Cold Brew Coffee is Life

Cold Brew Coffee is Life


Coffee is my favorite.

Hot, iced, slushed, or candy style.  It just makes my heart happy.

Cold brew coffee is perfect any day but especially when those temps start rising.  It is so easy to make that you just may stop swinging by your fave coffee shop and start making it yourself!  Just think about how much money you will save.

Making coffee cold brew style will result in a smooth tasting coffee as opposed to brewing coffee and then icing it.  That results in watery, bitter coffee.

You only need a few items like a jar with lid, coffee grounds or beans, filter, and filter basket.  And patience.  It takes at least 12 hours for the coffee to “brew”.  But I promise you that it is worth it!

Now if you have a coffee bean grinder, then you can grind your beans right before you brew. Your local coffee shop may sell their beans by the pound. #shoplocal  Or you can just buy some at the grocery.

Now let me show you how super simple it is to make Cold Brew Coffee.


Cold Brew Coffee Recipe



1 cup of coffee grounds

3 cups water

Large Jar with a lid – Like these

Filter basket 

Coffee filter or cheesecloth


1. Add 1 cup of coffee grounds to 3 cups water.



2. Stir and screw the lid on.



3. Place jar in the fridge overnight or for 12 hours.  Waiting is seriously the hardest part.


4. Wait patiently.


5. Strain the grounds.  This is definitely the most time-consuming part. But if you have a conventional coffee maker, you can put a filter in the basket and a clean jar underneath and viola(!), a cold brew coffee. I used my pour over basket and it does go slowly as you can see here.




6. Drink some of the most delicious coffee ever.




Do you have a favorite cold brew coffee recipe?








Fruit and Nut Overnight Oats

Fruit and Nut Overnight Oats

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS.  You can read my disclosure policy here.


Eating breakfast is super important.  Eating a tasty, no fuss, healthy breakfast is even better.

With just a little prep, like minuscule, you can throw this breakfast together on Sunday and have it prepped all week.  Just grab and go.

Overnight oats consist of the following basics.

  • Jar
  • Oats
  • Nut Milk

Super simple, right?

After that, you get to add the fun stuff like nuts, fruits, seeds, sweetener, or flavor.  Down below is a list of ingredients that you can mix and match to your heart’s desire.  Possibilities are endless.


Fruit and Nut Overnight Oats Recipe



Jar with Lid – 8-12 oz Mason Jars work great.

1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats – good complex carb, high in soluble and insoluble fiber.

1 cup milk – plant-based milk can be a great alternative to cow’s milk.  Buy unsweetened and organic when possible.

  • Almond – unsweetened almond milk is low in fat but high in energy, proteins, lipids, and fiber.
  • Cashew – boosts the feel-good hormone tryptophan, which increases serotonin production in your brain.
  • Coconut – contains a beneficial fat, lauric acid, that’s easily absorbed and used by the body for energy.

Fruit – naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories.

  • Berries – exceptionally high in antioxidants and vitamin C.
  • Kiwi – high in vitamin A, K, E, and B, potassium, copper, folate, and fiber.
  • Bananas – high carb and mineral content of makes them a great source of fuel before exercise.
  • Oranges – excellent source of vitamin C.

Nuts – boost nutritional intake by adding nuts to your oats.

  • Walnuts – 1/4 cup provides 100 percent of the daily-recommended value of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats.
  • Slivered almonds – high in protein – nearly one gram per almond.
  • Pecans – contains anti-inflammatory magnesium, heart-healthy oleic acid, phenolic antioxidants, and immune-boosting manganese.
  • Cashews – a powerhouse of proteins and essential minerals.

Seeds – a great source of healthy fats, vegetarian protein, fiber and antioxidant polyphenols.

  • Chia seeds – high fiber content.
  • Flax seeds – an excellent source of magnesium and fiber.

Natural Sweeteners – great alternative to sugar. Sugar contains high calories with NO essential nutrients. 

