Simple DIY Hand Sanitizer


DIY Hand Sanitizer for When You're Out and About {}

By Leigh Ann Dutton, Contributing Writer

I’m not a germaphobe. I think dirt is good, and I like to keep beneficial bacteria around. I believe these things strengthen the immune system, which is especially helpful as we come upon cold and flu season yet again.

Needless to say, I’m not running around wiping everything clean 24/7, rubbing hand sanitizer on my children’s hands at the drop of a hat, or refusing to enter the public domain for the next six months. We can’t avoid every sickness. When we do succumb to the flu bug, you better believe I’m ready to fight.

However, I like to do what I can to avoid sickness whenever I can, especially when I’m out and about and not home near my natural medicine cabinet.

We’re currently on a month long road trip with our 3-year-old and 1-year-old. Before setting out, I knew I needed to be prepared because we would be traveling all over the country during the start of the cold and flu season. We would be exposed to germs our bodies aren’t used to dealing with as we travel thousands of miles away from our hometown. Not to mention, the inevitable stress of traveling and the occasional loss of sleep lowers our defenses, which makes us more susceptible to sickness.


DIY Hand Sanitizer for When You're Out and About {}


Therefore, I’ve concocted my own hand sanitizer to take on the road with us. I like the fact that it is completely natural and doesn’t contain harsh alcohols or synthetic ingredients. Plus, I hate the smell of commercial hand sanitizers, not to mention the ingredients.

If you need something you can use when you’re out and about, this DIY hand sanitizer should do the trick. The smell of this simple hand sanitizer isn’t overwhelming like commercial brands. In addition, we have found this hand sanitizer to leave our hands feeling refreshed, not dried out and cracked like commercial sanitizers do. 


DIY Hand Sanitizer for When You're Out and About {}

DIY Hand Sanitizer



Start by pouring your essential oils into your glass bottle.

A note about bottles: You want to use glass bottles when using essential oils. The essential oils will eat away at a plastic bottle rendering this formula useless. Glass bottles are easy to find at a local health food store or online.

When mixing essential oils for a spray, the rule of thumb is to add 10-15 drops of essential oil per ounce of liquid.

I added 20 drops of tea tree oil, 10 drops of lavender, and 5 drops each of lemon and sweet orange oil.

Gently swirl the oils together in your glass spray bottle. Then, fill the remainder of your bottle with witch hazel and aloe vera.

I used a witch hazel and aloe vera formula I got from our local health store. If you’re using them separately, then just fill your bottle 2/3 with witch hazel and the remaining 1/3 with aloe vera.

Put the lid on your bottle and give the mixture a good shake.

If you have Vitamin E oil, then add a few drops to your mixture as well. This is not necessary, but it will extend the shelf life of your hand sanitizer as well as add additional healing properties to your spray.

Label your spray bottle and use your DIY hand sanitizer when you’re out and about during the cold and flu season.

Do you use hand sanitizer? What are your favorite essential oils to ward off bad germs?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, we earn a small commission, which helps to keep this site going so that we can continue to offer free and useful content, so thanks!

Weekend Links


Wellness Family Summit

Stephanie will be speaking on Monday at the Wellness Family Summit on the topic of creating a natural home! You can watch it for FREE online until October 20th by registering here. Other topics include Healthy Babies, Restoring the Family Dinner, Beauty Without the Toxic Beast, and Fermentation and Traditional Foods. Improve the health of YOUR family and future generations!

Links for this week:

Chosen @ (in)courage

A Memory of our True Home @ Sarah Bessey

Honey Mustard Chicken @ Simply Recipes

The Pain Recedes & We Carry It Together @ Shauna Niequist

Sow. @ Joy’s Hope

No Bake Chocolate Coco Pumpkin Bars @ Running to the Kitchen

For My Quiet Child – You are Not Broken; You are Beautiful @ The Better Mom

What Does It Take To Create A Simple Life? @ Shalom Mama 

How is your October going? When do you start preparing for the holidays?

Blendtec vs. Vitamix: Which Blender is Better?


If you’re going to spend a big chunk of money on a high-quality blender, you want to make sure it’s going to do the job and do it for years to come. 

For most of us, an expensive purchase like a Vitamix or Blendtec high speed blender is a carefully-made decision, and a purchase for which you’re likely to spend time saving up for. Ultimately, the cost is worth it in my opinion.

It was 8 years ago that I first saved up to purchase a Vitamix (at the time, I had never heard of Blendtec). I desperately wanted one, since we make smoothies on a regular basis, not to mention using our blender heavily for all sorts of other kitchen tasks.

I saved up, little by little, in hopes of buying an older, used model off of eBay or Craigslist. Imagine my shock and delight that Christmas when together with own savings, money for my birthday and Christmas gift, and the astounding donation of a generous woman my husband met at Costco who offered to pay the rest (yes, seriously — I still love that story!), a Vitamix ended up under the tree that year. 

I’ve used it faithfully and frequently ever since. It’s in constant motion in our home. 

It hasn’t been without any troubles at all… I’ve had to replace the tamper twice (I’ll confess, it was human error both times), and we also had to replace the canister because the part where the blade is secured was breaking (this was still covered by warranty). 

That said, it’s been a sturdy workhorse of a blender and that is exactly why I wanted it. 

blendtec vs vitamix

In the last few years, however, another blender caught my attention - the Blendtec.

I was drawn to it for the ways in which it was different than the Vitamix, namely the fancy settings panel and the wide base of the container with the two-pronged blade instead of the smaller base with a four-pronged blade. 

