I’m Erika and I’m the girl behind Living Well Mom. I live in beautiful central New Hampshire with my wonderful husband and four lively kids. I’ve been blogging since 2007 when I started an online journal sharing my life as a stay-at-home mom. Blogging has since grown into something much more – an outlet for my creativity and a way to share my life with other moms.
This fun, easy-to-make frozen graham cracker ice cream sandwiches recipe uses cool whip, instant pudding, and chocolate chips as the tasty “ice cream” filling. It’s so simple to make, kids will love helping to make their own frozen treats.
I grew up making this homemade ice cream sandwich recipe, and it was always the perfect summer treat for us kids.
It’s made even simpler because there is no baking required, so you can whip up a batch even on the hottest summer day without breaking any additional sweat.
Is this frozen graham cracker sandwiches recipe gluten-free?
You can make this a gluten-free frozen dessert by using gluten-free graham crackers and gluten-free instant pudding.
I also now use and recommend SO Delicious CoCo whip as a healthier option with far fewer additives than Cool Whip. (this is not a sponsored post.)
It this recipe dairy-free?
You can use the SO delicious ‘cool whip’ alternative and almond or coconut milk as dairy-free options. However, I am not aware of an instant dairy-free vanilla pudding mix yet.
If I find one, I will post it. (If you know of one, please leave a comment and let me know.)
My children love helping to make these graham cracker ice cream sandwiches. Even toddlers can help stir the “ice cream” mixture with supervision and preschoolers can help gently break up the graham crackers into squares.
It doesn’t take very long to whip up – the “ice cream” is just vanilla pudding, Cool Whip, and mini chocolate chips.
This recipe is so easy. Really my 10-year-old can practically make it himself. But I’ll show you a couple of steps because that’s what I do here.
Whisk the pudding and milk together until the lumps are out and it begins to set. Put it in the fridge to set for a few more minutes.
In the meantime, break the graham crackers into squares. This is a perfect job for the kids.
Tip: do not set your graham crackers together too closely on the baking sheet. they tend to freeze together. If this happens, it won’t affect the taste, but your graham cracker ice cream sandwiches won’t look as pretty.
After a few minutes, take the pudding out of the fridge and stir in the Cool Whip…
Add mini chocolate chips. Mix well.
Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the pudding mixture on top of each graham cracker. This is a job for mom or older kids.
Top with the other graham crackers.
If you have leftover pudding mixture, (I usually do) and have another box of graham crackers, I make a few more. Otherwise, I let the kids lick the bowl. There’s never a shortage of volunteers for that task!
Pop in the freezer for about an hour until they’re firm.
Take the ice cream sandwiches out, wrap individually in plastic wrap, then freeze.
You’ll need to keep these stored in the freezer.
Filling options for your graham cracker ice cream sandwiches
You can substitute chocolate pudding for the vanilla, add in mini M&M’s (wouldn’t that be a hit?!), nuts, whatever you want in your cool whip ice cream sandwiches.
I love a good versatile recipe and that’s exactly what this homemade graham cracker sandwich recipe is.
More recipes you might enjoy
For more delicious frozen treats for hot summer days, check out these recipes:
Mix pudding and milk together, then refrigerate until set. In the meantime, break the graham crackers into squares. Once the pudding is set (usually 5-10 minutes), gently mix in the Cool Whip and mini chocolate chips.
Put 24 graham crackers onto a baking sheet and top with 2-3 TB of pudding mixture. Put another graham cracker square on top. Freeze for 1 hour or until firm. Wrap individually in plastic wrap; freeze.
Lip scrubs are a fabulous way to soften and smooth dry chapped lips through gentle exfoliation and moisturizing. And today, I have a quick and easy DIY lip scrub recipe that uses 4 simple ingredients, including essential oils, for an all-natural homemade option.
This is a lemon sugar lip scrub, with sugar for a natural sweet exfoliator and lemon essential oil for added benefit and a lovely scent. It’s a great way to pamper yourself when you’re short on time.
I love using this homemade lip scrub all throughout the year – whether it’s winter and my lips are really chapped and dry or summer and I want a little more moisture.
One batch will fill 8-10 containers. You’ll have plenty of this essential oil lip scrub for yourself and some to give away too (this is a wonderful homemade gift idea!)
How to make lip scrub:
1. Add 1 teaspoon jojoba oil to a small bowl
You could use coconut oil, but I chose to make this essential oil lip scrub without coconut oil since I think jojoba oil has even better moisturizing properties. But you can use fractionated coconut oil (regular coconut oil may become too solid) if you prefer.
2. Add one teaspoon raw honey
I love this lip scrub recipe with honey because the honey is both sweet, nourishing for the lips, and because it’s only a small amount, it’s not sticky in the end and works great to help hold this homemade lip scrub together.
If you prefer, you can substitute the lemon for other essential oils, such as orange, lime, peppermint, even lavender oil. I actually have a peppermint lip balm recipe here.