  • Maple syrup – contains antioxidants and minerals like zinc and manganese.
  • Honey – raw honey contains bee pollen which provides natural allergy relief and boosts overall immunity.

Flavor – common ingredients to spice up your oats and keep you healthy.

  • Vanilla – antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory.
  • Cinnamon – lowers blood sugar levels and also can improve sensitivity to the hormone insulin.



1. Place oats, nut juice or milk, and add-in’s of choice (nuts, seeds, flavor, sweetener). Play around with the measurements for the fun stuff.  See what works for you. Stir well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

2. The next morning, give your oats a stir.  If they are dry, add a splash of liquid. I like to add my fruit and nuts in the morning so that the fruit stays plump and the nuts are crunchy.  It’s totally a texture thing but feel free to add the night before.  One less thing to do in the morning.

3. Enjoy!



Pro-Tip: Hard boil some eggs while you prep your overnight oats.

Adding a couple of eggs along with your oats will provide a protein-packed breakfast that will keep you full until lunch.


Prep your breakfast for the week and you are on your way to a healthy, convenient, and economical way to start your day.


Check out these other tasty breakfast ideas. 



Homemade VapoRub for Cough and Cold

Homemade VapoRub for Cough and Cold

This post may contain affiliate links.  You can read the disclosure policy here

Spring is just around the corner (yay!) but there is still some funk going around.  Homemade Vaporub will save the day when you need insta relief from cough and cold.  None of the gross ingredients and all of the soothing essential oil love you can handle.

Conventional VapoRub contains funky and potentially harmful ingredients.

  • Camphor: you cannot swallow because camphor overdose can have severe effects, including death in toddlers.
  • Petrolatum: or Petroleum as the jelly used for beauty products. Originally, petroleum was discovered hanging out on the bottom of oil rigs and although refined, it potentially can contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that have been linked to several cancers, including skin, lung, bladder, liver and certain digestive system cancers.
  • Turpentine oil: toxic if swallowed. Used as a paint solvent, turpentine also is an ingredient in Vicks VapoRub.

Homemade VapoRub contains beneficial components that promote healthy respiratory function.

Be sure to use high-quality essential oils (these are the oils I use personally).  Some essential oils on the market contain harmful fragrance and fillers and contain very little of the beneficial plant ingredients.  The oils used in this recipe are safe for adult use only.  If you would like to use for small children or babies, use the child VapoRub Recipe version. As always, if pregnant or nursing, ask your practitioner before use.

  • The main chemical components of Eucalyptus Essential Oil are eucalyptol and alpha-terpineol which aids in clear breathing and opening airways.
  • Peppermint Essential Oil has a high menthol content that promotes healthy respiratory function.
  • Lemon Essential Oil supports a healthy respiratory function and gives an uplifting boost to the mood which helps when you are feeling blah because you are sick.
  • Coconut oil contains Lauric acid which is particularly good at killing bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
  • Beeswax contains powerful anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties that are all beneficial to the skin.

Homemade VapoRub (Adult) Recipe


1/2 Cup Coconut Oil

2 TBSP Beeswax Pellets

20 Eucalyptus Essential Oil

20 Peppermint Essential Oil

10 Lemon Essential Oil

4-6 0z Jar


  1. Melt Coconut Oil and Beeswax in a double boiler (which is placing your jar in a small pot, on low heat with water that only reaches up the side of the jar – make sense?) to melt oil and wax.
  2. Once melted, take the mixture of oil and beeswax off the heat.
  3. Add the oils and stir.
  4. The Vaporub is ready to use once cooled and firm.

Homemade VapoRub Recipe for Small Children


1/2 Cup Coconut Oil

2 TBSP Beeswax Pellets

4 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil

4-6 0z Jar


  1. Melt Coconut Oil and Beeswax in a double boiler (which is placing your jar in a small pot, on low heat with water that only reaches up the side of the jar – make sense?) to melt oil and wax.
  2. Once melted, take the mixture of oil and beeswax off the heat.
  3. Add the oils and stir.
  4. The Vaporub is ready to use once cooled and firm.