But would it actually outperform the Vitamix? Was either one really any better than the other? I was really curious, but not about to fork out more money just to conduct an experiment. 

So when Blendtec offered me a blender to review (esp. as my Vitamix approaches old age and will only last so much longer), I eagerly said yes. I know that in previous posts with mentions of the Vitamix, readers have often wondered as I did, “Which is better? Is one more worth the money than the other?”

Let’s find out then, shall we, and see how the Vitamix holds up vs. the Blendtec? 



Specs:  64 oz. container size (2 quarts). Takes 63.4 square inches of counter space.

Cost: Starts at $579 (for the classic C-series – other models start at $469 and $679 respectively — taken from official website. (Or $455 from Amazon)

Warranty:  5-7 year warranty

What I like about the Vitamix: 

  • The tamper. This is an ingenious design that works particularly well for making very thick, heavy, stiff foods, like ice cream or nut butter. It allows you to keep the blender going while pushing the food back down towards the blade so that it doesn’t get stuck, everything gets mixed, and you don’t overheat the motor. 
  • If you do overheat the motor, it will shut down until fully cooled off, to protect it from permanent damage (ask me how I know). 
  • I feel like it’s slightly less noisy than the Blendtec (that said, at full speed they’re both still really loud).
  • It can handle a smaller amount of food or liquid to get going than the Blendtec, because of the narrower base. If you put the same small amount in a Blendtec, the blades would just spin around and not accomplish anything. (I’m talking about a cup of liquid or less)
  • While not as fun or customized as the Blendtec’s computer-like touch screen, I do worry less about the Vitamix’s manually-controlled speed gears breaking down on me. 
  • There is a dry canister that you can buy if you want to grind things like grains, which is an awesome option for someone who wants to do a small amount of grain grinding (though personally, I wouldn’t expect it to replace a grain grinder if you want to use it for larger amounts or with any frequency). That said, I found that even the regular canister was perfect for grinding things like raw sugar into powdered sugar or to help me grind up just a small amount of something like quinoa or oat flour on the rare occasion that I wanted it. So long as I wiped the canister out really dry and didn’t overload it, it worked like a charm. 

What I dislike about the Vitamix: 

  • I can’t usually walk away from it. Because the speeds are manually controlled (rather than having a pre-set program), you have to stay nearby to babysit what you’re blending and gradually move the speed up or down as needed. 
  • It’s so tall. It has never fit under the cupboards of any of the 5 homes we’ve lived in since we got it, so I have to store the canister sitting beside the base, taking up more counter space. 
  • I find it hard to scoop out thicker foods or drinks from around the blades. For instance, if I make guacamole or whipped cream, even if I get in there with a spatula, I still never feel like I get it all out, and I detest wasting food. 
  • Sometimes it blends almost too well. You do have to watch that you don’t blend so long on high speed that you actually start to warm your lovely cold smoothie up (that said, the Blendtec is also capable of this, but because it has pre-set programming, you’re less likely to do this by accident). 
  • The Vitamix lid is a bit tricky to get firmly in place, and then requires a bit of wrangling to remove once you’ve created a tight seal. But if you don’t seal it well, you’ll have to hold it on with one hand while you blend unless you like spattering your ceiling with blueberries. It sometimes made me nervous when I was blending something hot, like a soup, because I had to be careful to really seal the lid shut, but then careful not to spill soup on myself in the process of getting the tight lid back off again. 

Note: Since I bought mine a long time ago, Vitamix has come out with some new models. One is a slightly shorter, wider model that is closer in shape to a Blendtec. These models are more expensive than the basic ones, though. They also have a new smaller model with two types of jug attachments, which reminds me somewhat of a fancier Magic Bullet.  



Specs:  64 oz. container (2 quarts). Takes up 64.75 inches squared.

Cost: Basic models start at $399 and go up to $649 for the Designer 725. Twister jars are optional, and cost an extra $119 — taken from official website. 

Note: The Blendtec website always offers certified refurbished models which still come with a warranty, starting as low as $279, which is a really great price! 

Warranty: 8 year

Disclaimer: I’ve used the Blendtec for several months, usually 2-3 times per day, which is long enough to get a really good feel for a machine. But, I’ll admit, maybe not quite long enough to discover all of the annoying little nuances that I’ve learned about the Vitamix, so I want to say upfront that it’s possible that given another year or two, I may find a few more things that I don’t like quite as well. 

What I like about the Blendtec:

  •  It’s wider base and two-pronged blade. Food rarely gets stuck in the bottom and when it does, it’s easy to scrape out. 
  • The nifty touch screen. It’s quick and easy to use and there’s no mussing around with manual speed dials. There are settings for blending, pureering, chopping, etc. (Note: The lower-end models don’t have a touch screen but just use buttons instead)
  • The touch sliding control – it lets you customize the exact speed you want and you just slide your finger to speed it up or slow it down  (again, only on the upper end models)
  • I really love the pre-programmed settings. For example, the smoothie setting starts slower to grind up big chunks, then gets faster as it goes, to get it really smooth by the end. On a Vitamix, I have to control this process manually myself. With the Blendtec, I touch the button and walk away. 
  • How it senses things like when it needs more liquid and the screen tells me so. With the Vitamix, I can usually tell this but sometimes I would get the motor too hot before realizing. With these “add more liquid” messages I’ve never accidentally overheated the Blendtec. 
  • The look. I feel like it’s a nicer looking machine than the Vitamix. Not that that’s how I choose my kitchen appliances, but I’m just saying. 
  • The height. While I don’t keep mine under a counter in this particular house, I used to in an old house and it always drove me crazy that my Vitamix was too tall to fit. 
  • Though I haven’t really learned much about them yet, the upper end models have something called Blend Rewards. The blender actually counts how many times you use it (it shows me the number each time I turn it on), and you can earn codes to be used online to redeem various thing. Sounds fun! 
  • Ease of washing. It has a wash setting (where you put in hot water and a drop of soap then turn it on) which is nifty, although the Vitamix can do the same thing. But, I find the Blendtec easier to clean when I need to give it a scrub, and the lid pops apart and then back together so quickly, which makes cleaning it a breeze.
  • The longer warranty.