If you like a stronger lemon scent, you may increase the drops to 10 if desired.
4. Stir your sugar lip scrub mixture well.
5. Stir until well blended.
It will take some time with the back of your spoon to get the honey and oils well mixed into the sugar.
6. Spoon into plastic containers.
This part may get a bit messy, so I suggest working over a baking sheet to easily clean up any spilled sugar lip scrub.
To use your lemon lip scrub, scoop some out with your finger and gently rub it on your lips.
(It tastes delicious by the way, and I caught my 5-year-old dipping her finger in the bowl when I was done making it and eating it! Be aware of that!)
Gently rub your lips back and forth or rub the scrub on your lips with your finger, while the sugar granules gently remove any dead skin.
Then rinse off your lips with a warm, damp washcloth, and follow up by adding this 3 Ingredient DIY Peppermint Lip Balm. Your lips will feel super smooth, and if you do add the peppermint lip balm, they will feel cool and tingly after the treatment!
How long does homemade lip scrub last?
All of the ingredients used in this DIY lip scrub have a long shelf life on their own. But since there are zero preservatives, I recommend storing your lip scrub in the refrigerator. It should last a few weeks if refrigerated.
Always do a quick sniff test to check if it still smells good before using.
Can I exfoliate my lips everyday?
I believe the general recommendation is to exfoliate your lips 1-2 times a week since your lips are an area of sensitive skin. But this is also a personal preference. If you want to exfoliate daily with this DIY lip scrub, and it is not making your lips too red and raw, then go ahead and try it! Just be sure to follow up with a great moisturizer after you exfoliate!
For the best results, you will want to choose a high-quality essential oil brand that is 100% pure and offers third-party testing for quality control. Read this post for more info on how to choose essential oils that work for you and your family (beyond the brand.)
Start by gathering your lip scrub recipe ingredients and a small mixing bowl.
Add one teaspoon of organic jojoba oil to your mixing bowl.
Then add 1 teaspoon of organic honey to your mixing bowl.
Now add 2 tablespoons of sugar.
Stir well until blended. It will take some time with the back of your spoon to get the honey and oils well mixed into the sugar.
To use your DIY lip scrub, scoop some out with your finger and gently rub it on your lips for 30 seconds to a minute. Gently rub your lips back and forth or rub the scrub on your lips with your finger, while the sugar granules gently remove any dead skin. Then rinse off your lips with a warm, damp washcloth, and follow up by adding a lip moisturizer.
Looking for more ways to use essential oils in your own DIY beauty or skin care products? Check out..
Mosquito bites and other itchy bug bites are a frustrating part of warm weather when you would otherwise be enjoying a blissful time camping, at your child’s game, hiking, or other outdoor activity. Luckily there are effective essential oils for bug bites that work well to help relieve itching and irritation.
I’ll share the best essential oils for mosquito bites along with an easy DIY mosquito bite relief essential oil roller blend recipe in this post.
I have always been super sensitive to mosquitoes bites. I swell up quickly and a single bite will bother me for days. Two of my children are the same way. A few years ago, I turned to essential oils for natural mosquito bite relief and I was amazed at how easy and effective it is.
Not only do essential oils work quickly to relieve itching, irritation, and swelling from bug bites on myself and my kids, but in 9 out of 10 times, we only have to apply the essential oils once and the itch never comes back to bother us again! That’s way better than some of the non-natural itch relief methods we’ve tried in the past.
If you’ve wondered what the best solution for mosquito bites is, essential oils are an effective home remedy.
Of course, the easiest way to deal with mosquito bites is to avoid them in the first place. I have several natural ways to repel bugs, including our homemade mosquito repellent spray.
When itchy bug bites do happen, from mosquitos or other pesky insects like black flies, gnats, etc., you might wonder what essential oils will work the best.
Let’s talk about that now. Below you’ll find a list of the top 10 best essential oils for bug bite itch, along with their Latin names (some essential oils are called by different names, so this will help you make sure you’re finding the same essential oil mentioned in this post), plus safety recommendations.
Essential Oils for Mosquito Bites
If you’ve wondered what essential oils are good for mosquito bites, here are 10 of the most popular.
1. Lavender essential oil
Latin name: Lavandula angustifolia
Lavender essential oil is one of the most well known, popular oils and that’s because it has many amazing benefits. Lavender is great for itchy bug bites because it helps to soothe and has the potential to reduce itching.
It’s one of my favorite essential oils for bug bites and we use it all the time.
Safety: Lavender is generally well tolerated.
2. Basil essential oil
Latin name: Ocimum basilicum
Basil essential oil is another of our favorite essential oils for mosquito bites because it can help calm inflammation.
Safety: Basil should not be used during pregnancy and it is also not recommended for use in those who have epilepsy.