If homemade VapoRub isn’t your thing, there are a few good ones on the market.

Natural Premade Options

Maty’s All Natural Vapor Rub Soothing Relief (Amazon)

Badger Aromatic Chest Rub for Colds (Thrive Market)

If you would like to read more about making your own non-toxic body products, check out the following list. xo

Hearty Beef and Black Bean Chili Recipe

Hearty Beef and Black Bean Chili Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links.  You can read the disclosure policy here.




And these guys have been out of school for daaays.



In our Southern, thin-skin defense, we simply do not have the equipment to remove the snow that may come once a year.  Coupled with the fact that it doesn’t stay cold here long so what snow we get melts, then refreezes overnight turning into ice.  And ice doesn’t play.  No one can drive on ice.

With that being said, when it snows in Nashville, everyone gets a snow day, even adults.  And it’s fantastic.

Cold, blustery days deserve warm, hearty meals.  Today I made my favorite chili, Hearty Beef and Black Bean Chili. This chili is made with organic, grass-fed beef, black beans, tomatoes, and veggies. Everyone in the house personalizes the toppings.  Some add cheese, some add sour cream, tortilla chips or jalapenos.

Personally, I add it all.

Just a heads up, if you didn’t know, I love Aldi’s and do 95% of my grocery shopping there.  I save so much money shopping at Aldi.  Before I started making my chili, I took a quick (staged) photo of the ingredients I bought at Aldi the day before.  Organic food at Aldi is very reasonably priced and only slightly higher than conventionally grown products.



Alright.  Super easy recipe. Let’s go.


Hearty Beef and Black Bean Chili Recipe




1/2 cup chopped celery

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained.

4 cups broth – chicken, beef or vegetable



  1. Sautee the onion, celery, and bell pepper until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add beef and cook until crumbly.
  3. Add everything else.
  4. Cook for at least one hour but the longer, the better.
  5. Top with cheese, sour, jalapenos, cilantro….or just whatever your sweet little heart desires.



You can mix it up and have the leftovers as Chili Cheese Fries or over a baked potato.  If you double this recipe, you can freeze half for another dinner down the road.


How did you spend your lovely snow day?!



Check out these other tasty recipes.


Online Organic and Natural Food Coupons


Check out the following links for Organic and Natural food coupons. You will have to sign up on some sites, some you won’t.  If you don’t want to junk up your primary email account, create a new one that you use solely for coupons and newsletters.  Happy Saving!


Amy’s Kitchen

Annie’s Homegrown Food 

Apple & Eve

Applegate Farms


Be Free For Me (Gluten Free)`

Bob’s Red Mill

Common Kindness

Earth’s Best Organics


Enjoy Life Food

Honest Kids




KIND Healthy Snacks

Laura’s Lean Beef

Mambo Sprouts


Pacific Foods

Plum Organics

Rudi’s Organic Bakery


Stonyfield Organics

Traditional Medicinals

Udi’s Gluten Free

Uncle Matt’s Organic

Van’s Foods


If you like saving money, you really should check out the following info. 🙂

Save Money on Organic and natural foods when you shop at Aldi.

10 Ways to Eat Organic Food on a Budget


Window and Glass Cleaner Recipe – DIY

Window and Glass Cleaner Recipe – DIY

This post may contain affiliate links.  You can read the disclosure policy here.

Fortunately, my days of window and mirror cleaning are far and few between now that this job is added to Xan and Evie’s chore list. I am seriously working my way out of this maid-esque position I acquired 11 years ago when Xan was born.

Now that the kids are cleaning the windows on the reg, it is even more important that the window cleaner be non-toxic. After researching the ingredients in Windex, I tossed the bottle (ahem, I mean, recycled) and started making my own window and glass cleaner.  Some of the ingredients in Windex are super funky and can cause some unnecessary problems.