What I dislike about the Blendtec:

  • The nifty touch screen. As a general rule, I prefer things that are manual rather than electronic, because I worry about electronic parts breaking. In fact, we did have a problem with our touch screen, but thankfully Blendtec has an awesome warranty and great customer service, so it wasn’t really a problem. 
  • I can’t use it for really small amounts. Because the base is so wide, it really takes at least a cup or more (usually more) of liquid or food for the blades to be able to do anything other than spin.
  • If you want to blend really thick stuff, although you technically still can with the regular jar, it really works better if you get a Twister Jar. These are handy and have a lid that you can twist and use to scrape thick food or drink back off the sides down towards the bottom, to keep it blending (essentially, this does what the tamper does on the Vitamix). But you do have to buy the Twister Jar separately, whereas the standard Vitamix comes with a tamper. You can still blend thicker things in the Blendtec, like ice cream, guacamole, mayonnaise, or nut butter, but you might need to occasionally stop it and use the spatula to scrape down the sides and keep things moving.  
  • Occasionally I feel like it has a harder time with thick stuff than the Vitamix. Now, this may be the result of not having a tamper to just give it a good push or two to get it going smoothly. But once in a while, I have to stop it, add a bit more water or push down the sides to get it really going, especially when I use large frozen things like whole strawberries. That said, once it gets going on something, the end result is always perfectly smooth.


So which one I would choose? 

It’s honestly a very tough call. I love them both. Each one has it’s pros and cons, but they’re both genuinely amazing machines.

I can’t really diss on the Vitamix, since it has served our family so well for 8 years. It’s a great machine. But I will confess to really loving my new Blendtec. I think that if I had to pick, I would say the Blendtec is my fave, just by a little bit.

Since smoothies, iced drinks, soups, etc. are the majority of what I blend, I don’t usually miss my tamper (and spoiled me, I have the Twister jar to reach for if I need it). If I blended really thick things more frequently, I might prefer a Vitamix. For me, however, I do a lot of my thick mixing in a food processor (just a cheap Hamilton Beach one) and that seems to be good enough for me. 

625_blackblendtecNow, who wants to win their own Blendtec?!

The kind folks at Blendtec are offering up one of their top-of-the-line Blendtec Designer 725 Wildside + With Jar PLUS a Twister Jar! It’s a $769.90 value!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This post was not sponsored by either Blendtec or Vitamix, but the giveaway was generously offered by Blendtec, as was my review blender. This post does contain affiliate links. 

Introducing the 2014 Christmas Gift Guide!

2014 Christmas Gift Guide!

It’s time for our annual holiday gift guide!

Each year we take some of the best gift ideas and compile them into a list to make your holiday shopping a little easier.

Christmas is coming up sooner than I care to think about, and I know many of you like to get your shopping done early or (if you’re like me) just need a little nudge to get started.

Here are some fantastic gift ideas for just about anyone on your list!

How to use this Gift Guide

For 3 months, from now until January 15th, you can look at this guide at any time.

Go back to find a company that you forgot the name of, find new inspiration for a gift that you’re stuck on, or just get something that you need from a business you’ll be happy to support!

At any time, you can find this guide here in the sidebar

2014 Christmas Gift Guide!

Or here in the top navigation bar

2014 Christmas Gift Guide!
You’ll notice that many companies have also included coupon codes to help you save money, so be sure to check those out!

We have also gone through each shop and selected a handful of “Our Picks” which are things that stood out to us as something that we would give to someone on our own lists, that we would enjoy receiving, or that we simply thought was a beautiful/novel/useful gift idea. These might help to get your gift-giving juices flowing, but know that each shop listed also has MUCH more in-store than the few items we linked to.

Find us on Facebook

Starting next week, we’ll be highlighting companies one at a time on our Facebook page, so that you can get familiar which each of the individual shops listed in the guide.

Here it is!

The 2014 Christmas Gift Guide!


Apple Valley Natural Soap

Apple Valley Natural Soap is a family owned business that offers over 40 varieties of shampoo and body bars, facial bars, salt bars, and coconut bars made with luxurious natural oils, clays, milks, organic herbs, and essential oils. They also carry natural deodorant, dry shampoo, sugar scrubs, organic lip balms and salves, solid lotion bars, salt soaks, organic jojoba and argan oil, and more! Give the gift of health and natural beauty this holiday season!

Our Picks: I've been hearing a lot about using Organic Virgin Argan Oil as a facial moisturizer lately, but it turns out you can also use it for your hair! And of course a good body lotion is a perfect gift for winter time and I bet the Organic Whipped Lavender Vanilla Baby Butter smells amazing. My son will be seeing a Lil' Man Shampoo Bar in his stocking and I may just pick up an Organic Lavender and Chamomile Face and Body Bar for myself! Also, I was so excited to see the Scripture Lullaby CDs in the shop! These CDs are beautiful and so calming. I keep them in my car to help the kids relax when we're on long rides.

Price Range: $2.50-$50
Shipping:  US only
Discount Code: Use "KOTH10" for 10% off your order!


