DIY Sunscreen


I am a bit of a crunchy mom…this is just another example of that! ūüėȬ†I love making as much as I can for my family for their health and my peace of mind. So far I have made laundry detergent, disinfecting spray/all purpose cleaner, ¬†soft scrub, window cleaner, enzyme cleaner and floor cleaner. Making these products versus buying them gives me a lot more satisfaction then spending way too much money on more toxic products that don’t work as good as homemade. I made the laundry detergent 8 months ago, and there is still some left! One of the best things about using it is that my washer never smells of mildew, the clothes wash up really well, smell fresh and haven’t faded a bit!

Anyway, back to the sunscreen! It’s super emollient and much more beneficial for your skin than anything you can buy at the store. The upfront cost is a bit expensive, but I’ve already sold a jar so it’s a good start at recouping some of that money. We’ve ¬†tested this during the worst time to be outside (noon to 3:00), because the neighbors needed help with their landscaping. The kids were all over that when they were promised payment for their hard work ūüėČ As I rubbed it on them, I added a few drops of an essential oil blend that repels bugs (lots of those out here in Florida), and they came back in the house burn free and without a single bug bite. Thanks for reading!

DIY Sunscreen –

Directions –

In a double boiler over medium low heat, melt coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax. Stir until completely melted. Add vitamin E oil to the mixture then remove from heat. Carefully add the zinc powder and stir to combine. It’s not necessary, but I used my hand mixer to blend the zinc powder within the butter/oil mixture. Carefully pour the sunscreen into glass jars. Let cool completely with the lids off. Once it’s cooled, you can place it in the refrigerator for about 6 months or store at room temperature for about 3 months.


Pork Carnitas


Quick Post: My son loves taco night, and these definitely hit the spot. ¬†I made the meat on a Friday and didn’t end up using it until a Monday. The advantage to letting it sit, is that the fat will rise to the top so you can remove it. The meat also tasted even better, and I was able to pull off even more fat off of the pieces of meat. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Pork Carnitas – adapted from My Kitchen Escapades

  • 4 pound boneless pork butt, fat trimmed and cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 Tb fresh lime juice
  • 2 C water
  • 1 medium orange, juiced and keep the spent halves

Directions –

1.  Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat to 300 degrees.  Combine all the ingredients in a large Dutch oven, including the spent orange halves and juice.  Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, uncovered.  Once it simmers, cover pot and transfer it to the oven.  Cook until the meat falls apart when prodded with a fork, about 2 hours.
2.  Remove the pot from the oven and turn on the broiler.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the pan and place it on a large foil-lined jelly roll pan.  Remove and discard everything from the pot except for the cooking liquid.  Place pot over high heat on the stove and boil until thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes.  You should have about 1 C of liquid remaining when it is finished.
3.  While the liquid is reducing, use two forks to pull each cube of pork into three equal sized pieces.  Once the liquid has become a syrup, gently fold in the pieces of pork into the pot.  Try not to break up the pork any further.  Taste and add additional salt and pepper.
4.  Spread the pork back onto the foil lined pan and evenly spread the meat around so there is a single layer of meat.  Place the jelly roll pan on the lower middle rack of the oven and broil until the top of the meat is well browned and edges are slightly crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes.  Using a wide metal spatula, flip the pieces of meat and broil the other side until well browned and edges are slightly crisp, 5 to 8 minutes.  Serve immediately in a tortilla with all your favorite toppings.

Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie


Ok, shake! ūüėČ My husband loves this “smoothie” that you can buy at Tropical Smoothie Cafe, and ever since I bought my Vitamix he’s asked me to make him one. I couldn’t find a copy cat version anywhere, but I think this one is a good substitute for the real thing. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie –¬†

  • 1 banana, cut up and frozen
  • 2-3 cups chocolate frozen yogurt
  • 1 – 2 TBSP peanut butter
  • 1 cup coconut milk

Directions –

Pour the coconut milk into your blender carafe, followed by peanut butter, banana and yogurt. Blend until smooth, adding more coconut milk if necessary.

Spaghetti with Shrimp and Vodka Cream Sauce


I posted this recipe over a year ago, but I wanted to share it with you all again cause it’s just that good! I made it exactly as the recipe calls for – 1 cup of heavy cream and 1/2 cup of vodka and everything ūüėČ No worries – I didn’t have two drunk minors stumbling around after they ate this. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Penne and Shrimp with Vodka Cream Sauce ‚Äď adapted from¬†The Pioneer Woman

  • 3/4 pounds¬†Penne pasta (I used a pound of spaghetti)
  • 1 pound shrimp (I used 1.5 pounds, we love shrimp)
  • 2 Tablespoons¬†Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 whole onion (small), diced fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup¬†vodka (or white wine)
  • 1 – 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • salt To Taste
  • pepper To Taste
  • Parmesan cheese

Directions –

Cook the penne pasta until tender-firm, also known as al dente.

Peel, devein and rinse (under cool water) 1 pound of extra large shrimp. Heat about 1 tbsp. butter and olive oil in a skillet. Add the shrimp and cook for a couple of minutes until just opaque. Do not overcook them. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Now, put the cooked shrimp on the cutting board and pull off the tails. Chop the shrimp into bite ‚Äďsized pieces and set aside.

In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and saut√©, stirring occasionally. After the garlic and onions have cooked a bit add your vodka or white wine. Let the vodka or wine evaporate for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. If you would rather not use alcohol, you can use low-sodium chicken broth instead (about ¬Ĺ cup).

Now add an 8-ounce can of plain tomato sauce. Stir well until combined. Then add 1 cup of heavy cream. Continue stirring. Turn heat down to low and let simmer.

Now add your chopped shrimp back into the tomato cream sauce. Give it a stir and add salt and pepper to taste. Finally add your cooked penne pasta and give it a good stir.