Just trying to clean some windows here folks.  Not trying to have an asthmatic fit or skin irritation.

The Environmental Working Group grades products based on the toxicity of their ingredients. The grades indicate the relative level of concern posed by exposure to the ingredients in this product.

The EWG rates Windex a D which means, “HIGH CONCERN – Likely hazards to health or the environment. May also have poor ingredient disclosure.”

According to SC Johnson’s website, Windex® is made of the following ingredients:


The most dangerous chemicals in Windex are 2-Hexoxyethanol, Ammonium Hydroxide, and fragrance. 


Toxic Ingredients in Windex


2-Hexoxyethanol: According to the National Library of Medicine, “2-Hexoxyethanol is moderately toxic. The NLM recommends taking great care to prevent eye and skin contact due to the toxicity by absorption.   Breathing in the vapors is not a good idea either.

Ammonium Hydroxide: A colorless solution of Ammonia in water with a pungent odor.  Household cleaners, photography and fertilizers, textiles, rubber and pharmaceuticals all contain Ammonium Hydroxide. Inhaling Ammonium Hydroxide can cause a cough, shortness of breath and sore throat. Blurred vision, redness and skin irritation is also known to occur if the chemical gets on skin or in your eyes.

Fragrance: Of the thousands of chemicals used in fragrances, most have not been tested for toxicity, alone or in combination. Many of these unlisted ingredients are irritants and can trigger allergies, migraines, and asthma symptoms.  Seriously, fragrance is in everything! Check ingredient labels.  You’ll see what I mean.


Making your own window and glass cleaner is super easy and affordable. You probably already have all the ingredients in your kitchen.


Window and Glass Cleaner Recipe



  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol
  • 10 drops peppermint or lemon essential oil.  Good quality oils are important.  Some oils even contain fragrance which we are trying to stay away from.  Personally, I use doTERRA because of the quality and I know that the oils are pure.
  • Glass spray bottle.  Essential oils will break down plastic over time so glass is best! These bottles are my favorite and they are such a pretty blue color.




  1. Pour Water, Vinegar, Rubbing Alcohol and essential oils in your spray bottle.
  2. Shake well before use.  All done!


Microfiber cloths like these, work really well and help cut down on waste by not using paper towels that will just get thrown away.  I keep mine in a little basket under the sink and use them for everything except floor spills.  Paper Towels do that job.



Another fun option is the cleaning cloths from Mightynest.  These guys clean everything from counters to windows to little faces.



What it boils down to is that cleaning is good.  Toxic chemicals in your cleaning products are bad.   Take control of your environment and health by simplifying the ingredients in your everyday cleaning products.  You are doing yourself, your family and the environment a favor.


Here are a few other DIY cleaning recipes you will enjoy. Happy Cleaning!


Bathroom Spray Cleaner Recipe

DIY Soft Scrub

Natural, All-Purpose Cleaner



Sheet Pan Steak and Veggies

Sheet Pan Steak and Veggies

“Good food, fast” is my motto in the kitchen.

Real food isn’t convenient or fast, or wrapped up in boxes and wax paper.  Real food is raw and whole. It needs washed, prepped and cooked. Eating real food can be a pain in the ass, no matter how amazingly good it is for you.

Washing, prepping and cooking is not even close to something I enjoy doing.  So I have made it my mission to make eating real food as easy on myself as possible and I would love to share some tips with you to help with your kitchen life balance. A real food kitchen if you will.

The following recipe is super easy to prep, cook and clean up.  Plus, most importantly, the Sheet Pan Steak and Veggies is nutritious with a healthy portion of protein, healthy fats and healthy carbs. It tastes pretty darn good too.