3. Tea Tree (Melaleuca) essential oil
Latin name: Melaleuca alternifolia
Tea tree essential oil is great for itchy skin.
Safety: Tea tree is generally well tolerated.
4. Frankincense essential oil
Latin name: Boswellia sacra
Frankincense essential oil is wonderful for calming and soothing.
Safety: If you have a blood clotting disorder, check with your medical provider before using Frankincense.
5. Roman Chamomile essential oil
Latin name: Chamaemelum nobile
Roman chamomile essential oil is soothing and great for rashes and other skin irritation.
Safety: Roman chamomile should not be used during pregnancy
Safety: Patchouli essential oil may have some drug interactions, so check with your medical provider before using if you are taking any prescription drugs.
7. Eucalyptus essential oil
Latin name: Eucalyptus radiata
Eucalyptus essential oil can be helpful for wounds, so if you have an especially irritating mosquito bite, this essential oil may come in handy.
Safety: Always dilute eucalyptus well and do not use near young children’s faces.
8. Coriander essential oil
Latin name: Coriandrum sativum
Coriander essential oil can be helpful for itchy skin and rashes.
Safety: Always dilute well before using topically.
9. Ylang Ylang essential oil
Latin name: Cananga odorata
Ylang Ylang essential oil is very soothing for painful, itching skin irritation. It’s also calming and soothing in general.
Safety: Do not use excessively as some sensitive people have experienced nausea and headache.
10. Holy Basil essential oil
Latin name: Ocimum sanctum
Holy basil essential oil has wonderful soothing and calming properties for irritated bug bites.
Safety: If you have a blood clotting disorder, check with your medical provider before using holy basil.
BONUS 11. Helichrysum essential oil
Latin name: Helichrysum italicum
Helichrysum essential oil is wonderful for any kind of skin damage and may help with scarring etc. It’s one of my favorite essential oils and I’ve seen a huge difference in wound healing when using it personally. While it is more expensive, Eden’s Garden offers a more affordable option and a small bottle will last a long time.
Safety: Helichrysum is generally well tolerated.
Essential Oil Roller Bottle Recipe for Bug Bites
Now that you know the best essential oils for bug bites, here’s our favorite “Anti-Itch / Bite Relief” essential oil roller bottle blend for relieving mosquito bites.
I love this “Bite Relief” essential oil roller blend because it’s:
handy for travel
easy to apply
no-waste (compared to a spray bottle)
You simply roll this mosquito bite relief blend over the bite and within a minute or two, you can experience relief.
Please read my Essential Oil Common Sense Safety page before using this essential oil recipe. I am not a medical professional and the information presented here is merely for educational purposes and not intended to replace medical advice. Do your own research, consult with your medical provider, and decide what is safest for you and your family.
Note: I love Rocky Mountain Oils and Eden’s Garden for essential oil brands. (I used to use cheaper brands from Amazon, but these two brands are more effective in my opinion and still affordable.)
How to Make this Roller Blend for Mosquito Bites
While you can simply dilute these oils with your favorite carrier oil and apply as needed, it’s not very practical to carry whole bottles of essential oils and a carrier oil on-the-go.
So that’s where this essential oil roll-on recipe for bug bites is perfect. It’s great for on-the-go use and combines these three amazing essential oils into one simple blend.
Note: this blend has more essential oil drops than is sometimes recommended for children, but I’ve found that a higher dilution rate (less oils) doesn’t work as well. Feel free to decrease the drops if you are more comfortable with less. I have included a baby-safe recommendation too.
Step 1: Add the essential oils to your roller bottle
Add 10 drops of lavender essential oil, 5 drops of tea tree essential oil, and 5 drops of basil to your 10ml roller bottle.
Optional: if you want to include frankincense and chamomile (2 more great essential oils for bug bites), try this blend: 6 drops lavender, 5 drops chamomile, 5 drops frankincense, 2 drops tea tree, 2 drops basil.
For a baby-safe blend, try 3 drops of lavender essential oil.
All three of these oils are fairly gentle and some people even use them “neat” (without diluting), however, I don’t recommend using any oils “neat” because they are very potent and a carrier oil will make them safer AND help them go even further.
Step 2: Fill with a carrier oil
Fill your roller bottle with fractionated coconut oil or your desired carrier oil
Step 3: Cap and shake well.
Firmly and carefully push the roller ball into the bottle. Top with the cap and shake to combine the essential oils and carrier oil.
Step 4: Label your roller bottle
Don’t forget to label! You can use masking tape and marker or a label maker.
How to use this roll-on for the best bug bite relief
Simply roll this onto any mosquito bites (or other itchy bug bites) when you need relief. You should experience relief within just a couple minutes.
You can apply 3 times a day as needed. But as I mentioned before, we usually only need to apply this once (twice at the very most.)
I’ve been amazed at how effective this simple mosquito bite relief remedy is, plus because it’s all-natural, I can use it without any worries on my kids.