Plan to Eat

Plan to Eat is an online meal planner that uses your recipes. You schedule them for the days you want them and Plan to Eat will automatically make your grocery list using the recipes you’ve selected. Here’s a 1:00 video to show you how it works.

By collecting your recipes in your Plan to Eat Recipe Book, you can plan, cook, and share them anywhere on any device. The Planner allows you to drag-and-drop the recipe from your list of recipes on the left to your calendar on the right. Your Shopping List is automatically created based on the recipes you have planned in your planner - no more time or brainpower wasted with writing out lists and cross-referencing recipes with pen and paper!

Your grocery shopping list is always with you on any mobile device with no app required. Simply point your mobile browser to and your shopping list will be on your phone.

We would love for you to give it a try. Sign up for your free 30 day trial on the Plan to Eat homepage to see how Plan to Eat will help you eat real food, prepared at home, with your family gathered around your own table.

Our Picks: Regardless if you use the month-to-month plan or the yearly subscription, Plan to Eat is a completely invaluable service that I absolutely love. Meal planning and grocery list making used to take me, literally, hours. When I heard about Plan to Eat, I signed up for the 30-day trial, was hooked, and now I can't imagine meal planning without it. This would be a wonder, time-saving tool for the cooks in your life!

Price Range:  $4.95 for a monthly subscription, $39 for an annual subscription

Cultures for Health KOH Christmas Gift Guide Ad 2014

Cultures for Health

Starter cultures and kits to make cultured and fermented foods at home including yogurt, cheese, sourdough, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, and more!

Our Picks: If you're wanting to start down the real foods path, or have been on it and want to give cultured foods a try, Cultures for Health is the best source for starters. For my friends who love yogurt but find it costly at the grocery store, I'll be picking up a few Traditional Flavor Yogurt Starters. I tell a lot of people how much we love kombucha in our family and now I can also grab a few Kombucha Tea Starter Kits so they can make it too! Cheese-making has always intrigued me and Cultures for Health makes it easy to start with their kits, including a taste Basic Italian Cheese Kit. And, of course, one of the most useful tools in my kitchen is their Milk Kefir Grains, Water Kefir Grains, Plastic Strainer, which would make a great stocking stuffer!

Price Range: $1.99 - $299.99
Shipping:  US and Canada
Discount Code: Use "HOLIDAY2014" for 10% off purchases excluding gift cards. (expires January 31, 2015)


Hobo Beard Oil

Beard Oil. For your beard. (Handcrafted, all natural beard oils to assist men in growing a great beard.)

Our Picks: I had no idea the amount of work that can go into caring for a beard until I started looking around the Hobo Beard Oil website! They offer Beard Balm to keep unruly beards in line. They also offer Beard Oil which not only moisturizes the hair, but also conditions the skin. And for those with red beards, they also offer a special product called Red beard oil, which has herbs specifically included for red beards. You can also keep those beards clean with their Beard Wash. What a great way for bearded men to be pampered!

Price Range: $7.95 - $29.95
Shipping:  US and Canada
Discount Code: Use "KEEPERHOME10for 10% off your order!

Canvas Factory - CGG - 2014

Canvas Factory

High quality and highly affordable photo canvas prints delivered right to your door!

Our Picks: If you're looking for a way to get those family photos off the hard drive and onto your walls, Canvas Factory has you covered. Send the grandparents a unique wall display of canvas prints of different sizes of the grandkids! You can also take one image and split it across several canvases to make another conversation-starter wall decoration for your own home. Or, tf you're looking for something a little more traditional but that still offers a wonderful way to display your photos, try displaying your annual family portrait a single canvas photo print. They have lots of options for any kind of canvas print display you'd like!

Price Range: $17.70 and up
Shipping: US and Canada
Discount Code: Use code "9741254"!

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Redeeming Beauty Minerals

Exotic | Sophisticated | Unique. All natural, hand-crafted beauty products from original recipes: mineral makeup, sugar scrubs, perfume oils, nail lacquer, toothpaste, and dry shampoo. All orders arrive gift wrapped! No chemicals, bismuth oxychloride, talc, gluten, fragrances, parabens, dyes, fragrance oils, perfumes, or preservatives. Safe for sensitive and blemish-prone skin. Complementary consultations available. Because Beauty is more than skin deep.

Our Picks: It's not easy to find natural makeup that doesn't have a lot of chemicals and ingredients that shouldn't be anywhere near our skin. Enter Redeeming Beauty! If there's a woman in your life who loves makeup but isn't sure which Redeeming Beauty product to start with, try the Basic Face Collection which includes handcrafted foundation, blush, and mascara, along with a cute little Beauty Bag to keep it tidy. A wonderful way to pamper the lovely ladies in your life is with a bottle of perfume and the Eve Perfume, with its jasmine absolute, sounds like it smells divine! They also offer gift certificates which are a fun way to allow your recipient to choose their own makeup combinations!

Price Range:   $5.00 - $20.00 (gift certificates & $.99 foundation samples also available!)
Shipping:  US and Canada
Discount Code: Use code "KOTH15" for 15% off your entire order! (beauty tools not included)

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Lilla Rose Cliptomania

Unique and beautiful hair accessories!

Our Picks: You've probably seen the Lilla Rose hair jewelry floating around as we've featured it here on Keeper of the Home, but did you know they also offer other products for your hair? I'm partial to the Autumn Sticks that would look cute in a little bun on those days when you just want to pull your hair up. They also offer other ways to pin back your hair, like these Copper Rose bobby pins that are versatile enough to be worn on both casual and dress-up days. If you like the original Lilla Rose hair clips, this Simple Black Nickel Band is lovely all by itself. And for those of you having to use badges for work or other responsibilities, check out their line of Badge Clips, like this one with a dragonfly!