Sheet Pan Steak and Veggies



  • 1 pound baby red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 pound brussel sprouts, halved
  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh or dried Rosemary


  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook potatoes and brussel sprouts until parboiled for 10 minutes; drain well.
  3. Place potatoes and brussel sprouts in a large baggie.  Add olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and rosemary. Shake the bag to evenly coat veggies with ALL the flavor.
  4. Pour the potatoes and sprouts onto a sheet pan.  Drizzle balsamic vinegar over veggies. Place a baking rack on top of the veggies.
  5. Rub 2 tbsp of dijon mustard over the steak.  Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste to taste, and add it to the baking rack on top of the sheet pan.
  6. Place into oven and broil until the steak is browned and charred at the edges, about 7-8 minutes per side for medium. Shave a couple of minutes off for mid-rare or add 2 minutes for mid-well.


Pro-Tip: Cut up and parboil a few extra potatoes. You can make breakfast potatoes or add them to scrambled eggs the next morning.


All of this deliciousness was made using a sheet pan, baking rack, cutting board, knife and a gallon baggie.


I have adapted the no fuss, no muss philosophy with all my meals and it has made my clean eating life so much easier! Stay tuned for more meal time saving recipes.


Until then, here is a pictorial version of the recipe.


Quartered red potatoes, herbs and olive oil in large baggies. Shake to coat.

Veggies and lubed up with olive oil and placed on sheet pan. 

The Steak is rubbed with marinade. The longer the steak marinades the better but even 10 minute will do.


Yum.  All done. In only 30 minutes.  Now you have more time to do fun stuff.


If you enjoyed this time saving, real food recipe, check out the following deliciousness.






Bathroom Spray Cleaner Recipe

Bathroom Spray Cleaner Recipe


Bathrooms.  We all have ’em and we all have to clean them.

Have you ever looked at the ingredient label on your bathroom cleaners?

The first time I really read the back of my bathroom cleaner, was about 10 years ago.  I was cleaning my tiny, unventilated bathroom while my one year old was napping.  I planned on giving him a bath first thing after he woke.

While cleaning the bathroom, my eyes started to sting and my throat began to burn.  I looked at the label and it said scary things like, “Warning. Keep out of the reach of children” or “Do not breathe spray” and best yet, “Eye and skin irritant. Do not get in eyes, on skin or clothing.”

That’s when it hit me.  I was scrubbing my tub with this cleaner with all of these crazy warnings, that caused my eyes and throat to burn, and then planned on sitting my baby’s little naked bottom directly on the same tub. Granted I would rinse away the cleaner but trace amounts would still be left behind. That was my aha moment that led me down the path to clean living and using non-toxic products.

Once you start learning about the potential dangers of the ingredients in conventional products, there is no going back.  The knowledge snowballs and before you know it, you start researching the chemicals in body products, then in food and on and on.

Our bodies fight off all of these dangers and filter out a lot of the harmful chemicals.  But when they are in our food, our cleaning and body products and our air, the body can’t keep up and the chemicals start to take a toll.  You can’t be 100% toxin free but proactively limiting the chemicals will help you feel and stay well.


Health is priceless.


Below is a list of the most common toxic ingredients in most commercial bathroom cleaners.


2-BUTOXYETHANOL: A skin and eye irritant also associated with blood disorders. This chemical is listed as a toxic substance under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act due to the understanding that it is harmful to human health.

Ammonia:  Vapours may irritate the skin, eyes, throat, and lungs

MEA (monoethanalomine): Known to induce asthma in workplace settings

DEA (diethanolamine): Mild skin and severe eye irritant.

Fragrance: More than 3000 chemicals are used in fragrance mixtures. Many are irritants and can trigger allergies, migraines, and asthma symptoms.

Buying a bottle of $3.99 cleaner from the store is super easy and convenient.  I get it. People are busy. Easy and convenient is pretty awesome. The following bathroom cleaner recipe is still very easy and convenient after you build up your cleaning and body products inventory. Plus, you can really save some dough after your initial purchase of bulk ingredients.