My 4-year-old niece gets bitten up a lot by mosquitos too and her mother was equally impressed when we used this roller blend on her. (My sister ordered her own roller bottles and now makes this blend often as she loves how effective it is for reducing irritation from bug bites.)
If you’ve been looking for an all-natural way to relieve mosquito bites, then this is a great option. Essential oils for mosquito bites can be very effective and be a better option than many of the typical insect bite relief ointments and sprays available.
Don’t feel like buying the essential oils and making your own blend? This “Don’t Bug Me” natural repellent from Herbal Energetics both repels and soothes bug bites. You can read more and buy it here.
*If you don’t want to make your own bubbles, you can add a couple drops of food color to a container of storebought bubbles, cap, and shake well. You’ll need a separate container for each color.
How to Paint with Bubbles
Mix your colored bubble mixture using different colors and pour each into a container.
I put out a popsicle mold set to hold our colored bubbles. This kept colors separate, while still providing a tall enough slot for our straws to stay put! I’m really glad we used it, as it worked really well. If you don’t have one, you can use plastic cups, tupperware containers, dixie cups, mason jars, etc.
Just a quick note: small children may want to drink the bubbles because that’s kinda what you do with straws, so you will want to supervise this bubble painting activity with really young children. Though in my experience, once they try it, they don’t again because homemade bubble solution doesn’t taste very good!
Use paper or (if available), card stock is a great option because it holds up better under the liquid than regular paper.
One fun way to add more creativity to this bubble art is to use painters tape to map out designs. We chose a cross as an easy design.
Make sure you press the tape down firmly, or the bubbles will sneak in under your tape.
We like to do bubble painting with straws because it’s such a fun easy way to blow the bubbles and provides better control than regular bubble wands.
Have your children dip the end of the straw into the bubble solution.
Then aim the straw toward the paper and blow!
Bubble Painting TipsFor bright colors:
If you want really bright colors, you will need to use a lot of color in your bubbles.
My daughter insisted that pastel colors are for princesses, so we didn’t use very much color in ours. Our colors look bright in their containers, but as you will see from our final pics, they actually turn out much lighter than you think they would. Princess Izzy was delighted with how hers turned out!
We tried another batch later with brighter colors and you can see how our bubble painting turned out:
For less mess:
I recommend having your children paint with bubbles outside for the least mess. You can do it inside, but you will want to supervise more closely in case they decide to have a colorful bubble fight!
More bubble art creativity:
You can also use stickers for more fun and creativity with this bubble activity. I thought it would be fun to add letter stickers to one painting, though they wouldn’t come off for the neat effect I was hoping for. What do you think?
After your kids finish painting with bubbles, allow it to dry. You can leave it outside in the sun or bring it inside. It only took about thirty minutes for ours to dry outside. Make sure your designs are completely dry before removing your painter’s tape, if you used any, as it can cause your paper to tear if not.
I love, love, love how this easy bubble painting activity turned out!
I plan to frame my children’s bubble art and use it around the house. Overall we had so much fun, and my daughter is already asking when we will be making some more! We have plenty of bubbles left, so it will much quicker for next time.
Will your kids prefer pastel or bright colors when they try this bubble painting activity?
This recipe will make about 1/2 cup of natural itch relief cream.
What makes this natural itch relief so effective?
If you’ve wondered what to put on itchy bug bites, there are a number of helpful natural ingredients that can bring relief. Essential oils are a great easy way to relieve itchiness and that’s why I’ve included my favorites in this blend.
Each ingredient in this bug bite remedy works to bring relief.
Lavender essential oil: This oil is one of the most versatile essential oils in terms of soothing and calming irritated skin. I have personally found it one of the most helpful for natural itch relief too.
Peppermint essential oil: This oil is very cooling, which may help take away the itch.
Tea tree essential oil: This oil is also helpful for relieving itchiness and has the potential to further reduce irritation from scratching.
Bentonite Clay: This clay can help draw out toxins causing rashes and itchy bug bites – making it a key ingredient for this home remedy for mosquito bites.
Witch hazel: It helps cleanse and is also fantastic at soothing the itch, making it perfect as a home remedy for mosquito bites. Witch hazel also acts as a natural preservative of this salve, extending its shelf life.
How To Make DIY Anti-itch Cream:
1. Add 1/3 cup bentonite clay to a medium bowl.
2. Add 3 tablespoons of witch hazel.
2. Add 7 drops each of lavender, tea tree, and peppermint essential oils.
4. Mix well.
Your lotion may be a bit lumpy, so I advise getting your hands dirty and squish it around to help get it smooth. If you want it very smooth, you may want to use a stainless steel mesh strainer and push the lotion through. Personally, I don’t mind so I skip that step.
5. Scoop into a container
Scoop or spoon your anti-itch cream into your desired container.