Price Range:  $9.00 - $28.00
Shipping:  Worldwide
Discount Code:  New customers only - Buy 3, Get One Free; email with your order number to claim the free item.


Bend Soap

We milk the goats and we make the soap. Our shop offers a wide selection of handmade natural goat milk soaps and goat milk lotions that deeply moisturize and nourish your skin. No dyes, parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, alcohols, fillers… no Junk! $5 Shipping anywhere in the U.S. Free Shipping on orders over $50!

Our Picks: After long, stressful days of holiday planning, present wrapping, cooking, baking, and all the other things that can go along with the holiday season, a great way to relax and sooth a weary body is with one of Bend Soap's Holiday Milk Bath in a Bags! For those who want a nice all-around gift that covers all the body case bases, I'm sure anyone would love to see an Essential Gift Basket with their name on it under the tree! And, let's face it, for moms of little ones, sometimes the only pampering they get is a shower. Why not fill it with the scent of Lilac and Lily Soap, followed up with some Almond Delight Lotion?

Price Range: $4.95-$40
Shipping:  US only
Discount Code: Use “7P3V19K” for 10% off your entire order, no minimum purchase!

Drink Bands

DrinkBands provides high quality silicone bands that help families and groups tell whose drink is whose, which cuts the counter clutter, frequent dishwashing, and also helps families from spreading germs when sick.

Our Picks: In my family, we have a problem with taking a new drinking glass every time we need a drink because we're not sure which glass belongs to who. I can see Drink Bands as being a very useful product! They offer some great color choices and Personalized Packs so you can get the bands you want at a great price. You can also keep your bands organized and easy to grab on your way out the door with their Storage Tins! They also provide Gift Certificates so your friends and family can pick out their own Drink Bands!

Price Range: $1.50 - $31.00
Shipping: US and Canada
Discount Code: Use code "keeper14" for 15% off your order! (expires January 15, 2015)

Abe's Market

At Abe's Market you can discover fantastic natural products while having the unique opportunity to learn the story behind them!

Our Picks: Abe's has pretty much anything you could need for those who want to live a more natural life. I know for myself, chocolate is usually a pretty safe bet as a gift and these Pure Cocoa Bliss Truffles would definitely be a welcome little surprise this holiday season. New pajamas and lounge wear is also always a fun gift and this Organic Cotton Camisole/Short Set not only looks incredibly comfy but is also super cute! If any of your friends and family are expecting little ones in their lives soon, this Organic Celedon Baby Blanket looks so very soft. And no holiday decorating is complete without candles and these Rolled Beeswax Tapers will purify your air while setting a cozy mood!

Price Range: $1.00 - $1500.00
Shipping: US only
Discount Code: Use code "hello" for 15% off any purchase!

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Moody Sisters Skincare

Handmade Affordable Skincare safe for your Family's Moody Skin!

Our Picks: If you're looking for some great stocking stuffers or some fun ways to pamper the ladies in your life, look no further than Moody Sisters Skincare! Their Tinted Lip Balm would make a fun stocking stuffer (and pick one up for yourself while you're at it!). Bundled gifts are a great way to allow people to find out what products they like and Moody Sisters has included lotion, an aromatherapy roller bottle, and lip balm in their Aromatherapy Gift Bag. For busy moms who don't have time to grab a shower in the morning but still want to look their best, why not give them the gift of Dry Shampoo? And for those who want to enjoy aromatherapy whenever they can but can't carry a diffuser around, try one of these sweet little Aromatherapy Oil bottles that allow them to take it with them wherever they go!

Price Range:   $5.00 - $35.00
Shipping:  US and Canada
Discount Code:  New Fans Can get 25% off, free shipping & sample at

Candy Collection 2


Versastyle Jewelry with a Hook!

Our Picks: Holiday parties are coming up! Why not get a few new jewelry pieces to add some sparkle to the season? These Silver Rain Earrings are elegant and beautiful and would go well with just about any type of outfit. This Summer Days Necklace can double as a bracelet or even a belt, dressing up any outfit in a matter of seconds and is also sturdy enough to wear around the kids! Their Boardwalk Ring is elegant and sophisticated, adding a fun little flair to your fingers. And get the most value for your money and pick up one of their kits, like this Chic Style Kit, which includes both a necklace and a bracelet (or belt!).

Price Range:   $14.00 - $76.00
Shipping:  US and Canada
Discount Code:  Free Shipping!  E-mail your order number and PayPal username to and I will reimburse your UMI flat rate shipping (not for expedited shipping charges).


Homegrown Collective

DELIVERING A"HOMEGROWN" EXPERIENCE TO YOUR DOORSTEP EACH MONTH. Receive a seasonally appropriate, professionally curated box of products that deliver the satisfaction of living a more self-sufficient & sustainable lifestyle to your doorstep each month.

Our Picks: Subscription boxes are sure to be on many wishlists this holiday season, but I will definitely be including the Homegrown Collective on mine! Each month, you receive a carefully curated selection of items that allow you to learn ways to become more self-sufficient while promoting environmental stewardship. One of my favorites of their previous boxes was the How Sweet It Is box from this past February. It included raw honey, bee pollen, beeswax, a maple wood honey dipper, as well as all the tools and ingredients to make your own beeswax salve and lip balm and rose hip-infused honey elixirs! For the do-it-yourself expert in your life, this is definitely a great way to give them a gift that keeps giving every month!