The following is a bathroom spray cleaner recipe.  If you need to do some heavy cleaning, this DIY Soft Scrub will do the trick.


Bathroom Spray

Cleaner Recipe



Spray Bottle – Glass is best because essential oils can break down plastic. These are my fave.  I also use these labels for my homemade cleaning (and body) products.

2 cups water

2 cups white distilled vinegar

40 drops of essential oil – You can use single oils or combine based on smell and cleaning ability.  I personally use doTerra oils for their potency and purity.  If you would like to learn more about the oils, just let me know and I will be happy to elaborate.

  • Lemon fresh, clean scent.  Antiseptic and disinfectant properties.
  • Tea Tree – antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiseptic and antiviral.
  • Lavender – delightful, summery scent. Disinfectant properties.
  • Eucalyptus – natural germicide.
  • Peppermint – antibacterial.



  1. Mix water, vinegar and oils in a spray bottle.
  2. Shake gently to mix.
  3. Spray surface and wipe with a damp cloth.


Now you can rest assured that your bathroom cleaner will not warrant a visit from the hazmat team if it gets spilled. 😉

If you are not into making your own bathroom cleaner, check out these more natural alternatives to conventional products.

Method All Purpose Natural Surface Cleaning Spray

Green Works Multi-Surface Cleaner, Spray Bottle, Original Fresh

Seventh Generation Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner


Here are a couple of other natural ways to keep your home clean. 





Do you make your own cleaners?  I would love to hear about them!



Fruit and Nut Oatmeal Muffins

Fruit and Nut Oatmeal Muffins

There is nothing more I love then a good muffin. Being gluten-free for 6 years now, I have gone without good muffins for way too long.  Sure, I could find GF muffins here and there but they tend to be heavy and filled with sugar.

So you can imagine my delight when I pulled these Fruit and Nut Oatmeal Muffins out of the oven for the first time.  I was literally giddy with excitement when I tasted them.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  These are not the sugar filled, cake like muffins you can get at the bakery.
The Fruit and Nut muffins are like their healthy, hippie cousin. 🙂

This is why I love these muffins.


  1. Natural Ingredients – Nothing crazy in here folks.  Just real food.  MIxed all together having a grand time.
  2. Super Versatile – So many options.  Like nuts? Great, throw some in.  Berries?  Go for it.
  3. Wholesome and Hearty  – Oats, bananas and almonds will keep you full longer and help stop midday munching. Great with coffee too!
  4. Healthy – Almonds provide healthy fats, eggs provide protein and the oats will give you some healthy carbs.
  5. Great To-Go Breakfast – Grab and go.  No standing over a stove cooking eggs or cold cereal in the morning.
  6. Easy Clean Up – No fuss, no muss.  Mixed in one bowl, cooked in one pan. Done.


Fruit and Nut Oatmeal Muffin Recipe



coconut oil (spray is recommended)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 large bananas, mashed

1 T raw honey

2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/2 T ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 pure maple syrup

Toppings of your choice: berries, fruit, nuts, various seeds (chia, flax), chocolate chips (chocolate chips, what?!)



Step 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat muffin tin with coconut oil.

Step 2.  Scramble eggs in a large bowl.

Step 3. Add bananas and mash with a fork.

Step 4. Add vanilla, maple syrup and honey, oats, cinnamon and baking powder, then stir well.



Step 5. Stir in almond milk and mix well.



Step 6. Divide oatmeal evenly between prepared muffin cups and add toppings of your choice.


Step 7. Bake 20 minutes or until brown.

Step 8. Cool slightly and eat immediately, or save for the week ahead!


You will be surprised at how moist (sorry guys, I had to say it) and delicious these muffins turned out! 