6. Label your container
Use masking tape and a marker, a label maker, or you can download this pretty purple label seen here…
…for free when you subscribe to my newsletter here:
Now, whenever you notice a bug bite – whether it’s your or your family – you can rub a little of this anti-itch lotion onto the spot and allow it to dry. In our experience, we’ve only needed to use this once for each bug bite however if your child ends up scratching the area again and it becomes inflamed and itchy once more, you can re-apply as needed.
Note: this homemade anti-itch cream does not absorb well onto the skin; it sits on the surface and acts as a paste. It reminds me of calamine lotion in that way. If you don’t want your child to rub this onto clothing or anything else, you may put a dot of this over the bug bite and cover it with a bandage to prevent any smearing. This has worked well for us.
Start by adding 1/3 cup of bentonite clay to a medium sized mixing bowl
Add 3 tablespoons on witch hazel
Add 7 drops each of lavender, tea tree, and peppermint essential oils
Mix well. Your lotion may be a bit lumpy, so I advise getting your hands dirty and squish it around to help get it smooth. You may also need to use a stainless steel mesh strainer and push the lotion through it to get it very smooth.
Whenever you see a bug bite on your skin, add some of this lotion and let it dry on your skin. Re-apply as needed if it is still inflamed and itchy.
This will make about 1/2 cup of natural itch relief cream.
Which Essential Oil Brand is Best?
For the best results, you will want to choose a high-quality essential oil brand that is 100% pure and offers third-party testing for quality control. Read this post for more info on how to choose essential oils that work for you and your family (beyond the brand.)
Mosquitoes can quickly ruin a pleasant summer evening, but you don’t have to turn to chemicals like DEET to repel them. Today I’ll share 3 essential oil mosquito repellent sprays, including a baby-safe bug spray recipe, that WORK for naturally repelling bugs. Plus you’ll learn how to make an essential oil mosquito repellent roller too.
I live in the woods of New Hampshire and we have an abundance of mosquitoes every year. I’ve tried many different versions of ready-made natural bug repellents, but I always come back to our homemade mosquito repellent recipes.
This post has a lot of information so use this list to skip ahead for faster reading:
Why should I use an essential oil mosquito repellent?
Essential oils work very well to effectively keep the bugs away.
A homemade mosquito spray with essential oils is very fast and easy to make and it’s not expensive, compared to natural store-bought repellents. That’s because the essential oils will last a long time and give you many batches.
What is the most effective natural mosquito repellent?
My family and I have tested this mosquito repellent recipe in quite a few “buggy” situations:
hiking in the White Mountains. It lasts for 2 hours with no bites.
fishing on a hot, humid day (favorite mosquito weather). It lasted for 2 hours with no bites.
around our front yard fire pit on hot, muggy nights. The spray lasted for 1 hour with no bites, while the roller blend lasted for 2 hours.
sitting outside with my chickens. It lasts 1-2 hours.
Keep in mind that natural mosquito repellents do not last as long as the chemical versions. I have personally not found one version – homemade or store-bought – that lasts for 6+ hours like the DEET versions do.
There’s always a cost to everything and if you want to avoid chemicals with your family, you will need to re-apply your homemade mosquito repellent more often.
In my opinion, that’s a small price to pay for knowing my children are not being exposed to potentially harmful chemicals. And the mosquitoes do remind you of when you need to reapply!
Have you ever wondered why there are many different recommendations for all-natural bug repellents? Why would one essential oil mosquito repellent recipe work so well for one person, while another had success with a completely different blend?
The answer? There are at least 176 different species of mosquitoes in the United States alone, with over 3,000 in the world!
So if you’ve used an all-natural insect repellent in the past without any success, it doesn’t mean all-natural repellents will never work for you. It just means the pesky mosquitoes you’re trying to repel hate something else more. And you’ll want to try different varieties.
In this post, I’m including 3 different recipes so you can have options to try as you figure out what blend works best at repelling mosquitoes for you.
Studies on essential oils for repelling mosquitoes:
catnip – a 2001 study found that Catnip essential oil repelled mosquitoes 10 times more effectively than DEET! (The brand I used is a different species of essential oil than the study, but I have still found it to be essential in keeping bugs away.)
citronella – this 2011 study determined that citronella is as effective as DEET, however, it does lose effectivity quickly as it “evaporates.”
lemongrass – this 2013 study found that lemongrass was “an effective repellent against mosquitoes” and house flies.
litsea – a 2016 study determined “litsea oil had effective repellency in comparison with DEET and DEPA against Ae. aegypti mosquito at all concentration.”
Are essential oils as mosquito repellents safe for children?
I am not a medical professional and the information presented here is merely for educational purposes and not intended to replace medical advice. It is your responsibility to do your own research, consult with your medical provider, and make safe decisions for yourself and your family.
