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HEALTH/ Natural Products

Coconut Chia Lemon Face Mask


A guest post by Lisa of Miss Alchemist

Chia seeds aren’t only great for snacking, but they also make great beauty products.  Considering their beautifying power, it was only a matter of time until these little superfoods made their way into serums and eye creams.  Chia seeds have important antioxidants including Alpha Lipoic Acid, which minimizes fine lines and pore size, and phytonutrients which help reveal smoother, more radiant skin.  With all these great qualities, you should eat your chia seeds and put them on your face!  Lately I’ve been seeing beauty products now on the market that use chia seed oil due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.  These products can be expensive so you may want to go the d.i.y. route with my coconut-chia mask.  

This mask is great since the chia seeds exfoliate and help moisturize, the coconut oil is hydrating, and the lemon juice works to remove age spots and tighten pores.  


  • 1 tablespoon solid  coconut oil,  (make sure its cold-pressed, virgin and organic)
  • 2 teaspoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Combine ingredients and let stand for 20 minutes or so for the chia seeds to plump up.  If coconut oil is melted you may want to stick in the fridge for a few minutes so that it is firm and will stay on your face.  Apply to your face with a  Fan Brush or pastry brush and let sit for 2-5 minutes.  Wet hands and in a circular motion rub chia seeds into skin before wiping off with a cold wash cloth.  If the coconut oil feel is too much for your skin, follow with a toner (like my triple threat toner), otherwise pat dry.  No moisturizer needed since the coconut oil provides plenty!  Have extra? Apply to the back of your hands — they’ll be silky smooth!




Meet Miss Alchemist

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After Lisa spent years advancing her finance career and prioritizing everything except her health, she decided to make a change.  Putting her curiosity for learning to a new area, Lisa now spends her free time researching and creating simple, healthy recipes and easy, natural d.i.y. beauty products.  Lisa lives in Los Angeles with her miniature schnauzer, Romeo.



Easiest Homemade Whole Wheat Bread–A Guest Post

Easiest Homemade Whole Wheat Bread — A guest post from Kendra at Our Homemade Happiness

I’ve been making 1-2 loaves of homemade whole wheat bread every week for over a year now. I was tired of the preservatives and chemicals in store-bought bread and the taste was definitely lacking. 

But my handy dandy bread machine should get all the credit. I would never go to all the trouble of making my own bread without one. It’s so awesome because it takes less than 5 minutes to throw the ingredients into the pan and the machine does the rest. After it’s all said and done, I’m left with amazing bread and only one dirty pan. And it’s super easy to clean because it’s non-stick. I’ve included my favorite whole wheat bread recipe below.


1 cup water 
1/8 cup milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt 
3 cups white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine/fast rising yeast (or 2 teaspoons active dry yeast)

Add ingredients according to the directions that came with your bread machine. Use the wheat bread cycle and light color setting. This recipe makes a 1 1/2 pound loaf.


Follow the directions that came with your bread machine carefully. I first got a bread maker eleven years ago. I didn’t follow the instructions and my bread never turned out. Now I make sure my water is at the right temp (my directions recommend 80°F). I spoon the flour into the measuring cup instead of scooping so I don’t use too much flour. My previous bread maker recommended using bread machine/fast rising yeast so I still use that, although my new bread maker says active dry yeast can be used. I keep my yeast in the fridge so it doesn’t go bad.

If your bread doesn’t rise, try adding 2 tablespoons of vital wheat gluten and 2 1/2 tablespoons water. Not all recipes work the same in different areas. I live at sea level. For high altitude areas, reduce the amount of yeast by 1/4 teaspoon and reduce liquid by 1-2 teaspoons until you find the right amount.

This is my rockin’ bread machine that I bought last year to replace my previous Black & Decker model. I was debating between this West Bend Breadmaker for $60 and theZojirushi Virtuoso Breadmaker for $270. Big diff in price! I read all the user reviews for each bread maker and I finally chose the less inexpensive West Bend bread maker. I’ve been very happy with it and I’m glad I didn’t fork over the extra $210 for the Zojiushi model. 


$0.03 – Milk ($3.50/1 gallon)
$0.37 – Extra-Virgin Olive Oil ($9.44/25.4 oz.)
$0.35 – Honey ($7.48/32 oz.)
$0.01 – Sea Salt ($1.50/26.5 oz.)
$0.58 – White Whole Wheat Flour ($3.64/5 pounds)
$0.27 – Bread Machine Yeast ($4.24/16 envelopes)
$1.61 – Grand Total for 1 1/2 pound loaf
$4.75 – Whole Wheat Bread of Comparable Taste/Freshness from Bread Store

After making homemade bread in my bread maker 20 times, I saved the $60 I spent on it. I also make homemade pizza dough and french bread dough in it. I love that I get fresh, delicious, nutritious homemade bread without hardly lifting a finger! 

Do you have a bread maker? What kind do you have and how do you like it? Do you have a favorite bread machine recipe to share?


 So Happy You Are Here
Hi, I’m Kendra!  I blog about all things homemade, especially cleaners, skincare, and healthy eating.  I started my blog, Our Homemade Happiness, after my husband suffered from mono symptoms for over two years and his blood results showed some liver disease.  Since the liver is responsible for filtering out chemicals and toxins from the bloodstream, I started to realize how many chemicals are in everything we buy, from processed food to household cleaners, lotion, and even air freshener.  I’ve become inspired to rid my home of as many chemicals as I can, one product at a time, and blog about it along the way.