Fruit and Nut Oatmeal Muffins
Recipe type: Breakfast, Snack
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Dozen
  • coconut oil (spray is recommended)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large bananas, mashed
  • 1 T raw honey
  • 2½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1½ cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1½ T ground cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ pure maple syrup
  • Toppings of your choice: berries, fruit, nuts, chocolate chips (chocolate chips, what?!)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat muffin tin with coconut oil.
  2. Scramble eggs in a large bowl.
  3. Add bananas and mash with a fork.
  4. Add vanilla, maple syrup and honey, oats, cinnamon and baking powder, then stir well.
  5. Stir in almond milk and mix well.
  6. Divide oatmeal evenly between prepared muffin cups and add toppings of your choice!
  7. Bake 20 minutes or until brown.
  8. Cool slightly and eat immediately, or save for the week ahead!


If you enjoyed this recipe, here are a few other you may be interested in trying out! xo


Homemade Bug Repellent

Homemade Bug Repellent


It’s that time of year.

Nature has come back to life, with full branches of leaves and stems full of color. This, by far, is my favorite season of the year. After a dreary, albeit seasonably warm winter, spring is a breath of fresh air. With the full trees and bushes come annoying bugs and mosquitos.

We live by the lake and these bugs are supersized. Seriously.  I had a spider so big come in the house the other day, I swear he opened the back door and let himself in. I gently (frantically) coaxed him back outside but I swear he was the size of a silver dollar. And all before my first cup of coffee.

Our winters in Nashville are not super cold or snowy but this last winter was so mild. Our average temp was in the 50’s and it was amazing. Since it never got cold enough to kill off the ticks and bugs, I am expecting more bugs than usual during these warm months. I swear, these mosquitos will be the size of birds.

Conventional bug sprays usually contain DEET, a chemical that disrupts the central nervous system and covers the antenna of mosquitos, confusing their sense of direction.  In humans, Deet causes a variety of skin problems like redness, irritation, blistering and burning.  Environmentally, the EPA considers DEET to be slightly toxic to birds, fish and aquatic invertebrates.

According to this Safety Data Sheet,

Deet is the most common ingredient in insect repellents and is believed to work as such in that mosquitos intensely dislike its smell. Deet is also an effective solvent and may dissolve plastics, rayon, spandex, other synthetic fabrics and painted or varnished surfaces.


We spend a lot of time outdoors and bug repellant is a necessity.  The bug repellant we use is a combo of essential oils and a carrier fluid like witch hazel, vodka or distilled water.  But really, who would waste good vodka on bug spray?


Homemade Bug Repellent Recipe



Spray Bottle  4 oz

2 oz distilled water, Witch Hazel or Vodka.  I use Witch Hazel for my repellent. Produced from a flowering shrub, Witch Hazel is naturally anti-inflammatory and astringent.  You can find witch hazel and any drugstore or grocery.

40 drops of essential oils. Any combination of the following oils, although Lemongrass and Citronella are the most effective.

  • Lemongrass
  • Citronella
  • Eucalyptus
  • Rosemary
  • Cedarwood
  • Lavender


  1. Add witch hazel, distilled water or vodka to spray bottle.
  2. Add 40 drops of essential oils.
  3. Shake.
  4. Done.

Additional Tips:

  • Always shake before use.
  • Women who are pregnant or nursing should check with their health practitioner before using.
  • Use good quality oils. I personally use DoTerra, but there are several legit oils on the market. Some oils contain fragrance and junk like fillers so check the labels before you buy. Rocky Mountain Oils are good quality oils for a reasonable price.
  • Essential oil’s therapeutic properties will degrade if exposed to sunlight. Store your essential oil concoctions in colored glass bottles if possible.
  • Be cautious when using oils on young children.

Natural Bug Spray alternatives.

BugMace All Natural Mosquito & Insect Repellent Bug Spray

All Terrain Kids Herbal Armor DEET-Free Natural Insect Repellent

Mosquito Repellent Spray – All Organic Insect Deterrent

If you enjoyed this article, then check out the ones below.  I bet you will like those too! 🙂