One of the challenges with using essential oils for repelling bugs is that sometimes you need a higher concentration of oils than is typically recommended for use with kids (or adults) in order to effectively deter the bugs. But there are some important things to keep in mind.
Essential oils are very potent and a high concentration can potentially cause problems too. Just because essential oils are “natural” does not mean they are automatically safe. Read this Common Sense Essential Oil Safety page for more information.
Using essential oils safely with children depends on a few factors:
Essential oil quality – using cheap oils may mean they have had extra ingredients added that reduces the pure oil. This can cause irritation &/or reduce the beneficial qualities. This does NOT mean you have to buy super expensive essential oils. Click here to read more about how to choose quality essential oils beyond the brand.
Essential oil species – as with most things essential-oil-related, there are many conflicting opinions in this area. Some say certain oils, like peppermint, should never be used on children 6 and under, while others say it is safe.
In this post, I’ve listed safer substitutes for any oils that are not recommended for use with kids under certain ages.
Essential oil dilution – again this is an area where people have very different opinions. Some say you should not use essential oils at more than a 1% dilution rate for young children while others are more liberal in their dilution.
My personal opinion is that it’s wise to always start with a higher dilution rate (less essential oils). Then, after you’ve tested out the blend and only if you’re not seeing the desired results, you may choose to slightly increase the amount of essential oils. But even then, you should keep the other factors in mind – the quality of the oils you are using, which oils you are using, and also how old your child is.
Bottom line: do your own research and talk with your medical provider so you can make the best decision for your family.
Back to our essential oil mosquito spray recipe…
I personally use a higher concentration of essential oils with my own family (ages 8+) than what I have listed in this post as we’ve found the blends to be not as effective for us in the lower dilution rates.
You will find the commonly recommended diluted rates in the blends here. If you want to increase the number of drops as I did, you should only do so gradually and after you’ve tested out the original recipe.
For this post, I have included some safe essential oil bug blends for kids at a 1% dilution rate. You will also find a mosquito repellent recipe specifically for babies too, along with additional safety recommendations.
Store bought bubbles can get expensive quickly especially when kids spill them. Luckily, you can make your own homemade bubble solution and it’s super easy too! All you need are three simple ingredients (without glycerin!) and you can mix up a large batch of DIY bubbles in 2-3 minutes.
Your children will LOVE this easy bubble recipe and you will too because it provides hours of inexpensive fun. We’ve found this homemade bubble recipe to be just as good as the ready-made versions; it’s strong and great for blowing big bubbles too!
Why should you make homemade bubbles?
Children love blowing bubbles. Even older children enjoy getting in on “bubble fun.”
The issue with bubbles? Kids spill. A lot. Especially younger children.
You’ve been there, right? You find those little containers of bubbles on sale and buy one for each child, thinking how much fun they’ll have on a nice sunny afternoon. You hand them out, the kids go outside excitedly, and 5 minutes later, at least one child is inside crying because their bubbles spilled and are all gone.
Plus add in the fact that even on-sale bubbles can get expensive (especially if you have multiple children as I do)!
That’s where the homemade version is perfect.
You’ll save money with homemade bubble solution.
You can make 3 huge batches of homemade bubbles with this easy recipe and it costs around $4. It would cost me at least $30 to buy that much ready-made bubble solution!
Plus it’s super quick and easy to make DIY bubble solution. My 10-year-old can mix up a batch by himself!
All four of my children love these homemade bubbles, even my tween. They have spent 2-3 hours at a time playing together and having contests to see who can blow the largest, strongest bubble!
And I had such fun watching them play and taking photos. Sometimes it’s hard to get the kids to slow down for me to snap a decent photo, but today I got lots of gems. (Except for my middle son who was in a mood and didn’t want to play.)
Emily had an idea to use her fingers as a wand too. It was messy but it worked well.
I thought it was a pretty creative way to do something different with bubbles! They blew some really big bubbles this way! And you don’t need any extra “big bubble blowing” supplies!
What’s your kids’ favorite way to enjoy blowing DIY bubbles?
Grilled shrimp skewers marinated in a perfectly seasoned lemon garlic marinade are delicious as a quick and easy meal after a busy summer day. Plus with an array of grilled seasonal vegetables, bbq shrimp kabobs are a healthy whole30 or paleo recipe.
If you enjoy seafood and are looking for a new way to enjoy your grill this summer, you’ll love this satisfying easy meal.
Me? I love seafood. Shrimp is one of my favorites, but sometimes, just like grilling, my usual recipes get boring; I love trying new recipes. I found this one in an old cookbook and after tweaking the lemon garlic marinade recipe to our taste, it’s become one of our favorite summer barbecue recipes.
One of my favorite things about this grilled shrimp recipe is just how simple it is to make.
The lemon garlic marinade takes 5 minutes to mix together and it’s easy to make in the morning before you head out for work or whatever activities you have planned for the day. Just add the shrimp and then when you’re home and ready to eat that evening, you can have a delicious healthy grilled shrimp dinner on the table in about 20 minutes!