Price Range: Monthly Gift Boxes starting at just $39.00
Shipping: US and Canada
Discount Code: Use code "KOTH25" for 25% off your first month of all month-to-month plans! (expires January 15th, 2015)

Tyndale Rewards

A fun and easy way to earn free books!

Our Picks: Who doesn't love FREE books?! Tyndale Rewards offers a great selection of books that you can pick up for points (which you earn through their website) instead of cash. Take a look through some of their parenting titles to grow yourself as a leader in your home. I know of quite a few people who lug very loved but also very worn and falling-apart Bibles to church each week and could probably use a new one. They also offer several books for kids who love to read fiction and also want to learn more about God. And curling up with a good fiction page-turner on a cold winter night is an excellent way to unwind after a busy day!

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2014 Christmas Gift Guide!

Real Deals: This Week’s Sales and Discounts on Natural Products

Real Deals: This Week's Sales and Discounts on Natural Products For the Week of October 14

This week’s top deals:

 Probably the very BEST deal of the week… the Wellness Family Summit

It’s completely FREE to attend and it runs from now until October 20th (it just began yesterday). 

In a nutshell, here’s what you’ll learn from the summit: 

Screenshot 2014-10-14 12.04.16

Each day, a new set of video sessions became available for a 24 hour period. Here are the videos available to watch today: 


Here’s a sneak peak at tomorrow… 


And a few days from now, Stephanie will even be presenting. :) 


If you’d like to attend and sit in on these fantastic sessions for FREE, just sign up HERE.

But don’t wait, because each set of daily teaching sessions is only available for a 24 hour period, before the next ones come available. 



As low as $6.78-$7.98  McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract-16 oz is on sale for $7.98. Save 5-15% with Subscribe & Save. Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.

cocnut flour

As low as $18.19-$20.33 ($4.55-$5.08) Bob’s Red Mill Organic Coconut Flour, 16-Ounce Units (Pack of 4) is on sale for $21.40. Save 5-15% with Subscribe & Save. Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.

tea ball


 Just $9.95  OXO Good Grips Twisting Tea Ball.  Great stocking stuffer!


As low as $11.66-$13.03 ($2.92-$3.26/pack)  Bob’s Red Mill Organic Whole Flaxseed Brown, 24-Ounce Packages (Pack of 4) is on sale for $13.72. Save 5-15% with Subscribe & Save. Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.



For just $3.99 Stack-On SBR-13 13 Compartment Storage Organizer Box with Removable Dividers, Red is on sale for $3.99  Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order. 

Great Christmas gift for boys and their lego!


 For just $34.92  Ninja Master Prep 




Amazon’s lowest price to-date! 3 Sprouts Wall Organizer, Giraffe is on sale for $18.71


Bulk Herb Store has some great October Specials.

abe's scarf

25% Off Abe’s Market is having a Scarf Sale and TODAY is the LAST DAY!



$30.97 on sale for $9.95  Spa Party Planning Package Available for Limited Release!  This “package” includes 3 eBooks: Simple Scrubs to Make and GiveFood on Your Face for Acne and Oily Skin, and a comprehensive guide that provides all the steps for hosting a spa party (including recipes, shopping lists, and more).  You’ll also receive a few great coupons and some bonus printables.

OR Save big:

$543.32 on sale for $29.95 Group Party License Package.  This package allows the hostess (you!) to pass on up to 20 copies of Simple Scrubs to Make and Give and Food on Your Face for Acne and Oily Skin to your friends and party attendees.   Also includes a ton of bonus items, such as 40% off natural facial moisturizer, free video downloads on self-care and self-massage, a special package with party favors like handmade soap, lip balms, lotions, and a free clay mask.

Sale runs through October 17th.

cure tooth

30% Off  Retail Price Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel By using diet, you can limit dental treatments, avoid extra fillings, and make your teeth stronger.

Sale ends October 16th

(And if learning more about how to naturally cure and prevent tooth decay, you’ll want to check out the session with Will Revak of OraWellness in the Wellness Family Summit, on Day 6, Oct. 17th.)


30% Off Organic Freeze Dried Blueberries at Tropical Traditions 

Now, through Sunday, October 19th only.

ice bag

Amazon’s lowest price to-date!  Just $6.48  Mueller Ice Bag, Blue, 9 Inch  

(Hat tip to Jungle Deals & Steals for several of the Amazon deals in this post!)

FREE Kindle ebooks:

(Note: Prices can change without notice, so please double check the price before purchasing)

slow cook

Slow Cooker Recipes: 30 Of The Most Healthy And Delicious Slow Cooker Recipes: Includes New Recipes For 2013 With Fantastic Ingredients 


How To Declutter And Simplify Your Life: Essential Tips On Getting Organized And Living In A Stress Free Home

Prepper’s Pantry: The Survival Guide To Emergency Water & Food Storage 

Kindle ebooks for Less Than $1:

(Note: Prices can change without notice, so please double check the price before purchasing) 

low carb

Low Carb On A Budget: 20 Recipes To Help Up You Enjoy The Benefits Of The Low Carb Diet Without Going Broke 

green cleanGreen Cleaning: Nontoxic Homemade Cleaning Recipes

This week’s best coupons:

Real Deals: This Week's Sales and Discounts on Natural Products For the Week of October 14
Find a deal you love? Share it! Pin this week’s post, tweet it, or share on Facebook.

Want to get these deals in your inbox each week?

Sign up for our once-a-week “real deals” email. It comes out each Tuesday morning.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, we earn a small commission, which helps to keep this site going so that we can continue to offer free and useful content, so thanks!
About prices: Though we do our very best to post only current deals and prices and to let you know when offers expire, companies can and do change their prices and offers at their own discretion, and we have no control over this. If you notice that a deal has changed, please let us know and we’ll change the post to alert other readers that something is no longer available. Thanks for understanding!

