 

2 Ounces of Parmesan, 1 Cup of Plain Crackers, 2 Teaspoons of lemon juice, Salt and Pepper. 

I also bought Relacore, the newly advertised all natural stress fat reducer.  A lady at a health food store, who does not sell the item, swears by it.  I see it is working for me also so far, and I have been using Relacore for two weeks.  It is very high in Vitamin B, C and contains many natural herbs.  I bought it right from the Relacore site.  Click thumbnail for better view, and yes, that product was ate five minutes after the photo!  Good luck!

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Tamper Proof Made Easy & Other Ramblings

Beyond the idea this is a "gourmet tea" and can have many other mixtures--I was fascinated that I could infuse this healthful mixture into hot water and strain to make my lotions and other skin care products. So, I will be looking at this "tea" rage for reasons above and beyond tea.   

Let's start with the fact that the object to the left is known as a "French Press."   I fill it up with tea, coffee, infusions, what have you-put the screen in and then fill with hot water.  I allow my infusion to "steep" a bit and press down.  For me, it is coffee in seconds as time is short and I have a hot water function on my water jug.

What intrigued me the most, you cannot see, is that manufacturers are now not into taping around the object, but rather over and above it.  They then use the actual label to cover the front and back of where the tape ends.  This is classy way to tamper proof and calls for use of less tape. 

The third outstanding element of this product is the idea that "tea" can cover a broad spectrum and now look almost like potpourris in a jar.  That is very hard to pass up.  This particular tea contains:   Orange and lemon peel, small dry apple particles, diced hibiscus and rose petals, tiny black currants as well as green tea.  They claim there are also lavender buds--I just did not see them. 

Click here to see Sir Aubrey

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