I won’t claim that my whole family loves this lemon garlic shrimp recipe. My kids aren’t the biggest fans of shrimp, but that’s fine with me because shrimp is more expensive. I consider shrimp dinners to be more of a special mom-and-dad dinner. The kids can have grilled hotdogs or Hawaiian Teriyaki burgers.
Grilled Shrimp Kabobs
This whole30 shrimp recipe makes enough for 4 people. You will need about 20 large shrimp, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, a large onion, a lemon, and if you have a favorite grilled vegetable, you can throw that on too.
How to make the Lemon Garlic Marinade
You’ll need minced garlic, fresh or dried parsley, sea salt, black pepper, olive oil, lemon juice, and ground ginger
Stir the marinade ingredients together, then add the shrimp to the bowl. Make sure your shrimp is covered with the marinade so you’ll get the best lemon garlic shrimp flavor. Cover the bowl.
Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour. If you’re wondering how long you can marinate shrimp for, you can do so for up to 2 days. That means if you start marinating your shrimp and you end up making other plans for dinner that night, you can still enjoy delicious grilled shrimp kabobs the next night.
On the other hand, if you’re in a big rush and forget to start the marinade in the morning (as simple as it is, sometimes it happens – I’ve forgotten too), you can marinate the shrimp for less than an hour and your lemon garlic grilled shrimp will still taste delicious.
Grilled Garlic Shrimp Recipe
Tip: if you’re using wooden skewers, while the shrimp is marinating, you can soak the skewers in water so they don’t burn on the grill.
Assemble your shrimp and vegetable kabobs any way you prefer with the vegetables. Allow for about 4 shrimp per skewer. You may choose to sprinkle a little salt and pepper on your zucchini for a little more flavor.
I love using this Zesty Sea Shakes salt – it’s lower sodium than table salt and contains sea salt, organic seaweed, onion, alfalfa, black pepper, garlic, lemon, and cayenne. It’s one of my favorite salt-like seasonings.
Heat the grill to around 350 degrees and put your skewers on the grill.
Brush on the leftover marinade for even more garlic lemon flavor.
Grill your Lemon Garlic Shrimp for about 5 minutes per side or until you see nice grill marks and the vegetables are cooked through.
At the same time, place the lemon halves on the grill.
Remove your grilled shrimp skewers and lemons; squeeze lemon juice over each skewer as desired.
If you want, serve with rice or quinoa. Or enjoy your grilled shrimp skewers and vegetables for a healthy whole30 shrimp recipe.
Grilled shrimp skewers marinated in a perfectly seasoned lemon garlic marinade are perfect as a quick and easy meal after a busy summer day. Plus with an array of grilled seasonal vegetables, this is a healthy whole30 or paleo recipe.
Place shrimp in a bowl and season with garlic, parsley, salt and pepper, olive oil, 1 tsp lemon juice and ground ginger. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour or longer.
While shrimp is marinating, soak wooden skewers in water so they don’t burn on the grill. Begin assembling the skewers with vegetables in any arrangement you prefer. If you desire, sprinkle a little salt and pepper on the veggies, especially the zucchini. Allow for 4 shrimp per skewer.
Heat your grill to low-medium heat or about 350 degrees.
Place the skewers on the grill. Brush on leftover marinade for even more flavor (optional.) Cook for approximately 5 minutes per side, or until you see the development of nice grill marks and the vegetables are cooking through.
At the same time, place the lemon halves, cut side down, on the grill as well. Remove from grill when the skewers are cooked through.
Upon serving, squeeze the lemons over the skewers. Enjoy!
Optional: serve with rice or quinoa if you prefer some carbs.
If you enjoy cream cheese, you will LOVE this easy recipe for Strawberry Cheesecake Fat Bombs. This simple high-fat, low-carb keto dessert does not taste like coconut and the light strawberry flavor combined with cream cheese will remind you of strawberry cheesecake minus the guilt!
With four simple ingredients, these keto fat bombs are quick and easy to whip up and taste super delicious!
A low carb, ketogenic diet doesn’t mean you have to give up delicious food. It can be difficult to give up sugar but luckily, simple recipes like these strawberry cream cheese fat bombs will help satisfy your sweet tooth.
What are fat bombs?
Fat bombs are usually a simple combination of high-fat, low-carb ingredients, such as butter, cream cheese, coconut oil, etc.
They can act as a healthy keto dessert or snack. If you’re on the keto diet, you shouldn’t need to snack, but if you are feeling hungry (especially early on), low-carb fat bombs are a good option. If you don’t need a snack but are missing “regular food”, try them as a low-carb dessert.
Naturally fat bombs do not contain added sugar, although most recipes allow for a little stevia or other non-sugar, natural sweetener if you desire.
Fat bombs that don’t taste like coconut!