Weekend Links


Links for this week:

8 Compelling Reasons to Live with Less @ Be More With less 

Rainbow Baby Thoughts : pregnancy & post partum after miscarriage @ Natural Fertility and Wellness 

Slow Cooker Turkey with No-Fuss Gravy @ Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Yesterday’s Food: A Conversation With My Grandma @ GNOWFGLINS 

May God bless you with anger @ Sarah Bessey

Roasted Herb Sweet Potato Bites @ The Nourishing Home 

What to do When Your Kids Don’t Believe (Right Now) @ A Holy Experience 

Canadian Maple Pie Recipe @ A Sweet Spot: Home 

Happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian friends! What are your plans for the holiday?

Celebrate Fall with 35 Favorite GF Pumpkin Recipes


Celebrate Fall with 35 Favorite GF Pumpkin Recipes {}

By Kelly Smith, Contributing Writer

Pumpkin and I have had a great relationship ever since I first met this handsome “gourd.” I remember picking out my first plump round pumpkin as a preschooler and watching my mom turn that hard, rough sphere of orange into a squishy-squashy puree of pure delight!

Unfortunately, here in sunny Southern California, the only way we know it’s fall is when the local markets haul in big loads of pumpkins in all shapes and sizes – and of course – start stockpiling cans of pumpkin puree on practically every aisle. That’s when I get down to business filling my pantry with enough pumpkin puree to last the entire year!

If you have a crush on pumpkin like I do, there’s no shame in it. In fact, celebrate! Pumpkin is one of the healthiest squash varieties you can enjoy – it’s chock-full of beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, and other important antioxidants.

So, grab your family and head out to your local pumpkin patch (you can find one here) and do some fun pumpkin picking together. Of course, keep in mind, if you’re making your own pumpkin puree, the best tasting ones are those sweet little cooking pumpkins (not the big boys used for carving).

To help you get the most of your pumpkin obsession (and put to use those stockpiles of pumpkin puree), I thought it would be fun to share some of the best gluten-free, grain-free pumpkin recipes from around the blogosphere. 

35 Favorite Gluten-Free, Grain-Free Pumpkin Recipes


Celebrate Fall with 35 Favorite GF Pumpkin Recipes {}




Celebrate Fall with 35 Favorite GF Pumpkin Recipes {}



Celebrate Fall with 35 Favorite GF Pumpkin Recipes {}

Soups & Stews


Celebrate Fall with 35 Favorite GF Pumpkin Recipes {}



Celebrate Fall with 35 Favorite GF Pumpkin Recipes {}



Celebrate Fall with 35 Favorite GF Pumpkin Recipes {}


Celebrate Fall with 35 Favorite GF Pumpkin Recipes {}
Give the Gift of Pumpkin!

Did you know pumpkin makes great holiday gifts too? With the holidays fast approaching, here are just a few recipes you may want to pin for the upcoming holiday season.

Looking for even more ideas for using pumpkin this fall? Be sure to check out “Jump into Fall with 30+ Pumpkin Ideas.” May your fall be filled with many a pumpkin delight!

Are you a pumpkin lover too? What are your favorite pumpkin treats to make each fall?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, we earn a small commission, which helps to keep this site going so that we can continue to offer free and useful content, so thanks!

Real Deals: This Week’s Sales and Discounts on Natural Products You Really Use

Real Deals for the week of October 7

This week’s top deals:


Abe’s Market is having a sale on all Quinn Popcorn Products.  Sale ends TODAY (October 7th)


Just $24.95 Homemaking from Scratch Online ConferencePre-Registration Deal ends TODAY.  After October 7th the price is $29.95.

  • The Homemaking From Scratch online conference is an online conference of homemaking sessions ranging from natural cleaning to biblical motherhood to hospitality to developing housekeeping routines – by 12 homemaking bloggers and authors. 
  • The sessions are pre-recorded for the best possible quality and allows the attendees to listen to the sessions anytime, anywhere, and on any device. They can listen to the sessions again and again – they are theirs to keep forever! 
  • Included in the ticket price is a conference notebook and a private FB group for discussion, fellowship, mentoring, etc. 
Pre-Registration Offer:
  • When attendees pre-register for a ticket (between September 29th and October 7th) they get $5 OFF the price of the ticket (normally $29.95) and
  • $217.14 in homemaking bonus resources (eBooks, printables, etc) from the different speakers. You can see the full list of bonuses HERE

Get registered for the conference here



As low as $6.03   Nutiva Organic Chia Seeds, 12-Ounce Bag is on sale for $7.09. Save 5-15% with Subscribe & Save. Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.


As low as $6.71 ($2.24/16-count box)  Earth Mama Angel Baby Organic Milkmaid Tea, 16 Teabags/Box (Pack of 3) is on sale for $7.89. Save 5-15% with Subscribe & Save. Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order.  

crayonsJust $2.89 Crayola 64 Ct Crayons  Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order. 

angel soft

As low as $17.69-$20.99 ($0.37-$0.48/roll)  Angel Soft, Double Rolls, (4 Rolls*12 Pack) are on sale for $21.99. Save $1 when you clip the coupon below the product description (you must be logged in).  Save an additional 5-15% with Subscribe & Save. Get FREE Shipping with qualifying order. 



