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Featured/ Homemade Gifts

Lemon Sugar Hand Scrub


I recently was part of a planning team for a local IF: Conference.  I had the fun job of decorating. I got to create an atmosphere where the women who came felt comfortable, loved on and cared for.


Lemon Sugar Hand Scrub was a small touch, both for beauty and for pampering, that I put in the restroom.  It got rave reviews from the women who used it.  I personally love this recipe, and was delighted when it was so well received.  I even got sweet comments on my Facebook page that evening– women asking for the recipe.

IMG_0193{photo from conference via Lelia Chealey}

This Lemon Sugar Hand Scrub is quick to throw together and leaves the hands so very refreshed and soft.  Just take a small spoonful, rub into hands, then a quick warm water rinse and a blot dry. This will leave you with a slight bitof moisture that can be rubbed into your hands.  It is a cleanser, scrub and moisturizer in one!




Don’t forget to rub the scrub into those cuticles.  Winter can wreak havoc on cuticles and dry them out.  When rubbing the scrub into your hands, gently massage into the cuticles, too.  Then rinse. Then massage the leftover oil into your cuticles.  My cuticles have never looked better after using this scrub!

It is addicting and amazing.

I keep a jar at all times at my kitchen sink. It sits on my kitchen sill in a cute little mason jar & has a fun, tiny little spoon with it.

I also have made a batch for the shower and used as a full body scrub.  It is amazing stuff!


I highly recommend adding lemon essential oil to this recipe.  It makes the world of difference in how your hands smell after using the scrub, and adds great cleansing and even lightening properties for those pesky age spots we get on the back of our hands.  It truly is divine!


Lemon Sugar Scrub

{via I Heart Naptime}


2 1/2 cups sugar, divided

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (almond or jojoba oils works well, too)

1 lemon

5-7 drops lemon essential oil (optional, but not really!)

~Put sugar in a large bowl.  Set aside.  Measure out 1/4 cup of coconut oil and place it in a microwave safe bowl.  Heat coconut oil in the microwave for about 30 seconds, or until the oil is melted.  Add 5-7 drops lemon essential oil & stir. Pour oil over sugar and mix to combine.

~Using a zester or small rater, zest the rind of 1 lemon.  Then, cut tested lemon in half and, using a juicer or a fork, juice the lemon.  Remove any seeds from lemon juice.  Add lemon juice and zest to the sugar mixture and stir to combine.

~If sugar scrub is still too “wet”, add up to 1/2 cup more sugar until desired consistency is reached.

~Store in a cute little jar, with a cute little spoon.

~Add a free printable label courtesy of I Heart Naptime.

Keep for yourself or give away as a sweet and meaningful gift. Enjoy!

Healthy Eating/ How-Tos/ RECIPES

6 Reasons To Replace Sugar With Coconut Palm Sugar


coconut palm sugar

I am new to Coconut Palm Sugar, and have quickly become a big fan.  I use it in my coffee, on my oatmeal and have even tried it in a Wholegrain Blueberry Coffee Cake recipe (which came out fantastic, I will post the recipe soon).

I was first introduced to coconut palm sugar when I visited my friend Karen in California.  She is a sister survivor that I met through this blog (read more of our story here).  We are both now very dedicated to health, and seeking out ways to improve our nutrient intake.  Karen wrote a bit about coconut palm sugar on her blog, I Choose Hope.  She uses it in her Choose Hope Chai Latte.

This pretty bag of organic coconut palm sugar caught my eye recently at our local health food store.  I  have wanted to try coconut palm sugar, and I’m a sucker for pretty packaging!  The price was much higher than what I wanted to pay, $6.99 for 16oz! Next time I will order from Amazon, it is $2 bucks cheaper!

replace sugar with coconut palm sugar

Despite the crazy price, I have really enjoyed using coconut palm sugar.  It DOES NOT have a coconut taste.  It is sweet, with just a slight hint of caramel-ly flavor. It is “pure coconut flower blossom nectar.”  It does wonders for my bowl of oatmeal in the morning.  Delicious!

What sold me on this product was that it is a sweetener that also has nutrient benefits for the body.  It is naturally nutrient-rich.  You use it just as you would normally use sugar, it is a perfect 1:1 ratio.  It is unrefined, vegan & gluten free.

Here are 6 reasons to replace sugar with coconut palm sugar:

1. Magnesium & Nitrogen
Regulated blood sugar levels and blood pressure.  Helps prevent and manage hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

2. Zinc
Called the “nutrient of intelligence” and is necessary for mental development.

3. Low Glycemic*
Slow absorption into the bloodstream, which means a happier and healthier body. No “sugar crash” like other sweeteners give you.

4. Potassium
Electrolytes help with muscular strength, cramps, diabetes maintenance and brain function.

5. Calcium 
Builds strong bones, reduces high blood pressure and kidney stones, and aids in weight management.

6.  Amino Acids
Coconut sugar contains 16 vital amino acids, the building blocks for all life.

*These statements have not been approved by the FDA.  Those with sugar related illness and disease should consult with a doctor before consuming any sweetener.

Christmas/ RECIPES/ Seasonal/ Sweets

Sugar Frustrations & Andes Mint Cookies!

I am looking forward to January.  Why? Since Halloween, I feel like sugar and processed foods just keep hanging around at the Bowman house! I have yet to figure out how to do the holidays in a balanced way.   It is important to me that my kids experience candy treats and seasonal goodies, some of our best memories and traditions are made from these goodies, but it is starting to drive me nuts seeing all the junk hanging around here!
Before this quadruple- whammy sugar season (Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years) I was able to keep our home pretty much sugar free with very little processed foods, so when we would go to a party or a family function, I was at peace letting my girls eat whatever their little hearts desired, because I knew they were getting what their bodies needed at home.  But then, boatloads of Halloween candy came into our home, Thanksgiving and all its pies and yummy leftovers were in our home, and now and all our yearly, traditional Christmas recipes are merrily making their way into our home!  Agghhh!

For now, I am going to just embrace the season, try to remember that we have come a long way in our eating habits, and know that January is coming!

I would like to be more purposeful about creating a recipe box full healthy treat ideas for the years to come, so I am excited to be participating in a “Healthy Holiday Eats And Sweets” blog carnival coming up on December 8th.  I think I will get some great recipes that still make the holidays special and yummy, but do it using whole foods that are real and nourishing.

Until then, here is one that is not!:)  This cookie recipe is one that I make every year at Christmastime.   It is so easy, and has 2 of my favorite holiday flavors, chocolate and mint!  They are simple, pretty and oh so yum.   I double the batch, make a bunch of balls and freeze them until needed.

Andes Chocolate Mint Cookies
1 box Devils Food Cake Mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
Andes mints, unwrapped and cut in half

~Dump all but Andes mints into a large bowl, beat until combined.
~Roll into one inch balls.  (I just use a pampered chef small scoop and skip the rolling)
~Bake @ 350 for 6-7 minutes. (Don’t over bake, you want them soft.)
~Immediately, push an andes mint gently down in the center of each cookie.
~Wait a minute or so, then take a toothpick or tip of a knife and swirl the melted mint into a circle, creating swirly beauty. (my girls love doing this part)
~Let cool so the chocolate will set before putting on a platter.