Often, fat bombs, including this recipe for 3-ingredient chocolate fat bombs, contain coconut oil or coconut butter. Personally, I enjoy the taste of coconut and it rarely stands out as “too much coconut” for me, however, some people don’t like coconut in their fat bombs.
If you prefer fat bombs that don’t taste like coconut, these strawberry cheesecake fat bombs are a perfect option for you!
How do you make fat bombs?
Luckily fat bombs are super easy to make. You don’t have to be experienced in the kitchen. They’re usually pretty fast too
Most fat bomb recipes, including this strawberry cheesecake version, involve blending together 3-4 simple ingredients then scooping onto a cooking sheet or into molds or mini muffin cups. If you can wait, you let them chill for an hour or so and they’re ready to enjoy. (But it doesn’t hurt if you enjoy a scoopful before they’re chilled; just remember to count your carbs if you’re on the keto diet.)
Strawberry Cheesecake Keto Fat Bombs
To make this low carb cream cheese recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:
*a powdered natural sweetener is important for good consistency. You can easily make your own by blending regular granulated erythritol or monk fruit in a blender for a few seconds. It will quickly turn to powder. Measure after blending for accuracy.
If you’re wondering if strawberries are keto friendly, yes, a small number of strawberries are okay on the ketogenic diet. They are considered a low-carb fruit and actually lower-carb than blueberries (though blueberries contain a bit more fiber.)
How to make Strawberry Cream Cheese Fat Bombs
For the fastest, smoothest results, you’ll want to use a food processor to make these low carb fat bombs. It’s not required though – you can use a mixer (hand or stand) or mix by hand (though you’re liable to end up lumps).
1. Process the ingredients.
Process the cream cheese, butter, thawed strawberries, and powdered sweetener together.
2. Scrape and process again.
Scrape the sides of your food processor or bowl and process or mix once again.
Taste your cream cheese fat bombs mixture and add a little more natural sweetener if you prefer.
Repel mosquitoes, ticks, flies, and other pests with these DEET-free, homemade bug repellent lotion bars using essential oils and other natural ingredients. They’re safe for the whole family, including kids and babies!
If you’ve ever wondered how to repel mosquitoes without bug spray, this lotion bar recipe is your answer. It works very well as a DIY mosquito repellent. Plus, it’s perfect for travel, hiking, sporting events, camping, etc. because you don’t have to worry about spills or messes in your purse or luggage.
There are two more advantages to using this DIY bug repellent lotion bar compared to bug sprays:
It also nourishes and moisturizes the skin due to the shea butter, coconut oil, and beeswax ingredients. You don’t get that with typical bug sprays!
How do you make an effective natural insect repellent?
An effective natural bug repellent uses natural ingredients like essential oils to keep insects away. Essential oils tend to work well because they can disguise your scent from mosquitoes and other annoying pests.
The downside is you typically need to reapply more frequently than non-natural, DEET containing repellents however this lotion bar does last longer than DIY sprays.
How to Make Homemade Insect Repellent Lotion Bars
Did I mention this essential oil bug repellent recipe is REALLY EASY to make? It is! All you need are a few simple ingredients, essential oils, and a silicone mold (you can find them at Amazon, Target, Hobby Lobby, Walmart, for just a few dollars.)
2 oz Beeswax (each stick is one ounce – so you need 2 sticks)
After you add your essential oils, stir again until the mixture is well blended.
Step 5. Pour into the molds.
Then you can get your silicone mold and pour the liquid into your mold.
Here are the poured insect repellent lotion bars before they are cool.
Step 6. Cool for 24 hours.
Let these sit untouched for 24 hours to fully cool and harden.
I personally love the bug shaped mold and think these are really cute. The kids love rubbing on “bugs” to keeps bugs away!
Step 7. Remove from the molds.
After you have waited 24 hours for your DIY mosquito repellent lotion bars to cool, you can pop them out of the mold.
Remember that these are lotion bars are not soap bars, so they will feel softer and the lotion will rub off on your hands right away. I recommend getting a small plastic bag or container (such as these here) to store your bug repellent lotion bars in when they are not in use.
Add one or two of your DIY bug repellent lotion bars to your purse and pass them around at sports games. Always have one on hand before hiking or camping!
These lotion bars do have a strong scent, but in my opinion, they smell much better than a commercial bug spray. Not to mention, its a relief knowing that when my kids rub this on their skin, they aren’t rubbing on toxins such as DEET.
Bug Repellent Lotion vs Lotion Bars
I recently wrote a post on how to make a bug repellent lotion. Both recipes contain the same essential oils, so how do you choose which one to use?
I believe the bug repellent cream works wonders, but the lotion bars may be a better option to use if you are swimming often or traveling. There are more beeswax and shea butter in the bars than the cream, which will help seal in the scent and will stay on your skin longer if you are in and out of the water. I also recommend..