Retail $120.00 Just $59.95/ 1 gallon Tropical Traditions 50% Off Organic Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil  Sale price only until Thursday, October 9th

Palm Shortening 112 oz

Retail $40.75 Just $23.59/ 1 gallon Tropical Traditions 40% Off Organic Palm Shortening Sale price now through Sunday, October 12th


Retail $7.95 Just $5.50/4 oz Tropical Traditions 30% Off Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Teeth Cleaners in Cinnamon, Classic, or Mint  On sale now until Sunday, October 12th


Retail $9.89 Just $7.90/12 oz Whole Bean ($8.50 for decaffeinated) Tropical Traditions 20% Off Organic Fair Trade Equal Exchange Coffee.  On Sale now until Sunday, October 12th


Bob’s Red Mill Monthly Specials

FREE Kindle ebooks:

(Note: Prices can change without notice, so please double check the price before purchasing)

healing babes

Healing Babies and Children with Aromatherapy for Beginners: Proven Steps on How to Use Essential Oils and Aromatherapy to Care for Babies and Children … Care, Skin Healing, Inhalation, Coughs

home canning

JeBouffe Home Canning Step by Step Guide


The Quinoa Master Cookbook: Delicious Everyday Quinoa Recipes For A Healthy Lifestyle & Weight Loss 


Easy Recipes for Back to School: A short collection of recipes from the cookbook Wholesome: Feed Your Family For Less

Kindle ebooks for Less Than $1:

(Note: Prices can change without notice, so please double check the price before purchasing)

Body Butter: Homemade Body Butter – 33 BEST Body Butter Recipes To Making Body Butter For A Soft And Nourished Skin!

low carb 
Low Carb Slow Cooker Recipes: 30 Paleo Slow Cooker Recipes For The Whole Family

asian paleo

Asian Paleo Recipes: 30 Classic Asian Comfort Foods Made Healthy Without Grains, Legumes, or Dairy

This week’s best coupons:


Real Deals for the week of October 7

Find a deal you love? Share it! Pin this week’s post, tweet it, or share on Facebook.

Want to get these deals in your inbox each week?

Sign up for our once-a-week “real deals” email. It comes out each Tuesday morning.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, we earn a small commission, which helps to keep this site going so that we can continue to offer free and useful content, so thanks!
About prices: Though we do our very best to post only current deals and prices and to let you know when offers expire, companies can and do change their prices and offers at their own discretion, and we have no control over this. If you notice that a deal has changed, please let us know and we’ll change the post to alert other readers that something is no longer available. Thanks for understanding!

Cure Coughs Naturally {& 30 Other Home Remedies}

Cure Coughs Naturally & 30 Other Home Remedies {}

By Hilary Bernstein, Contributing Writer

I’ve never been a fan of medications. Over the counter or prescribed … it doesn’t matter. After being prescribed antibiotics for a good two years of my childhood – and developing severe allergic reactions to them – I’ve preferred treating myself and my family with home remedies when sickness strikes.

Since it’s prime time for seasonal sicknesses, here’s how I cure coughs naturally:

Eucalyptus oil

Every time my children start coughing, I pull out my bottle of eucalyptus essential oil. At bedtime, I mix a splash of olive oil with a half dozen dashes of eucalyptus oil, then massage the liquid onto the soles of my cougher’s feet. If I have extra oil left, I’ll also massage it into my son’s or daughter’s chest. I cover their feet with socks and tuck them into bed. Typically their coughs improve by the morning, and after a second night of eucalyptus oil treatment, their coughs disappear. It’s easy, economical, and safe.

Pineapple juice

Fresh pineapple juice is so powerful at suppressing coughs thanks to bromelain, an enzyme that is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial.

Home remedies

In case you need to treat other ailments, check out these 30 home remedies:

Boosting immune systems and preventing sickness

Cure Coughs Naturally & 30 Other Home Remedies {}

Treating colds and flus

Cure Coughs Naturally & 30 Other Home Remedies {}

Treating congestion

Cure Coughs Naturally & 30 Other Home Remedies {}

Treating fevers

Treating coughs and sore throats

Cure Coughs Naturally & 30 Other Home Remedies {}

How do you cure coughs – or other sicknesses – naturally?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, we earn a small commission, which helps keep this site going so we can continue to offer free and useful content, so thanks!

tyndalelogoThis post is sponsored by Tyndale Rewards. Do you love FREE books & Bibles? Tyndale Rewards is a quick and easy way to earn points that you can redeem for great titles from Tyndale House Publishers. Join today and earn towards some great Christmas gifts!

Weekend Links


Links for this week:

The Mommy Guilt Cure @ The Better Mom

Redefining Abundance @ Be More With Less 

DIY Shea & Vanilla Sugar Scrub @ A Delightful Home 

31 Days of Prayer for Public School Parents @ SortaCrunchy 

Some Days, We Feel Pathetic @ Commonsense Christianity 

Cheesy Raw Kale Chips @ Modern Alternative Mama 

Why Mister Rogers was an Artist Who Influences @ chatting at the sky

An app for free books @ The Art of Simple 

October Sponsors

Are you looking for companies that share the same values you do? Here at Keeper of the Home we curate a fabulous selection of companies that fit well with our audience. Here are our sponsors for this month!

Tyndale Rewards | Love FREE books and bibles? Join today and start collecting points toward your first reward!

Plan to Eat | Eating at Home is About to Get Easier

Lilla Rose | Our product line centers around unique, functional, and well made hair jewelry

The Healthy Lunchbox | Sandwich-free Secrets to Packing a Real Food Lunch

MadeOn Hard Lotion | Hard Lotion For Dry Skin

Tropical TraditionsAmerica’s Source for Coconut Oil

What are your favorite indulgences this time of year?